ICU nurses Melissa Anastas, left, and Mary Kuznia get pedicures during the special services offered to frontline nurses. They were chosen to receive a pedicure and luncheon.

ICU nurses Melissa Anastas, left, and Mary Kuznia get pedicures during the special services offered to frontline nurses. They were chosen to receive a pedicure and luncheon.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Mount Clemens spa hosts special day for nurses

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 17, 2021

MOUNT CLEMENS — Hanging a banner outside her Mount Clemens business just wasn’t going to cut it for Lois Lombardo.    

She wanted to do something more to show appreciation for frontline workers.

As a thank-you to some chosen nurses from a metro Detroit hospital, Olympia Salon & Spa hosted a tea party June 5, treating the nurses to a luncheon and manicures while they enjoyed the spa suite.

Six nurses were invited, with two — Melissa Anastas and Mary Kuznia — attending.

“They are both ICU nurses and talked about some pretty rough situations with COVID,” Lombardo said. “They said it was so nice to be pampered and treated.”

Nurses were chosen by the hospital as those who went above and beyond during the pandemic. Anastas and Kuznia have been caring for COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began.  

“I was looking to do something special for frontline workers who got through COVID and had to work so hard and endangered their lives when the rest of us were hunkered down,” Lombardo said.

Anastas, of St. Clair Shores, said she likes to think she was chosen because she worked really hard the last 15 months, but she said nurses’ names were randomly pulled.

“I was so grateful for it,” she said. “It was a great experience. Our hospital did a lot to recognize, and the community has been so great.”

Kuznia, of Grosse Pointe Woods, has been a nurse for 26 years and said she was surprised to be chosen for the spa day.

“I knew they did different things for nurses’ week, but I had never heard about anyone treating us to a spa day,” she said. “It meant a lot that someone, not even related to healthcare, thought of us who were in the thick of it and wanted to treat us. It lifted our spirits.”  

As the pandemic wore on, Anastas noticed nurses weren’t being recognized as much, which made the spa day even more special.

“I’ve been nursing for 20 years, and this is the hardest time I’ve ever seen in nursing,” she said. “As bad as it was, it was also really good to see all my coworkers come together as a team.”

Near the onset of the pandemic in Michigan, Anastas sent her family to their place up north, not knowing what was going to happen.

“For the first four months, they were gone,” she said. “It brought a lot of people in the community together, and I felt the public was supportive.”

Lombardo, who has owned the spa for 24 years, added that Victorian-era tea parties are usually held in the party suite.

“I thought, what a wonderful way to honor them,” she said. “We contacted the local hospital and asked if they could choose six people they could think of who worked really hard and long hours and gave above and beyond, that they thought would like to have this tea party and pedicures afterward.”

Summarizing the last 15 months, Kuznia called it emotional to see all the devastation to so many people and their families.

“All of us nurses are still a little bit in shock because we still get a few COVID patients,” she said. “We see them when they are at their very worst.”

Julie Rowse, who works at the spa, said the business has been a downtown Mount Clemens staple for many years and resides in a gorgeous 12,000 square-foot building built in 1900.

Lombardo said the building opened in 1910 as a hotel, and at one point, the doctor who built it practiced in the hotel.

Later on, she detailed that the building was converted to a nursing school and that treating the nurses was very fitting, given its history.