Marina Creed, APRN and Barbara Pelletier, PA of UConn Health will be awarded as 2023 Healthcare Heroes by the Hartford Business Journal on Dec. 14. All the statewide healthcare honorees were all nominated and selected in 11 different categories.
Nurse practitioner Marina Creed has won the award for her heroic Community Service and Advocacy/Policy. She serves UConn Health as a neuro-immunology nurse practitioner at the UConn Health Multiple Sclerosis Center. She is also director of the successful cross-campus UConn Indoor Air Quality Initiative. While managing the care of hundreds of immunosuppressed patients, Creed was motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic to launch her new Initiative to help protect these patients from infections by becoming involved in public health.
“I founded the Indoor Air Quality Initiative with the goal of studying low-cost, high-efficiency air purifiers, which remove over 97% of viruses from the air in 30 minutes,” says Creed about the air filters just tested and applauded by the EPA. The do-it-yourself Corsi-Rosenthal device can be made from inexpensive materials by students and people of all ages and skill sets. “Together, our research team of faculty and students, spanning several departments, created and donated over 600 of these air purifiers to communities in need. Our team created a website and corresponding lesson plans for 5th grade, 8th grade and high school classes, to make these as part of a science project with important real-world utility.”
Creed’s goal: “To see public schools build the air purifiers annually, which brings students and teachers clean air for $4 per student per year,” she says.
Barbara Pelletier, PA has won her award for her heroic work as a physician assistant in Urgent Care settings. Pelletier, practicing since 1994, has had a career spanning family practice, urgent care, emergency medicine as well as a short time in occupational medicine. Currently, she splits her time between UConn Health’s emergency department and urgent care.
“Over the past three years, it has been extremely difficult and stressful with COVID in this line of medicine. Urgent care has been much busier, with patients coming in with more acute problems,” shares Pelletier.
On top of her already busy job, Pelletier heroically helped save a man’s life in 2023 from cardiac arrest at UConn Health Canton’s urgent care.
“This year I had a 60-year-old male patient arrive at urgent care with chest pain, and he ended up coding. I, without a doctor working, ran the staff through triaging the patient, including giving him medications, coaching CPR and shocking him prior to the ambulance arriving. He made it to the hospital safely, and I visited him the next day during my ER shift.”
Pelletier adds: “I love what I do and give my patients my personal touch. Any chance I can show my kindness, I do. I try to treat patients like one of my family members.”
Congratulations to UConn Health’s and all of Connecticut’s 2023 Healthcare Heroes. Thanks for all you do!