Singing River Heroes

Justinn Smathers, RN – Intensive Care

Everyone wants to know how we are handling it, how the hospital is handling it, how I am handling it. People want to know what it is like in the hospital and in the Covid ICU. 

I can only speak about what I have seen. It is tough! We have seen a lot. 

In the recent weeks I have seen a husband of 50 years say his last “goodbye” through FaceTime.

We have taken a bag of belongings outside to a wife after the passing of her husband in ICU and seen her cry in the parking lot. 

I’ve seen a daughter escorted to the bedside of her deceased mother after having to be separated from her during her hospitalization as a result of Covid-19. 

I’ve been a comforter to crying staff members and been comforted in my weak moments. 

I have seen more people get more sick faster than I have ever seen in my career.  I have seen late nights, early mornings and long hours. It is tough!


I have also seen a nurse stick a foley stat-lock to a glass door to manage long IV tubing.

I have seen headbands with big buttons sewn onto the sides to relieve the friction facemasks have on our ears.

I have seen co-workers freely exchanging hours to help cover one another for childcare issues and grocery pick-ups. 

I have seen PTO donations flow in for those that go on the symptomatic list.  I have seen people volunteer to work the Covid ICU to give co-workers a break. 

I have seen an ICU nurse, CRNA, PACU Nurse, Cath lab Nurse, ED Nurse and Med-Surg Tech working in the same unit alongside one another in the Covid ICU to meet our patient care needs. 

I have seen how innovative, caring and dedicated our people are. I have seen the Heart and Soul of our System.

We are seeing some tough times but we will make it out of this. We will be better and stronger when all of this is over. 

Keep your head up. Keep charging forward. Keep doing your part to serve those that need us the most. 

To each and every one of you, Thank you for everything you all are doing. 

Justinn Smathers, RN – Singing River Intensive Care Manager


Sheri Alspaugh, RNMichelle Jackson, RN
Alyssa Alvarado, RNKelly Johnson, RN
Deja Batson, PCALaDasha Leggins, RN
Sara Bellamy, PCADaylene Linberg, PCA
Jada Blackwell, RNMargo Lowe, RN
Tristian Bolar, PCABrandi Ludgood, RN
Jennifer Bradley, RNAshlyn Massey, RN
Trease Bradley, RNRobin McConnell, RN
Shawna Breland, PCAD’Shana McGhee, RN
Miranda Broadnax, RNKisha McGilberry, RN
Kendall Buckley, PCAElisha Morse, PCA
Rana Buckley, RNJessica Nall, RN
Nyasia Bullock, PCAMary Nelson, EVS
Shonna Burroughs, RNBrittany Nguyen, RN
Bobbie Burton, PCAPeyton Odom, PCA
Tamara Chuilli, RNLynda Phan, RN
Leah Clark, RNMegan Raines, PCA
Debbi Conner, RNNikki Riley, PCA
Essence Corbett, RNTereeta Roberts, RN
Aliy Cothran, RNJessica Samples, RN
Summer Cuevas, RNBreanna Sims, RN
Kayla Culpepper, RNKay Smith, RN
Lindsay Emerson, PCAAllison Sykes, RN
Gessica Estensen, RNBrittney Thomas, RN
Jessica Fields, RNKristina Tyler, RN
Alisa Gilson, RNAshley Walker, RN
Nanda Gardache, RNSamantha Wilson, PCA
Candy Harris, RNVanita Wilson, RN
Deidra Hills, RNJesse Young, RN
Johnna Hill, RN

Candace “Candy” Harris, RN

It’s not just an emotional experience for us but also for the positive patients especially, just being there for them and supporting them through this time is very important. These individuals are just like you and me, they may have a disease process going on but they definitely have the same emotions, and we cry with them because we know they are scared, we’re like a family when their family isn’t here.

Candace “Candy” Harris, RN – Singing River Nurse (caring for inpatient positive patients on the floor, not in critical care)

Christy Pierce, RN

Christy Pierce, RN – Singing River Intensive Care Nurse

Today my friend messaged me to let me know she was having bracelets made with the names of me, and any of my co-workers that wanted so that a prayer warrior will wear them and remember to pray for us daily. Oh my heart for all the love and support.

