Health Heroes

How Nazareth students, faculty, and staff are taking action during the COVID-19 crisis

"It's a little intimidating to be starting my nursing career in such a chaotic time, but it's a true honor. When I heard there was an opportunity to jumpstart my career by volunteering for the county, my first thought was, 'Where do I sign up?' " — Macala Gallow '18, '20

Three nursing students and nursing chair pose for a selfie at emergency response center

At training: Macala Gallow (center) with Nazareth Nursing Department Chair Mary Dahl Maher and fellow students Amy DeMor '20 (in gray fleece), and Terri Spurlock '20 (in back), who earn nursing degrees in May.

Three Naz students stand outside by Public Safety Training Facility sign

Nazareth students stepped up to receive Monroe County emergency response training to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Macala Gallow is among 40 Nazareth nursing and public health students, along with their faculty, training at Monroe County Emergency Response Center for public health needs such as making screening phone calls, preparing quarantine kits, and doing direct COVID-19 test swabbing. At their first training session on Wednesday, March 25, they were fitted for N95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). Students and faculty signed up for available times and will get alerts as personnel are needed.

Macala is ready with two strong backgrounds. She earned her public health degree from Nazareth in 2018 and is set to graduate this May with her bachelor's in nursing from Nazareth, a program that includes interprofessional classes and experiences to be ready to work with teammates across allied health disciplines. She's already accepted a job at Highland Hospital on the emergency observation unit as a nurse.

Naz student holds T-shirt that says "THIS IS PUBLIC HEALTH"

Whitney Thomas '20, public health, holds a "This is public health" T-shirt.

Prof. Mary Maher takes a selfie with Nazareth students who wear or hold public health T-shirts

Prof. Mary Maher and students at the training session.

"Being on the front line for COVID-19 is the exact combination I've been training for, Gallow said. "While this is a nerve-wracking time to be working in this field, working together as a team is the best way to beat this. It's beautiful to watch retired folks coming out and volunteering to help. I'm so thankful Nazareth has helped shape me into a person so eager to jump into action."

Donating Protective Equipment

The Nazareth College community is also supporting the fight against COVID-19 in the Rochester area by donating protective equipment.

Jane Shebert outside Rochester General Hospital with boxes of supplies

Nazareth Chemistry and Biology Lab Coordinator Jane Shebert delivered a van full of crucial personal protective equipment to Rochester Regional Health on March 25.

The Nazareth nursing, public health, biology, and chemistry departments took inventory of their masks, gloves, and gowns not currently in use with campus shut down, and Nazareth Chemistry and Biology Lab Coordinator Jane Shebert delivered more than 6,000 pairs of gloves, 200 masks, and more than 20 isolation gowns to Rochester Regional Health system.

"I want to convey my sincere appreciation that our students and faculty in nursing and public health are 'walking the talk' and staying engaged to change our community ... one encounter at a time," said Mary Dahl Maher, chair of Nazareth's Nursing Department and public health program director.

Thank you, health care heroes!

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    Rebecca Kebernick

    Rebecca Kebernick '20, a public health major with a minor in marketing, volunteers at the Office of Emergency Management, taking temperatures of workers and visitors and providing public health information to sheriff's office and fire rescue personnel.