When COVID-19 first hit southeast Wisconsin, Dr. Beth Griffin, emergency medicine director at Ascension Wisconsin, was home on maternity leave with a newborn baby and her three school-age children.
Unable to treat patients in the hospital, and unable to remain on the sideline, she took on the role of surge section chief.
Working from home, often while holding her baby close, Griffin led a multidisciplinary surge team that coordinated and managed available space, staff and equipment statewide for Ascension Wisconsin.
“Dr. Griffin helped us prepare and plan for anything this pandemic brought our way,” said Wayne Laramie, vice president of patient care at Ascension All Saints Hospital. “As part of our response there have been many meetings to review our status and challenges and I enjoyed hearing the sounds of Beth’s baby in the background. While we focused on COVID-19, she helped remind us we have much to be grateful for in life.”
Griffin was able to successfully navigate uncharted waters. She created surge plans, redeployed essential equipment and staff, managed hospital capacity and tackled the complex task of balancing ever-shifting resources all while at home with a newborn.
“Dr. Griffin was called on to lead a vital role on our statewide incident command team,” said Dr. Gregory Brusko, chief clinical officer at Ascension Wisconsin. “She has been nothing less than stellar in this capacity. Her amazing capability to balance being a new mother with this critically important work has been deeply appreciated and helped us provide care for our community during an unprecedented time.”