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In the recently released UMass Memorial Health Care Anthem video, dozens of caregivers were filmed to help explain to the world who we are, what we do and what we stand for as a health care system. Find out more about these caregivers and why they were chosen to be in the video to demonstrate how it takes everyone, everyday working together relentlessly to care for our patients and each other. This week, we feature Hospitalist Kimberly Ebb, MD, from HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital.
In addition to Dr. Ebb’s role as Chief of Adult Hospital Medicine at HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, she is also the Medical Director for both the Division of Palliative Care and Home Health and Hospice. These three roles position her and her teams in a trifecta of caring, through the toughest days of the COVID-19 surge to today. When asked how Dr. Ebb felt about participating in the filming for the UMass Memorial Health Care Anthem video to honor the work our caregivers do every day, she summed it up in one word: proud. She’s proud to be part of a strong community that came together for one another during the pandemic.
At the COVID-19 peak in March through June, HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital cared for more than 200 COVID-19-positive patients, 40 of whom passed away. For Dr. Ebb and her teams, the work was all-consuming and challenging, but uplifting as well. “The time was an ongoing cycle of work and go home, work and go home, work and go home, but I was grateful for the contact with co-workers and family. I knew I was doing something to try to make this better,” said Dr. Ebb.
During the surge, patients were cared for in overflow areas that extended to post-op and recovery rooms. Dr. Ebb and her teams were there to provide comfort to patients and acted as a critical bridge to families, who couldn’t physically be there with patients, in innovative ways such as using iPads for family video calls. Dr. Ebb recalled, “Our teams, including the nurses and hospice nurses, worked long hours often supporting patients succumbing to COVID-19 and their families. The work to comfort families and connect families was challenging, but rewarding. And even more so when we could help people navigate the disease and go home well.”
Upon reflecting on the pandemic, Executive Director of Home, Health and Hospice Arthur St. Germain commented on the key role Dr. Ebb played: “Under Dr. Ebb’s leadership during the COVID-19 surge, our caregivers were encouraged to innovate so we could continue to provide patients with compassionate care despite restrictions. Her dedication to our caregivers and patients was unending during the COVID-19 surge, and it continues today.”
The pandemic brought out the best from teams across UMass Memorial Health Care. “During the COVID-19 surge, any differences were put aside. Our focus was united: Whatever it took to take care of patients and families. Everyone came together, from attending physicians and nurses to support staff, housekeeping, and cafeteria and food services. It was lovely,” said Dr. Ebb.