Learn about a local woman who helps children and the homeless through her career, and fosters animals in her spare time.
Elizabeth Crable-Means works for the Cincinnati Health Department and works as a Public Health Nurse in the School and Adolescent Health division.
“We support the Cincinnati Public School system by managing the health care needs of the students throughout the school day. This includes: helping set up appointments, manage chronic health conditions, daily medications, minor injuries, etc.,” Crable-Means explains. “Since COVID 19, we have been repurposed to help serve the city better and I am now working with the homeless population. I also work for UC Hospital, PRN in Psychiatry.” She has been working in school systems for nine years.
When Crable-Means first heard about the COVID 19 virus, “I was concerned simply because we did not have enough knowledge about the virus, so anything new can be concerning, but I felt confident we could take necessary precautions to help manage whatever was thrown at us,” she says.
The most difficult part of being a Public Health Nurse during this time has been the unknown. “We have to be very flexible at this time. Policy and protocol changes quickly, so we have to be ready for whatever comes next,” she says. “I worry about all the untreated illnesses due to the shutdown and for the rise in other issues like abuse and domestic violence and naturally the stability of the economy.”
Her experience in the medical field has helped her to handle the pandemic more effectively. “Being a nurse is an amazing career, I love helping people and being there for them, often when they are most vulnerable,” Crable-Means says. “Compassion is key in nursing, skills are of course necessary, but compassion and being able to ease your patients’ worries is the priority.”
Crable-Means’ compassion and kindness towards her patients has inspired Theresa Gerhardstein who nominated Crable-Means for this feature as a way to honor her for making a difference during the COVID 19 pandemic. “I met Liz because she is the aunt of my son’s best friend. I really got to know her when she took her nephew in during a rough period in his life,” Gerhardstein says. “She provided the stability that he needed at that time. I really got to see the type of person that she is during that time and it made me want to do more for others, too.”
Gerhardstein sees Crable-Means as a hero. “She is a hero to me because she stands up for what she believes in and she is a voice for many who don’t have a voice. She fosters dogs for the SAAP and she has so much patience and empathy for these animals who have often suffered abuse and neglect,” she says. “She also makes sure all the people that she loves are cared for and I really think that is what makes her such an amazing nurse.”
Editor’s Note: This feature is part of a special “Hearts to Heroes” issue dedicated to individuals across the Tri-State working on the front lines to provide for our community. Readers nominated and our editorial board selected those included in this week’s issue. Everyone featured is also receiving a heart-filled care package of self-care products, yummy treats, and gift cards to several local shops and restaurants. Many thanks to AT&T and Leslie Young, Vice President, EVER Skincare, Stella & Dot Family of Brands for making this effort possible.