President's Order Gives More Federal Employees a Holiday
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. This Christmas Eve many federal government employees are being excused from duty. The President has issued a rare proclamation in order to keep these workers out of the office.
Because of this, the halls of the VA Medical Center will be a bit quieter.
Paul Sweeney, public relations officer for the VA Medical Center, said, "Rare occurrences like these, they are a great way to recognize the hard work their employees do."
Sandy Paulson, a dietitian at the VA Medical Center, said, "I think every federal employee probably appreciates that. Especially you know, Christmas Eve, being able to have the time off with their families."
"They're in there a lot of them working very long hours taking care of our patients, and this is just you know I think a token of appreciation," said Sweeney.
A couple hundred employees who planned on working at the hospital Monday, get to stay home.
Sweeney said, "Friday afternoon we received word that the President signed a proclamation allowing agencies to let as many people as possible stay home on Christmas Eve. Keeping with the spirit of that, we've made arrangements and most of our employees will be off on Monday."
"I think everyone was pleased. I know several people that were scheduled to work that day and really appreciate being able to have that time off," said Paulson.
However, holiday or not, the hospital never sleeps.
Ronda Wilmot, an RN floor nurse, said, "Really important for me to be here for all of our residents and our vets, and to spend time when a lot of them can't even see their families."
"Inpatient care doesn't change whether it's a holiday or not. We need to be here and make sure that the patients who are hospitalized are taken care of," said assistant nurse manager Pete Psenda.
"So at least we get to be here and recognize them and take care of them," Wilmot said.
No matter how the proclamation affects these federal employees individually, many say they're happy for the overall recognition they're getting from the President.
On Christmas Eve the emergency room and inpatient wards will be open. Most other services will be on limited operations.
The VA Medical Center's local nurse line will be open from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Urgent calls only: 970-263-2846
The clerk call center will also be open: 970-263-2834
On Christmas Day the ER and inpatient wards will be open. All other clinics and services will be closed, ER patients should use the front door.
The Medical Center's four satellite clinics in Craig, Montrose, Glenwood Springs and Moab, Utah will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.