Mercy Health Youngstown has announced a permanent COVID-19 memorial to remember the lives lost to the virus and honor all the healthcare workers who've sacrificed so much. 

The healthcare system and the Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley announced the memorial Thursday, which will be displayed at St. Elizabeth's Youngstown location. 

"One year later, and I don't believe anyone could have predicted we would still be fighting the invisible enemy we know as COVID-19," said John Luellen, M.D., market president, Mercy Health Youngstown. "Today we remember those we lost, remind ourselves of the blessing to have survivors and the dedication of our health care workers in all levels and health systems."

A central element of the memorial will be a bronze sculpture by Timothy Schmalz, a world-renowned artist with international installations at churches, cathedrals and the Vatican. The sculpture titled "When I Was Sick" is part of a series by Schmalz.

Anticipated to be completed by September 2021, three plaques will be installed at the site: one honoring caregivers, one as a memorial to those affected and who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and one serving as a permanent historical marker.

The memorial will also include a time capsule that will be opened on March 11, 2120, one hundred years from the date of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sculpture and memorial will be funded through donations to the Mercy Health Foundation. Those interested in contributing can make their donation by visiting the foundation's website or by calling 330-729-1180.