Alumnae Healthcare Heroes

Join us in celebrating our incredible alumnae working on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

Meghan Gleason ’14 is a cardiovascular ICU nurse.

“Each week is different and some weeks I am needed in the COVID units more than others. When I graduated from nursing school two years ago I never imagined I’d be on the frontline of a global pandemic. Not knowing what my day at workday might hold combined with the fact that I’m caring for positive COVID patients is scary.”

Shout Out to St. Francis and St. Jane

“Viz is still very much a part of my current life and I attribute my time at Viz to the person I am today. I think one of the greatest gifts Viz gave me to help me with this challenge is my strong foundation in faith. I loved that God and faith was incorporated into our everyday lives at Viz and I still try and do this same to this day. Pandemic or no pandemic I say a prayer each morning before work and give a shout-out to St. Francis and St. Jane. I also think Viz taught me how to work as a team and that is SO important at my job especially while working in the COVID units.”

Working Together As a Team

“Being floated to a different unit for COVID was a daunting experience for me. I love meeting new people but was afraid the teamwork wouldn’t be the same as in my own unit. That could not be farther from the truth and I have found that everyone really wants to help one another out—that gives me hope that even in hard times we can all band together to hopefully end this pandemic sooner rather than later.

We Can All Do Our Part

“I think the big thing everyone can do is to continue to take precautions, wash your hands, donate to fundraising efforts if you’re able and say a lot of prayers!”

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Catie Schmid ’10 is a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“We have to be prepared at all times to be pulled to a COVID-19 unit in our hospital. We go through a screening process daily to enter the hospital and are provided a mask to wear for the entirety of our shift so that we can minimize exposure risk as there are so many times we cannot follow the six feet apart rule when caring for critically ill infants. My role as a NICU nurse is to stay healthy, teach good hand hygiene to our parents visiting, and continue to celebrate each milestone as these families have lost a lot of their physical support people when the visitation policies changed allowing only two caregivers to enter the hospital.

Viz has prepared me in so many ways for my career. There are so many unknowns during this time and being in a hospital setting is very stressful as exposure risk to this virus is very high. I am grounded in a strong faith that was planted during my years at Visitation Academy that is helping me through this time. Also, shout out to my English teachers who taught me credible sources for obtaining information on the internet because there are so many false sources out there today spreading fear and false information.”

Community keeps us going…

“Despite the stress and challenge, I am encouraged by our community coming together. We recently received little goodie bags that were organized by one of our volunteers. It included a homemade cloth mask and little treats. The most moving part though were the messages from everyone who helped put the bags together for us. One of the notes had an old coin attached from a grandfather’s collection. The note explained, “you see, he was so excited to hear about this little project and everyone helping, that he wanted to be a part of it too.” They explained his recent move to hospice and how his family didn’t really know how he could help us. “He called her the next day with his idea. He wanted to get each nurse a special coin to remember this time.” I had tears in my eyes while receiving this coin, a lucky coin given to us with the most pure intention and symbolizing so much love and appreciation. I look at my coin every day before going to work.”

How can you support alumnae like Catie?

“Prayer is always welcome. Sending uplifting messages and encouragement as we continue to see the direct impact this virus continues to have on our local hospitals. Even with restrictions lifting, please be mindful and know that this virus is not gone from our community and the risk of contracting it and needing hospitalization is still present. Many nurses are still going without any contact with their immediate families due to risk of passing on the virus. Please don’t take a second for granted with your loved ones!”