By Claudia Arnold-Sawaf AIF®
Thanks to Alicia Key’s new song “Good Job”, our every-day heroes are no longer our “unsung heroes”. Listening to the song, and thinking of everyone I personally know, amplified the heartfelt gratitude I feel for all heroes who put their own lives at risk to keep the rest of us safe and healthy.
Alicia sings, “There’s no way to ever pay you back, bless your heart – Honest and Selfless – I don’t know if this helps it, but Good Job, you’re doing a good Job… the world needs you now… know that you matter!”
I personally make it a habit to thank our heroes every chance I get, for the relentlessly long hours, their passion, the sacrifices they make, to keep the rest of us safe and healthy.
I recently had the opportunity to connect with a few of our heroes in healthcare on the current pandemic, their experience and how they handle their day-to-day challenges, which often times go well beyond the existing pandemic. Our heroes handle it all with bravery and even smiles on their faces that show in their eyes, behind surgical masks and face shields, to put their patients at ease. We may not ever be able to fully pay our heroes back for all they do, but we can honor and support their mission to save lives.
Dr. Almaas A. Shaikh MD FACS, Trauma and Critical Care Surgery, shared with us her thoughts on the current pandemic health care workers are facing.
“We are certainly working in unprecedented times addressing a pandemic in an already taxed healthcare system. For sure our system’s numerous failures are only to be matched by its multitude of successes. But ultimately, it continues to run on the sheer will, compassion and determination of all the healthcare providers working each day to provide care to those in need.” said Shaikh.
I asked her how she remains so motivated and dedicated through this crisis, knowing full well the risks, she and her team face.
“Caring for others is one of the most noble and self sacrificing acts an individual can carry out. Nowhere is that more apparent than in our COVID crisis. Healthcare providers have left their homes and their families at the risk of their own health and safety in order to care for those not just facing COVID but other health issues as well. Facing discrimination, job insecurities, financial stress, and mental stress the healthcare teams of today continue to show up and provide optimal, compassionate, evidenced based care at a time when humanity needs it the most.”
Dr. Shaikh also raises an adorable son, and juggles motherhood while working on the front lines, with her most supportive husband on her side. Thank you Dr. Shaikh and your family for the sacrifice, compassion and hard work. We are so grateful.
Sharolyn McClurg, MSN, CNP, is a dedicated nurse practitioner and mom of two adorable children, spoke to me about the balance between saving lives and home-schooling her children, together with her supportive husband.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear to many of us in healthcare that this isn't just a job, it's a calling. Many providers are leaving his or her family and are heading to the front lines, risking their own health and lives to help perfect strangers. This shows the heart and humanity that is the center of healthcare. Our patients become our family and there are no lengths we wouldn't go to, to care for our families.”
Shari also shared the silver lining of this current pandemic. “The outpouring of support from our neighbors, our colleagues, our communities, and even our patients themselves has been overwhelming. We can't express enough our gratitude and heartfelt thanks!”
Shari, all of us at Mission Wealth share our gratitude and heartfelt thanks with you, your team and your family. Please stay safe and healthy!
I also had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Zaki Lababidi, FACC, FSCAI, Interventional Cardiologist. Dr. Lababidi is not only one of the most dedicated medical professionals, but a humanitarian through and through.
I asked him what advice he would give in light of the economic consequences of the pandemic. “In these historic times in medicine and while fellow Americans have to endure a lot in all aspects of life, please remember all the experts advice you are getting is to keep you safe and alive. The virus is serious and deadly at times. Our advice is: don’t gamble with your life, listen to your doctors. For us as doctors, nurses and healthcare providers, this is not a job but a life mission and we will step up to our responsibilities of taking care of our patients, risking our lives to save lives”.
Thank you Dr. Lababidi for all you and your family contribute to the well-being of so many. I also want to give a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Suhir Bitar, his dedicated wife and outstanding concierge pediatrician who keeps our littlest people safe and healthy.
Dr. Khaled Albasha, MD, FACC is an interventional cardiologist in Arizona who also shared some advice with me about the virus.
“The Coronavirus pandemic is a serious challenge the whole world is facing today. It puts responsibilities on everyone at all levels from personal levels to the governments around the world. My advice is to listen to your healthcare provider’s recommendations; simple procedures such as handwashing, wearing a mask and social distancing can save lives.”
I asked Dr. Albasha if there is anything else we can do, beyond staying home, he offered a few suggestions. “Help your community by assisting the vulnerable people through your local organizations. As healthcare providers, we are there to help people, knowing the risk we may personally get into. I’d like to wish everyone the best of health.”
Dr. Albasha, thank you and your family for your sacrifices. Please stay healthy and safe. We are so thankful for all you do.
Listening to the deeply honest and selfless insights, the challenges, the risks, and yet that deep compassion and commitment to saving lives, I can’t help but go back to Alicia Key’s song and would like to thank all the heroes on the front lines.
“You’re the engine that makes all things go, and you’re always in disguise, my hero. I see your light in the dark, smile in their face, when we all know it’s hard!”