Bismarck’s two competing health systems are coming together to take care of the community during the coronavirus pandemic and also to help recognize nurses, who hospital officials say are at the heart of that effort.

CHI St. Alexius Health and Sanford Health are presenting sponsors of the second annual Nurses: The Heart of Health Care luncheon honoring 10 local nursing professionals. The Bismarck Tribune event, which is taking on a virtual form this year due to the pandemic, kicked off Tuesday morning with the delivery of 350 boxed lunches sponsored by Bismarck State College to Heaven’s Helpers Soup Cafe in Bismarck.

The prepackaged meals initially were meant to be served to the 10 nurses and their loved ones at an event at the college. The annual luncheon coincides with National Nurses Week, which is celebrated May 6-12 each year.

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