As a nurse directly taking care of COVID-19 patients I have had so many emotions. But, they all end with a feeling of peace. I will not let fear and panic control me.

My children will not remember this as anything other than fishing and swimming and enjoying not being at school. ~ I’m grateful for our houseboat we can escape to. I calm myself and accept my work environment is controlled. SR hospital has supported us as Covid ICU nurses. I need only ask (or say in a demanding way as ICU nurses tend to do) I have always had a new N95 mask (PPE) for the day. ~ I’m grateful for my boss Justinn and SR who feeds us every shift.

I have had several people drop off and mail me masks for in case the day I need them comes. And one bottle of wine. ~ I’m grateful for these caring and thoughtful friends. I won’t attempt to tag all of them. My coming home from work routine has changed. Although, My kids have always known they can’t touch me till I shower. They are growing into well adjusted, no doubts their mother loves them kids. ~ I’m grateful for their ages at this time. My hubby is currently working from home. He manages the kids and does all the cooking 😉 because we agreed it’s just an extra safety measure for everyone right now. And he can’t even get a kiss for it. ~ I’m grateful he’s my partner in this life. 

Work is hard right now. Admits are overly busy. To contain the virus as much as possible they are being sent to ICU and intubated and lines dropped in our unit. Taking care of someone getting very sick very quickly all the while dropping lines while wearing several masks, a helmet and gowns with gloves is hot, stressful, and usually takes around 2 hours before I can leave the bedside. I may have yelled at my doctor a little for getting to have an ac hazmat. But, he smiled and stayed calm and finished all the lines. And I replaced his battery. ~ I am grateful for tempers that don’t flare. 

My co-workers. Man. They are my rocks. We have changed almost everything about our unit. We are adjusting and adapting daily. We are there for one another on a new level. ~ I’m grateful they are calm, smart, and are team players. We save lives together. We lean on each other after a lengthy phone call with a scared family member who can’t see their loved one. I’m grateful for so much.

The only thing that hurts my heart is me not seeing my parents. But, they are smart and healthy and cautious and ~ I’m grateful that in a few months I can see them. I’m hoping when all of this is over my kids won’t always be the #coronakids. I know this isn’t forever, but Sophie does not socially distance well. ~But, I’m grateful Darren and I have jobs not affected by this and I can order them things to spoil them.

To everyone messaging to see if I’m okay. Thank you. For the bottom of my heart. I hope I do not have you on the other end of the phone while I’m at work. Don’t send any pity this way. I’m proud of my nursing career. Sarcastic comments at work and all. But, I will take every single prayer of protection and peace I can get. ❤️

Let’s all remember not to judge, but to love one another through this.

Christy Pierce, RN – Singing River Intensive Care Nurse

Singing River Pulmonary Critical Care Team

“Courage is being afraid of something but doing it anyway when called upon to do so. Right now there are literally thousands of nurses and doctors and respiratory therapist and paramedics and housekeeping employees putting on layers of personal protective equipment and walking in the rooms exposing themselves to this deadly virus. We have even lost a few in this nation that made the ultimate sacrifice for their service. 

I am honored to see courage displayed every day by those with whom I work. In general many service-oriented people don’t want praise. I actually cringe when people thank me for my service in the military. It embarrasses me because others are more worthy. Actions speak louder than words. If you have the opportunity this week to buy a nurse or a respiratory therapist or a cop or a paramedic or EMT lunch or dinner or coffee, do it. If you can, do it without them even knowing about it. On those rare occasions where that’s happened to me, a handful of times through the years, especially when I don’t even know who did it, it’s always really made me feel good and appreciated. 

And please keep doing your part, continue to practice social distancing, it can truly make a remarkable difference in terms of numbers of cases. It is the best thing you can do for the rest of us trying to fight this.

