In most years, residents welcome Hood to Coast participants with open arms and our famous Seaside hospitality. For frontline health care providers at Providence Seaside and Columbia Memorial hospitals though, this year is frighteningly different.

With COVID-19 infections on the rise and our hospital under enormous pressure from an ongoing staffing crisis, the Hood to Coast event fills many nurses and other staff with dread.

Each year, we see an increase in visits to the emergency room from car accidents, heat exhaustion, and injuries. This year, those visits could push us past the breaking point.

Not only will we see more visits to an already strained emergency room, but the event is also likely to increase infections among the participants! Yes, organizers of the event are implementing some “COVID protocols,” but the simple truth is this: it is beyond irresponsible for Providence to sponsor this event when it will have a devastating impact on the nurses and other health care staff who have been working tirelessly at Providence Seaside Hospital to protect our community.

Perhaps Providence should have used those sponsorship dollars to invest in nurse retention, hire more hospital support staff, or fund a public campaign to encourage people to wear masks and get vaccinated. As it stands, the Hood to Coast event isn’t something Providence Seaside nurses are looking forward to this year. This year, we are scared. Providence, you should know better.

Mary Romanaggi, RN

Autumn Doss, RN

Providence Seaside Hospital

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