Chautauqua County recognizes COVID-19 heroes

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and the COVID-19 Response Team recently announced the second and third week of COVID-19 Hero nominations. Nominations are recognized in a video posted weekdays on the Chautauqua County Government Facebook page, and each nominee receives a personal note from the County Executive’s Office.

“The community’s response to this program is truly remarkable,” said County Executive PJ Wendel. “It shows how special the people of Chautauqua County are. … These individuals have risen to the challenge of working during a global pandemic, and are truly our COVID-19 Heroes.”

Christine Schuyler, who serves as the Public Health Director for Chautauqua County, was nominated for the job she and her staff have been providing since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have worked tirelessly to provide information, answer questions, and administer key public health functions such as testing and vaccination clinics.

Jill Kenney is the school nurse for Pine Valley Central Schools, where she has been keeping students and staff up to date on COVID-19 and other health related information as it evolves. She has always gone above and beyond for the students of PVCS.

Doug and Julie Knopp are residents at “The Woodlands” senior living community. Doug is a retired pastor, and early in the pandemic he and Julie created a daily newsletter to pass along positive stories and relevant scripture that continues today. They also started a weekly socially distanced prayer group that meets outside, and helped lift the spirits of their friends and neighbors during these difficult times.

Betty Catanese is a member of the Stockton Volunteer Fire Department where she has been an EMT for many years. During the pandemic, Betty has continued to attend and run calls and never shy away from a call knowing that it could be or definitely is a COVID patient. Betty also works for the pistol permit office in Mayville, and has adapted their procedures to keep operations running smoothly and ensuring a safe environment for her staff and customers.

Dave Lessinger is a member of the Stockton Volunteer Fire Department, and served as chief during 2020. He responded to every call he was able as a firefighter or EMT, regardless if it involved a potential or known COVID patient. As Chief of the department, Dave was diligent in making sure all safety guidelines were followed. He has been a great role model for current and future fire fighters and EMTs, especially this past year.

Wendy Davis works at Absolut Care of Westfield and has been in healthcare for over twenty years. She is an amazing person who has continued doing a great job during the COVID-19 Pandemic. She has risen to the many challenges faced by adult care facilities during the pandemic including being COVID tested twice a week and working long hours.

The Brooks Hospital Radiology Department radiologic technologists are part of the crucial healthcare team working tirelessly to provide high quality care and imaging to assist with covid-19 diagnosis and treatment for our community. They have a great team of technologists that have adapted to the stressful environment of high demand for imaging during this national pandemic. They have done a great job of staying positive, educated, healthy and getting vaccinated to help slow the spread.

Michael Paterniti works for the Jamestown Housing Authority. Michael has kept the Housing Authority office open throughout the pandemic and continued to provide quality customer service to the tenants in their buildings. He always has a “can-do” attitude and goes above and beyond.

Lisa Barone works for Brooks Hospital and has taken the lead role in protecting hospital patients, staff and our community as Director of Infection Control. She is a great resource not only for the hospital staff but also to our community. In addition to her duties in infection control during this pandemic, she also recently took on the role of Director of Surgical Services for the hospital. Lisa has been a true medical hero for our community.

Nominations will remain open through the end of March 2021. To view COVID-19 Heroes videos, visit www.facebook.com/Chautauqua CountyGovernment. To nominate an individual to be recognized, visit the COVID-19 informational page on the county website at chqgov.com, or the form directly at https://chqgov.com/form/covid-heroes .


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