shared a heartfelt message of encouragement and support for the health care workers who are on the front lines battling the in her hometown of Chicago.
In an audio message distributed to 18 hospitals and three nurses unions in the Chicago area, the former first lady expressed how "profoundly grateful" she and her husband are "for the heroic work that all of you are doing right now in Chicago."
"We know that you all are facing overwhelming challenges. You are working around the clock, spending long hours away from your families and making impossible decisions, day after day," she said.
"You are soothing terrified patients, consoling heartbroken loved ones, summoning every ounce of the compassion and strength that you've got, and you are saving countless lives while risking your own."
In her message, the mother of two praised the health care workers for their dedication to their jobs. "I know that you are exhausted, and I know that you must be afraid. But every single day you all continue to show up and do your jobs with excellence, empathy and an unwavering devotion to every patient who walks through your doors and I am just in awe of all of you," she said. "You embody the very best of who we are — the very best. And I know we will get through this crisis because of you."
"So today I just want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I love you all. I am proud of you all," Mrs. Obama concluded. "I am praying for every single one of you, for your safety, your health and your strength in all the days ahead."
The South Side native knows firsthand the hard work and commitment doctors and nurses put in. Before her husband, Barack, ran for president, Mrs. Obama spent several years working at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she developed programs for neighborhood outreach and volunteer recruitment. Once Mr. Obama made the decision to run, she took an unpaid leave of absence from the medical center and then resigned from her job after he won.
Though the couple now live in Washington, D.C. with their two daughters, they still have strong ties with Chicago, the city where they met. Earlier this week, the former president shared his own messages of support and thanks with Chicago public school teachers over video chat in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.