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Caregiver Contest Grand Prize Winner: Ebony F.

Danny Nguyen
Author | Shield HealthCare
03/04/21  2:26 PM PST
Caregiver Contest Grand Prize Winner: Ebony F.

Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner Ebony Francisco from Bakersfield, California.

If you are a front-line worker or caregiver, you can easily attest to the wide range of changes in our healthcare delivery system. Whether the essential nature of home equipment like home oxygen concentrators or the things we so easily take for granted like timely arrival of an ambulance in an emergency, COVID-19 has changed caregiving in multiple ways. We have also seen how essential schoolteachers are, and the ability to send children to school has far reaching benefits whether it is providing a safe place from an abusive home or the ability for a child to get a nutritious meal. I am glad to say that not of all its affects have been negative, but we know many are. COVID-19 has further reminded us that health is invaluable, and just as invaluable to personal health, is the well-being of those whom we love and cherish. It has reminded us of the connectivity of the whole world and how oceans truly no longer separate us. 

COVID-19 has served to remind and reiterate the important things we know about infection control and prevention. Effective handwashing is important, PPE and airborne/droplet precautions work when used appropriately. Who would have guessed how useful singing the birthday song would be in teaching hand washing? 

COVID-19 has changed healthcare in that it has shown the disparity between the haves and have nots which is why healthcare should not be politicized and why it is a right. When one set of people have access to treatments that another does not it should cause us all to ask “why” and “how can we fix this”. 

COVID-19 has reminded us how important family advocacy is, and what a vital part of illness, healing and transition families are. It benefits not only the patient but the family to be present and able to make the right decisions when a patient is not able to decide for themselves. It is difficult to convey to a family over the phone, a patient’s quality of life. I believe they need to be able to see, touch and feel to make the best-informed decisions. COVID-19 prevented many families from being present in some of the greatest moments and COVID-19 has reiterated for me the importance of their presence. 

COVID-19 has also changed the way nursing facilities will be managed and regulated. There will be a harder scrutiny of their ability to care for those whom they serve, especially their preparedness for times of crisis. It has awakened the world to the burden of caregiving in skilled nursing facilities and the challenges these caregivers face daily. I hope this scrutiny brings good changes and the support they so desperately need. 

Lastly, COVID-19 has reminded the world of the selfless heroes who live and work among us. This regard should not be limited to doctors and nurses, but to every person who contributes to the care and well-being of a life, whether it is being born, being healed or one that is transitioning; whether a janitor, clerk in a DME supply store or a case manager… they are heroes. 

Winners were selected by a panel of independent judges: Margarita Bermudez, the Manager of Professional Training and Healthcare Services at Alzheimer’s Los Angeles; Leigh Ellen Key, Executive Director for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, South Texas and Louisiana/Mississippi Chapters; and Kelly Sparks, a retired CWOCN from Dignity Health. Click here to learn more.


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