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.

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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Sandra Northcott wearing a surgical mask

It’s the little things

Sandra hails from friendly eastern Canada, where her elderly parents continue to reside. “Our parents are aging and have serious medical issues. It has been difficult not to do our annual summer visit and even harder knowing that if anyone took a turn for the worse and ended up in the hospital, I...
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Marilyn Hill wearing surgical mask

Ask for help

A psychologist and single mom, Dr. Marilyn Hill was thrown more than one curve ball with the arrival of COVID-19. “I normally juggle a busy schedule of full-time work, parenting, household chores, activities etc. – and suddenly, my routines were turned upside down. My daily “to do” list now also...
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George Athwal Behind the Mask

How quickly things change

The past six months have opened George’s eyes to how beautiful and precious life is – and how it can seemingly change in an instant. “We live in a fragile environment,” he says. “It’s incredible that a virus 50 times smaller than one of our red blood cells can bring the world to a complete stop.”...
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Beverley Barrie wearing a mask

Reminded of her importance

Registered nurse Beverley Barrie was all set to change careers. After eight years with St. Joseph’s Occupational Health and Safety Services, she was going to become a pastry chef. And then COVID-19 hit. “All of a sudden I began working four to six days a week, answering hotline calls, swabbing...
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Lorna Morgan wearing a face mask

Controlling our collective destiny

As an Infection Control Practitioner at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lorna fully believes that when it comes to the coronavirus, we are each responsible for controlling our collective destiny. Everyone must play a role by performing good hygiene, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing – the...
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