In honor of our “Heroes in Healthcare” initiative, Dr. Matt Birnholz recounts some of the many healthcare professionals nominated by their peers who’ve bravely helped their patients combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coming to you from the ReachMD studios, this is a special edition of COVID-19: On the Frontlines. I’m Dr. Matt Birnholz, and as part of our “Heroes in Healthcare” initiative, we’re going to highlight some of the inspiring people nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to medical care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
First up is Dr. Audrey Longson, a board-certified psychiatrist based in Newark, Delaware. Here’s what one of her colleagues shared with us:
"Throughout the pandemic, I have watched Dr. Longson work longer hours and take on more and more patients to help fill the ever-widening need for more mental health care in this country. The mental health crisis is quietly worsening in the shadows of this national emergency, and Dr. Longson in on the frontlines of that fight.
The most remarkable display of her commitment to her profession was how Dr. Longson worked while she was very sick during April, May, and June. Her own experience with the virus left her without a voice for nearly two weeks, . and even then, she stayed in constant contact with patients and colleagues via instant messaging on a HIPAA-compliant televideo platform. That is a snapshot of who she is: when a challenge presents itself, Dr. Longson rises to meet it."
Next we turn to Dr. Justin Yang, an internist and occupational medicine specialist who serves as Medical Director at Manet Community Health Center in Quincy, Massachusetts.
As shared by one of his colleagues:
"Dr. Yang directed a city-sponsored COVID drive-thru tent and spent almost all weekdays and weekends in the initial weeks testing patients. He developed a protocol where he minimized exposures to staff members. With his leadership, the team tested more than 2,000 people within the first 2 months of the pandemic."
Another inspiring figure in the fight against COVID-19 is Dr. John Grady-Benson fromthe Bone and Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut. In the words of one of his peers:
"Dr. Grady-Benson accepted the role as physician-in-chief before the pandemic. He led the orthopedic hospital with tireless energy, positive and courageous leadership, and with the most genuine, heartwarming personality to inspire his colleagues to practice medicine safely and with a sense of community. His humanity and authenticity is an inspiration. Dr. Grady-Benson also operated on the hospital’s first known positive COVID case to lead by example, to learn and practice the safest protocols, and to lead us all through the unknown while taking care of patients in need."
Lastly, we want to call out a special nomination for Patricia Pisano, a dialysis nurse at the Staten Island University Hospital, whose first recognition came from one of the toughest of critics: her own child. Here’s what was shared with us:
"My mom has tirelessly worked through the pandemic from the very beginning. Since she is a dialysis nurse, she has taken care of the sickest patients in the ICU. She’s worked countless 15 to 16 hour shifts and has taken call for multiple days straight where she’s been awake for over 24 hours. She has also made it a point to help family members see their loved ones in their final hours using platforms like FaceTime and Zoom. She is the most caring and hard-working healthcare professional I know. She is an inspiration to all!"
We at ReachMD couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. The commitment to care shown by these individuals among many others in our healthcare community is an inspiration to us all. And you have our sincerest gratitude.
For ReachMD, I’m Dr. Matt Birnholz. To access more episodes from COVID-19: On the Frontlines, adding your perspectives or recognizing those who’ve made a positive difference in your community, visit us at ReachMD.com and become Part of the Knowledge. Thank you for listening.
You need to be logged in to save this episode to a playlist.