When times are tough and the news is frightening, “look for the helpers,” said Mr. Fred Rogers, who was Immaculata’s commencement speaker in 1988. These Immaculata alumni are a few examples of helpers working in health care, social work and law enforcement. We are grateful for their courage and compassion.
Olivia Frattarelli ’15 R.T.(R)
Center Manager–MedExpress Urgent Care
I’m currently working hard on the frontlines as the Center Manager for MedExpress Urgent Care for two urgent care locations. I oversee two center locations and about 35-40 employees helping alongside them with direct patient care. Both locations are open and we are working hard seeing patients, but also offering outdoor testing for the first time in history. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family, friends, and everything I learned from my time at Immaculata.
Ally Carmody ’17
Registered Nurse–Penn Medicine
“Being a nurse has always been rewarding for me. I take pride in my work, the care I provide my patients and their families, as well as the collaboration and teamwork amongst my coworkers. While times are hard right now, my role as a nurse hasn’t really changed. I continue to care for my patients with compassion, and continue to reassure families they’re getting the best care within Penn Medicine. Nursing is all about adapting to changes, and right now we are facing changes every day and sometimes every hour when informed of evolving information on the current pandemic. I am lucky to be a nurse with Penn Medicine. They are constantly communicating with all staff to relay any information and changing guidelines, and also provide us with great resources to get through these difficult times. I pray for the patients, families, my fellow coworkers, all health care providers (especially the environmental team who are meticulously cleaning around the clock), first responders and all other essential personnel. I pray for those staying at home as well. These times are hard, but if we continue to follow the CDC guidelines, hopefully we can get back to normalcy soon! Stay safe, and stay healthy everyone!”
Jason Wolfe ’15, MSN
MEMIC Group–Conshohocken, PA
I started a new job remotely from home March 23, 2020 which as an RN, I’ve never done before. However, it’s been great as my new company is amazing! They sent all my equipment quickly and rearranged my orientation travel for a later date (once it’s safe)! The commute has been a piece of cake!
The difficult part of adjusting has been not being able to visit my Dad in a nursing home due to the pandemic. Fortunately, we can talk to him on the phone daily & have been able to Skype too!
Dr. Stephenie Fleegle ’04
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
“Ordinarily, my work is focused on addressing issues and concerns in our elders: memory, trouble with walking and getting around, falling, as well as planning for the future. I am fortunate to work with an incredibly skilled team which includes three other geriatricians, several RNs, as well as social workers and medical assistants. We have a team-based approach to the care of our elders to try to identify what is important to them and how to provide care that matches their preferences. Therefore, during this time of crisis, our work is naturally oriented towards this type of care to try to help our elderly patients get the care they desire to receive. Many have expressed the desire to remain in the home no matter what happens, so we are working on ways to reach patients in their homes (from home visits with an RN, to volunteer services that have been popping up to help deliver food or supplies our seniors need). I am touched by how often our patients and family members seem to be more concerned about how WE are doing, asking right away if we are ok and staying safe. I am also amazed at the resourcefulness and dedication that many of our caregivers display in making sure our elders get what they need, despite their own fears.”
Nick Ridolfi ’14
Physician Assistant–Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia
“The COVID-19 crisis has been unlike anything that I have seen in my career. I work predominantly in orthopedic surgery at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and over the past several weeks, I have seen my roles and responsibilities altered. The course of this pandemic has seen spikes in activity among core medical specialties such as internal medicine and emergency medicine. As a healthcare provider, my mission, goals and desire to care for others have not changed. At the present time, I continue to see post operative patients and new injuries in the office. We are also able to perform telehealth visits, which is essentially a visit completely performed via telephone. All of our elective surgeries have been canceled and the only time that I am in the operating room lately is for a new trauma. Additionally, I am currently volunteering my time in the emergency department, on medical floors, and aiding in COVID-19 testing. I am also ensuring that other hospital staff are appropriately wearing and discarding PPE (personal protective equipment). A large aspect of medicine is having the ability to adapt. Ultimately, I know that we will get through this. In the meantime, I plan on helping the community and continue to do what I love.”
Pauline Broberg-Lewin ’19
Music Therapist and Clinical Supervisor–Holisticare Hospice, Berwyn, PA
Pauline Broberg-Lewin continues to provide fieldwork opportunities to IU music therapy students during this difficult time. With a commitment to providing safe clinical care during the COVID-19 crisis, Pauline and her interns have made the transition to creatively designing and providing remote music therapy services to patients and their families in hospice care. Working with sites, including Holisticare Hospice and supervisors like Pauline, has allowed Immaculata University’s music therapy program to remain engaged as a learning community during this crisis as our students continue to pursue clinical training towards board certification and live out our values.
Cassie McCullough ’16, MSW
Primary Therapist–Libertae, Inc.
