Nearly six months into the pandemic, hospitals across the U.S. still struggle to keep up with rising admissions of COVID-19 patients. While Chicagoland has yet to see a flattening of the curve, some hospitals have resumed elective surgeries and admitting visitors. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, located in the city’s center, was one of the first to do both and received a large CARES Act grant to keep its operations going. But little told is the hospital’s poor communication, inequitable PPE distribution, resistance to hazard pay, elimination of contributions to employees’ 401K plans, and seeming disregard for the safety and well being of its service employees. In this episode, three employees share their frustrations and vigilance fighting for hazard pay, respect and appreciation.
Reporter Judith McCray is an award winning documentary filmmaker, broadcast journalist and producer. Twenty three years ago she founded Juneteenth Productions to find and tell stories from the perspective and experiences of people who matter, whom we hear too little about or from. She passionately believes that media is an effective tool for positive social change and reaching people and communities that are underrepresented. With Hope from the Front Lines, she's reminded that we all will need and be caregivers at different points in our lives. She loves sailing and horseback riding - but rarely gets to do either.