YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Mercy Health announced that a permanent COVID-19 memorial will be built at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.
Paul Homick, President of Mercy Health Foundation – Mahoning Valley, made the announcement Thursday and unveiled what the St. Elizabeth Hospital COVID-19 Memorial will look like.
“The memorial will be a place where the Mahoning Valley will permanently memorialize the pandemic and its effects on our community,” Homick said.
The memorial will feature a wall on which will hang three plaques honoring caregivers, those affected, and those who died. The central element will be a sculpture by world-renowned artist Timothy Schmalz called “When I Was Sick.”
It will be placed in a grassy area in front of the Park Avenue entrance of St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Reaction to the idea of a COVID memorial in Youngstown was positive.
“I think it is brilliant. It’s a brilliant move,” said Monsignor John Zuraw. “So we should never forget. But rather to simply pause and say this – what we have learned and experienced.”
Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown said the project was very well thought out.
“I would just say congratulations to Mercy for even thinking to go that far,” Brown said.
The sculpture and the memorial is funded by donations to the Mercy Health Foundation — Mahoning Valley.
“We are grateful to the medical staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital who is providing the lead gift for this endeavor,” Homick said.
The memorial is anticipated to be complete by September 2021.