April 20, 2020

Scenes from the pandemic, collection two: more glimpses into life during COVID-19 at Vanderbilt

Caring for patients, caring for each other and feeling the support of our community

Dana Shaw, RN, BSN, works in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Photos by Donn Jones/Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dana Shaw, RN, a nurse in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic in the Doctors’ Office Tower at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, concentrates on caring for patients amid the “new normal” brought by COVID-19. Photo by Donn Jones.

VUMC’s photography team of Susan Urmy, Donn Jones and Erin O. Smith, augmented by the photos taken by many employees who are at work in the Medical Center, continue to open windows into what this time looks like at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Here is a selection of photographs taken in the past few weeks that show a few scenes into what the COVID-19 pandemic has looked like at Vanderbilt. Some have been previously published with other stories, and some are seen here for the first time.

The first collection of photos is here.

Coverage of COVID-19 from the VUMC Reporter is here.

Features about COVID-19 from VUMC Voice are here.

The dedicated COVID-19 site for employees is here.


Employees of the Medical Center have received numerous donations of food and other expressions of thanks and support from our community. Here, Nashville Predators mascot Gnash helps load food donated by the Predators from the Frothy Monkey to VUMC employees. Photo by Donn Jones. To read more about food donations to VUMC, go here.
Food donations weren’t the only way Medical Center employees were being recognized and aided by others. Country Artist Luke Combs donated 5,000 pairs of Crocs shoes for employees. Luther David Stinson lll, Lead Warehouse Material Handler unloads a pallet of Crocs bound for the feet of VUMC front-line workers. Photo by Donn Jones
With 5,000 pairs to choose from, everybody should be able to find his or her size. Photo by Donn Jones. A partial list of some donations to VUMC from others is here.
The love and respect isn’t just coming from outside the Medical Center — it’s being passed within VUMC, too. Staffers of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital knew that their counterpart in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital were coping with a difficult time, so they sent some treats and also some love. Courtney Hall, RN, of PICU passes on some encouragement. Photo courtesy the employees of PICU. A story about the inter-ICU shout out is here.
The characteristic bustle of the Medical Center campus has diminished as everyone continues to practice social distancing. The effect of the postponement of elective surgery, combined with thousands of VUMC employees working from home, meant almost no traffic along Medical Center Drive. Photo by Susan Urmy
Social distancing to slow the spread of the virus meant that there were fewer visitors around the Medical Center as well. Photo by Erin O. Smith
VUMC moved quickly to designate newly renovated inpatient units of Medical Center East to care for COVID-19 patients. Photo by Erin O. Smith. A story about VUMC’s thought and preparation for patient care is here.
The Courtyard Cafe continues to provide meals for employees and visitors, with a reconfigured seating arrangement to allow social distancing. Photo by Donn Jones. A story about how VUMC food services is operating and adjusting to changes brought by the pandemic is here.
VUMC opened COVID-19 testing centers around the region at walk-in clinics, and also at a dedicated location dubbed the Glenrose testing center. This group portrait with PPE was furnished by Shakeya Bean, second from right. A story about how she volunteered to work in a COVID testing center despite recent tornado damage to her home is here.
Red Cross blood drives at VUMC, which increased from twice monthly to twice weekly, were successful at helping replenish the blood supply at a time of diminished donations nationally. Photo by Donn Jones. Information about VUMC’s blood drives is here.
An important part of VUMC’s response to COVID-19 has been the willingness of employees to pitch in wherever needed as the situation changed —including the parking valet attendants training to take temperatures of employees as they come to work. VUMC Valet attendant Richard Alicea performs a temperature screening on employee Logan Decker, DVM. Photo by Donn Jones. A story about the valet attendants and their new role is here.
An amazingly quick sea change occurred in the way outpatient care was given by Vanderbilt clinicians, and thousands of appointments were shifted from face-to-face to virtual appointments. Jill Clendening of VUMC News and Communications, visits with her provider, Katy Hansen, a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Osher Center. Photo by Sydney Clendening. A story about Jill Clendening’s experience with telemedicine is here.
Teaching and collaboration is more of a challenge due to social distancing, but with the use of platforms such as Zoom, lectures, such as this virtual lecture for the Medical Science Training Program, went on. Photo courtesy MSTP. A story about the MSTP is here. A story about innovative responses to the challenges of teaching at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine is here.
A group of physicians, nurses and representatives from multiple areas throughout Vanderbilt University Medical Center came up with a process in less than a week to safely and effectively sanitize used N95 respirators using ultraviolet light. Photo by Susan Urmy. A story about the innovative team effort is here.
Charon Finnerty-Tucker of Guest Services on duty to greet people on the third floor of Children’s Hospital. Photo by Susan Urmy.
Candas Roberts, of Nutrition Services at Children’s Hospital, is one of many dedicated employees delivering meals to patients’ rooms. Photo by Susan Urmy
LeighAnn Chadwell, RN, MSN, conducting her regular morning huddle with staff to review updates, policies and guidelines in their unit at Children’s Hospital. The difference is the attention to not only the information, but to social distancing. Photo by Susan Urmy
As employees make their way into work, they now pass painted rocks with supportive words and phrases along walkways leading to VUMC entrances. Photo by Donn Jones. A story about the employees who painted and placed the rocks is here.
Safety, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing are a few of the steps taken by VUMC employees to keep patients and each other safe. Photo by Donn Jones. A story about taking care of hands that have been washed and cleaned so much they hurt is here.
Almost everyone is wearing a mask now, but, as Anne Upton, CST, a surgical tech at Children’s Hospital, shows, a true smile makes it all the way to the eyes. Photo by Susan Urmy