The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new class of Super Heroes in our society – front-line health care workers. As chaplain of an elder care facility in rural Kentucky, Sr. Janie Keenoy saw these heroes in action every day, and chose to direct the funds from her Sisters on the Frontlines grant from Catholic Extension and The LeadershipCollaborative, supported by the GHR Foundation, to help those front line heroes cope with the effects of the pandemic on their lives.
When the third wave of COVID-19 invaded rural communities in late November 2020, into January 2021, the virus moved swiftly through Sansbury Care Center. Residents and staff alike fell ill, and several of our Sisters died. For Sansbury Care Center caregivers, this was a special sort of pain, since many had known these women for years and cared for them like family.
Throughout these long, cold, and lonely weeks of illness, isolation, and grief, Sansbury health care staff rose above their own fears of getting the virus to courageously and lovingly care for residents. They administered medication, treatments, and dispensed constant comfort. Members of the staff encouraged one another and worked extra hours to cover for sick staff members.
Sr. Janie was able to help two frontline caregivers who contracted COVID-19 and whose families suffered financial hardship. She helped pay utility bills and provided grocery gift cards to help these families while the staff members recovered from the virus.
“Contracting COVID-19 was stressful enough,” Sr. Janey continued. “I am happy and humbled that this grant from Catholic Extension and The Leadership Collaborative allowed me to provide concrete assistance to those who care so lovingly for us.”