Book Promo ~ The Big, Bad Coronavirus! And How We Can Beat It

Legendary Actress Writes Uplifting New Book
to Help Kids Cope During Pandemic

When actress Lisa Carroll heard her NYC neighbor’s daughter cry from the fears of COVID-19, she thought there had to be a way to use her well-versed communication and survival skills from her movie, TV and Broadway career in a way to offer comfort in the eyes of her little neighbor—and beyond. That’s why Lisa teamed up with award-winning illustrator G.F. Newland to create The Big, Bad Coronavirus! And How We Can Beat It (Pixel Mouse House, ISBN: 978-1-939322-36-4; November 25, 2020), written by Lisa Carroll; illustrations by G.F. Newland.

The Big, Bad Coronavirus! And How We Can Beat It tells the story of a child named Lisa as she struggles to face the realities of COVID-19. Little Lisa can’t comprehend why she has to wear a facemask, why she has barriers around her school desk or why she’s confined to virtual learning from home. It all doesn’t add up. Because little Lisa longs for the life she once had, she imagines the virus as a giant, scary dragon—fortunately, her mother comes to her side and comforts her—teaching her everything she needs to know to deal with this pandemic from a kid’s perspective. Lisa becomes a stronger and braver girl who inspires her classmates to live without fear.

Author Lisa Carroll’s journey to writing this book is extraordinary. Having appeared early in her film career with stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson—Lisa is no stranger to hitting tremendous highs and overcoming incomprehensible lows to survive. En route from Hollywood to New York City for a Metropolitan Opera audition, Lisa survived a deadly car crash, which killed six. Lisa was told she would never walk or talk again. After six years in rehabilitation, although singing opera was no longer an option, Lisa turned to Broadway instead.

Lisa Carroll is best known from her role starring in “Hello Dolly!” as Dolly Levi, first as Carol Channing’s stand-by and then starring in the National Tour. She later starred in the National Company of “Applause” among others. She was also in numerous episodic TV roles, including “General Hospital.” In addition, Lisa hosted the BBC’s “Night Ride,” had a UK recording contract with CBS Records and starred as a cabaret artist in her own one-woman show at the Savoy in London, the Hilton in Hong Kong, plus stints in California and Las Vegas.

More recently, Lisa learned the art of rapping—paving the way for her mega-hit children’s hip-hop album for Capitol Records, “Rappin’ Up Christmas: Homeys 4 the Holidays.” This inspired her to make her first huggable toy, Hip Hop Randy Bear for Gund, part of a group of 10 plush toys, including Hip Hop Hamilton, inspired by the outstanding statesman Alexander Hamilton. She also appeared on the ABC TV national children’s show “Toybox” where she featured 10 of her toys called “Furry Friends.”

Author Lisa Carroll captures the perspective of this moment that will resonate with children having a difficult time, while emotionally processing the coronavirus. Drawing from Lisa Carroll’s real-life experiences, parents and educators alike can use the book to help children cope with COVID-19.

The Big, Bad Coronavirus! And How We Can Beat It
Publisher: Pixel Mouse House
Written by: Lisa Carroll
Illustrations by: G.F. Newland
ISBN: 978-1-939322-36-4

Available from

Heroes 2020: “Nurse Disrupted” online COVID screening

Nurses in Wisconsin Start
Online COVID-19 Screening Company

Women line a hallway at the Salvation Army as a computer tablet rests on a stand atop a pole near the check-in desk.
The equipment resembles a skeletal robot, but the human face of nurse Bre Loughlin appears on the screen. It’s 4 p.m., time to screen 40 or so women for COVID-19 before they sign in for the night at the homeless shelter on East Washington Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin.
Loughlin is CEO of Nurse Disrupted, a company she started in April with president Tracy Zvenyach. They and other nurses have been providing online COVID-19 screening at Porchlight’s homeless shelter for men since late March and at the Salvation Army women’s shelter since May.

Tracy Zvenyach & Bre Loughlin

Long-term, they see potential for their virtual nursing service at public schools, which have seen a reduction in staff nurses, and in prisons, where they could help manage the chronic diseases and mental health of inmates.
With Wisconsin forecast to have a shortage of nearly 12,000 nurses by 2030, Nurse Disrupted could also extend the reach of the workforce while helping train student nurses to increase supply, Zvenyach said.


