JOPLIN, Mo. — A celebration of nurses continues at Freeman Health System.

Again, it’s “National Nurses Week” and Wednesday, that involved a complimentary lunch, hot off the outside grills. It’s also “National Hospital Week” so the free eats were also distributed to all hospital employees. Burgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies, and drinks.

Officials also held what’s called a “Blessing of the Hands” where a chaplain blessed the hands of nurses. All of this to show them how much they mean to both the health system and the community.

“Nurses and every employee at the hospital works really hard all year long, and so this is a time that we get to really lean in and celebrate them. Work hard to serve them and have things that they look forward to, so it’s a really important week for us to circle around or profession,” said Jeanee Kennedy, FHS Chief Nursing Officer.

“Every person that wears Freeman across their chest does something for the patients here at Freeman Health System. Whether that is cleaning their rooms, making their beds, fixing their meals, billing. I mean, everybody that represents Freeman does something for our patients. So, it’s our way to give back to them. We get to serve them and tell them thank you. Thank you for what you do for our community,” said Nicki Lopez, Freeman Health System Clinical Compliance Specialist.

On Friday, the health system will celebrate Florence Nightingale’s 203rd birthday with a party and contests.