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School of Medicine Columbia

Team members to be recognized by Gold Foundation for contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Three University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia team members will be honored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation as Champions of Humanistic Care for their contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The individuals being recognized are:

  • Jon Crain, assistant director of facilities and support services
  • Sangita Dash, M.D., clinical assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease
  • Jennifer Evans, LPN, student/employee health nurse

Crain, Dash and Evans will be honored alongside hundreds of physicians, nurses and healthcare team members as Champions of Humanistic Care for their care and courage during the COVID-19. They will be recognized during the Gold Foundation’s virtual gala on June 10 (Thursday).

“Hundreds within our entire community worked tirelessly to ensure the School of Medicine could continue to fulfill its mission during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Jon, Sangita and Jennifer went above and beyond all expectations. I’m excited that the Gold Foundation is providing an opportunity to recognize their contributions,” says Les Hall, dean of the UofSC School of Medicine.

From their nominations:

Jon Crain

In March of 2020, Crain led the effort to improve workplace safety by rearranging seating and erecting Plexiglas barriers. He has enthusiastically met each and every challenge to ensure that protective equipment is available for our students, faculty and staff. Crain regularly responded to crises at night and on the weekends. He takes initiative and ownership of all requests, and drops what he is doing to assist our employees and students at any time.

Jon’s devotion to duty, creativity, and advocacy for our School of Medicine students, faculty and staff have been essential to our safe and successful navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year. Due to his tireless efforts, hundreds of School of Medicine students have been safely able to continue their learning and many faculty and staff have been able to safely continue their care for others throughout the pandemic.

Sangita Dash, M.D.

Dash is an infectious disease specialist who serves as the hospital epidemiologist and medical lead for infection prevention at Prisma Health Richland Hospital, the largest hospital in central South Carolina. In this role, she began working behind the scenes to prepare for the COVID pandemic even before the first case occurred in our state. She has taken the lead in developing infection prevention protocols, ensuring appropriate lab testing, and ensuring the safety of our patients, family members and healthcare team members over the course of the past year.

Throughout the pandemic, our teaching hospital cared for thousands of patients with COVID-19. None of this would have been possible without Dr. Dash’s leadership to prepare our School of Medicine and our health system to fulfill these responsibilities. She is most worthy of recognition for her expertise and leadership throughout this pandemic.  

Jennifer Evans, LPN

As the school’s Student and Employee Health Nurse Evans has been the frontline worker who has kept the School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students safe. For months she greeted us each morning for temperature and health checks with a smile and encouragement to stay safe and stay healthy. She assisted our major health system partner, Prisma Health, in offering COVID-19 tests to our community by working many days at drive-through testing sites, often on weekends. When we transitioned to COVID-19 testing, she was again there to organize us, collect samples, and always that smile – even through her mask.

While the rest of us were doing our best to practice social distancing, she was there for all of us. There are of course thousands of frontline workers who have placed themselves in harm’s way for their patients and our citizens, but she continues to go above and beyond to keep us safe and show us how much she cares about our wellbeing as an institution and a community.

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