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NIHD Medical Staff recognizes COVID-19 Heroes

  • Category: NIHD News
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  • Written By: Barbara Laughon, NIH Strategic Communications
NIHD Medical Staff recognizes COVID-19 Heroes

NEWS RELEASE | January 19, 2020

Contact: Barbara Laughon, NIH Strategic Communications

(760) 873-5811 ext. 3415 |

NIHD Medical Staff recognizes COVID-19 Heroes

Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Medical Staff is pleased to be recognizing District staff who have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty in providing care to patients, or service to the District, during the COVID-19 pandemic. For January, the NIHD Medical Staff bestowed the COVID-19 Hero Awards upon three members of the nursing team, Tracy Aspel, Robin Christensen and Ben Dorman McShan.

NIHD Chief of Staff Charlotte Helvie, MD, FAAP, said the medical staff is pleased to “congratulate these employees and all of the staff for their hard work during these difficult times and for providing our community with excellent care.”

The medical staff plans to recognize NIHD team members with this honor each month. In recognizing this month’s recipients, Dr. Helvie wrote the following:

  • Tracy Aspel, BSN RN -- In her role as Chief Nursing Officer at the onset of the pandemic last year, Tracy worked closely with physician and community leaders making critical decisions regarding the emergency response plans and resource allocation. At a time when the team had to make difficult decisions, Tracy used her decades of experience in healthcare to our advantage, and with extensive community collaboration, put together plans that kept NIHD at the forefront of COVID-19 prevention and quality of care. We continue to benefit from these processes today and rely on her early work to keep our community safe and healthy. We wish Tracy all the best in her retirement.
  • Robin Christensen, BSN, RN, HIC -- As NIHD’s Director of Nursing of Quality and Informatics, who oversees Employee Health and Infection Prevention, Robin has been continuously present from the very beginning of the pandemic. She has worked tirelessly on-the-job as well as nights, weekends, and holidays off the job. It is not unusual to receive an early Sunday morning call to discuss an urgent patient exposure or return-to-work staffing decision. She continues to be critical for ongoing close collaboration with Inyo County Public Health Department. Robin regularly reports crucial data upstream to the county, state, and federal government related to COVID cases and staffing capacity. She is always approachable and willing to help, giving 110 percent every day. We salute Robin for all of her contributions during the pandemic, keeping all of us safe, able to work, and saving many community lives.
  • Dorman “Ben” McShan, BSN RN: Ben stands out as a COVID-19 hero, working as a Registered Nurse in NIHD’s Intensive Care Unit. The ICU became the center of care for COVID-19 patients early on, and as such, has required professional, compassionate care from all nurses. Every shift Ben works, he volunteers to work with COVID-19 patients, requiring him to don and doff personal protective equipment and communicate closely with his teammates outside the ICU – such as respiratory, dietary, pharmacy and laboratory -- to make sure NIHD meets all of these patients. Ben is kind and takes care of each of his patients as if they are his family. The medical staff salutes Ben, for being a hero for these patients.