Heroes 2020: Hospitalman Tito Mann, Jr. is Fighting the Pandemic

Newburgh Native training
for the front lines of Navy’s
fight against Coronavirus

By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Hospitalman Tito Mann, Jr., a native of Newburgh, New York, is learning skills that will be vital in the ongoing fight against a worldwide pandemic.

“The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic brought an invisible enemy to our shores and changed the way we operate as a Navy,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The fight against this virus is a tough one, but our sailors are tougher. We must harden our Navy by continuing to focus on the health and safety of our forces and our families. The health and safety of our sailors and their families is, and must continue to be, our number one priority.”

Mann is preparing to protect sailors and their families by learning the latest in health care and training at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC), a state-of-the-art DoD healthcare education campus that trains military medics, corpsmen and technicians.

“We are learning the preventative measures to take while also how to better educate others on how to react in the current situation,” Mann said. “We also learn the care and treatment for those who are sick, wounded or injured.”

Mann is a 2015 Douglas Byrd High School graduate. According to Mann, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Newburgh.

“I learned to always be on the lookout and pay attention to small details,” Mann said.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Corps is the most decorated career field in the Navy. Corpsmen have earned 22 Medals of Honor, 179 Navy Crosses, 959 Silver Stars and more than 1,600 Bronze Stars. 20 ships have been named in honor of corpsmen.

HEROES 2020: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ralph Bellamour

Newburgh Native on front lines of
U.S. Navy Coronavirus fight
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ralph Bellamour

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Petty Officer 2nd Class Ralph Bellamour, a native of Newburgh, New York, with hometown ties to Haiti, is playing a critical role in the U.S. Navy’s efforts to maintain a healthy and ready fighting force in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a hospital corpsman working at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Bellamour’s skills are vital to maintaining the health of the sailors in the Jacksonville area, and by extension, the readiness of the Navy’s operational ships and submarines on which they serve.

“The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic brought an invisible enemy to our shores and changed the way we operate as a Navy,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The fight against this virus is a tough one, but our sailors are tougher. We must harden our Navy by continuing to focus on the health and safety of our forces and our families. The health and safety of our sailors and their families is, and must continue to be, our number one priority.”

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Heroes 2020: Kathy Price

Kathy Price is a certified paramedic with
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville.

Having been in emergency medical services for more than 30 years — over 25 as a paramedic — I have worked through many public health emergencies but have never experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic before.

During a pandemic, besides providing emergency care to patients, it is also important that we try to identify potentially infectious patients before they arrive at the emergency rooms to limit exposure to non-infected patients and employees.

As emergency medical first responders, mobile intensive care paramedics, mobile intensive care nurses and emergency medical technicians are used to managing all types of emergency situations. Paramedics work as an extension of the emergency room and provide pre-hospital advanced life support care, including IV therapy, airway management and cardiac monitoring, while emergency medical technicians provide basic life support care, including oxygen therapy, first aid and transportation.

During this crisis, we’ve had to adjust practically all our standard operating procedures from dispatch to patient drop-off. Everything is different now. We are trying to provide the same high quality of care but are having to learn different ways to achieve this standard while limiting the spread of this invisible virus.

We are thankful for our communities that continue to support us through this challenging time. I and my fellow paramedics also have great admiration for the many courageous, professional EMTs — both career and volunteer — that we have the privilege of working with every day. They are our heroes!

originally posted on Bridgewater Courier News

Heroes 2020: 307th Medical Squadron

307th Medical Squadron Returns From
Combating COVID-19 in New York

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Paula Bomar, 307th Medical Squadron nurse, was the first person from the unit to deploy to New York during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine members of the unit deployed to New York in early April, in response to calls for help from hospital staffs overwhelmed by the coronavirus. According to the city government’s website, New York endured more than 200,000 confirmed cases from February until the end of May.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Talbert, a technician with the 307th Medical Squadron, said the situation was dire when the airmen arrived.

”The civilian staff at my hospital was burned out and depleted,” he said. ”There were at least 40 patients on my floor, and the numbers didn’t start to go down until last week.” He explained those numbers included a broad age demographic, with patients ranging in age from 20-somethings to octogenarians. ”COVID-19 does not discriminate,” he said. ”They all struggled.”

The airmen’s efforts helped save lives, but they had to learn to deal with losing patients as well. Talbert spoke about leaving the bedsides of patients at the end of a shift and returning the next day to find out they had died. ”It makes you appreciate the important things in life,” Talbert said. ”It never became normal, and I’m glad because I didn’t want to become lax about treating them.”

