The past year has been challenging. The pandemic hit us all very hard, but the dedicated colleagues of South Shore Health stepped up. They gathered their resources and created thoughtful ways to help our patients — and each other — deal with the overwhelming challenges we've all been facing. Publicly recognizing their efforts is just one way we can let them know that we value and appreciate them, not just now, but every day of the year. We can't thank them enough for going above and beyond their normal duties.

Patient Connector Kayleigh Humfryes received a call from Alexander Kleinschmidt , RN, telling her that one of his patients was visibly upset that she was going to miss her son's wedding the following morning. Kayleigh reached out to the family to "bring the wedding to Joan" via Zoom. She notified Patient Connector Lead Susan Romano, who went to work on planning a special day. Kayla Sullivan was appointed the mastermind, coordinating details and delegating responsibilities. Donna Hawkesworth in Nutrition Services assembled a team to brainstorm the food and drink logistics. Laura Berman's job was to act as the guest representative. Leah Murray picked up Joan's cake, which CJ Rigby decorated. Susan Noyes and her team assembled a beautiful corsage and picked out an exquisite gown and shawl. The next morning, Bethany Bergin brought the iPad to the patient's room. A small crowd gathered to witness the ceremony, adjusting their masks and cleaning their glasses as they struggled to hold back the tears. And while it may have taken a small army of colleagues to pull off this event, the fact that Joan was able to enjoy the wedding was worth all the effort.

Wedding Story


Our team took a mother to a wedding via Zoom.

Operations Manager Jason St. Amour and the South Shore Health Pharmacy team found a DIY way to replenish some much–needed supplies as the world faced a hand sanitizer shortage, early in 2020, due to COVID–19. Chief Pharmacy Officer Kristopher Young requested that his team come up with a way to mix up a batch of the liquid gold using materials they already had on hand. Jason immediately leapt into action, taking an online formula from WHO and applying his own creative touch to the process. Using a blend of isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and glycerin and mixing them in containers purchased from Lowe's, he was able to create the precious mixture to keep our team safe and operating at full speed until hand sanitizer became available again.

Story Jason


Jason made hand sanitizer when there was none.

An RN in Maternity, Rachel Becker had an idea to create a beautiful space in the hospital where co-workers could gather for a respite – a tranquil spot tucked away from the commotion that goes along with caring for patients. When COVID–19 arrived, the time for pondering was over. She reached out to Karen Cummings (her manager), who embraced her proposal with excitement and support. Rachel instituted a fundraiser on Facebook and raised close to $1,000 for The Calm Room. Dozens of people donated items, including furniture, pillows, cushions, oils and lotions and more. We're proud to know that Rachel's dedication to the sanctity of her workplace and the well-being of her colleagues goes far beyond the hours she's clocked.

Story Rachel


Rachel created a calming space for co–workers.

Bobby Medina, from our Supply Chain team, took the initiative to assemble more than 2,000 homemade face shields to protect our doctors and nurses on the front lines during the pandemic. Using a blueprint he found online, Bobby and his team of "MacGyvers" started by ordering supplies – plastic, foam and elastic bands. One of our engineers created the prototype and another colleague's father loaned us a "roller" to help roll out and cut the plastic used for the shields and masks. Once the prep work was completed, it was time for assembly. A team consisting of colleagues from Rehab and the VNA, Matt Campos, Brien Wolter and Mary Tosone, got started and spent several days assembling the face shields, which served as a crucial stopgap while we waited for outside mask manufacturing to catch up with demand. Great work!

Story Faceshields


Our team built face shields to fill a shortage.

Supporting our own

While our South Shore Health team was showing its extraordinary colors, we were aware of the tremendous efforts and unusual levels of stress that the pandemic created. We set up some special programs to provide support to our courageous and dedicated staff. These include:

  • PTSD psychiatrist available to help staff cope with these unique challenges
  • Group listening sessions for colleagues to share experiences, receive support and learn new coping strategies
  • Peer Support Program with designated and trained colleagues inside departments
  • Remembrance ceremonies and unit displays honoring those who have died from COVID
  • Pet therapy with a visiting therapy dog
  • Chair massage
  • Intro to Acupuncture Workshops
  • Comfort cart stocked with refreshments and relaxation items
  • Informative webinars and seminars on financial, mental and physical Health
  • New Employee Wellness Portal
  • Well-being committee to provide programming specific to the mental health of colleagues