These Are the Heroes Fighting on the Frontlines of COVID-19


“Essentially Heroes” highlights the essential workers helping all of us get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last several weeks, N6A has fielded requests from clients, industry peers and business leaders seeking counsel on how to effectively navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to their employees, customers and key stakeholders. To give our perspective and insights, we created a business guide around best practices for  communications and a toolkit for the  C-Suite.

But we wanted to dig deeper, and speak to the people directly involved in efforts to combat COVID-19 on the frontlines — registered nurses, delivery workers, police officers and grocery workers.

To let these brave individuals tell their own stories, we launched a new video series called “Essentially Heroes,” where each day we interviewed an essential worker to hear about their experiences and, most importantly, to thank them for their indelible work.

Here’s a roundup of the heroes that have displayed leadership, sacrificed for others and went above and beyond to help beat this crisis. 

 Dr. Justin Shafa
  • “Everyone is supporting each other, departments are supporting other departments…we’re anxious, we’re scared, but we’re coming together.

Shafa is an M.D. and chief radiology resident in New York City, and talked to us about his firsthand experience being pulled away from his primary responsibilities to help COVID-19 patients directly.

Latoshia Henderson, M.D.
  • “It’s very trying times, but I hope that everyone is staying safe. The most important thing in prevention for this coronavirus is to practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer; if you’re coughing, wear a mask or cough into your elbow; try to limit the spread of any respiratory particles; and if you feel sick, please, please stay home.”   

A 4th year resident physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Henderson talked to us about her experience on the front lines of COVID-19, and the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions now.

Chris Sawin, Kroger
  • “We have a lot of people who thank us for being there, and doing what we can to help out.”

Sawin, assistant department head at Kroger in Houston, Texas spoke to us about what it’s like to work at the popular grocery store and providing essentials to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Grant Hubsher, M.D.
  • “Ever since it’s really hit the hospitals, there’s been a real push to get everyone to come together. The doctors are all working with nursing, who are also really working with the in-patient team  — we’re all really trying to do our best to care for these patients.”

Dr. Hubsher, Emergency Medicine Physician from New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, talked with us about how everyone is coming together to care for the increasing numberof COVID-19 patients.

Amber Gundlah, Amazon
  • “A lot of policy changes have gone into effect in order to keep our employees safe and healthy. We’ve established a six-foot social distancing rule, so we’ve had to change some of our shift start-times to make sure people are coming in staggered. We’ve changed around our workstations to make sure people are separated more, we have different routines for how we clean everything, and we’ve been doing about 24 different safety audits a day.”

Gundlah, operations manager at Amazon in Spartanburg, South Carolina, spoke with us about the extra measures Amazon has implemented at its facilities to protect employees on the front lines helping customers receive essential items during the pandemic.

Andrya Hernandez-Robles, Teacher
  • “We’re all in this time that is very uncertain, so [students] still need time to be kids. I’m trying to give my kids a lot of time to self reflect and just figure out who they are through all this. It’s very different. We’ve never been through anything like this, and school still needs to be a priority. They need that structure.”


Andrya Hernandez-Robles, a high school teacher from Westminster Public Schools in Colorado, spoke to us about keeping students motivated as schools moved to conducting virtual classes online, and what they’re doing for kids that may not have access to virtual essentials. 

Stephanie Culler, Persephone
  • “What we scientists think is, similar to how we fight cancer, we have to take a multi-pronged approach. Cancer is so complex, it is so challenging, that we have to sometimes take multiple therapeutics and combine them. We may have to do that to really fight off and end the coronavirus.”  

CEO and co-founder of Persephone Biosciences, Stephanie Culler, speaks to us about the company’s unique approach at understanding how the gut microbiome impacts the human immune system, and the development of an AI-driven immune-boosting microbiome therapeutic to help prevent and fight COVID-19.

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