Man steps up to help in nursing home during COVID-19

A man switched gears to help people in their greatest time of need during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was working a desk job when he stepped up to work in a nursing home.

"We needed everybody that we could get, they were as we say all hands on deck and that’s where I needed to be." Michael Owen told FOX 29. 

Like so many nominated for our FOX 29 heroes, Michael Owen, senior director of clinician education and compliance with Genesis Physician services, didn’t really get it.

“I’m no different than the physician assistant in the hospital or the nurse practitioner doing home care, I’m a healthcare provider,” said Owen.

It’s true that the people Owen has mentioned have also stepped into the roles of heroes, but his story is a little different. After years of service at 65 years old, he had a desk job when the coronavirus hit.

“Obviously I’m in administration, but when the time came to serve, I volunteered to my senior director of medical affairs and he gratefully accepted," Owen said.

So at a time where we regularly hear of the challenges of nursing homes, he volunteered to go help the patients in one.

“Why? Our patients, our residents needed all of the assistance we could give them," Owen added.

Along with volunteering for the frontlines, his selfless attitude and humility was clear in many ways. He does admit it was a scary decision for him to make.

“People ask me if I was afraid going in and I say if you’re not afraid, you’re gonna make a mistake," he said.

He asked several members of the team he worked with to come outside and join him for his interview.

“It’s a distinction, someone nominated me, but it was important for me to recognize those people working tirelessly for the safety of our residents and our patients," he said.

Owen was appreciative but was much more focused on how the whole team can serve their residents.

“I’m humbled that somebody would think what I’m doing. I wouldn’t say heroic, it’s just what I was trained to do," he said.

But walking into risks to help others, especially when nobody would question them if they didn’t, that is one of the things that makes heroes, heroes — for goodness sake.

We want to hear from you. Tell us about a hero you know using the hashtag #FOX29Heroes or #ForGoodnesSake.


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