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.

Will Heeman behind the mask

Business is blooming

Every spring, thousands across the Forest City travel to Heeman’s to begin their gardening journey. It’s a sensory experience unlike any other and a local tradition that goes back many decades. It’s also something that the family owned and operated business works hard to make just right. “Our...
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Krisztina Huszar behind the mask

Necessary evolution

Physiotherapist, Krisztina like many people, went through a period of intense stress with her family. “The most challenging part of COVID-19 has been keeping a healthy balance of activities and a positive outlook; trying to maintain my own focus to continue to steer our family along the emotional...
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Kaliopi behind the mask

A helpful hand and fond memories

Health information coder turned therapeutic recreation assistant Kaliopi takes her hat off to those who work at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care. Redeployed for two months, she assisted with social connections, personal touches and dining for the residents at Mount Hope. She admits her time...
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Mac Copp behind the mask

Rowing in the right direction

Mac Copp’s heart sank when he heard news that 2020 Olympics would be postponed. At the time he was training six days a week as part of the Canadian National Rowing Team, competing for a chance to represent Canada in Tokyo. Concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 put his lifelong dream of becoming...
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Christina Seely behind the mask

Good food, better health

“You are what you eat,” says Christina Seely, Registered Dietitian at Parkwood Institute. “I often tell patients that our bodies don’t plug into the wall—they rely on the essential nutrients we consume to function.” Working in the Mental Health Care Program for 14 years, Christina is the dedicated...
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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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