Hartford Business Journal

Health Care Heroes — November 16, 2020

Issue link: https://nebusinessmedia.uberflip.com/i/1308868

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 15

HCH 8 Hartford Business Journal • November 16, 2020 • www.HartfordBusiness.com HEALTH CARE HEROES 2020 HONOREE CATEGORY: NURSE Victoria Yesko Critical Care Educator Greenwich Hospital R egistered nurse Victoria Yesko never imagined her deci- sion to become a critical care educator after working as a bedside nurse in Greenwich Hospital's in- tensive care unit (ICU) for nine years would place her in the center of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it did. She began her new role just one week before the hospital saw its first COVID-19 patient. Clinical leaders immediately turned to Yesko for as- sistance given her expertise in critical care and education. A self-described "adrenaline junkie," Yesko is known for thinking clearly, quickly and calmly in high-pressure situations. Yesko hit the ground running. At one point, she worked 42 straight days. She spent days operating the drive-through collection specimen center and educating staff about infection control and personal pro- tective equipment. She spent nights in the ICU car- ing for the sickest patients, often holding the hands of those who died alone because family could not visit. Yesko assisted the hospital's infec- tious disease team to establish a collection specimen center, antici- pating many area residents would soon seek testing. On March 9, Greenwich became the first Connecticut hospital to es- tablish a specimen collection center. Once the collection specimen cen- ter was operating smoothly, Yesko returned to the ICU where she was most needed, working 12 to 16 hour shifts. HONOREE CATEGORY: PHYSICIAN Intensivists Greenwich Hospital G reenwich Hospital's intensive care unit treats and monitors critically ill patients. Intensivists — physicians spe- cializing in the care of critically ill patients — manage the unit, which includes specially trained nurses and respiratory therapists who treat patients with complex and life-threatening conditions. At Greenwich Hospital, the inten- sivists worked in the intensive care unit (ICU), caring for the sickest COVID-19 patients at a time when there was little information on how to treat patients with the coronavi- rus. They saved many lives but also witnessed many deaths. These physicians, many with their own private practices, imme- diately volunteered to work in the ICU, despite the risk of contracting the potentially deadly disease and bringing the highly infectious virus home to their families. Several lived apart from their fami- lies for months; others stayed in sepa- rate quarters once they came home from work each day. Many did not see or hug their children for weeks. At least one physician contracted COVID-19 and returned to work in the ICU for several months straight after recovering from the disease. In the midst of this crisis, the inten- sivists were never deterred by early reports documenting ICU mortality rates exceeding 80 percent. They compassionately provided the highest level of care to every patient, even those who were profoundly ill. (Left to right) Dr. Samantha D'Annunzio; Dr. Michael Franco; Dr. Eric Leibert; Dr. Alissa Greenberg; Dr. James Doyle; Dr. Lisa Youkeles; Dr. Ross Mazo; Dr. Bruno DiCosmo; and Dr. Sandra Wainwright. HONOREE CATEGORY: PHYSICIAN Dr. David Banach Associate Professor, Hospital Epidemiologist UConn Health D r. David Banach is an infec- tious disease physician and the hospital epidemiologist at UConn Health. He provides consultation and di- rectly cares for patients with infec- tious diseases, including COVID-19 and myriad other infections. Banach has been at the forefront of UConn Health's COVID-19 prepa- ration and response efforts, work- ing directly with front-line provid- ers caring for patients and with hospital leadership advising and developing policies and protocols that keep employees, learners and patients safe. He has served as a critical resource throughout the pandemic, providing educational programs across the in- stitution and serving as a liaison with external collaborators in the COVID-19 response, including the Connecticut Department of Public Health. He also has served a key role in the development of institutional testing protocols and procedures and clinical-care guidelines for patients with COVID-19. One of his most essential and valued roles has been as an educator, serving as a critical expert to UConn Health staff and employees, always eager to answer any questions or of- fer any necessary education to staff in order to provide the highest level of care in a way that protects the safety of staff and patients. Banach also regularly talks to the media to inform the public on all things COVID-19. HONOREE CATEGORY: PHYSICIAN Dr. Syed Hussain Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Trinity Health Of New England D r. Syed Hussain plays a critical role in Trinity Health Of New England's ability to achieve nationally recognized patient safety ratings. Specifically, he works to bring together key players, including physicians, managers, nurses, post- acute care facility leaders, homecare facilitators, and more to implement changes to ensure each of the organi- zation's five hospitals sees a reduction in hospital-related harm to patients. His work has allowed Trinity Health's hospitals to attain significant achievements in reducing the rates of hospital-associated infections, hospi- tal readmission, and the length of stay patients are hospitalized. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of his greatest tasks was to enhance cross-regional communi- cation between clinicians so they can share innovative solutions and best practices. Since the onset of the pandemic, Hussain has been at the forefront of Trinity Health's emergency pre- paredness efforts. Some of his contributions in- cluded: establishing and leading the emergency Incident Command Center (ICC); leading the virtual- care taskforce to establish a virtual- care platform; obtaining FDA ap- proval for a phase two clinical trial of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients; and establish- ing three drive-through COVID-19 test sites.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hartford Business Journal - Health Care Heroes — November 16, 2020