Image above: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown toured the COVID-19 testing site at CAS in Columbus on Jan. 14 with members from the Ohio National Guard and the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown traveled from Washington, D.C., to his home state of Ohio Friday, Jan. 14, to tour The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s COVID-19 testing site at CAS in Columbus with leaders from the Ohio National Guard, The Ohio State University, Columbus Public Health and CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society.
Sen. Brown talked with members of the Ohio National Guard who’ve joined health care workers across the state on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.
“I know we’re all exhausted by this pandemic. But we’re in a much better place than we were a year ago. We got shots in arms and workers back on the job and kids back in school,” Sen. Brown said.
“Between vaccines and booster shots and tests, we have the tools we need to protect Ohioans and keep workers on the job and our children in school. And public servants like these National Guard troops are the reason why.”
No one knows the need for clinical help more than Dr. Andrew Thomas, interim co-leader and chief clinical officer at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. The medical center is getting assistance from dozens of the more than 2,000 members of the Ohio National Guard who were deployed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in early January to relieve fatigued frontline workers during the pandemic.
“Sen. Brown’s visit today was truly uplifting for our staff and members of the Ohio National Guard who’ve been testing thousands of central Ohioans over the past two weeks,” Dr. Thomas said. “It’s important for our frontline workers to see that Ohio’s elected leaders support them, value their tireless work and are doing what they can to help all of us get through this pandemic.”
Among the guard members Sen. Brown personally thanked was Specialist Macy Quinn of Lancaster, who’s become known for singing to infants as they’ve gotten swabbed and tested for COVID-19.
Image above: Among the guard members Sen. Brown personally thanked was Specialist Macy Quinn of Lancaster.
“I sang to a few different infants – “Let It Go” from Frozen to one, and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to another,” said Quinn, who works as a patient care assistant in the newborn intensive care unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital when not on active duty. She now works Monday through Friday at the drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at CAS.
“Working at Children’s helped prepare me to soothe them before a traumatic experience. Along with everyone else, we’re trying our best to be as personable and helpful as we can,” Quinn said.
“We’re so grateful for the opportunity to be helping here. We know that people are tired and frustrated. It’s new to us, and we have energy and we’re ready to help.”
Sen. Brown also thanked nurse practitioners Sarah Hartfield and Lindsey Hamm. Both work in Ohio State’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, but during the pandemic have dedicated much of their time to the Wexner Medical Center testing sites, including the CAS location, which has seen an increase from 160 tests per day to 1,000 tests per day in just its first two weeks.
Hartfield, who’s managed the clinical care of testing stations since July, 2020, credits the National Guard for bringing attention back to their efforts and boosting morale. “Patients love it. I don’t think they’ve ever seen uniforms at a medical center before.”
Image above: “We’re so grateful for the opportunity to be helping here,” said Specialist Macy Quinn, who’s working at the COVID-19 testing site at CAS.
Hamm agreed. “It’s kind of lightened our load. And they’re all very nice, respectful and helpful. I’ve noticed kids are like, ‘That’s a soldier.’”
Sen. Brown, who was born in Mansfield, received a Master of Arts degree in education and a Master of Public Administration degree from Ohio State in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He taught at Ohio State’s Mansfield branch campus from 1979 to 1981.
He said his Ohio State education “gave me a better understanding of state government and local government and a broader, deeper understanding of budgets and public service, and I hope it makes me a little better in this job.”