Twelve months to the date of our first confirmed case in the Mahoning Valley, our ministry continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our health system along with our foundation recognizes the challenges those throughout our communities, our country and the world continue to face.
Therefore, we are so grateful to announce a permanent COVID-19 memorial will be erected at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital (see rendering of the piece above).
The memorial will observe the global pandemic and represent a tribute to the loved ones we lost and continue to lose. Additionally, it will recognize the health care heroes among us who sacrificed greatly to care for the sick and dying in our community.
A central element of the memorial will be a bronze sculpture by Timothy Schmalz, a world-renowned artist with international installations at churches, cathedrals and the Vatican. The sculpture, titled “When I Was Sick”, is part of a series by this artist.
Several of the sculptures in this series have been or will be installed in the Youngstown region, including “Homeless Jesus” to be installed at St. Columba Cathedral, “When I Was Naked” at St. John’s Episcopal Church and “When I was Hungry & Thirsty” at First Presbyterian Church. There are other organizations looking to install the last two sculptures in this series, making Youngstown, OH one of only a few cities in the world to be home to all six sculptures.
This sculpture and memorial will be funded by donations to the Mercy Health Foundation – Mahoning Valley and is anticipated to be completed by fall 2021. There will be three plaques installed at the site: one honoring caregivers, one as a memorial to those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and one serving as a permanent historical marker.
“This memorial is a testament to the continued generosity rooted in those living in the Mahoning Valley,” shares Paul S. Homick, Jr., president, Mercy Health Foundation – Mahoning Valley. “The campaign has already begun and with the help of our community, we can permanently memorialize the significance of the COVID-19 pandemic while paying tribute to those who sacrificed greatly.”
Additionally, the memorial will include a time capsule that will be opened on March 11, 2120, one hundred years from the date of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue to be humbled by the call our team members answer to server the sick, dying and underserved throughout the Mahoning Valley. May today be a day we recall the blessings we each have and the fortitude for the days ahead.
For information on how to contribute to the COVID-19 memorial, visit our foundation website or call 330-729-1180.
Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.