University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System

Staff at University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) are meeting the challenges of COVID-19 with resourcefulness and creativity.

  • Kelly Banks, DNP, MSN, RN-BC, Clinical Nurse Consultant II, developed the cross-training guide for staff with new assignments due to COVID. She also implemented the "Smile Behind the Masks" pictures on staff ID cards so patients feel a more personal relationship with staff hidden behind PPE.
  • Gio Cabarera, Nursing Informatics, was reassigned to the University Health Service as hundreds of COVID-19 calls flooded the department. He worked diligently to advise the leadership team on a multitude of processes.
  • Aja Damodaran, BSN, RN, Staff Nurse, volunteered to be charge nurse in the newly created multi-unit COVID Care Wing, where he manages 60 beds and 30 staff members at a time. In times of stress and evolving demands, Damodaran is resourceful, determined and calm. He made the staff feel supported and well-informed in a time of extreme uncertainty.
  • Cristina Diaz, BSN, RN, Resuscitation Coordinator, has been dedicated to preventing cardiopulmonary arrests. At the start of the pandemic, she created a plan to minimize COVID exposure for staff and patients. Her skills and leadership have made a profound difference in improving the system's quality of care. Diaz identifies patients at serious risk of heart failure and intervenes to get them the right level of care at the right time. She is truly a life saver.

UI Health is part of the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a tertiary care hospital, 21 outpatient clinics and seven health science colleges.


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