MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hospital workers are hoping to heal after the deadly shooting at a Buffalo clinic killed a medical assistant and injured four more health care workers.
Allina Health is relying on its spiritual team to help care for the caregivers at its hospitals and clinics after the tragedy. WCCO shares how one chaplain is spreading his mission of peace.
Forty miles from Buffalo, fears remain that the same thing could happen at a hospital in Minneapolis, where the clinic doors are open to the community.
“I saw many staff afraid,” said Kazuhiro Sekino, a chaplain intern at Abbot Northwestern Hospital. “Chaplain is here to take care of spiritual pain everybody has,” he added.
His new role has given Sekino a renewed focus on a project that first took flight in the fight against COVID-19.
“Even though this happened, hospitals should be the place of healing. Where we can provide hope,” he said.
Japanese tradition states folding one thousand paper cranes will make a wish come true. Now, 16,000 cranes fill Abbott’s lobby.
“It is the symbol for intense prayer and seeking peace,” Sekino said.
Since WCCO first covered Abbott’s display last month, the hospital has received even more cranes from as far away as California.
Sekino hopes to deliver them to Buffalo someday soon.
Allina Health’s chaplains have made a point to check in more often with its 30,000 employees, across 12 hospitals and 90 clinics across Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
“After the tragedy we asked staff are you ok, how are you doing today?” he said.
It’s why Abbott will keep its display up for the foreseeable future.
“They are carrying so many burdens medical workers overloaded already,” Sekino said. “This is a place we have to support each other no matter what happened there.”
The cranes are a sign of encouragement and a reminder to rise above.