Employee profile: Stepping up highlights commitment to public service

During this difficult time, King County employees continue to be examples of true leadership and dedication to our public service mission. From nurses to front-line staff, the current situation has provided an opportunity for employees from all different backgrounds and abilities to continue giving their time and energy to overcome this virus.

One such employee is Angela Jimenez, a nurse in the Children with Special Health Care Needs program (CSHCN) within Public Health – Seattle & King County. A Seattle native, Angela has been with King County since 2018 and has enjoyed being able to use her skillset to give back to some of the most vulnerable populations in the community.

Angela recently shared her passion for helping others by stepping forward to assist COVID-19 patients at the King County Isolation and Quarantine facility in Kent, a care site where several coronavirus patients are in quarantine. Nurses were asked to volunteer and Angela came forward, ready to help. She worked at the Kent site for a short time before being placed at the Issaquah Isolation and Quarantine facility. Here she currently serves as a charge nurse, ensuring quality of care, nurse schedules, and checking on patients.

“For me, working with King County in helping address COVID-19 is extremely important because this virus is impacting all of us, and our community is looking to Public Health for guidance,” Angela said. “Our response to this pandemic is true public health work, and I want to be able to go home each day and feel confident that I did my part to support the cause.”

In her health professional role, Angela is proud to use her abilities to strengthen and support her community.

“As a nurse, I feel that I have a duty to use my knowledge and skillset for the greater good of the community, and this is what keeps me returning to this work every day,” she said.

Angela’s regular CSHCN duties prior to the COVID-19 virus included case management working with families that have children with chronic health conditions. She worked to support them in finding resources, provided teaching, and ensured they received successful care. A typical day for her used to involve visiting clients in their homes, tracking their progress, and contacting community partners.

Now her work has changed, both in how she carries out her current caseload and in how she supports the ongoing virus response. She has stopped doing home visits indefinitely, and is preparing for other work, which includes working at the King County Novel Coronavirus Call Center (206-477-3977), or staffing the Isolation and Quarantine sites.

“The presence of COVID-19 in our community has drastically changed my day-to-day work,” she said. “At this point I’ve been working on contacting all my clients on my caseload and ensuring they have adequate support during this challenging time, as my job may shift into providing COVID-19 support full time.”

While addressing the coronavirus response can be challenging, Angela reminds employees that each person can make a significant impact, regardless of their job title or duties. She references a quote by popular television personality Fred Rogers to illustrate her point – “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Angela continues, “Everyone has a part to play and everyone can be a helper during this time. Whether you are a medical provider, first responder on the front line, buying groceries for your elderly neighbor or family member, sewing masks to support the PPE shortage, or even just staying home to help limit the spread of the virus, we are all making a difference!”

For more information about the novel coronavirus, and how to protect yourself and your community visit  www.kingcounty.gov/coronavirus. For information about the Children with Special Health Care Needs program visit www.kingcounty.gov/cshcn.