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Authors Posts by Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert
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Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. To contact Sara, send her an email at selliott@cincychic.com.

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    There’s no better time than now to focus on your own mental health and wellbeing. Click here to learn about a counseling and coaching business that helps to develop empowered women.

    In today’s world, especially as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to take care of you. That’s what Galia Collaborative is here for. They want to help empower purpose-driven women to develop their mental wellness through therapy, coaching, and content.

    “We believe that the impact of women will be elevated when they can take charge of their mental health and wellbeing,” says Galia Collaborative Founder Dr. Ashley Solomon. “We provide accessible services and thoughtful content development by women’s mental health experts.”

    Solomon says that she was inspired to launch Galia Collaborative after years of working as a psychologist, business leader, mom, and woman. 

    “I spent years in the trenches of burnout culture and recognized that stress and anxiety were eating away at my wellbeing,” she explains. “Even being in the behavioral healthcare field, no one was talking about how we can sustainably manage our mental health.”

    Soloman didn’t want to offer traditional therapy, which seemed so removed from what she had experienced in her field, and executive coaching wasn’t something that was available to her. 

    Dr. Ashley Solomon, Founder of Galia Collaborative

    “I wanted to take the years that I’d spend developing treatment approaches and programming for women and create a space that addressed the needs of busy professionals in a modern, gender-responsive, and evidence-based way,” she says. “I’ve always been focused on trying to answer how we can elevate the voices and impact of women, and I recognize that empowering women’s mental health is key.”

    Soloman says that she spent her earlier career in the field of eating disorders before she found that those same women who recovered from eating disorders were still lacking the tools they needed to be fully healthy in how they approach both life and work. “This and my own journey led me to thinking about how we can create meaningful services and tools to support women who are going to make a difference,” she adds.

    Solomon is joined in her practice by clinician Jennifer Burns, a licensed counselor with a background in professional comedy. “She specializes with women who have experienced trauma or are navigating other mental health or life challenges,” says Solomon. There’s also Erin McMenamin, a licensed social worker, who recently joined the team and is offering coaching for women making big transitions.

    At Galia Collaborative, you’ll find that the work the team does is action-oriented and designed to create real movement toward the values of clients. “We use evidence-based approaches based on psychological science in both our therapy and coaching work,” she says.

    Therapy services offered at Galia Collaborative are for adolescent and adult women both in-person and online. 

    “We offer professional coaching for women who are ready to elevate their impact in their careers or are navigating challenges in their work,” says Solomon. “We believe that doing so starts from within and moves its way outward, and our coaching is both introspective and actionable.”

    In addition to the services currently offered, Galia Collaborative is in the process of developing talks and workshops for organizations on how to elevate their impact through mental health and wellness.

    Solomon says that later this year Galia Collaborative is launching Thrive Circles, small groups of committed women who are connecting around a particular challenge or interest. 

    “We have two starting early in the year and are accepting registration for those now,” says Solomon. “The first is a mastermind for women service-based business owners, and the other is for your women, ages 23-35, looking to set themselves up for personal and professional success.”

    To learn more about Galia Collaborative, visit www.galiacollaborative.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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    With a passion for fashion and helping other women feel and look their best, a local mompreneur launched a new boutique. Read on for more.

    Aleasha Smith has a passion for fashion and the confidence it gives.

    Originally from the Westside of Cincinnati, Smith now calls Waynesville home.  “I started my women’s clothing boutique because I adore fashion, and I enjoy bringing confidence and happiness to women through clothing,” she says. “My boutique allows me to be home with my family and to also follow my passion, which I am truly grateful for.”

    Smith was staying home with her son full-time when she took on a position with a store that allowed her to work once a week, and get out of the house and follow something she was passionate about. 

    “Fashion has always been so much fun to me,” she explains. “It can literally change the way you feel, and give you confidence.”

    While at work, Smith was seeing the impact that shopping and fashion had on customers, and the relationships she was able to build with them through her skills with styling. 

    Aleasha Smith, Founder of Boutique Bellini

    “I would get to know my customers and their stories would touch my heart,” she says. “There were familiar stories that would hti home, such as the new mom who had just given birth to a new baby. She didn’t have any clothes that fit her anymore and was shopping for new pieces. By listening to her I would get a sense of her lifestyle and what her fashion needs were. It made me feel grateful to see how amazing she felt walking out of the store. This was only one of many stories.”

    To Smith, fashion can heal. “It can make an impact on the person trying on clothes as well as the person styling them,” she says. 

