Nurses chosen as The Baltimore Sun Heroes of the Week

05.13.20

At the start of this month, The Baltimore Sun honored the nurses and nurse practitioners of Health Care for the Homeless as Heroes of the Week. Below is the nomination we submitted and a link to read The Baltimore Sun article.


Even before the coronavirus, Health Care for the Homeless nurses and nurse practitioners came to work each day to combat a public health crisis: homelessness. They deliver care with dignity to highly vulnerable people who have experienced extreme trauma, face co-morbidities like mental health and substance use and have no safe, stable place to call home. In the midst of COVID-19, these nurses’ rapid response, remarkable flexibility and hard work has saved countless lives and slowed the spread of coronavirus.  

For them, health care happens in unconventional spaces: on the front porch of Health Care for the Homeless, in the garage-turned-COVID testing bay and over the phone helping shelter workers in Baltimore City and County shelters to test and isolate clients with symptoms. Our nurses and nurse practitioners were instrumental in containing COVID outbreaks in two Baltimore shelters and our Convalescent Care Program—all while continuing to manage chronic illness in person and over the phone for hundreds of people under challenging circumstances. As a group, they are indefatigable and as individuals they are heroes in their own right. One nurse has enrolled a record number of participants in our Medication Assisted Treatment Program to treat opioid addiction – essential when many programs are closed. Because of her support, most are sticking with the program. Another nurse who works in a non-clinical administrative job has volunteered to return to a direct service role and screen clients and staff upon entry to our Fallsway clinic. One nurse has been living apart from her young children for six weeks so that she can continue to serve Health Care for the Homeless clients and not risk inadvertently transmitting the virus to her family. Yet another nurse works full time and moonlights to treat individuals with COVID in a Maryland prison.

COVID-19 is revealing the holes in our social safety net. But it’s also bringing to light great strengths—even heroes—like the nurses and nurse practitioners at Health Care for the Homeless. As one client recently wrote in a letter, “Whenever I walk into Health Care for the Homeless, I have somewhere to belong. As one who has been homeless and lost basically everything, the staff has been like family to me.”

 

  • Katharine Billip, CRNP
  • Tyler Cornell, CRNP
  • Laura Garcia, CRNP
  • Amelia Jackson, CRNP
  • Yvonne Kingon, MPH, CRNP
  • Kristin McCurnin, CRNP
  • Aimee Uchytil, CRNP
  • Marnette Valcin, CRNP
  • Karen Bisson, RN
  • Julia Davis, RN
  • Stephanie Donelan, RN
  • Stephanie Ference, RN
  • Ryan Frederick, RN
  • Catherine Fowler, RN
  • Molly Greenberg, RN
  • Lisa Hoffmann, RN
  • Lois McClave, RN
  • Gabrielle Rehmeyer, RN
  • Tracy Russell, RN
  • Leonid Suarez, RN
  • Carolina Umana, RN
  • Susan Zator, RN
  • Elizabeth Zurek, RN

Read the Heroes of the Week feature

 

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