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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014

News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Health care heroics abound during storm

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

By Luis Fabregas
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
It didn't take long for Heather Yankura to realize that getting to work at Children's Hospital on Saturday could take a miracle -- or an old pair of skis.

"I looked out the door and figured there was no possible way I was going to drive, or even walk, because the snow was so high," said Yankura, a registered nurse at the Lawrenceville hospital. "My husband and I looked at each other and said, 'We have a pair of skis downstairs.' They're not cross-country skis, but we got them, and we skied as fast as we could."

Yankura, 27, made the mostly uphill, three-mile trek from Highland Park in about an hour and a half, pushing herself with ski poles and drawing stares from onlookers along Penn Avenue.

Her unlikely arrival at Children's, which elicited applause from co-workers peering from hospital windows, is one of dozens of stories from health care workers in the region who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure no patients or residents were left unattended during the snowstorms. They went to work and, Mother Nature be damned, they made it.

"There's been an overabundance of caring," said Georgette Bly, executive director of Schenley Gardens, a senior living facility in Oakland where some staffers worked more than 40 hours and spent the night in a nearby hotel to ensure shifts were covered. "They did a yeoman's job; there's no two ways about it."

Across the region, stories abound that are commendable and entertaining. Workers at Strabane Trails Village, a senior community in Washington, ran extension cords to oxygen machines. Home health workers walked through deep snow to deliver IV medications to homebound patients. An Allegheny General Hospital nurse paid a snowplow driver $20 to drive her to work from Mt. Washington. A priest at UPMC Mercy volunteered to deliver meal trays and wash dishes.
 

To read more, visit the Tribune-Review website.

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