The nurses on 6 West, like other floors, are used to working long hours. They are, after all, an inpatient unit that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to care for patients who have lymphoma and solid tumors. For them, the past several months have mostly been business as usual, except for one aspect: no visitors were allowed on inpatient floors for the first two months. This absence of family members was very difficult on patients and nurses alike.
From the moment the hospital began enacting extra safety procedures to protect patients from COVID-19 exposure, the 143-person Diagnostic Radiology team worked together quickly to adopt additional tasks to keep the department clean and safe.
In 2019, Pamela Hershberger, PhD, came upon a stunningly significant finding in her research lab. Dr. Hershberger, Associate Professor of Oncology in Roswell Park’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, says she and her team had been “studying patients with a particular type of lung cancer — EGFR mutant lung cancer — and their response to a specific class of drugs called EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The drugs were proving very effective in killing cancer cells, but typically lost their effectiveness after about a year.
Amy Stockinger, Senior Project Manager of Capital Projects at Roswell Park, likes the early morning quiet she has been witness to during 11 years working here. She has watched many a sunrise over the sleepy city as she waits for construction workers to arrive.
As donations of food have poured in from all corners of the community, Aquell found a way he could help: he jumped in to distribute meals to the rest of the staff. He’s been humbled by the outpouring of care from the rest of Western New York.
Recently, clinic employees have slipped into a new role as counselors for staff and faculty. Each day, the clinic team eases the anxieties of other employees, remaining strong in their role as the caretakers of Roswell Park.
“They know it’s scary, but they never hesitate. It’s about the patients,” Renee DeWald, Clinical Nurse Manager of the 6 North and 5 East floors at Roswell Park, says of the staff on 6N, the designated floor for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Ashley Keppel draws upon the memory of her late friend, Jake Madonia, to inspire her day-to-day at Roswell. A nurse manager at Roswell, and later a patient, Madonia taught Keppel that patient advocacy would be one of her biggest roles as a nurse.
Ask Joyce Ohm, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, why she chose a challenging career focusing on epigenetics and her answer comes back sure and clear: “My mom died of a rare form of cancer when I was 10, and I made it my life