Bobbie Huber and Ron Burns, Co-Founders of #FRONTLINEPROUD™

Family is where it all begins. Just like millions of others, our family includes members who are working in healthcare on the frontlines during this global coronavirus pandemic. My husband is a practicing physician and the Medical Director of the Immediate Care Center at The South Bend Clinic in South Bend, Indiana; my brother-in-law is a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Twinsburg Fire Department in Twinsburg, Ohio; and my sister is a patient access representative at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

As the coronavirus pandemic began, my parents Ron and Evie Burns, like so many other parents across the world, were diligently staying in touch with family. They were hearing first-hand what frontline workers were going through and were compelled to do something to show support for the three organizations/departments where they had family employed. They provided meals to over 150 healthcare workers, helped fund the production of reusable PPE, and had banners and buttons produced showing their personal support for frontline workers.

The banners and buttons had the theme #FRONTLINEPROUD™ printed on them for everyone to proudly display. As I came up with this concept, I wanted it to be a timeless message and something that people could universally relate to. This is not simply a phrase or a hashtag but a state of mind.

As a country, we consistently see healthcare workers rise up and fulfill their call of duty. Regardless of the fatigue from working long hours, the stress and anxiety of trying to provide care in an ever-changing environment, and the risk to their own health and safety, our frontline workers continue to stand tall and proud protecting us from unseen threats. The physical, mental, and emotional tolls this work takes on them personally, on their families, and even their communities cannot be unseen. I see it first-hand, every day. We all do in some way, shape, or form.

This effort was first and foremost geared towards our healthcare workers given the current pandemic. However, it is not about healthcare alone -- because long after we defeat the coronavirus, our frontline workers will continue to selflessly carry out their vital work.

We must support and appreciate our first responders, military, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, grocers and food-service workers, and others too vast to name. Not everyone can be on the FRONTLINE fighting a battle, risking their own well-being for others or their country. It is important to remember we ALL have a part to play in the fight and sometimes that depends on the fight, it may be on the frontlines serving, or in the trenches providing support and supplies, or perhaps behind the scenes conducting research and formulating strategies.

We must never underestimate the power of leadership or establishing a sense of community where simple acts of kindness can inspire and spark a movement. 

No matter the fight or the cause, there will always be a FRONTLINE ... and for that, be proud!