The Right Stuff

In battling the COVID-19 virus, BJC HealthCare workers embody the essence of heroism.

Through the eyes of the BJC patients, families, and teammates who post thank you messages to, we see that there are several traits common to our frontline caregivers. BJC healthcare heroes are hardworking, dedicated, courageous, tireless, selfless, compassionate, kind, and caring. They show up day after day to bravely fight the coronavirus, often at great risk to their own health and that of their families. In short, they embody the essence of what constitutes being a hero.

Take the example of Brandi Caponi, a social worker at Memorial Hospital Belleville, who was recently recognized by a patient family through a submission. Caponi did her best to keep Jennifer Whitter and family members informed on the condition of her father, who was under care at Memorial Hospital Belleville for a brain injury and COVID-19. When he arrived at Memorial, he didn’t have his phone or iPad with him and was too disoriented to work the phone in his hospital room.

Keeping family updated

“Since the family couldn’t visit, I spoke with Jennifer as often as I could, on the phone and through email,” Caponi said. “I tried to take some of the stress off of her shoulders by reassuring her and her family that her dad was in good hands at Memorial Hospital Belleville.”

Caponi provided Whitter’s family with a continuous stream of information on her dad’s status. “My mom was so appreciative of Brandi’s level of communication and the kindness she showed during every phone call,” said Whitter.

Caponi also helped Whitter’s family complete forms to give the Veteran’s Administration (VA) permission to share medical information with her mother and to set her dad up through the VA so that caregivers could come to his home after he returned from rehabilitation.

When asked whether her role had changed over the past year, Caponi said, “I’m still able to give the same amount of care behind my mask as I could without it. I try to advocate for my patients and their families to the best of my abilities and to help educate them so that they make the right decisions for their loved ones. There are still tough cases, and there have been plenty of tears shed over the past year, but if I know one thing, it’s that humans are resilient.”