Healthcare Heroes

The second group of 50 IHC volunteers—physicians, physician assistants, nurses, repertory therapist and other professionals—who worked in New York City for two weeks, alongside professional counterparts there, included three from Sanpete Valley Hospital: Shelly Wood and Aaron Wood (kneeling in front on the left), and Trina Johnson (standing on a riser in the back row above the letter “a” in the banner.)

Healthcare Heroes

Sanpete professionals experience pandemic in New York


By Doug Lowe

Staff writer



MT. PLEASANT—Three healthcare professionals from the Sanpete Valley Hospital learned about “heroism” on a volunteer trip to battle the new coronavirus pandemic in New York City.

The three staff members joined with other IHC professionals to experience an intense two-weeks of work in New York City hospitals helping patients with COVID-19.

Trina Johnson, flight nurse, Shelly Wood, RN, and her husband Aaron Wood, the hospital’s CEO, all flew to NYC on April 16 and gained invaluable experience with the virus before returning to Salt Lake on May 2.

Johnson explains a small part of her experience in these words, “Before I left for New York people told me I was a ‘hero’ and ‘selfless.’ After working in New York for two weeks, I realized that the true heroes were the healthcare professionals working in New York during the pandemic.”

Likewise, Shelly Wood talks of cheering, led by members of the NY Fire Dept., every night at 7 p.m. for the “healthcare heroes” entering and leaving their jobs at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“The cheering brought tears to my eyes every night that I stepped out there, into the street at the end of my shift,” she recalls.

Shelly’s husband, Aaron says his experience as he observed the work of administrators in various New York hospitals will certainly help him do a better job back here in Sanpete Valley.

Immediately after landing on their return to Utah, the three went directly to IHC’s Employee Services Center in Murray to be tested for any sign of the coronavirus, as well as having blood drawn to antibodies. All three tested negative for the virus, and await the results of their blood work. They are also checking their temperatures twice daily and watching for any other virus symptoms. After seven days back in Utah, they will be tested again; with a final test being administered once they have been back 14 days.

Trina Johnson says, “Being in New York was surreal. It was an experience I will be forever grateful that I got to experience.”

Shelly Wood is interviewed on the work Intermountain Healthcare volunteers accomplished in New York City as part of a volunteer COVID-19 response team that flew to the metropolis to assist with the pandemic.