    And with those years of experience in retail management, styling, merchandising, and connecting with her clientele, the launch of a new boutique was the next logical step. She launched Boutique Bellini back in 2018 with the goal of providing both a superior customer service and an individualized experience. 

    You can purchase tops, dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, and accessories from Boutique Bellini. Prices range from about $20 to more than $100, ensuring that there is something for everyone. 

    Smith says that she hopes to launch her fashion truck soon, as the economy begins to reopen. “I can’t wait to go mobile and serve customers in an entirely different way,” she adds. 

    To learn more about Boutique Bellini, visit https://boutiquebellini.com

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    It’s a time of great change in the economy and that may mean a career transition. Click here to read about a local collab that’s helping you find success in a post-COVID-19 world.

    Tamara Schwarting, the founder and CEO of 1628 Ltd., and Julie Bauke of The Bauke Group have teamed up to launch Project Launch Pad, a collaboration that’s aiming to jumpstart the region’s recovery by providing resources to displaced professionals who want to get back to work as quickly as possible following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The dynamic duo behind the project have been professional colleagues for years. They’re also passionate about the Cincinnati community and wanted to find a way that the both of them could work together to give back to the region through their expertise and resources. 

    The Bauke Group is a premier career coaching firm in the region, while 1628 Ltd. is an innovative workspace that is currently offering resources to participants at no cost. 

    “I [Bauke] am the region’s most recognized career expert with a weekly segment on both 700WLW and Fox19,” explains Bauke. “Tamara is a highly accomplished executive who has herself made several very successful career pivots.”

    Through Project Launch Pad, participants are taught life skills – the process of how to think, plan, and execute on a job search that will help them find the right job. “And those who complete the program will receive three months of free coworking at 1628 to execute their career search plan,” says Bauke. “While at 1628, there will also be the opportunity for participants to continue with additional training and to connect with mentors.” 

    This three-part training program is focused on giving participants what they need to be successful in the post-COVID-19 economy as well as the remainder of their careers. “Leveraging times of great shift to evaluate and ensure a career is on track may seem counterintuitive but it’s very necessary,” says Bauke. “This is an excellent time to take an action-oriented approach to a career transition.”

    Those who are interested in participating in Project Launch Pad will need to submit their registration by June 1. Bauke adds that the program is limited to 100 participants. You can apply to the program by clicking here

    To learn more about Project Launch Pad, click here. You can also learn more about The Bauke Group at https://thebaukegroup.com and 1628 Ltd. at https://1628ltd.com

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    A local photographer and author launched a photography book project back to help the city’s vulnerable pets. Read on for all the tail-wagging details.

    Photo: Tails of Cincinnati

    Cincy Chic: What is Tails of Cincinnati?

    Susannah Maynard, Owner of Pet Love Photography and Author of Tails of Cincinnati: Tails of Cincinnati is a fundraising pet photography book project from Pet Love Photography to benefit the SPCA Cincinnati. It is going to be a hardcover, coffee table book featuring the pets of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky photographed around the wonderful locations our region has to offer. For just $95 your pet is guaranteed to have a 2-page spread in the book.

     

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it? 

    Maynard: The inspiration behind it is my dog Lola, who was adopted from the SPCA in October 2018. She is an adorable little chug (chihuahua/pug) that has been a great addition to the family. Additionally, as a pet lover and pet photographer, part of my mission is to give back to the local pet community and this project is the perfect way to do that.

     

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
    Maynard: Me! I’m the owner of pet photography studio Pet Love Photography and founder and publisher of CincyPet Magazine, Greater Cincinnati’s only dedicated pet magazine.  Susannah is a Cincinnati native and lifelong animal lover. My previously published works are “Rescue Dogs: Portraits and Stories,” “Rescue Cats: Portraits and Stories,” and “Rescue Rabbits: Portraits & Stories of Bunnies Finding Happy Homes.”

     

    Cincy Chic: Where or how can readers purchase?
    Maynard: Right now you can pre-order the book on our website TailsofCincinnati.com. The book is being featured at a special pre-order price of $79.95. It will be a full-color, hardcover, coffee table book with a minimum of 128 pages (the more pets we photograph, the more pages!) 

     

    Cincy Chic: What makes this project unique?
    Maynard: Tails of Cincinnati is a fun and unique way to get your pet photographed by a professional photographer and featured in a book with their own 2-page spread. It’s also a great way to give back at the same time by supporting area homeless pets.

