Riverside Healthcare's healthcare heroes have made significant contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Janet Jensen, Director, Organizational Development & Learning, took the helm of staffing and developed a new model for long-term crisis. Before shortages began, she established cross-training to redeploy staff. Jensen coordinated with leadership to ensure staff went where they were most needed. She leads by example, never asking staff to do something she wouldn't do, and is always willing to go the extra mile.
Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee
- Liberty Erfe, RN, Nurse Manager, supervised the hospital's observation unit at the start of the pandemic. She was also deployed to assist at Riverside Miller Rehabilitation, where her inpatient nursing background was instrumental to its COVID response. Erfe maintained constant communication with patients' loved ones, always going above and beyond. Her grace and leadership helped other departments manage the constant challenges of the pandemic.
Riverside Miller Rehabilitation, Kankakee
- Neelie Panozzo, Nurse Practitioner, has worked long days to care for staff and educate bedside nurses on high-level isolation and treatment of respiratory diseases. Her dedication, leadership and skill have elevated the level of care at the facility. Not only has Panozzo cared for critically ill residents, but she volunteered to work in the on-site COVID unit. She called each patient's family member every day to provide updates.
- Beth Totheroh, LNHA, RD, Administrator, quickly established negative pressure rooms and a testing/re-testing process for residents and staff. She worked with infection control and purchasing to procure supplies and educate staff on high-level respiratory isolation. Throughout the pandemic, Totheroh has been highly engaged with staff and led her teams with grace.
Riverside Senior Life Communities, Bourbonnais
- Crystal Holman, RN. Nurse Manager, stepped up and offered to work in the COVID-19 unit at a time when little was known about the virus. She worked long hours and took on extra roles to care for patients—even moving into the facility herself so she could be there when needed. Holman has truly exceeded the expectations of her role.
Riverside Healthcare, based in Kankakee, consists of five entities—including a Level II Trauma hospital—serving Kankakee, Iroquois, Will and Grundy counties.
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