HIALEAH, Fla. – After months of tireless leadership, sacrifice, and dedication to saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, three healthcare heroes were honored at a surprise ceremony, Thursday, by Hialeah Hospital and the Hialeah Fire Department.
The healthcare workers honored, including Hialeah Hospital Director of ER and Intensive Care Danay Rodriguez Arritola, Seena Jose, and Mayda Cruz, dedicated the past year to help the hospital run amidst a worldwide crisis, all while saving lives, themselves.
Rodriguez Arritola says she still remembers the first day they received COVID-positive patients.
“We got a call from the Department of Health to tell us we’re going to receive 20-something COVID-positive patients,” she says. “So, I looked at my team and said, ‘Let’s gown up. Let’s get ready. I’m with you.’” After tireless work spanning countless months to keep people healthy and safe this past year, Rodriguez Arritola and two other healthcare workers have been recognized for being the heroes they are.
“We have an opportunity to recognize three members of our team who exemplify the spirit of all the team,” says Hialeah Hospital CEO. And today’s ceremony came as a total surprise. As Hialeah Hospital is part of the Tenet Healthcare System, they were each given the distinction of being honored as a “Tenet Hero.” Of all 110,000 Tenet healthcare employees in the U.S., only 76 people receive this title.
“They called me and told me there was an emergency in the ER!,’ explains Rodriguez Arritola.
However, they all credit the hard work of their entire team. “Everybody took different hats. It’s not only us, and extra hours,” says Jose.
Cruz adds, “It feels great. It feels wonderful. Everybody here is a hero.”
Furthermore, Rodriguez Arritola received the distinctive honor of being inducted into the Tenet Heroes Hall of Fame. In the United States, there are currently only 24 inductees, and she is one of them. She is also the only Tenet Hall of Fame recipient in the state of Florida.
“I’m humbled and I’m grateful, says Rodriguez Arritola. “It was never about me. It was always about the community — the staff members that came out to work.”
After all of the long hours and frightening new experiences they took on with courage and determination, all three women say they would do it all over again if they had to.