     

    Cincy Chic: How will the SPCA Cincinnati benefit from this project?
    Maynard: Half of the Official Tails of Cincinnati Session booking fee will be donated to the SPCA, as well as a portion of the book sales. The more pets we photograph and the more books we sell, the more money we will raise for the SPCA!

     

    Cincy Chic: Is there any additional info about the project you’d like to share?
    Maynard: Sessions for Tails of Cincinnati will take place from June 1 through October 31 of this year and the book is scheduled for publication in early 2021. Sessions are only $95 for one pet (additional pets can be added for $25 each) and clients can even add on a guaranteed session extension if they want to be in pictures with their pets ($150). It’s a great time to include family portraits with your pet’s session. We’ve already started booking sessions, so book now to guarantee a spot for your pet in the book!

     

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
    Maynard: They can learn more by visiting our dedicated website TailsofCincinnati.com or they can give me a call at 513-288-1650.

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      After a decade-long adventure to New York City, a local chef returned to the Queen City where she’s serving up restaurant-quality meals to enjoy at home. Keep reading to learn more about her tasty dishes and fascinating journey.

      Kymberly Wilbon, founder of The Passion Plate

      Kymberly Wilbon has always had a passion for food. From the time she was a little girl playing with her Easy-Bake Oven to now owning The Passion Plate, she has led quite the journey. 

      That journey has also included a passion for fashion. Wilbon says her love for fashion took her on a decade-long adventure to New York City, where she worked in the garment and music industries by day and played in Manhattan’s hippest clubs by night. 

      “When I wasn’t zipped into Gaultier and hanging at the Palladium, I was baking fashionista birthday cakes, fed bands at upstate recording sessions, and catered record execs’ Superbowl parties,” she says. 

      After she landed a few hostess gigs at some of New York’s most revered restaurants, she decided to enroll at The New York Restaurant School to study restaurant management and culinary arts. 

      “I returned to Cincinnati to be closer to my family, and worked in restaurant management positions at several hotels, including the Cincinnati Hyatt Regency, cooked at CoCo, was a sous chef at Otto’s, and opened McCormick and Schmick’s,” she says. 

      While all of that was giving her experience, she wasn’t completely satisfied. She knew there was more that she had to offer. 

      “I felt like something was missing,” she says. “I knew I loved to cook and host great dinner parties. One day it all connected and I decided: That’s it – I want to be a personal chef!”

      Wilbon then enrolled at the Culinary Business Academy and earned her United States Personal Chef Association membership and launched The Passion Plate. 

      Based in the Findlay Kitchen, The Passion Plate offers restaurant-quality, pick-up ready meals and catering. There are weekly menus to choose from or customers can submit custom orders.

      The menu offerings from The Passion Plate are unique, serving up heart and SOUL: seasonal, organic, unexpected, and local.

      “And like my love of fashion, each dish is layered, complex, and inspired by travel,” Wilbon adds. 

      Wilbon is able to cater to the wants and needs of a variety of customers from the meal planners who want their meals portioned out to clients who are just on the lookout for restaurant-quality food at home.

      As eating at home has taken on a whole new meaning during quarantine, Wilbon says she’s gone into overdrive to keep up with demand. “A lot of people have been reaching out for meals, for meals for their older parents, their grandparents or people that just had babies,” Wilbon explains. 

      Wilbon says the increase of menu orders and custom requests is exciting and she’s loving every minute of it. 

      To learn more about The Passion Plate, visit https://www.thepassionplate.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram

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      Getting into the spa may seem like a daunting task for the time being. Read on for a new way to access spa-quality skincare without leaving the house.

      Skin feeling tired and worn out from being stuck at home? Missing your esthetician but aren’t sure when you’ll be able to get in for those missed appointments? Then you may want to check out the Jurlique Home Facial program. 

      “The Jurlique Home Facial program is a way for the stuck-at-home consumer to get a professional skincare consultation or virtual spa facial under the guidance of a licensed esthetician who uses Jurlique Organic Skincare,” explains National Education Manager for Jurlique International Paula Provenzano. 

      The inspiration for this at-home program was inspired by the current coronavirus pandemic. 

      “In a perfect world, when you want a professional skincare consultation or relaxing spa facial, or even a medical-grade facial, you would go to a spa or medspa,” says Provenzano. “The current restrictions on those types of services make that a challenge but, we also know that spa services were never available everywhere. So, the Jurlique Home Facial program is a way to access those types of services anywhere.”

      The Jurlique brand is based in Australia, but Provenzano works at the company’s National Education Manager and has worked to bring its services and offerings to the Queen City. 

