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Local non-profit offers housing, emotional support for front line workers

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TUCSON (KVOA) - As local healthcare workers continue to work tirelessly to protect the community from COVID-19, who is protecting them?

Healthcare Workers (HWC) Hosted was founded in April of 2020 and their focus is protecting and preparing healthcare workers and their families while those on the front lines risk exposure by treating patients diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Founded by a University of Arizona professor and a local emergency medicine physician, HWC Hosted provides services such as housing, emotional support, and daily monitoring.

"Part of the preparedness package that is often missed is preparedness for supporting healthcare workers and their families during a long-term pandemic, during the long haul," said Mark Nichter, a UA professor and Co-founder of HWC Hosted.

The services encompass those working in healthcare settings - from local hospitals to long-term care facilities.

Layla Henry, a nurse manager at a local long-term care facility, used these services after coming into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

"I was in a situation that, I live in a multi-generational home. I knew I had been exposed to the virus and just didn't know what I was gonna do," said Henry.

"We can't care for patients without the teams that we work with and train with who know the system, know the patients and work well together to actually move towards having high-quality care," said Brad Dreifuss, CEO and co-founder of HWC Hosted.

Housing and emotional support are just a fraction of what they provide.

Being able to safely isolate from family members after being exposed to the virus takes an immeasurable amount of stress off of the healthcare workers.

"It just made my ability to recover and not infect anyone in my family or have to worry about that. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have this program at that time," said Henry.

As they continue to grow and offer more services Healthcare Workers Hosted is looking for support.

To sign up for services or get involved, click here.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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