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Toast the hardworking Richmond and Henrico Health Departments

Posted at 1:35 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 13:02:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Thanking some Richmond-area health department workers and helping a Henrico restaurant that hasn't been able to re-open due to COVID-19 restrictions was the theme of Monday’s CBS 6 Gives segment.

When COVID-19 made its way to the Richmond-region, several employees at the Richmond and Henrico Health Departments were forced to take on new roles that were not part of their usual job description.

CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit thanked six employees, whom co-workers said had "exceptionally risen to the occasion," with a delicious lunch from Toast.

"You guys are awesome. Thanks for honoring the team this morning," Dr. Danny Avula, head of the Richmond and Henrico Health Departments said.

Melissa surprised the employees at the Richmond Health Department on E. Cary St. on a rainy Monday morning.

Toast individually packaged each lunch for COVID-19 safety and included an appetizer, entree, and dessert in each lunch bag.

Melissa wanted to help out a local restaurant that has not been able to re-open just yet, by giving them the curbside pickup business.

"Thank you for thinking of us!” Jessica Buford, the owner of Toast, said. “We are happy to help and appreciate the support. It's fun to get to do these kinds of things."

The employees and Melissa stayed six feet apart and wore masks.

Each one expressed sincere gratitude for the surprise after Melissa thanked them for their hard work for Richmond and Henrico communities.

The honorees, who were selected by their peers, are:

Amy Popovich, Nurse Manager

Amy is Serving as Operations Section Chief overseeing (or in the middle of) community testing and public education.

Tracey Avery-Geter, Nurse Practitioner

Tracey has been Incident Action Chief for community testing, making sure all the many people and pieces are in place to safely and efficiently conduct these events

Joanna Cirillo, Communicable Disease Nurse

Joanna has lead our nursing epidemiology response to include building a team case of investigators and contact tracers.

David Calkins, Emergency Coordinator for local health (Henrico)

Working as Planning Chief, David has provided expertise and jumped right in on every aspect of the COVID-19 response including working with local and regional partners

Sara Noble, Public Health Nurse Supervisor

Sara is overseeing a group of Public Health Nurses running point on outbreaks in long term care facilities across Richmond and Henrico.

Natasha Crawford, Environmental Health Specialist

Natasha has been outstanding in the Logistics section, making sure we have all supplies needed and transporting them to where they are needed.