The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) gratefully welcomed 25 Maryland Army National Guard members in January to help navigate what had become the most challenging COVID-19 surge in two years of the pandemic.
Through cold weather, they assisted in testing operations and clinical support roles. Maria Toledo, COVID-19 testing clinical administrator for Johns Hopkins Medicine, says Spc. Richards, Spc. Serrao and Pfc. Dwyer worked as a team to re-schedule about 600 patients needing asymptomatic testing at a new indoor location that the hospital was able to launch with their support.
“This was a huge lift,” Toledo says. “Each of them completed the tasks with patience and professionalism. Our patients were greeted by friendly voices, which compensated for the small inconvenience we were causing them in changing their testing location. Furthermore, all three were always willing to take on a task within their scope. They were a positive representation of the Guard. We could always count on them for high commitment matched with high effort.”
On March 11, the hospital bid the National Guard colleagues farewell with a challenge coin and certificate ceremony. Speakers included Craig Tower, Ph.D., JHH emergency planner; Redonda G. Miller, M.D., M.B.A., JHH president; and Kris Lukish, M.S.I.R., JHH vice president of human resources.
“We recognized that the National Guard sacrificed to be here supporting testing and hospital operations, so we wanted to have an opportunity to thank them for their service properly,” says Mary Brown, M.P.H., JHH director of emergency management.
Veterans Conley Armstrong (Navy), JHH supervisor for perioperative services; Tim Butka (Army), JHH clinical social worker; Tanya Ivey-Bloom, M.S.N. (Army), JHH nurse practitioner; and Michael Heim (Marine Corps), JHH mechanical services; were on stage to shake the hands of the National Guard members.
“During the nine weeks they were with us, our National Guard colleagues eased right into whatever role we asked them to take and, in the process, helped lift the spirits of our staff,” Miller says. “But their impact went even further. Because of them, we were able to better manage this surge and continue to provide life-saving care for our patients. For that alone — and I speak on behalf of our staff, patients and families — no amount of thanks could ever be enough.”
Miller addresses members of the National Guard.
Tower provides instructions for the ceremony.
Members of the National Guard listen intently.
Johns Hopkins veterans congratulate the National Guard members.
Miller and Lukish pose with National Guard member Dwyer.
Miller and Lukish pose with National Guard member Njeck.
Miller and Lukish pose with National Guard member Richards.
Miller and Lukish pose with National Guard member Torr.
Toledo thanks a Guardsman for his service.