Nancy Donegan, RN

Director of Infection Control
Start Date: 1979

A MOMENT OF TRUTH FROM A COLLEAGUE

My story is really someone else's story here at the hospital, but what he said made a very big impression on me and how I feel about what I do. After 9-11, people throughout the hospital had to start making plans to prepare for all kinds of situations, from bombs to anthrax attacks to smallpox outbreaks. It began to feel overwhelming. In particular, as we planned for a smallpox epidemic, we realized that we wouldn't have an immune staff, we could be flooded with patients, and we began to wonder what we would do. I started wondering if I could handle it, if I could even stay at the hospital during such a time.

Then Jay Barbaccia (Director of Pharmacy) quietly said to me, "To tell you the truth, I would stay here. My children were born here, my wife died here, I came here as a young man and spent my whole career here. I think I'd go down with the ship." I realized then that our dedication to our work goes much deeper than just a job. And I realized that I would stay, too.