Winter 2022 | Volume 103, Number 1
Trinitas Regional Medical Center Staff in New Jersey Unites To Fight Off Pandemic
At Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, they're in the life-saving business. They've cared for thousands of COVID-19 patients. They applaud and cheer when a pandemic patient goes home. They've also been afraid to return to their own homes, scared they'd carry a lethal virus through the front door. They've literally cried on each others' shoulders. Some staff members got unbelievably sick themselves. Ten of them died.…
Staff Bags for PPE
Photos by: Aristide Economopoulos
KELLY O'SHEA CARNEY, PhD, ABPP
Since the onset of COVID-19, no one has been unaffected. Each of us has experienced some degree of stress, loss, isolation and anxiety. As documented in the American Psychological Association's quarterly Stress in America survey, COVID has resulted in a national mental health crisis evidenced by increases in unhealthy coping mechanisms, for instance, increased weight gain and excess alcohol intake, dramatic upticks in depression and anxiety, particularly among people of color, and even difficulties in making day-to-day decisions that would have been otherwise simple prior to the pandemic.
SUSAN HILDEBRANDT, ROBYN STONE and NATASHA BRYANT
The past two years will go down in history as one of the most turbulent periods that our nation — and the field of long-term services and supports (LTSS) — has ever experienced. Chief among our challenges was the coronavirus pandemic.
SR. BERNADETTE MATUKAS, MVS
Already we are in another year of anxiety and tension grappling with COVID-19. This pandemic came unexpectedly and has touched the whole world. Facing traumas such as panic and isolation as a result of the pandemic, many have felt lost, seeking healing and peace of mind and heart.
Arpan Waghray, MD, is the chief medical officer for Providence St. Joseph Health Behavioral Medicine and the co-chair of the organization's Behavioral Health Leadership Council. He is also the executive medical director for behavioral medicine at Swedish Health Services and chief medical officer for Well Being Trust. Much of his current work focuses on how Providence can best take care of its employees given the unprecedented stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Progress recently talked with Waghray about the resources that Providence has developed to offer emotional, mental and spiritual support to employees and the methods they utilized to create these tools to respond to the needs of their workforce.
ERIN ARCHER, RN
COVID-19 emerged onto the world stage in January 2020. In the two years since, it has become a nearly constant presence in the jobs and personal lives of health care workers. Intermittent surges in infection rates have left many health care systems and workers overwhelmed, traumatized and morally conflicted. Meanwhile, others working in health care have reported feeling hopeful and that they have an increased sense of purpose.
KIMBERLY KING WEBB, JD
Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us feel we're not just in a mara-thon, but in a race where there's no clear finish line. In his book Run the Mile You're In: Finding God in Every Step, Ryan Hall, one of the greatest distance runners in recent U.S. history, says, "Suffering is an extraordinary teacher." While the pandemic has certainly brought its share of suffering and challenges, it has also taught us so much, showing us how to be more agile, better stewards of our resources, more compassionate and, well, more human at work. Here's a closer look at some well-being initiatives that we are carrying out for our associates at CHRISTUS Health, as we've aimed to make sure we are capturing the lessons learned and keeping up our endurance to finish the race.
FR. CHARLES BOUCHARD, OP, STD
Everyone likes to be an insider, to get the scoop and to carry a big secret. It is human nature. Sometimes it is just a question of harmless gossip or falling for a marketer's pitch — a vague but intriguing promise of fame or fortune. When many people begin to search for and believe false information, it leads to a conspiracy theory. In a public health crisis, being drawn to that sensational nugget of information can have deadly consequences.
MARK REIFSTECK AND JAMES L. BURKE
For more than a century, one of the most prominent symbols of Catholic health care in the United States has been the Catholic community hospital, most often sponsored by a congregation of Catholic women religious. Health care is now a more than $3 trillion enterprise with many organizations vying to meet the needs of every imaginable patient condition. As health care has evolved, so too should its care and payment models.
MARIA GATTO, MHsB, ACHPN, APHN-BC
Patients' needs are growing exponentially, as people are living longer with serious and complex illnesses. Despite the advances of modern medicine and technology, health care systems can be siloed and fragmented, with medical models that don't always put patients and their quality of life at the center of their care. Current care models often don't align with what matters most to patients, nor do they prioritize their values, goals and preferences so that they and their health care team can choose the care uniquely appropriate to them and their situation.