Farmington hospital creates memorial labyrinth for workers who died from Covid-19

The labyrinth was selected for its healing properties

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
San Juan Regional Medical Center installed a labyrinth in its Healing Garden to memorialize healthcare workers who died from COVID-19.
  • The hospital on Oct. 14 held a private ceremony to open a labyrinth in its outdoor Healing Garden to officially open it to the public.
  • Foster was a paramedic with AirCare and EMS for 23 years, Greyeyes served as an AirCare flight nurse for 25 years, Oldman worked for 21 years as a phlebotomist and Tsosie was also a phlebotomist that worked for 30 years with the hospital.
  • Those interested in reading more memories and stories of the four healthcare workers can visit www.sanjuanregional.com/covid-journal/labyrinth.

FARMINGTON — San Juan Regional Medical Center recently hosted a ceremony to open a new memorial created to honor the lives of healthcare workers who have died from COVID-19.

The hospital on Oct. 14 held a private ceremony and then opened a new labyrinth in its outdoor Healing Garden.

The new addition to the hospital grounds is dedicated to employees who died from COVID-19 during the on-going pandemic. Family members of Lula Oldman, Lilly Tsosie, Glovis Foster and Sandra Greyeyes were on hand for the memorial's unveiling.

“Between the four of them, Lilly, Lula, Sandra and Glovis had many years of service. They were dedicated to making our community a better place. This is a fitting tribute to their lives and legacies,” San Juan Regional Medical Center CEO Jeff Bourgeois said in a statement.

Foster was a paramedic with AirCare and EMS for 23 years, Greyeyes served as an AirCare flight nurse for 25 years, Oldman worked for 21 years as a phlebotomist and Tsosie was also a phlebotomist who worked for 30 years with the hospital.

Bourgeois said the labyrinth begins a new chapter for the hospital’s Healing Garden.

“It was important for us to honor those who have worked at San Juan Regional Medical Center and lost their lives to COVID-19,” Bourgeois said in a statement.

Doves were released during an Oct. 15 ceremony at San Juan Regional Medical Center to open a memorial for healthcare workers who died from COVID-19.

Coworkers shared their stories of their former coworkers. Some of those memories were shared on the hospital’s website in a project called "Our COVID Journal."

Greyeyes was described as joyful and happy and always willing to help in any way she could.

A coworker described Oldman as being cheerful, positive and having a huge, caring heart.

Tales that were shared of Foster described him as someone who would have a smile on his face and used to teach anyone who showed an interest in the Navajo language how to speak it.

Tsosie was described as someone who patients requested to draw their blood, who would give coworkers an encouraging word and who was very family oriented.

“As long as we live, you four heroes too live on, for now you are a part of our memories, and this dedicated place. Sandra, Lilly, Lula, Glovis, your memories are a blessing forever. Rest in peace,” San Juan Regional Medical Center’s Chaplain Rev. Linda Stetter said in a statement.

Bourgeois, in a statement, said the idea for the labyrinth was developed out of a desire to help heal from the loss of the four healthcare workers.

A hospital employee visited a labyrinth in Utah and felt its healing power, according to Bourgeois.

“This caregiver returned to (San Juan Regional Medical Center) proposing we place one in our healing garden as a way to honor our caregivers and bring great benefit for our caregiving staff and community,” Bourgeois said in a statement. 

Hospital employees came together to prepare the concrete, selecting and purchasing the labyrinth stencil. Area companies helped set up the stencil and painted the stencil of the labyrinth.

Bourgeois is thankful the labyrinth provides a space for patients, employees and visitors to encourage healing and reflective meditation.

Those interested in reading more memories and stories of the four healthcare workers can visit www.sanjuanregional.com/covid-journal/labyrinth.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e