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The Health Collaborative is partnering with Cincinnati Zoo and Hamilton County to offer Healthcare Workers Appreciation Days at the Zoo this weekend.

The Zoo is offering healthcare workers FREE admission starting on World Health Day (April 7) through April 10.

A select group of healthcare heroes will be honored at the zoo this Thursday, April 7 for their tremendous resolve and dedication to our communities, and to upholding the principles of public health during an unprecedented global crisis.

One of the honorees, Gabrielle Gescheider, was part of an instrumental team working to quickly respond to the need for rapid testing. We asked Gabrielle to take a few minutes to tell us about her experiences. 

Gabrielle Gescheider
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Q: Thanks for your work, Gabrielle! Can you start by telling us your job title, and how long you’ve been doing it?

A: My title is Microbiology Technical Specialist, and I have been working in the lab for 15 years.

Q: What do you love most about your work?

A: I love the feeling of helping people and I appreciate that the lab allows me to do that behind-the-scenes. I became fascinated by bacteria and other microorganisms as a child. Working at The Christ Hospital, I am able to focus that passion on learning all about emerging pathogens and new technology to set our laboratory up for success in providing exceptional patient care.

Q: What has it been like working during the pandemic?

A: When the pandemic started, we rushed to find and implement the best testing solution. We were able to construct a temporary molecular space, purchase instrumentation, validate the COVID-19 assay and start patient testing in a matter of months. In fact, our team was able to report patient test results 8 days after one of the instruments were delivered!

Q: What’s your favorite animal or exhibit at the zoo?

A: My favorite zoo animal is the white tiger.

“The past few years have been challenging, and nowhere have those challenges been greater felt than with the heroic work playing out on the front lines and behind the scenes in our healthcare community,” said Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative. “Our healthcare community put everything else aside to come together for the good of our region. And I believe, because of these people who put others’ health above their own, we’re coming out of this crisis stronger for it.”

Gescheider and seven of her healthcare peers from across the region’s health systems will be honored this Thursday morning at the Cincinnati Zoo, with a program and proclamation by Hamilton County officials. CLICK HERE for more about Zoo Days: Healthcare Workers Appreciation Days, and CLICK HERE to read the press release.