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Celebrate every moment.

We are celebrating individuals and families based on the community’s nominations.

Read their stories, and if you know someone who should be featured, you can nominate them here.

Sandy Palma

The communities where we grow up help shape us into the people we become. Sandy grew up in Chicago. Her community made her kindhearted, hard-working and selfless. That is why she did not think twice when the hospital in Chicago where she held her first nursing job called and asked her to come help care for patients infected with COVID-19.

Read Sandy's Story

Sandy Palma

The communities where we grow up help shape us into the people we become. Sandy grew up in Chicago. Her community made her kindhearted, hard-working and selfless. That is why she did not think twice when the hospital in Chicago where she held her first nursing job called and asked her to come help care for patients infected with COVID-19.

Sandy had only recently earned her nurse practitioner license when she got the call. She decided to leave her job in Idaho Falls, say goodbye to her loving husband and three children and pack her bags and go to Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago.

Sandy had worked at Saint Anthony Hospital as a nurse from 2004 to 2012. It was the place where she developed a passion for medicine, where her parents took her when she was sick and where her friends and family continue to seek treatment today.

She was nervous to go back to Chicago where COVID-19 cases were climbing. Saint Anthony was treating many coronavirus patients and short staffed because many of the team members were sick themselves. When Sandy arrived, she quickly learned she not only needed to provide medical care but also needed to provide patients comfort and hope.

Days were difficult. Not every patient got better. But Sandy created bright moments each day. She made time to hold patients hands, celebrated when patients were discharged and counted her blessings that her friends and family stayed healthy.

Very few people would drop everything to go back and help the community where they grew up. Sandy did and that deserves to be celebrated.

As we highlight Sandy, she wanted to highlight all of the other healthcare workers and front-line workers who are making sacrifices every day to serve others.

Jessica Ziel

We have always valued teachers. But chances are if you are a parent that has lived through the coronavirus, you probably have a whole new appreciation for teachers and the work they do to educate and care for our children. All teachers deserve to be celebrated but Idaho Falls Community Hospital wants to shine a special light on Jessica Ziel, a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Alturas International Academy in Idaho Falls.

Read Jessica's Story

Jessica Ziel

We have always valued teachers. But chances are if you are a parent that has lived through the coronavirus, you probably have a whole new appreciation for teachers and the work they do to educate and care for our children.

All teachers deserve to be celebrated but Idaho Falls Community Hospital wants to shine a special light on Jessica Ziel, a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Alturas International Academy in Idaho Falls.

When the pandemic hit, Jessica essentially had just a number of days to figure out how she was going to teach her students online for the rest of the year. She had to learn how to use Zoom, pack up her classroom and create a makeshift teaching space in her home and figure out how to make virtual lessons just as impactful for her students.

Throughout the pandemic, 100 percent of her students participated in the online learning and finished out the schoolyear. Jessica says she saw each of her students rise to the occasion, even when some of them were dealing with stressful situations at home.

There were technical challenges along the way and Jessica and her students navigated it together. At the end of the year, she asked students what they would say if their present self could go back in time and deliver a message to them at the start of the year. A lot of students talked about online learning but Jessica was most touched when she saw notes from students telling themselves that this would be the year they finally learned to read.

It wasn’t the school year anyone imagined but Jessica still managed to help her students learn and grow. That deserves to be celebrated.