The Louisa Rotary Club met August 27 for their weekly meeting via Zoom.
This week’s guest speaker was Vivian Torres, now Vivian Smith. Vivian is relocating to Louisa from New York State and has recently married Reverend Dan Smith, Pastor of the Louisa United Methodist Church and a member of the Rotary Club.
Vivian is a Registered Nurse with almost 40 years of experience in various settings of health care and levels of leadership. She has a wide scope of experience from acute hospital care to managed care, community-based services, and case management. She served as a Vice President of Community Health in a large organization in NYC, where she was involved with various committees at the state level and with the New York State Department of Health.
More recently, Vivian returned to the hospital setting as a Certified Case Manager, where she’s worked for the last four years before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She spoke a bit on the role of a case manager and how they help to find resources for patients. She said that during Covid-19 and at the hospital where she was working, there were a great number of patients who didn’t have insurance but were being discharged from the hospital with orders for oxygen and trying to find those resources to help those patients who were uninsured.
She said they did run out of PPE, personal protective equipment, and how she really tried to keep families up to date on their loved ones that they couldn’t be with. She said she had one patient who was in ICU and his wife on a different floor both diagnosed with Covid-19 and the daughter was later found deceased at home due to Covid-19.
Vivian spoke in depth of working 10-14 hours a day and the stress of all that was happening with Covid. She also spoke briefly on her daughter’s role as a paramedic as well. She told Louisa Rotary how the first time she ever felt appreciated for being a health care worker. They have food brought to them, and the end of shift, clap for them, and leaving and seeing police and firefighters driving around the hospital with their sirens on in appreciation of those front line workers.