A year after the beginning of the pandemic, Trinity alumni are still using their leadership skills to guide their communities through the COVID-19 crisis in creative and charitable ways. From feeding frontline workers to donating masks to organizing charity concerts, Tigers are doing their part to help. Read more about how Trinity alumni are helping out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monica Vargas-Mahar M’98 is the CEO of The Hospitals of Providence East Campus, a 182-bed hospital in El Paso, Texas. As CEO, she is responsible for leading her team through the COVID-19 crisis. On a daily basis, she is responsible for managing and overseeing all hospital operations and logistics to help her campus successfully navigate the pandemic and to help ensure the health of patients, team members and the community. Vargas-Mahar is an engaged leader and builds and maintains trust both with her team and the community through constant and open communication. "While I'm not a clinician, I still feel I can have an impact on those who need us most,” she says.
Evan Murphy ’20 and Sean Pan ’20
Masks have become a necessity, but they can be hard to come across. Student-created company Intersourcing International LLC, a finalist in the 2018 Stumberg Venture Plan Competition, has spent the pandemic helping to fill this personal protective equipment shortage. Sean Pan ’20, founder of Intersourcing, and Evan Murphy ’20, an account manager, have imported 30,000 masks from overseas since the pandemic began, some of which were provided to local hospitals in March. These hospitals are smaller, regional hospitals that have struggled to procure masks. Intersourcing has made sure these masks are high-quality, having noticed that many suppliers are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to take advantage of consumers. They feel a need to ensure their clients are receiving quality products that can best keep them safe and healthy during this time.
Faith Ozer ’15 has always been interested in public health. She recently began working as a public health adviser and investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage this past June. She spends her days tracking COVID-19 by evaluating each traveler entering the state of Alaska. If someone flew while positive for the disease, Faith helps facilitate their analyses and ensure they take proper safety precautions. “I love working in Alaska because there are smaller communities in the state,” Ozer says. “If someone is sick and they fly to a small fishing village up north, the stakes are much higher because they don't have the infrastructure to deal with small outbreaks of the coronavirus. You really are trying to make sure the spread is contained, and people are taking it seriously.”
Ellen Kuwana X’91
Ellen Kuwana X’91, a science writer from Seattle, Washington, has spent the pandemic helping feed frontline workers and support local businesses. In what originally started as a late-night mission by Kuwana to feed UW Virology in mid-March, We Got This Seattle has since blossomed into a successful effort that has raised over $94,000 in tax-deductible donations to support over 70 local restaurants. In the past ten months, she has fed and caffeinated over 22,000 frontline workers, ranging from physicians to janitorial staff. Kuwana quit her job in April 2020 to devote more time to We Got This Seattle, coordinating 8-12 meals on many days. She credits the success of We Got This Seattle to social media as a way to quickly and meaningfully connect with others. Using Twitter and Facebook, Kuwana has reached more people than she imagined possible. “One person really can make a difference,” she says.
Greg Seiler M’92 is almost always in a hospital—he is the CEO of San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan and Methodist Hospital South, located in Jourdanton, Texas. He spends most of his time at Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan, a 378-bed facility with 12 operating suites, a Trauma Level IV emergency room, the only stand-alone women’s pavilion in downtown San Antonio, and an intensive care unit. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for Seiler’s hospitals and been quite overwhelming, but Seiler is helping them manage the strain. The staff of each hospital is dedicated, dealing with the pandemic on a day-to-day basis.
Last summer, Sarah Lovelace ’20 began a two-year fellowship with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, working in a lab at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that conducts research on vaccines for HIV, influenza, and the novel coronavirus, among other contagions. Lovelace applied to the NIH Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Program with several concrete goals: to study infectious diseases, pursue a project with real-world applications, and work at the main NIH campus in Bethesda. Yet, with the onset of COVID-19, Lovelace’s fellowship and area of study seem more urgent than ever. “It feels validating and exciting to know that I'm going to be contributing, in some small way, to a field that is so immediately relevant,” she says.