Faculty Serving in a Hot Zone
April 7, 2020
It’s hard to find time to appreciate all the healthcare professionals—especially those included in our College of Nursing and Health Professions family—when we’re moving 100 mph. Yet celebrating our Heroes of COVID-19, who are doing whatever it takes to care for people with or affected by this pandemic, is so important.
These last few weeks have been dizzying with preparing to move all courses for the spring term online, getting comfortable with working remotely, gathering our stock of PPE for distribution to Philadelphia facilities most in need and planning and addressing student, faculty and staff safety. Kym Montgomery, DNP, the senior associate dean of Nursing and Student Affairs and an associate clinical professor of Nursing and Medicine, recently checked in with nursing faculty and professional staff. “Over the last two weeks, I have heard wonderful stories about how our faculty and staff have been contributing to the needs of our community and our society during this COVID pandemic,” Montgomery reported. “Our Drexel CNHP community members have been volunteering at food and clothing distribution centers, health centers, testing centers, as well as reaching out to strangers and making calls to check on those who live alone. Nurses and healthcare professionals have been called back to the workforce, both to the front lines and to telehealth,” she explained.
Elizabeth Tomaszewski, DNP, is one of those Heroes of COVID-19 who has been working on the front line. This track director of the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program (AGACNP) and assistant clinical professor has been, on the weekends, in a COVID hot zone in the Pocono Mountains. “I work in critical care, and our entire ICU and two floors of our 90-bed hospital have become COVID-19 units,” Tomaszewski shared. “We have a great team, and am proud to say I’m on the front line with graduates of our AGACNP program working right next to me,” she added.
Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, the dean of the College, finds hope in all the stories of compassion pouring in from everyone. “What is amazing is the complete dedication despite high personal risk,” Gitlin observed. “It’s remarkable. When this is over…we need to find a way to celebrate,” she concluded.