There are countless unsung heroes who are working on the frontlines in the face of the Coronavirus. Here are two Brookside Community Health Center employees who have been putting their lives on the line to help others.
For eight weeks, ending July 10, the Brookside Community Health Center was one of Boston's free testing sites. That meant lots and lots of people coming to get tested.
Name: Victoria (Tory) Hill
Hometown: Jamaica Plain
I have worked at Brookside Community Health Center for five years in total. I left for a few years to go back to nursing school, and have now been back working as a nurse practitioner for the last three years. One of the most challenging things during this pandemic has been lack of physical presence. We rapidly made the shift to working from home and to telehealth. Particularly in the beginning when there was so much unknown about the virus, it was challenging to not be physically present supporting one another as coworkers, and particularly difficult to not be physically present with patients.
At times, all you wanted to do was to be able to hold a patient’s hand as a means of comforting them. Rather than surprised, I would say I am so proud of and grateful for how Brookside has responded to the pandemic. This is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of every single person.
Early on, team members began making calls to check-in on patients to ensure they had housing resources, food, and access to medications. We had a team of medical students making daily phone calls to patients infected with COVID. We set up a testing site that has been running in our parking lot for the last eight weeks and testing hundreds of patients daily. We have been pushed to work in different ways and to use technology in new ways. This transition happened very quickly as a result of the pandemic, and I’m not sure it would have otherwise. I’m hopeful and confident we will carry much of this work forward.
Name: Carolina Villalta.
I have been working at Brookside Community Health Center as a Medical Assistant for 5 ½ years now. During this pandemic, not being able to see and assist the patients in person for the past three months has been very hard for me. What has surprised me the most during this pandemic is that although Brookside Community Health Center is in Jamaica Plain, we were able to help many patients from different communities at our testing site. We have also been seeing pediatric patients from our neighboring clinics. I’d like to add that I enjoy helping others and I take pride in my job. I make sure that I do it to the best of my ability.