A Singing River Pulmonary Physician

Lasheia Begnaud, Respiratory Therapist

Not only is this health system extremely clean and everyone works well together as a team, but we truly care about our patients. You don’t see that everywhere but not just us, but our physicians, the nurses, physical therapy, case management, we work super well with all of these departments to give the best care to our patients. We try to treat everyone as if they were our family if our loved one was in the hospital having trouble breathing, what would we want to be done for them or ourselves.

Lasheia Begnaud, RT – Singing River Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapy Team!

Cherri AdamsKara Hunter
Robert Allen  Zafar Iqbal
Nadia ArnoldKreslie Lafferty
Crystal BacaKimberly Langston
Debra BarberSuzi Lizana
Lasheia BegnaudLaurin Locke
Paul BooryAudrey Locklear
Charlotte BunkleyKrystal Logan
Tammy CarterSabrina Medina
Lacey ClelandKeirre Miskel
Jessica CliffordKhoa Nguyen
Beachell CollinsCaitlyn Nickerson
Roy ColomaTracy Nowlin
Barbara CosmichSherrie Ogburn
Dylan DoolittleTammy Page
Cherie DrakeSydney Pierce
Joyce DucoteJanet Poindexter
Kathy FinchLana Preyear
Angie GartmanKristen Stewart
Ellen GeorgeKatie Thompson
Heather Campbell-GulleyChuck Vines
Shauna HaleTabitha Waller
Becky HarrisPam Wilson
Jeri HudsonTiffany Worth

Katelyn Bishop, RN

I really love people and want to help any way I can, I try to talk to the families as much as possible so we’re all on the same page and they know we are doing everything we can for these individuals in the ICU. You can tell they appreciate the extra ten minutes to explain what is going on with their loved ones when they can’t physically be here with us. I’m incredibly thankful for my coworkers and how much I’ve learned, it’s our spirit that will get us through this.

Katelyn Bishop, RN – Singing River Intensive Care Nurse

Human Resources Team

Working with employee health, we treat our employees with the same great level of service as we would our patients and guests. The employees appreciate the 24/7/365 service. We take calls at 3:30 in the morning and on weekends. We always tell them, call and we will walk it through together!

Laney Zorn, RN and Julie Gabrich, RN – Employee Health and Staffing Specialists

We have been focusing on stress-relieving tips and getting the word out about our employee assistant program.

Tips: Go for a walk or run, exercise, listen to music, go to one of our meditation rooms, read a book or devotional.

The Employee Assistance Televisit program is really great, something we offer all the time. They can call Monday through Friday, 8-5 (employees, spouses, and dependents can all call us) if they are having any type of stress and anxiety we are always there. There is a 24-hour line they can always call!

Wendy Rippee – Healthy Revolution Employee Wellness Specialist

You couldn’t ask for a better team, working 24/7 helping us support operations around the clock. Our financial analyst, Jessica Fournier, has taken on the greatest challenge of enssuring every team member has a job to do. Along with the employee health nurses, including Leslie Faulk, RN, who is out in the field making sure everyone is well prepared physically and mentally to fight this virus.

Jessica Lewis, Executive Director of Human Resources

Emergency Services Team

One section of the Emergency Room has been segregated for the rest of the department, just to be extra safe. We put temporary walls that are up and created negative air pressure for any potential COVID patients. The ER is safe for everybody else that comes through here.

David Higdon, Emergency Room Patient Care Manager

Josh Powell, RN

We organized a streamlined process through our ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ Emergecy Room triage areas to protect every guest coming through our department, isoloating the suspected COVID-19 from others while we test them.

I normally work in Wound Care but am supportive of our team – trying to help the ER physicians, phlebotomists, and other nurses any way I can by offering to work this area alongside them. #TeamworkAlwaysWins

Josh Powell, RN – Wound Care Nurse

Environmental Services Team

I always take time out to clean those rooms no matter what. People say I’m a detail-oriented person – I might take a little bit of time but you can guarantee it is perfectly clean, I would stay in these rooms myself afterwards.

Environmental Services Aide