Texas hospitals’ nearly 400,000 health care workers are on the frontlines of COVID-19. Our doctors, nurses and other frontline providers have been working tirelessly to provide compassionate care for Texans. These health care heroes have stepped up and gone above and beyond to care for their communities.


CANDACE SMITH
Chief Nursing Officer
Deaf Smith County Hospital District

Candace Smith

Jeff Barnhart, CEO of Deaf Smith County Hospital District in Hereford was looking for his CNO, Candace, one morning because she hadn’t been in her office yet that day. Jeff found Candace on the medical-surgical wing working alongside her nursing staff. The hospital’s census had increased dramatically overnight, so she pitched in to help. Even in the middle of a pandemic, Candace also found great ways to celebrate Nurses Week and recognize staff.


JESSI MERSIOVSKY, ARNP
Hospitalist
Electra Memorial Hospital

Jessi Mersiovsky

Jessi Mersiovsky, ARNP, has been a leader in the COVID-19 fight at Electra Memorial Hospital. From the start, she volunteered to assess, test and care for COVID-19 patients. She developed order sets for medical staff and has been proactive in procuring supplies, recruiting anyone she could to make masks and gowns. Jessi stays current on CDC and state recommendations for health care workers and patient care. She volunteered to make all follow-up calls each day to discharged patients to monitor their progress and refer them for treatment or testing when necessary. She works closely with pharmacists, the nursing department, respiratory therapists and medical staff to plan and prepare for any changes that unfold daily. Jessi’s colleagues describe her as their champion who creates an atmosphere of calm when chaos is imminent.


JOSE LUIS SALSA
Director of Infection Control
El Paso Children’s Hospital

Jose Luis Salas

There is a proverb that says, 'If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together.' Most often, the greatness in a great team starts from the leader, the one who sets the standards. According to his colleagues, Jose Luis Salas has embraced this beyond words. His actions not just through this pandemic have prepared El Paso Children’s Hospital and staff to handle any type of infection control issue with ease and success. He has shown leadership through not only through delegating, but also by stepping up and performing duties beyond his job description, such as cutting and creating face shields for his team.


JUSTIN GALINDO
Pharmacy Supervisor
Harris Health System

Justin Galindo

Justin Galindo and his team at the Northwest Health Center in Houston went above and beyond filling prescriptions for patients. There was one patient who needed their prescriptions but was unable to get to the clinic due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Justin and his team team worked together to fill the patient’s 17 prescriptions. Justin then dropped the prescriptions off at the patient’s home after his shift. Thanks to the dedication of the team the patient remained compliant with their medication program.


ANGIE MCKINNEY
Materials Director
Cuero Health

Angie McKinney

Angie McKinney used extraordinary resourcefulness in stocking items prior to COVID-19’s impact in Cuero. She monitored all equipment, as well as ensuring that all donations of personal protection equipment, hand sanitizer and other supplies were properly counted and inventoried. Angie and her team work hard to provide all necessary equipment, as well as providing timely responses to all requests.


If you have a health care hero you'd like to nominate to be featured on our social media or in the next issue of Texas Hospitals, email Emily Cheslock.