March 15, 2021
First cases of virus occurred in North Texas one year ago this month

ARLINGTON, Texas — One year ago this month, the first COVID-19 cases began to appear in North Texas. Texas Health Resources will commemorate the anniversary with recognition and memorials throughout the system during the week of March 15.

COVID-19 Anniversary Observances
COVID-19 Anniversary Observances

Hospital staff members commemorate the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at Texas Health Fort Worth (top) and Texas Health Dallas.

“These events will acknowledge the heavy toll the pandemic has taken on North Texas, from patients and their loved ones to caregivers on the frontlines,” said Texas Health CEO Barclay Berdan. “We want to pause and recognize the lives lost and the many sacrifices made in the fight against this disease. These remembrances and memorials will also symbolize the resiliency and compassion everyone has demonstrated as we continue to battle this pandemic together.”

Elizabeth Watson Martin, vice president, Faith & Spirituality Integration for Texas Health, said it’s important to take time to acknowledge and reflect on loss and grief during the one-year anniversary in local communities.

“We hope these memorials will help all of us come to terms with the past year and our ongoing fight against this devastating disease,” Watson Martin said. “The pandemic has touched everyone in deep and profound ways and it’s important to remember those who have suffered and those who have cared for them.”

Several commemorations are planned for the week of March 15. Please note that for safety reasons, memorials or reflections inside hospitals and other facilities are not open to the public or media.

  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas: Pastoral Care will hold a prayer service at the fountain outside the hospital’s front entrance, and ribbons of remembrance will be available for employees to share their hopes and prayers. The ribbons will then be displayed in the Carpenter Chapel Garden. (Prayer service at the hospital fountain at main entrance.)

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth: White flags commemorating the hospital’s COVID-19 deaths will be displayed on the greensward, near the corner of Pennsylvania and Henderson Avenues. Pastoral Care will hold a brief prayer and remembrance service in the Sid Richardson Lobby and white ribbons will be tied on the trees in the lobby as well. (White flags are viewable near Pennsylvania and Henderson Avenues.)
  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth: Pastoral Care will hold a Time of Remembrance in the memorial garden, along with a special tolling of the bell for lives lost. Chaplains will also round on nursing units to offer encouragement, prayer, and Blessing of the Hands. Ribbons will be placed on trees near the hospital’s front entrance to recognize lives lost to COVID-19. (White ribbons in trees are viewable from the hospital’s front entrance.)
  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford: Employees and physicians on the medical staff will gather for a community prayer service on the hospital’s campus. A special display of 500 origami cranes representing the more than 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 will be exhibited outside the hospital’s administration department. (Community prayer service near the fitness center off Hospital Parkway and North Highway 183 Access Road)

  • Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital: Employees will congregate in the meditation garden and share reflections of those affected by COVID-19, concluding with a special prayer service. (Ceremony at garden located off W. Randol Mill Road, near hospital’s north entrance)

Other commemorations taking place privately on Texas Health campuses include:

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance: Employees will gather in the outdoor labyrinth for a brief devotion by Chaplain Mitzi Ellington.

  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen: Employees will gather at the main entrance for brief devotion and sharing of lament and blessing. Chaplains will read from cards written by staff members, and ribbons will be distributed for employees to wear throughout the week.

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne: Employees are encouraged to write notes and place them in a locked memorial prayer box adjacent to the employee entrance to the hospital. Chaplains will collect the notes daily, offer prayers and then destroy the notes to preserve confidentiality. A small charm or metal bead with words of encouragement will be available.

  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton: Employees will gather in the Healing Garden for devotion, paying homage to individuals who lost their lives to COVID-19. Artificial butterflies will remain in the garden to remember lives lost during 2020.

  • Texas Health Frisco: Pastoral Care will distribute a prayer of remembrance of loss and host a gathering and moment of silence in the outside labyrinth.

  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman: Battery-operated tea lights will be placed in the chapel along with river stones with remembrances written by employees. Pastoral Care will also hold a remembrance service in the outdoor Serenity Garden.

  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano: Employees are invited to mark their losses on ribbons, which will be part of a remembrance wreath placed in the front lobby. Pastoral Care will also hold a brief service featuring an employee duet of “A Safe Place to Land.”

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville: Employees are encouraged to write notes and place them in a locked memorial prayer box adjacent to the hospital’s employee entrance. Chaplains will collect the notes daily and offer prayers before shredding them. A small charm or metal bead with encouraging words will be available as a keepsake.

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About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit  

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