The Meaning of Care in Motion During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Vol. 3
Published: May 29, 2020
In a time of incredible hardship and uncertainty, there are examples of love, compassion, gratitude and hope all around us every day. Whether it's Methodist employees lifting each other up or members of the community going out of their way to say thanks, the acts of kindness below show that The Meaning of Care is in all of us.
Just after midnight on May 4, Methodist Hospital certified nursing assistant Ashley Jensen thought she was just meeting her boyfriend, Jason Heimes, BSN, RN, for a normal lunch break. They met in their typical spot – the sixth-floor breezeway. But their break was anything but normal when Jason got down on one knee and her friends and coworkers came to witness the moment she said, “Yes!”
Ashley and Jason met three years ago when they both worked on 6 North. But after Ashley transferred to the Short Stay Unit last year, Jason decided to ask her out. The couple has been dating since August, and Jason is now on the front lines, working on 6 North as a charge nurse in the unit caring for COVID-19 patients.
“If we can get through this together and share those anxieties together through the pandemic, we can get through anything,” Jensen told the Omaha World-Herald.
As Methodist took steps to conserve and acquire more personal protective equipment (PPE) in preparation for COVID-19, OB/GYN Tifany Somer-Shely, MD, found inspiration in halyard – the water-resistant material used to wrap surgical tools. Rather than throwing halyard in the trash, she used her high school fashion designer skills to design a prototype for isolation gowns using the material.
“We can’t be part of the solution unless we stay well ourselves,” Dr. Somer-Shely told KMTV.
Once the prototype was approved, she enlisted the help of local group Nebraska Masks for Medicine to sew the gowns. The volunteers were quick to say yes.
Cofounder Holly Murphy-Barstow told KMTV: “She needs to be a doctor. She doesn’t need to be sewing, so we can help with that.”
Over a dozen students from Missouri Valley, Iowa, wrote messages of thanks and encouragement to Methodist staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the students was junior Carsen Collins, who wrote:
“Growing up in Missouri Valley, I am taught to care for and help those in need. My mother and cousin are also nurses, which means I get to hear a lot about what is happening in the medical field right now. I am so passionate about this situation because I see the people I love put themselves in danger to help others. Thank you for being strong, brave and courageous. People don’t realize how much all of you in the medical field sacrifice and risk just so others can be safe and healthy. I just wanted to thank you for all that you are doing in these hard times. If anyone deserves a gold star, it is definitely you! One thing that my family does is pick up pennies. We have a saying, you have probably heard of it: “See a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” The problem is that I can’t give you one in person, so here is mine! This might be cheesy, but I wanted to give you one of my favorite Bible verses. It is 2 Chronicles 15:7, which reads “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” I know these times are rough, but stay positive. You are doing great! Thank you once again for all you do.”
Millard North freshman Mahika Kanchanam donated face shields to Methodist Women’s Hospital – where she volunteers – on May 14. The donation was part of her larger effort to help health care workers have access to personal protective equipment (PPE). Mahika’s GoFundMe page has raised over $4,000, and she has delivered over 1,300 PPE items to area health care facilities and others who need PPE.
“They were risking their lives for the community, and I felt that it is our duty to help them,” she told the Omaha World-Herald.
Mary Maher's family made good on a lunch promise when they donated lunches earlier this month to the Acute Rehab team at Methodist Hospital. It was another generous thank you for the care the staff provided Mary after a stroke in March. The family had previously donated $12,000 as a thank-you through their family foundation – the Baer Foundation – to help Methodist Hospital in its COVID-19 efforts.
"This family was so grateful to the Acute Rehab staff for going out of their way to help keep their mom connected to them each day of her stay since they could not be here with her," said Sarah Cockle, PT, DPT.