Behind the Mask

Health care workers across the globe have rallied to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Each one wearing a mask to protect who they care for during this crisis. At the same time, the mask covers their face - their expression hidden from others. Who are the people behind the mask?

Behind The Mask tells the stories of health care workers at St. Joseph’s from all roles and disciplines. It captures their feelings, functions, sacrifices, triumphs and experiences during COVID-19.

Take a glimpse into the vast and varied lives of the people who care for you in our community - and how they are coping with one of the greatest health crises of our time. We will be sharing more stories each week over the next couple of months.

Stacey Tarkowski behind the mask

Kneading a helping hand

Stacey gets emotional when she thinks about what life has been like over the past year. Living through the pandemic has given her a newfound appreciation for her family, friends, health and career. It reminds her not to take anything for granted and help others whenever possible. Stacey is a...
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Makayla Huffman behind the mask

A simple exchange

Makayla was feeling quite overwhelmed and anxious when the pandemic began. She was aware the pulmonary function clinic was going to be closed temporarily, and that she was going to be sent to work in another area, but she didn’t know where. “Our team became closer as we were all going through...
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Rhianne Chalmers and her dog Sully

A hairy situation

While attending school, Rhianne Chalmers started a part-time job as a dog groomer and quickly fell in love with the job. She worked as a groomer for nearly six years before opening her own shop in Kilworth-Komoka last summer. She was driven to succeed and the business was already seeing encouraging...
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Ryan Hutchinson

Behind the mask I am doing my part

Ryan has an important job. Early in the pandemic personal protection equipment (PPE) was scarce, and Ryan was redeployed from his role in Health Records to Healthcare Materials Management Services (HMMS) to ensure the distribution of PPE across the region. That PPE is keeping everyone safe – from...
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Shelley Langley wearing a mask

Adjusting to a new life

Shelley Langley moved to Tillsonburg and started a new job at a retirement residence only a month before the onset of the pandemic. Hired to oversee sales and marketing, her position quickly transitioned into planning creative and recreational activities for residents like special dress-up days and...
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Sarah Trenker wearing a mask

A welcome homecoming

While worried about her two adult children living out of town, Sarah also had to navigate some big changes in her career. “In my role as an occupational therapist, I normally work with outpatients. Because we had to stop that part of our care I suddenly had to learn therapy for inpatient spinal cord...
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Mail clerk Betty Snider

Behind the mask I am busy but grateful

Mail clerk Betty watched the bustling hallway where she works become very quiet when the pandemic hit. “I miss seeing some of the regular faces and having conversations with people.” Many of the staff around her had changes to their schedule or role, but her function remained constant. “I feel very...
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Camille Mailloux

A long and winding road

The past few months have been the most challenging time in Camille’s life. In June, her husband was in a serious horse racing accident after which he was rushed to the hospital. His injuries were extensive, including a fractured neck and an acquired brain injury. Camille says he’s lucky to be alive...
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Deana D'Ambrosio

Motivated by gratefulness

A surprising thing occurred in Deana’s department during COVID-19. As a coordinator for Food and Nutrition Services she knows the quality and variety of food is very important for patients and residents, but she didn’t realize how important the social interactions were until she starting hearing...
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Tracy Drenth

A full bucket

In March, St. Joseph’s had to say ‘goodbye for now’ to the more than 1000 volunteers who work with compassion, vigour and skill to support the organization’s teams. “That was a difficult day, telling all our dedicated volunteers we couldn’t have them report to us for a while, and we didn’t know when...
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