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Dr. Sarah Haessler was one of many ‘Healthcare Superheroes’ in attendance at last February’s Super Bowl in Tampa.
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nomination, Haessler was the point person for preparing the medical center for what everyone could see was coming.
“Her work provided great comfort to all, knowing that we had such an expert in such a key role,” he wrote. “Her team’s magnificent work in collaboration with employee health services led to the earliest possible recognition of infectious contacts
and allowed us to limit the risks for patients and staff during a time of great uncertainty and fear.”
While the past tense is being used for most of these comments, the
work battling COVID is obviously ongoing, said Haessler, adding that the Delta variant brings a new and very dangerous thread to this story.
When asked about what the past 18 months has been like, personally and professionally, she said, in essence, that it’s been the culmination of all her training and hard work.
“It’s been one of biggest events that I’ve had to participate in, and while it’s been challenging, it’s also been very gratifying, because Baystate has been an incredible organization, rising to
the occasion in this. I’m so proud of Baystate; I’ve never been more proud to work at this organization and to be part of the leadership team.
“The responsiveness, the focus on what was important and what remains important, has been incredible,” she went on. “It’s been a laser focus on
the safety of the healthcare workers, and protecting our patients and our healthcare workers from getting
and passing this disease, getting the resources we needed to enable safe management of these patients, and staying really, really focused on what’s important here has been a phenomenal experience and an opportunity for tremendous personal and professional growth.”
Passing Thoughts
Returning to Raymond James Stadium and Super Bowl LV, Haessler said she had the opportunity to meet with healthcare workers from across the country who had been, at that time, battling with COVID for roughly a year.
“It was an opportunity to meet with other people, commiserate, and just be among kindred spirits — people had been through so much,” she said, adding that, seven months later, the fight continues, and in some ways, it has escalated.
In the future, there will be other fights against infectious diseases, she said, adding that the best hospitals and healthcare systems can do is try to be prepared, because, as Artenstein noted, these threats never cease.
That, in a nutshell, is what her
career has been all about. Her ability
to exceed in that role and many others has made her a Healthcare Hero — and a ‘superhero’ — as well as an emerging leader in Western Mass. and her chosen field. n
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       A12 OCTOBER 2021

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