Every year on May 5, health care professionals around the world recognize World Hand Hygiene Day, a global movement led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the importance of hand hygiene in health care.
Tricia McQuade, a security officer in Police, Security and Outside Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, was assigned to the Gray Lobby entrance last spring at the peak of the coronavirus surge at the hospital. “I would greet people every day and I could see they were in despair, so I would tell ‘dad jokes’ or say silly things to try to lift people’s spirits,” she says. “As we approach the second wave and with holidays approaching, I can see people started to head back in the direction of despair. The holidays are often tough and with people not able to see their family this year, people’s mental health could really be negatively affected.”
To lift her own spirits, McQuade writes and reads poetry. When McQuade was asked to present at a recent Mass General storytelling event featuring front line staff, an important connection was formed. Debbie Burke, RN, senior vice president of Nursing & Patient Care Services and chief nurse, was moved by McQuade’s performance and the pair discovered a shared interest in poetry and began exchanging poems via email, leading to a discussion about the importance of expression during the uncertain times.
Burke says, “The Mass General community is full of creative and talented people. We saw a need for a space for our staff to process and share their experiences during these extraordinary times through their art, whether it be through poetry, painting, video or photography.”
Burke reached out to Suzanne Koven, MD, primary care physician and Mass General writer-in-residence, and together Healing HeARTs was born.
Healing HeARTs: Tricia McQuade
Related News and Articles
- Apr | 27 | 2022
Since 1869, volunteers have been at the heart of Mass General’s traditions of excellence and caring.
- Apr | 27 | 2022
As the MGH prepares to recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May, a newly formed group of staff are working to plan events that celebrate diversity and empower the AAPI community.
- Apr | 11 | 2022
When Earth Day comes around each spring, people often look to the “three Rs” for ways to help the environment – reduce, reuse and recycle. Climate experts emphasize that while these three actions are a great place to start, it requires action beyond Earth Day to make a long-lasting impact.
- Apr | 6 | 2022
From the moment Russian Army launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, clinicians from across Mass General Brigham began doing what they do best: helping those in need.
- Apr | 5 | 2022
As the LVC prepares for its 153rd anniversary on Thursday, April 7, staff will have the chance to join in on the exciting LVC Day celebrations – all while giving back to the MGH community.