Dari Caldwell: Seigel and Brooks among County Healthcare Heroes – Salisbury Post
Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts from a blog post first published on yourrowan.com. This is the second part. The first was posted in the lifestyles section and online on June 27 with the headline “Rowan’s Originals Helped the County Get Through the Pandemic.”
By Dari Caldwell
Dr Mitch Seigel is a dentist who intervened early during the COVID pandemic and helped Rowan’s Community Care Clinic maintain dental services.
Initially, dental services were closed during the first months of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Dr. Susan Muth, who was the clinic’s senior dentist, had a baby and went on maternity leave. When the dental clinics were allowed to resume, she was left with a newborn and another small child and unable to risk returning to the clinic. Dr Seigel stepped in, who was working part-time to help replace. Dr Seigel, despite his 73 years and diabetes, both of which put him in a high risk category, showed extraordinary courage in showing up to every morning dental clinic at 7:30 am and tackling the backlog. dental patients and those who call for urgent needs.
Dr Seigel arrived in Salisbury in 1994 via a post at Salisbury VA Medical Center doing geriatric dentistry. He joined Rowan’s CCC part-time in January 2016, initially on a voluntary basis. Dr. Seigel has had a fascinating career, beginning his undergraduate training at California State College and completing his dental studies in 1970 at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He obtained a scholarship in geriatric dentistry as well as a two-year residency in the hospital.
He began practicing in a small town in Iowa and in 1990 returned to academia at the University of Nebraska, where he taught. He then moved to the Bronx, New York, to take on the position of Chief of Dentistry at Jacobi Hospital. Eventually he returned to Omaha and held a position at the VA Hospital as a Geriatric Dentist. Thanks to the VA system, he found his way to Salisbury. Dr. Seigel is also a retired military member, having served as a dentist in the Army Reserves from 1995 to 2011. He married in 1976 and has two grown children, Noah and Mahalia, and three grandchildren.
When asked what it was like to provide dental care at the Community Care Clinic, Dr Seigel said he was blessed to have the opportunity to care for people like no one else. other will not care due to their inability to pay.
He said: “Patients are extremely grateful and grateful for being able to access dental care. Many come to us from the emergency department and we see a wide range of dental neglect, abscesses, growths in the mouth, or teeth lost due to injury. Our goal is to provide them with a chewing platform and to be able to restore the patient’s self-esteem and the ability to eat and smile.
Through grants and donations, Rowan Community Care Clinic can provide this service. Dr Seigel was quick to brag about the great team at the Community Care Clinic, including hygienist Lori Graber and associate dentist Dr Brad Leslie. But yes, Dr Seigel, you are a hero!
Ashley Brooks, IA, BSN
Born and raised in Anson County, Brooks moved to Rowan County in 2017 when she took a position with the Rowan Public Health Department.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wingate University in 2015 and first accepted a job in labor and delivery before moving to Rowan. Prior to COVID, Ashley worked at the Department of Health’s Family Health Clinic, focusing on preventive health, vaccinations, sexually transmitted diseases and other facets of community health. When COVID hit, her world shifted and she was assigned to Rowan Health Department’s new COVID Center.
As part of the COVID Center, she has been tasked with reviewing COVID cases and outbreaks on a daily basis and reporting to the State of North Carolina, serving as the Rowan Health Department’s liaison with living facilities for congregations. such as long-term care, skilled housing, group homes. and communities of older people – the very places that the pandemic has hit hardest. She has also been tasked with serving as a liaison with public schools and assisting with community vaccination clinics. The transition of roles was suddenly difficult and involved a huge amount of working hours, including weekends and holidays. It even included working after hours at home after putting Jackson, then 11 months old, to bed, entering data into the COVID computer tracking system.
Asked about the most difficult part of the pandemic, Ashley said in tears: “Reviewing the deaths and reading the medical records – the notes leading up to the death – it was very moving to read what the patient and his families went through. It was the worst.
Part of Ashley’s job was to review the records of every death in Rowan County and enter the required data fields – a sobering responsibility for a young nurse. Ashley’s work has been praised in the community by the senior living centers teams. According to Bill Johnson of Trinity Oaks, “Ashley was a gift from God during the pandemic. She helped us a lot to understand and interpret the rules and to help angry families also understand why they could not visit their loved ones. She is an angel. “
The most rewarding part of Ashley’s career is happening now. She feels that we “see the light at the end of the tunnel. All of our hard work is paying off. “
The number of positive COVID tests continues to decline. Come to think of it, though, Ashely says she’ll never forget those days when we were seeing 100-200 positives a day and everyone was overwhelmed.
“I thought it was never going to end. At one point it only got worse, with no end in sight, ”she said.
Now she spends a lot of time trying to educate the community about the importance of the COVID vaccine and dispel the ridiculous myths she sees on social media. Thank you for standing firm, Ashley, and for all you have done for Rowan County during the pandemic.