Before COVID-19, much of Stephanie’s time was spent in the office, advising personnel and managing paperwork. But since early spring, when the pandemic began to leave its mark on the Navajo Nation, she joins her team in the field to coordinate services and deliver donated goods to some of the most vulnerable Navajo residents: infants, the elderly, and those with serious health conditions.
“Disaster response is a team effort,” said Stephanie. “When local chapters receive donated goods, a multitude of agencies call our team to assist in packaging and delivering items to those who need it most. Whether it be face masks, food boxes, water barrels or even propane, everyone is collaborating. I’ve never seen so many people work together to meet the increasing needs of our community.”
Stephanie proactively reaches out to elected officials and partner agencies in an effort to keep her team as safe as possible. For example, when she and her team did not have PPE, she reached out to council delegates and their staff members to secure face masks (and some members of her team even sewed their own). When Stephanie wanted to learn how to properly manage PPE, she connected with the Ganado Fire Department. Not only did she and her team receive training on the donning and doffing of PPE, but the firefighters provided two face masks, a set of goggles, and little shampoo bottles filled with hand sanitizer so that her team would have some protection in the field. Despite concerns for the safety of her CHRs, Stephanie continues to think outside of the box to make sure her team can be as effective in the field.