Week two of our 'Healthcare Hero of the Day' award is complete!

In the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers are on the front lines. Their knowledge, dedication, kindness, and selflessness in the midst of all this chaos has not gone unnoticed. That's why we kicked off a new segment called the 'Healthcare Hero of the Day' a couple of weeks ago.

Each weekday around 6:45 a.m. we honor one of the many amazing healthcare workers here in eastern Iowa, post an honoree on the 98.1 KHAK Facebook page and Brain & Courtlin Facebook page, and mention them on the air throughout the day. It's just one small way we can support and recognize all their hard work.

Here are this week's 'Healthcare Heroes:'

  • 3/30 - Emily Vislisel, nurse at Mercy Pediatric Clinic
    • "Emily (and her co-workers) have worked to keep children safe and cared for during this time. They continue to see ill children even though they know they could be exposed to the virus. Emily works long hours, plus has 2 young boys at home to care for. Emily wants to make sure all children have the care they need and that parents are confident their child is getting medical care. I applaud Emily and her co-workers for the work they do every day, but especially during our current health concerns."
    • Nominated by Erin Wilkinson
  • 3/31 - Sydni Lane, RN in the emergency room at Mercy Hospital
    • "Sydni is hands-down the most selfless person I have ever met, consistently putting the wellbeing of others before herself. Because of this, it makes sense that she went into healthcare and stuck with it. Sydni's work in the ER makes her more susceptible than most to be exposed to COVID-19, as their ER is one of the first stops for sick people in our city. Sydni has been a huge advocate for social distancing and taking other precautions to help flatten the curve in our community, and has raised her hand on more than one occasion to step up beyond her scheduled shift(s) to help at the hospital. As most know our hospitals are critically low on the PPE that helps to protect them from COVID-19 while working with patients, this hasn't stopped Sydni from pushing forward and putting her community first. A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Without trying, without asking for a pat on the back, she embodies those characteristics every day and will continue to do so moving forward. If Cedar Rapids makes it through COVID-19 relatively unscathed, you can be sure that Sydni Lane played a part in that. Our daughters and I think that Sydni deserves a parade and a national holiday for being such a miraculous human being, but some recognition from a great organization like you is a fantastic start!
      Thank you to everyone that's still out there in the trenches pushing Cedar Rapids forward!"
    • Nominated by her husband Tim Lane
  • 4/1 - Katrina VanMeter, ER nurse in the pediatric unit at the University of Iowa
    • "She herself is at a higher risk due to her own immune system (aka Crohn's). She has been a nurse/in the medical field longer then I've been alive (I'm 27). She goes above and beyond for not only her work family but her own family, as well. She has 7 kids and 2 grandkids. Needless to say, she never stops working. She NEVER STOPS MOVING! She's always the first to volunteer and the last to leave. She is always the person behind the scenes and never takes any credit for going above and beyond. Sometimes all you really need is someone to tell you 'thank you.' Thank you for being mom/nana Kat to all those kids that come through the ER. Thank you for risking your own health to save others. Thank you for not stopping. Basically, thanks, mom!"
    • Nominated by Abbi Hartman
  • 4/2 - Sharon Cook, MDS Coordinator at Grandview Care Center in Oelwein
    • "Sharon is not only our MDS coordinator, which means she carries a heavy workload every day, she is also always willing to put in extra hours and work as a floor nurse, and she does it with such a kind heart and positive attitude. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and such an asset to our facility, especially our residents! Thank you, Sharon, for all you have done over the years, especially during times like we are facing now. You’re great!"
    • Nominated by Alicia Kelchen, the business manager at Grandview
  • 4/3 - Donna Prier, ICU nurse
    • "My mom Donna Prier is deserving of the 'Healthcare Hero of the Day,' as she is currently fighting on the front lines as an ICU nurse. She has worked as an ICU nurse for over 25 years and is always willing to go in and work extra when needed. I am always worried she is going to burn herself out, but she never shows it to family or patients. My mom is also one who worked her long shifts in the ICU while fighting cancer and receiving chemo drugs, as she felt she was more fortunate than the individuals she often serves in the ICU setting. She is the reason why I, myself, also went into the nursing field, as she was, and is, my hero and role model!"
    • Nominated by her child (no name submitted)

Thanks again to all the amazing people in the healthcare field here in Eastern Iowa and across the country! You can check out last week's honorees HERE, and then nominate a local healthcare worker to be one of next week's "Healthcare Heroes of the Day" HERE!