Representatives from LewisGale Medical Center, City of Salem, and Roanoke College participate in tree planting ceremony.

LewisGale Medical Center was recognized by the City of Salem with a proclamation and tree dedication ceremony on Arbor Day as a tribute to the hospital's healthcare professionals and other essential workers for going above and beyond to care for COVID patients during the pandemic.

Thirty mixed species shade trees were planted in the median on Braeburn Drive in front the hospital’s main entrance. During the event, City of Salem Mayor Renée Ferris Turk issued a formal proclamation in honor of the medical staff and colleagues having made it through two of the most challenging years in modern healthcare.

“We are humbled to honor our heroic healthcare workers at the LewisGale Medical Center with this lasting tribute,” said Mayor Turk. “While there is no way to properly express what these men and women have meant to our community during the pandemic, I do hope that these trees will serve as recognition of the sacrifices they continue to make to keep citizens safe and patients alive with their dedicated service and compassionate care.”

A national holiday generally celebrated by planting trees, the very first Arbor Day took place in Nebraska on April 10, 1872 and the Georgia General Assembly proclaimed the first Georgia Arbor Day in 1890. Today, Arbor Day is always observed on the last Friday in April.

“We are honored to receive this proclamation from the office of the mayor and are genuinely grateful to all of frontline heroes who have allowed us to get through this pandemic,” said Alan Fabian, LewisGale Regional Health System market president and chief executive officer of LewisGale Medical Center. “Not only do these trees symbolize a partnership with the City of Salem, they also reflect the sacrifices that were made by so many people who work tirelessly for the betterment of the community.”

Alan Fabian, market president and chief executive officer, receives proclamation from Mayor Renee Turk.

LewisGale Medical Center executive leadership and nursing staff plant tree on Arbor Day.