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Law enforcement officers on South Magnolia Street during a community walk in the neighborhood of McComb-Veazey May 3 in Lafayette. Law Enforcement officers walked the neighborhood to visit with residents, listen to any concerns and introduce themselves. Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center professionals administered COVID-19 vaccines.

Daily we’re faced with countless decisions. While many of these questions can trigger stress and deliberation, it’s likely that very few are a matter of life and death. Here’s one that is: “Are you vaccinated?”

As a nursing executive, I have the honor of leading more than 8,000 nursing heroes and I’m in awe of the sacrifice and compassion I witness from these incredible men and women. They are there through your best moments, like the birth of a baby, and the most challenging, like a cancer diagnosis or the loss of a loved one.

Last year was appropriately named "The Year of the Nurse" by the World Health Assembly. It saw more loss and sacrifice than we could ever imagine. Our nursing heroes made the decision to put their lives on the line to care for your friends, family, and neighbors with COVID-19.

I’m asking you to get vaccinated on behalf of the 8,000 nurses at Ochsner and all of those who continue fighting.

Every vaccine dose saves lives. We’ve seen young, fit people — even children — lose their battles. Many more deal with life-altering symptoms months after being infected. If you suspect that the healthcare workers who talk nonstop about the vaccine have an angle, you’re right. We want to preserve life.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will be among your most impactful decisions. As one of the 8,000 who dedicated my life to taking care of you, I hope you join me in saying yes for the sake of your family, our healthcare heroes, and the community.

TRACEY MOFFATT

system chief nursing officer, Ochsner Health

New Orleans