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County recognizes 11th week of COVID-19 Heroes

MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and the COVID-19 Response Team recently announced the eleventh week of COVID-19 Hero nominations for April 19-23. 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.

“We continue to recognize the selfless work of people in our communities across Chautauqua County,” said County Executive PJ Wendel. “I want to again personally thank our week eleven nominees: Brenda Leone, Jennifer Phillips, David Burlee, Malysa Battaglia, Sean Jones, Barbara Block, Kathleen Brown Webber, and Stacey who works in CPS. These individuals have risen to the challenge of helping others during a global pandemic, and are truly our COVID-19 Heroes.”

Brenda Leone is an LPN at the WCA Home and has over 40 years of experience. Throughout the pandemic she has continued her usual job and duties as an LPN, but also provided direct care to residents who had COVID-19. Brenda is a dedicated nurse who has put the health and wellbeing of others first, and is truly a healthcare hero.

Jennifer Phillips works at Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation and is a dedicated essential worker. She goes above and beyond to make sure her residents are always cared for and happy.

David Burlee has had a tremendous impact related to employee health and safety at Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant, keeping one of our county’s largest employers going throughout the pandemic and providing financial stability for their 1400 employees. Working with his wife Jen (who also works at Cummins), he scoured the global supply chain to purchase and secure PPE, cleaning products, masks, and other items that would be critical in remaining open and keeping employees safe. When masks were difficult to obtain, Dave was home sewing up cloth masks for the employees. He also used technology to modernize their health screening process, making a no-touch temperature scan and employee attestation they are symptom free. Dave has developed a no-touch mask dispensing machine, and his dedication to stopping the spread of COVID-19 extends beyond the walls of Cummins, with distribution of masks, sanitizer, and other PPE items for employees to take home for their families.

Malysa Battaglia is a First Lieutenant with the National Guard and was called to active duty in March 2020. She has excelled in her focus and acted as a strong, positive leader for her fellow soldiers and officers. Malysa is a true hero to her young family who is very proud and thankful for her dedication and commitment to our country, and the job she has done serving others during the pandemic.

Sean Jones has been on the front lines both at the Mental Health Association (MHA) and in his role at UPMC where he assists those with drug and mental health treatment in getting seen in the ER, detoxed, suicide interventions, and followed up in the community. During this pandemic, those with drug and mental health problems are among the neediest. Sean has made sure those with COVID-19, and those without, have important advocacy. Through his unique joint role at MHA and UPMC Chautauqua Chemical Dependency and Mental Health programs, Sean has made a difference.

Barbara Block is an LPN at Brooks Memorial Hospital. Barbara takes her job to the next level, and her understanding, patience and compassion make her a wonderful nurse.

Kathleen Brown Webber is a phlebotomist and it is said she could draw blood with her eyes closed and not miss a beat. She’s the best Phlebotomist the person who nominated her has ever been to. She has a cheerful, radiant glow about her at work that makes anyone who steps into her office feel welcome and at ease.

Stacey Kucharski works for county Children and Family Services does her job with love and even through COVID-19 she went into people’s homes and helped their children. She went above and beyond anything expected even looking for runaway children and making sure they were safe or stopping by homes to check in just because a parent needed her right then and there. She is really a great example of a hero, doing an often thankless job in often uncertain conditions for the betterment of our County’s children.

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