Despite the troubling effects of COVID-19 on families and individuals alike, there lies a group of brave soldiers standing on the front lines and helping to care for those who need the support.

St.Francis is shining a light on its health care heroes, honoring and applauding them for their bravery and support in caring for patients in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Born and brought into this world at St. Francis Medical Center Nursing Assistant Wanda McNeil shares her day to day experience working on the front lines.

“I was born at St. Francis and I’ve been working here for 30 years. I started in Environmental Services and did some on-the-job training and classes to become a nursing assistant. I really love what I do,” said McNeil. “I’m a people person. I’m always encouraging and supportive with my patients. I like to make them laugh and give them hope. No matter what, hope is something you can always hold onto. Working during the pandemic… wow, it’s been challenging. Nobody knew a lot about the disease so there was a lot of anxiety at first, but St. Francis really came through for us. They’ve explained everything really well, provided the necessary equipment, and brought in food when we were too busy to leave the floor. They also made sure we had enough staff by reassigning other employees who couldn’t work in their regular positions because of the restrictions.”

“Our new nurse manager started just before the pandemic hit, and even with all the challenges, she was always there to engage us, answer our questions and provide us with daily updates. She was there to make sure we got through it all okay.”

Being a health care worker during a pandemic is not an easy job. It’s inspiring to see health care workers in the city of Trenton doing all they can to care for those who need it the most.