The ASU Alumni Association, in partnership with the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the College of Health Solutions, has developed a new initiative called Health Heroes. This initiative originated as a way to support, celebrate and honor ASU alums who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are an alum working on the frontline of the pandemic, we want to hear from you. Share your story with us and we'll send you an ASU sticker for you to proudly display. Click the link below to fill out the form. Thank you for all you do!

Share with us

Mary Vanasse

Registered nurse, ‘86 BS in health science

What is your front-line story?
I am an RN that was assigned to our COVID-19 unit. I have seen people requiring oxygen and being put on ventilators. I’ve also seen them taken off the ventilators and being able to go home. When patients are discharged, the operator plays the song “Here Comes the Sun” overhead. It's rewarding to be a part of all of that

Christopher Banks

Flight nurse/paramedic - base manager, ‘18 BS in nursing

What is your front-line story? Our air medical transport company transported Diamond Princess passengers. When I reached out my gloved hand, in full PPE, patients couldn't believe they could touch and shake my hand. This was heart-wrenching. So as a base manager, I ensured that all of our staff safely experienced the confined space of our isolation units to build better compassion for the patients.

Sara Van Koningsveld

Mental health clinician/psychotherapist, ‘06 BFA in dance studies

What is your front-line story? As a mental health care professional, my clients range in age from 8 to 43 years old. Some have friends and family who have been sick and/or died and some deal with debilitating panic and anxiety regarding the uncertainties of going back to school or work in the coming weeks and months. I am modifying treatment for my patients with trauma, ADHD, depression and anxiety through video platforms. 

Aljereau Manabat

Cardiac short stay registered nurse, ‘09 BS in nursing

What is your front-line story?
I'm part of the Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona East Valley, Phoenix Asian American Lions Club and Nurses on World Mission. We volunteer by collecting and distributing masks and PPE to front-line workers, hospitals and individuals in need; we provide food to the staff in COVID-19 units; and we send financial assistance to purchase PPE and other relief goods.

What message do you want to share with fellow Sun Devils?
Please stay safe out there. Be healthy. Follow the guidelines. Protect yourself, protect others. Continue to practice social distancing, hand-washing, wearing a mask, or any measures to avoid contracting or spreading the virus.

Jennifer Roque

Registered nurse, senior clinical manager - Neuro PCU, ‘17 BS in nursing 

What is your front-line story?
The things that have remained constant through all of this, which defines us as health care professionals, is caring for our patients and one another, our desire to help, our compassion and our resiliency. Pandemics of this scale were only mentioned in our nursing school books. We are now living one that will forever be written in nursing books for years to come. They will write about us.

What message do you want to share with fellow Sun Devils?
Stay the course!

Erolinda Becerra Mendoza

ICU registered nurse, ‘16 BS in nursing and healthsci (healthy lifestyle coaching)

What is your front-line story?
I had a patient celebrate his birthday last month so a few nurses and I surprised him with a video conference with his family and grandchildren. We also got him a sugar free cake and decorated his room with donated supplies from staff. I can’t imagine having to have a birthday in a hospital but to be in a hospital and not have your family around, we had to make it special.

What message do you want to share with fellow Sun Devils?
Please follow social distancing even after restrictions are lifted. My heart goes out with all of you 2020 graduates. You all earned this and should be very proud and excited for this great accomplishment.

David Hanson

Medical technician, ‘19 BS in exercise and wellness

What is your front-line story?
As an EMT, it was terrifying having to work with limited personal protective equipment while seeing patients with respiratory symptoms. I helped assemble new medical “jump-kits” for our crews. These new kits made it possible to limit exposure of equipment, which ultimately increases the safety of our patients and team.

What message do you want to share with fellow Sun Devils?
The healthier and stronger our Arizona community is, the better off all of us will be, but that can only happen as more of us partake in uplifting our community. In a crisis, such as ours, there is the opportunity of becoming involved. Take the time to read the ASU Charter, and find your way in helping our community overcome the novel COVID-19 virus, for a strong, safe, and healthy Arizona.

Stephanie Dailey

Oncology nurse practitioner, ‘19 DNP, family nurse practitioner

What is your front-line story?
I am a U.S. Navy Reserve Nurse deployed to New York City. I'm working at one of 11 hospitals in the NYC health system that was hit first and hardest during COVID-19. The 29-bed ICU quickly exceeded capacity and expanded to 140 beds at the height of the pandemic. Every available bed space was converted to a makeshift ICU. My unit has been here since April 7 and will depart in June.

What message do you want to share with fellow Sun Devils?
Even in times of uncertainty, social distancing and extreme stress it's important to remember why you chose the profession that you did and rely on the skills and experience that you have to guide you through. Remain calm and vigilant. Take care of yourself and those around you. Extend yourself grace in an otherwise chaotic time.

Farah Al Besher

Front-line COVID-19 coordinator in the United Arab Emirates, ’14 BS in economics

What is your front-line story? I am part of the COVID-19 National Screening Service Drive-Through project in the United Arab Emirates. We were the first to open drive-through in UAE and due to its success we were asked to expand our presence by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. We built 12 drive-through screening centers throughout the seven emirates in 10 days and today have 18 fully operational centers. By ensuring early detection of positive cases we have been able to increase the safety of our people.

What message do you want to share with fellow Sun Devils? Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze us. We are all equipped and ready to face any crisis and remember you can’t help others without first taking care of yourself.  Follow the health guidelines, stay safe and remain positive.