Gov. Brad Little at Saint Alphonsus

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, second from left, hands out thank-you notes from area children to health care workers at Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Nampa on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Little is touring hospitals and ICUs around the state this week to personally thank health care workers.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has been quietly touring hospitals and intensive care units across the state this week to personally express his appreciation to health care workers amid the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Little visited the ICU at Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Nampa on Tuesday, and the VA Medical Center in Boise on Wednesday. He’s scheduled to visit eastern Idaho on Thursday and North Idaho on Friday.

The visits follow a proclamation Little issued on Monday declaring October “Idaho Health Care Worker Appreciation Month.” His press secretary, Marissa Morrison, said the governor wanted to “honor the health care workers and all of their efforts over the past 19 months.”

His move comes as reports have increased, both in Idaho and across the nation, of health care workers being harassed as they try to save their critically ill COVID-19 patients, by everyone from angry protesters, to family members who accuse hospitals or workers of killing their relatives, to patients themselves.

“Some of the disrespect that’s been going on in the state has been in the forefront of his mind,” Morrison said.

You can read my full story here at (subscription required), or pick up Thursday's Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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