Hartford Business Journal

Health Care Heroes — November 16, 2020

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www.HartfordBusiness.com • November 16, 2020 • Hartford Business Journal HCH 7 HEALTH CARE HEROES 2020 HONOREE CATEGORY: NURSE Natasha Nazzaro Registered Nurse Medical Intensive Care Unit Bridgeport Hospital S ince the COVID-19 pandemic reached Connecticut in early March, Bridgeport Hospital has admitted more than 1,200 COVID-positive patients. Many of the sickest patients have received care in the medical ICU. While 160 patients died from the disease, more than 1,000 have been discharged home alive, thanks in large part to the care provided by registered nurse Natasha Nazzaro and her colleagues in the medical intensive care unit and many other units throughout the hospital. At the height of the pandemic, the hospital cared for more than 220 COVID-positive patients in almost a dozen medical/surgical units, including a temporary unit set up in a field tent outside the hospital. Nazzaro is not only a quality nurse but also displays incredible compassion toward her patients. One example was when she vol- unteered to take the lead in coor- dinating iPad and video chat usage for her unit. Due to visitor restric- tions, the hospital's patient experi- ence and information technology teams collaborated to provide iPads to each unit. She came in twice a week on her days off to reach out to families and set up video chats between patients and their loved ones. The video chats not only de- creased the number of calls to the nursing station, but also drew praise from patients and their families. HONOREE CATEGORY: NURSE Audrey Scott Interim Nurse Manager Emergency Department Hartford Hospital A udrey Scott, an interim nurse manager of Hartford Hospital's emergency department, has been literally on the front lines of the pandemic, fighting the virus while lead- ing a team into uncharted waters as it treated the sickest patients in Hartford Hospital's emergency department. With an emphasis on safety and pre- paredness, she said her team has spent "endless amounts of time" preparing for such a crisis and exploring ways to keep both staff and patients safe. Scott was instrumental in physi- cally mobilizing the emergency de- partment check-in process, which took place outdoors, with a process called "forward triage." This mobile unit became a place where suspect- ed COVID patients were separated from other patients seeking emer- gency medical attention. One of the complexities of the growing pandemic was making sure that personal protective equip- ment (PPE) was in supply. Scott was very mindful of the conservation of PPE within the department. One of Scott's responsibilities was to ensure the most experienced clinical staff was screening every patient coming into the building, directing each patient to be treated in the most appropriate area of the emergency department. Just as patients relied on the ex- pertise of healthcare workers, Scott acknowledges the support of the community as clinicians worked through the pandemic. HONOREE CATEGORY: NURSE Kelly A. Toth APRN & Manager Ayer Neuroscience Institute Hartford HealthCare K elly A. Toth, manager of Hartford HealthCare's Ayer Neuroscience Institute, has been described as a hidden gem of a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 17, Toth was deployed to support Hartford HealthCare's COVID-19 operations, including the regional operations command cen- ter and development of the drive- through testing site at MidState Medical Center. After a five-month deployment, Toth accepted a position as a manager of the Ayer Neuroscience Institute. She created a team and process at MidState Medical Center's drive- through testing site that is far above any other testing process in the Hartford HealthCare system. "I developed the most efficient testing site … resulting in consis- tent waits of five minutes or less while processing upwards of 300 patients a day," she said. Toth has been highly regarded by her executive leadership team for her leadership skills and tireless effort to support the COVID-19 initiative, oftentimes working seven days a week. "This experience has been hum- bling, but from it I have learned to lead by influence, which will only further benefit me as I advance in my career," she said. Congratulations! Alicia Aponte Matthew Dickison and and all healthcare heroes! thevillage.org

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