Air Force Capt. Aaron Biggio, a nurse with the 307th Medical Squadron, said hospital staff, patients and even the public showed deep appreciation for their efforts. He said people in the neighborhood would lean out of apartment windows, cheering for them during shift changes. ”I’d get thanked in the streets by total strangers, often with tears in their eyes,” he said. ”There is no one in New York who doesn’t know someone else affected by the disease.”

Talbert said the airmen did their best to serve the patients beyond standard medical care. He recalled using his cellphone to set up video chats between patients and loved  ones. ”We were the only family they had while they were under our care,” he explained.

Most airmen deployed to the region with a focus on direct patient care, but a handful also took part in research efforts designed to learn how to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on hospital workers.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cynitra Roberson, the squadron’s immunization noncommissioned officer in charge, took part in patient care, but also served as part of a research team trying to determine if the safety protocols put in place were effective. She and other team members tested almost 500 medical workers. Though the research results remain to be determined, Roberson said, she gained personal insight from the experience.

”It was really neat and something different,” Roberson explained. ”I worked with really good people, and it was a great experience.”

Throughout the deployment, the airmen worked 12-hour shifts and, in some hospitals, faced patient loads well beyond normal capacity. Biggio said he would do it all again, regardless of the hardships involved.

”I’d get back on the plane right now if they would let me,” he said. ”There’s just something beautiful about the humanity of people coming together to fight through something so gruesome.”

Returning airmen are scheduled to be in quarantine for two weeks before being allowed to return to their military and civilian duties.



Heroes 2020 ~ Nikima Thompson, RIP

Nikima Thompson, a mother of four died May 4 after being diagnosed with the virus on April 2. She was 41.

A dispatcher for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Nikima Thompson, died of Coronavirus.  Nikima was a dedicated 16-year veteran of BSO and the first communications operator to die in the line of duty in Florida.

Thompson was born in Miami and graduated from Miami Norland Senior High School in 1996. She joined the sheriff’s office in 2003.

“She was very vibrant, entertaining, fun,” said Joanne Alvarez, the Business Representative for the Federation of Public Employees, BSO Civilian Unit.

Dispatchers have always played an essential role in emergency medical services (EMS). At its most basic, the role of the dispatcher has been to identify the problem and the location of the patient, and then identify an ambulance that can be sent to the location.

Heroes 2020: Laura Gluck

What can we say about a woman who has dedicated her career to her community and EMS? — A LOT!!

Laura has been in EMS for a very long time.  She has never been GIVEN anything.  She has worked hard and long hours to achieve her position of Paramedic Lieutenant for Rockland Paramedics/Rockland Mobile Care.  

A long standing and respected member of her community, Laura has been a volunteer EMT for both of the local EMS agencies in her hometown and worked her way into being a Paramedic at the station in her home town; it goes without saying that once promoted to Lt., she is pretty much running the Paramedic station in her hometown.

Laura is an avid Motorcyclist, an amazing grandmother, a skilled and talented Paramedic and most of all an amazing friend.

When COVID-19 made its grand entrance, Laura was found working her usual three shifts at her medic station, Medic-1 and while others were exhausted and needing down time, or they were just afraid to deal with COVID-19, Laura began doing an additional 10 hours at her volunteer agency.

 A Paramedic  with great clinical skills, she is detail oriented, and truly cares about her patients — COVID-19 has been very challenging and it sometimes challenges our decision making skills.  Laura is a trooper, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) on EVERY call, showing concern for her patients, her partner and the BLS (Basic Life Support) crew before anything else — ALWAYS!!

Laura takes on EVERY call with the knowledge that SHE IS A GREAT PROVIDER giving her utmost at every call, one at a time, and although COVID-19 may have beaten her on occasion, it’s going to have to TRY VERY HARD to break her!!

Our community is fortunate to have an amazing Frontline Pre- Hospital Emergency Medical Provider in charge of the Paramedic station and who works so harmoniously with the local volunteer EMS agencies.               

Heroes 2020: Attention NYSVARA Agencies

to NYSVARA Members and Member Agencies,

NYSVARA is working on a project to showcase NYS EMS and we want YOU to be a part of it.

We would like to invite you to send a few photos to us to be included in this project.

If you have any photos of your crews during COVID19 as well as pre-covid photos please send them to us at

We ask for no more than 5 per agency (we will be choosing the ones for use). Photos should be submitted in a JPG format and must be received by 6/17/2020 to be included in this project.