“In this time of a global pandemic, not many people think of social workers or therapists as “front line” workers. We haven’t received donations and most people are surprised to learn that our facilities are still open and that we are essential employees. This is such a difficult time to work in, and even more difficult to work in the field of mental health. Trying to handle our clients’ overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, and even grief during this time has been a challenge, but a challenge that we have been educated to face. We are doing our best to remain calm, compassionate, empathetic, and comforting during this difficult time, but on some days, that’s easier said than done. Since we are not a medical facility, we have not been fully equipped for this pandemic and we continue to be at risk everyday. We are all appreciative and thankful for any support we receive at this time.”
Karen Licorish Keane ’80, D.O., FAAP
“My husband and I have a pediatric practice in Beaufort, SC. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed our approach to caring for families in the past few weeks. We are following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP has encouraged us to continue to provide well care especially to infants so we can avoid a wave of vaccine preventable illness. We have been seeing healthy children in the morning and sick kids in the afternoon. We stagger visits so we can keep patients out of the waiting room so we can practice strict social distancing. We see suspected COVID-19 cases in our parking lot while outfitted in complete protective gear. Anyway these are anxious times for our staff and our families. Families are experiencing such stress so we try to offer support and reassurance. This is uncharted territory and certainly one I never anticipated. I am in awe of the physicians and nurses delivering care in the emergency rooms and the ICU. I am glad we can contribute in our small way. I hope we can get beyond this crisis soon.”
Jennifer A. Yorke ’89, D.O.
“I have always felt that it was a privilege to care for patients in their time of greatest need. There is no greater need than right now!
What we are facing is unprecedented. It is an overwhelming time to be in medicine. I am occasionally filled with fear and anxiety. However, I know I, the emergency physician, am essential in dealing with this pandemic. So I go to work, as do all my colleagues here in Florida and across the United States. We will always be ready to do our part, in whatever way we can.
The current pandemic has forever changed our world. My hope is that we, the human race, see past the death, sadness and pain. We have a remarkable opportunity. The post-pandemic world can be filled with miraculous change. May we take full advantage of this time to make a positive and impactful difference in the history of our world.
Stay safe! Be Kind! Look out for each other!”
Dr. Margaret Johnson ’86
Dean of Education–Mayo Clinic Florida
“I have been involved directly in the care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19 infection; thankfully, the magnitude of the pandemic has not yet been nearly as great in Florida as in many geographical areas especially in the Northeast. Therefore, my comments are based upon very limited first-hand care experiences.
I have been struck by the magnitude of fear accompanying this situation. No one —patients, staff, family members, or health care workers–are immune to this fear. I was working on our pulmonary hospital consult service the first day we instituted a no visitor policy. Seeing the profound fear in my patients’ eyes as they were cared for by staff, unrecognizable in protective gear, often unable to communicate because of endotracheal tubes and with no family at the bedside, was heartbreaking. The healing value of human touch, even through a gloved hand, should not be underestimated. It seemed each room I entered had continuous news coverage highlighting the rapid spread of disease and escalating death counts; I felt my patients’ fear intensified with every report. The continuous access to unremitting worldwide reporting, is one (of the many) defining marks of this situation.
One of my responsibilities in education was to help define the role of our residents and fellows in this crisis. The selflessness, eagerness to help, ingenuity, and teamwork demonstrated by our junior physicians gives me great hope for the future of medicine!”
Molly Byrne ’14, B.S.N.
“I started at Jeff in the Emergency Department this past June. It’s a pretty busy place; I think our daily census is about 350 patients. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began and stay-at-home orders were placed, our census has actually decreased, but the patient acuity has been much, much higher.
Our ED has changed its patient flow to accommodate the increase in COVID-19 patients. We have an outdoor triage area and have dedicated half of the department to suspected or positive patients.
My role in the ED as a nurse is forever changing, even without COVID-19. I’m not “just a nurse.” I work alongside some pretty awesome people who I’ve always admired. I think we’re a pretty diverse group who can roll with the punches. And together, we can get through this.”
Andrew Carter ’13
“As a physical therapist in the skilled nursing facility setting, it is my job to assist our residents with improving and maintaining their functional mobility. The virus is causing most residents to remain on bed rest for long periods of time and therefore their cardiopulmonary function is compromised. As the residents are slowly starting to recover, it becomes important to improve their strength and endurance so they are able to return to their prior level of function.”
Mary Alice Felt ’86 and Megan (Logan) Freer ’07
Police Officers–Middletown Police Department, Bucks County, PA
Police Officers Mary Alice Felt, Class of ’86 and Megan (Logan) Freer, Class of ’07 both work for Middletown Township Police Department in Bucks County, PA.
Both officers say working during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of every day police work. However, Mary Alice, along with her K9 partner, Fitz, and Megan are out on patrol ensuring the safety of the residents and businesses of the community.
Megan, unfortunately, contracted COVID-19 in the course of her duties. She has fully recovered and is eager to return to work!
Both officers are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from their own families, friends, members of the community and businesses. They want to remind everyone to be patient with each other, and together we will get through this.