Fund Recipient Spotlight: 'This helped so much!'

The Front-Line Responders Fund raised over $100,000 to provide financial support to Webster University students who are working in healthcare on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing their studies. In this series, student recipients of awards from the fund share their stories of balancing studies, family, work and more during the pandemic.

Spotlight: Kristen Main
Occupation: Operating Room Nurse, Missouri Baptist
Major: Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)

KristenKristen Main described what it was like working in the operating room (O.R.) amid the uncertainty and evolving conditions as the pandemic began in spring 2020. "Working in the O.R. setting was nerve-wracking initially," she said.

"We were unsure of how extreme transmission was and had to over-prepare. I work with ENT, and being that close to patient airways was concerning."

Main recalled how so the pandemic escalated so quickly, "We were reusing PPE, which goes against manufacturing guidelines. Guidelines changed at least daily. I found myself working long hours without a break in a COVID O.R. since they didn't want to break the negative pressure seal."

"Then my out-patient department shut down for almost eight weeks, leaving us furloughed or forcing us to use all personal vacation/sick time to receive a paycheck," she said. "O.R. nurses had to quickly adapt and become bedside nurse-prepared. This was incredibly stressful.

"Most nurses, including myself, didn't receive a stimulus check. I financially struggled to at least pay my mortgage and bills."

This year has especially stretched us thin emotionally, but I would never think to not show up ... So, thank you.

Asked about news of the Front-Line Responders Fund, Main said: “This helped me so much! I was over the limit for tuition reimbursement and this completely covered what I owed!

"This year has especially stretched us thin emotionally, but I would never think to not show up to work over the stress of the pandemic. So, thank you."

About the Front-Line Responders Fund

The Front-Line Responders Fund was launched last June, to raise financial support for Webster’s students working in healthcare on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time over 300 nurses were working long shifts while still attending class virtually.

The crowdfunding initiative, led by Webster University Trustee and alumna Laura Herring B.A. '70 and her spouse, Mike Herring, surpassed its $100,000 goal for the Fund in just two months. Over 100 gifts came from donors in 18 U.S. states, in amounts ranging from $20 to $20,000.

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