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'We’re Thankful for Gundersen Healthcare Workers' event set

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Gundersen Health System

Gundersen Health System

Leading up to Thanksgiving, as COVID continues to surge across La Crosse County, elected officials and community supporters plan to hold a “We’re Thankful for Gundersen Healthcare Workers” event, and call on executives to invest in frontline staff.

It will be held at Little Houska Park, South Ave. at Farnam St., La Crosse, starting at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The community supporters said they will hand out hot chocolate, cider and Thanksgiving-themed treats as a small token of gratitude to workers before and after their shifts at Gundersen Medical Center and Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance.

“Gundersen workers deliver hands-on care every day,” said La Crosse City Council Member Rebecca Schwarz. “They answer emergencies, disinfect hospital rooms, prepare nutritious food and keep the hospital running. All of us owe them a profound debt of gratitude. They are our family members and neighbors.

“During the latest COVID surges, they’ve continued to put themselves at risk to do their essential jobs. It’s time to not just call them heroes, but take action to support them. We must respect frontline Gundersen workers, and that means investing in them so they can provide for their families and continue to provide safe, quality care to all of us.”

550 certified nursing assistants and workers in environmental services, dietary, laundry, maintenance and other vital jobs at Gundersen Medical Center — along with about 50 paramedics and emergency medical technicians at Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance — have been calling for fair compensation in their union contract negotiations. Gundersen has been paying some positions as little as $11.40 an hour for years.

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