While people across the country have been urged to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many professionals rising to the occasion to help combat the outbreak. We asked McCormick Taylor staff to share the heroes in their lives who are providing essential services to the public. From health care to law enforcement, grocery stores, and manufacturing, each week we’ll highlight our heroes who are keeping us healthy and safe.
Brian St. John's Hero
My wife, Alison, is my hero for continuing to go to work every day to try and provide sound science and intelligence to our decision makers while keeping our family at the center of everything she does.
She is the Pandemic Warning and Branch Chief for the Pandemic Warning Mission for the Department of Defense. She oversees warning the U.S. and Allied partners about diseases with pandemic potential and operational significance. I admire her for her dedication to science and her continued drive to find the truth in everything we are dealing with around COVID-19. She will always be a hero for me and our family.
Lyndsay Haverdink's Heroes
My heroes are my sister and my dad, who are both working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. My sister, Jennette, is an ICU nurse in the Heart and Vascular Unit at Penn, providing care to some of the most vulnerable patients in the building.
My dad, Scott, is a General Manager at a grocery store and has been working six days a week for the last few months. I admire their courage and dedication during these intense times!
Raquel Donahue's Hero
My hero is my sister, Dana. She is an Occupational Therapist at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital. As an Occupational Therapist, she typically works with patients that have been in the hospital and are recovering from various types of surgeries. In addition to those cases, she now has patients that are recovering from complications of COVID-19, working with them to regain their strength so that they can continue daily activities independently when they are discharged from the hospital.
I am proud of my sister and I’ve always admired her for working in such an important and selfless field, especially so now during this scary time. She has been carefully quarantining herself to protect friends, family and the community in general. Her wedding is scheduled to be this fall, and we have already had to reschedule her bridal shower. I hope that we can give her the proper celebration she deserves soon!
Denise Clancey's Hero
My daughter, Lauren, is my hero. She is an ICU nurse and treats COVID-19 patients on a daily basis. Her compassion and dedication is amazing. I am in awe of her ability to give to her patients unconditionally. From the start of this pandemic, I became acutely aware of the shortage of supplies and support given to our frontline workers. In spite of this, nurses have risen above and have continued to provide exceptional care to our sick. I appreciate and bow to my daughter and her colleagues for their service. I love you and thank you all.
Lindsay Forrester's Hero
My hero is my cousin, Grace. She is a nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital and has been working in a COVID-19 ICU for a while now. She NEVER gets a break and is a true healthcare hero, as well as a super mom to her six kids. Even after working over 12-hour night shifts sometimes up to 6 days a week and commuting an hour each way, she chooses to spend time with her children when she gets home in the mornings instead of going right to sleep.
She is still the most positive person I know and is always there to help her family and answer random health questions from her family members (like me) all the time. She is my younger cousin, but I admire her so much and am so thankful for her service, knowledge, caring heart, amazing sense of humor, and friendship.
Jennifer Tan's Hero
My hero is my husband, Phil! He works for the Philadelphia Police Department in the 17th District. His job requires him to help uphold the laws of the city and commonwealth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the police department continues to issue new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe.
Phil cares about our city and works to help prevent crimes. Because he is an essential worker, it has been stressful for our family knowing he’s at risk of exposure. But he is always charismatic and positive, which has kept our family strong.
Pat Guise's Hero
My hero is my sister, Marian "Peache" Steeves. She is the Director of the Respiratory Therapy Unit at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. This year she was the recipient of the Triumph of the Human Spirit Award at her hospital, an honor that recognizes excellence in her field and for her incredible leadership and ability to work with patients, doctors, and other therapists.
It was my honor to watch her receive this award in November, and I didn’t think I could be any prouder of her. That was until this past March, when Coronavirus took hold of the world and changed all of our lives. Now she is working 16-hour days, risking her life every day to provide amazing care to patients, and on the front lines answering the call to help others in their time of need. She does this while juggling being the best mom to my two nephews. I am truly amazed by her strength, her courage, and her amazing heart. I’m so proud of her and humbled by her contributions to her community right now. She will always be my little sister, but right now she is my hero.
Bryan Healy's Hero
My hero is my wife, Leslie. She is the Executive Director for Community Options’ King of Prussia region, a non-profit that provides housing and support for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Leslie is responsible for 30 individuals in 18 homes and a staff of close to 100.
They’ve received no additional government support during this crisis. They also are not given any priority to receive PPE equipment despite being essential and responsible for the health and well-being of an at-risk population. Recently, she and I made over 240 homemade masks to supply their homes since masks are nearly impossible to find.
Michelle Varrella's Heroes
I have two heroes that deserve recognition! Both my mom, Linda, and husband, Rich, work with patients daily at local hospitals. My mom is a Radiology Tech at Springfield Hospital and performs CAT scans on patients. Rich, is an OR Tech at Paoli hospital, now assisting with emergency surgeries because they’ve cancelled all elective procedures.
With daily changes in their hospitals, new policies have been put in place and both may be asked to do something completely different to assist patients where needed in their respective health systems. This means they could be asked to go to a different hospital and perform a different job than what they’re used to. I commend them both for not only continuing to put themselves at risk, but for also being flexible and performing selfless jobs focused on others and their health.
Valarie Barraclough's Hero
My best friend, Jen, is a registered nurse in the emergency room department at a hospital in Quakertown. She is treating and testing patients suspected of being infected with COVID-19 and has also been passing on a lot of tips that I haven’t seen in the media (wipe your doorknobs!).
She’s also been providing real life updates of the trials and tribulations of the PPE shortage. It’s scary to think there is a good chance she might catch the virus, but I am proud of how brave she is continuing to go to work every day and help patients while putting herself at serious risk.