Kaitlyn Kariger, NP, of Inpatient Oncology, and Ben Slawski, NP, of Allergy Associates, have spent their entire nursing careers at Mass General. Twelve years ago the two first met and fell in love while working on a cardiology unit. For Kariger, then a patient care associate, and Slawski, a nurse - the hospital has been an integral part of their lives. Now, more than a decade later, they are both nurse practitioners, married, and have two children. Their most recent chapter in their joint MGH history – explaining to Madison, 4, and Ben, 2, the family’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. My husband has been able to work from home to the delight of my children,” says Kariger. “But when we were explaining why I still had to go to work and socially isolate, our kids wanted to do something to thank all the health care workers. So we cut, painted and hung a sign on our front window so everyone who drives by knows how grateful we are.”

Telemedicine has been instrumental for Slawski to check in and consult with his patients from home. Technology has also changed how Kariger performs her tasks at work, as she interacts with patient families via phone rather than in person to ensure limited patient exposure. “We have new routines now, but the changes have allowed us to spend more time together as a family and our colleagues have really risen to the occasion” says Kariger. “Our street doesn’t really get a lot of traffic, but the kids were excited to say thank you to other health care workers heading to work and in times like these I think that’s really important.”