Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital honors all of our team members as “healthcare heroes”—the physicians, nurses and other clinicians on the front lines, as well as our housekeepers, food service staff, security officers, maintenance and facilities crews, and office staff. Every team member plays an important role in supporting the hospital and contributes to our success in fulfilling our Sentara mission of improving health every day.
The team members highlighted here represent a mere fraction of our team, which has responded so courageously to the challenges posed by COVID-19. The hospital values and thanks each team member for faithfully carrying out their daily job responsibilities.
Our team is Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital!
Anita Thomas, RT
Anita Thomas serves as a respiratory therapist, assisting patients with breathing problems, and also helps with Code Blue and Medical Response Team calls.
“It isn’t about who gets the recognition—we’re all here taking care of patients. In spite of being in respiratory care for almost 40 years, at certain times I didn’t know if I had the emotional strength to handle this pandemic. As always, though, I’ve had the support and love of the Respiratory Care Department. We’re a team, and we have each others’ backs. Additionally, while Respiratory Care and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) have always had a close working relationship, it has grown to a whole new level of cooperation during this crisis. We are truly one team now!”
Nicholas Brandt, MD
Dr. Nicholas Brandt serves as a hospitalist taking care of Sentara Martha Jefferson inpatients.
“As part of the patient care team, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the expertise, creativity and problem-solving of physician colleagues, nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists and therapists. Working side by side, the clinical team members have stepped up and embraced these challenges with real esprit de corps and a practical can-do attitude to cope with rapidly changing—and sometimes uncertain—information. Such expertise and spirit were already there, but they have come to the forefront in particular during this pandemic. I’m proud to work alongside them every day, and I’m grateful to be a part of Sentara Martha Jefferson.
One parting bit of advice: Wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask. I want everyone to be safe!”
Frank Signoretti, RN, BSN, and Vicki Signoretti, RN, BSN
Frank and Vicki Signoretti, who are husband and wife, redeployed from daytime surgery to the ICU to care for COVID patients.
Frank: “The intensive care staff was impressive in how they adapted to the new patient-type load and care practices, even while working for optimal and safe patient care. Our nurse managers really did an excellent job handling the staffing changes and making sure staff were up to date with the day-to-day changes. I was also very impressed with Sentara Martha Jefferson’s efforts to keep employees working by placing them in areas that were in need of extra personnel. As a bonus for me, it has been a blast working alongside my wife. We’ve been nurses for 30 years and have seen several healthcare crises in the past.”
Vicki: “One of the most rewarding things for me has been seeing COVID patients improve to the point where they could move out of the ICU to other units or to rehab. Many of them were in the hospital for several weeks, with tenuous conditions at times, but the care teams were so focused and skilled in helping our patients have the best possible outcomes. I also want to thank the hospital administration for working so hard to provide a safe, controlled environment—not only for our patients, but also for our staff. They adapted to and communicated the changes we were undergoing, as well as the rationale for those changes, very well. That built a strong sense of trust with staff.”
Meghan Marino, OTR/L
Inpatient Rehab Services
Meghan Marino is an occupational therapist (OT) who, at the beginning of the pandemic, volunteered to be the primary OT seeing COVID-positive patients.
“The pandemic has made me focus on the things that are really important, and to reconsider what is and is not necessary in my own life. We have an amazing team at Sentara Martha Jefferson, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it. As difficult as this pandemic has been, it has highlighted the strengths of our team.
I would like to express a sincere thank-you to all the individuals and businesses that have given time and resources to support healthcare workers during this pandemic. Whether it’s an oil change or a lunch, it really means a lot to know we have the community’s support.”
Jordan Yancey, MA
Blue Ridge Internal Medicine
Jordan Yancey works in an outpatient clinic, where she assisted patients with making telehealth visits via the Sentara app, among other responsibilities.
“One of the most rewarding things about working through this pandemic has been our organization’s support, creativity, preparedness and teamwork. We want our patients to know that we’re here for them, and that we’re all in this together. When we were limiting face-to-face appointments, we really missed seeing our patients in person. We’re confident that our new workflows and processes will enable us to continue delivering the best care possible. I want to thank my team for their support, guidance and continued efforts to provide the best health care during this pandemic. We have all learned a great deal from this experience, and I’m certain we will get through this.”
Ashley Morefield, MEd
Health & Wellness
Ashley Morefield is an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab who initially worked as a door screener and assisted with special situations like blood-drive distancing. Later she managed the Meal Train, accepting, sorting and distributing the many meal deliveries from generous community partners.
“I’m really impressed by the abundance of community support and engagement we’ve seen. My team members and I have been humbled by the many generous donations from local restaurants, community donors and the World Central Kitchen. Their generosity and kindness have encouraged us to keep going.”
Patricia Tyndale, RD
Outpatient Diabetes and Nutrition Education
Patricia Tyndale is a registered clinical dietitian.
“As an advocate for healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I believe self-care is a large part of each person’s well-being. Working through this pandemic has shown me how many community members benefit from my expertise as a dietitian, and how much they appreciate being able to use telehealth to contact me from the comfort of their homes.”
Crystal Chu, RN
Crystal Chu is a team coordinator for Sentara Martha Jefferson’s Cancer Center. She had previously worked as a nurse on Cornell 2. As soon as the staffing implications of the COVID pandemic started to become clear, Crystal transitioned back to Cornell 2, where she worked full time on night shift for three weeks to help support the inpatient nursing team.
“Some of the most meaningful moments for me were being at a patient’s bedside during the time when visitors were not allowed in the hospital. It was really difficult for them to be in their rooms alone—especially for those with longer hospital stays. The moments when I was able to sit and laugh with patients, or connect them over the phone with a family member to ease their anxiety, were small victories that gave me a sense that I was doing exactly what I was called to do.”
Ashley Kindig is technical support specialist in the Information Technology Department.
“I’m proud to be a member of the Sentara Martha Jefferson family, and I feel blessed to have them by my side during these challenging times. The hospital staff have been selfless, brave and fully committed, despite the uncertainty created by this virus. It has been very rewarding to serve with this amazing team.”