      Provenzano grew up in Northern Kentucky and currently lives in Cincinnati. The prime location of the city allows her easy access to both coasts and everything in between. 

      However, since travel has been shut down for a while, the company decided to begin offering the next best thing to a spa: virtual facials with skincare kits that can be shipped or picked up curbside. 

      The virtual facial program offered by Jurlique is a unique one. 

      “The beauty of this experience is that you can make it whatever you want it to be,” says Provenzano. “For example, many of our home facial clients take a glass of wine into their bathroom, lock the door, and have a dedicated hour of ‘me time.’ Others invite all their girlfriends and make it a party. I know that at least one of our partners is using the virtual facial platform as a fundraiser.”

      Ultimately, the experience is a collaboration between the esthetician who plans and guides the experiences and the personal needs of the client. 

      Provenzano says that the virtual facial program is something that may not have ever been born if the coronavirus pandemic had never come about. “Let’s face it, the real thing is better,” she says. “But, we are finding that it fills a need for the restless consumer.” 

      Provenzano says that those who already have a spa or skincare professional they like going to can check to see if their service provider is offering virtual services. If virtual services aren’t available, she says that you can go to the Jurlique website and find a provider through the Spa Locator tab.

      The company’s ability to innovate looks to be something that will help boost their offerings once the pandemic has ended. Provenzano says that the virtual program fills a need that will always exist. “Think of the busy new mom who cannot take the time for a full spa visit – this could be a nice interim treat until she can have a full day of beauty,” she adds.

      To learn more about Jurlique and their new virtual facial program, visit www.jurlique.com. The website also features a blog and they post on IGTV, where you can find plenty of useful, at-home content.

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      There’s an upcoming virtual event featuring several Ohio-based entrepreneurs discussing how they moved forward without waiting for their turn.

      Panelists for the upcoming webinar hosted by Women for Economic Leadership and Development on May 20.

      Mark your calendars for May 20 when Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) hosts its monthly leadership panel. This month, it’s called “In Our Shoes Panel: Moving Forward Without Waiting for Your Turn.” 

      “‘In Our Shoes’ signifies that this panel is from the perspective of emerging professionals and what it is like to be in their shoes,” explains WELD National Chapter Management Officer Deepa Kellar. “Our diverse panel of emerging professionals will address how they achieved rapid success so early in their careers and overcame objections encountered along the way that they need to ‘bide their time.’”

      The panelists will also share how they were able to navigate changing dynamics in business relationships as their careers advanced. 

      This monthly event, which started last year, has gained a lot of attention from other women in the professional world. “We brought back the moderator, Mikaela Hunt, and a new group of high caliber, successful panelists who have already made their mark very early in their careers,” says Kellar. “These women are fierce and have a lot of proven business and career strategies to share.”

      Panelists for the event, in addition to Hunt, include Lynn Rich, Chief of Staff at Vertiv; Amy Scalia, Publisher and CEO of Cincy Chic and Cbus Chic; and Erin Scott, Executive Director of the Ohio Women’s Alliance.

      Kellar says that she hopes those who participate in the panel will learn how to quell the “negative self-talk” that many women engage in even when they’re ready for the next level of leadership. “Panelists will share strategies on how to keep moving forward when they might be getting subtle, or not so subtle, messages that the ‘time isn’t right’ or ‘they need to wait their turn’ for a promotion or business opportunity,” she adds. “Attendees will learn tips on how to advocate for themselves to show advancement readiness and deal with push back from detractors.” 

      While many events are being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, WELD wanted to go virtual with this event so that others could still seize the opportunity to hear from its panelists. 

      “Business and career opportunities don’t necessarily come when they are ‘convenient’ for people,” says Kellar. “New opportunities can be created in the most stressful and bleakest of times. These are the exact times when extraordinary leaders are identified and rise to the occasion, and entrepreneurs innovate mission critical business solutions. Our businesses and communities need these kinds of leaders now and emerging professionals must be tapped for the talent that they have.”

      Even more so, Kellar says that the diversity of the panelists makes this virtual event unique. “The diversity of our panel combined with the high levels of business success the panelists have achieved so early in their careers will make for an excellent cocktail,” she says. “We have individuals representing various professions, and all have unique stories to share on how they’ve reached their current positions and roles. Mikaela Hunt is a moderator at the top of her game and knows how to bring it – she will deliver the best out of the panelists and get the audience fully engaged.”

      To learn more about the event or to register, click here.

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      Learn how to cook from the comfort of your own home with virtual cooking classes. Click here to read more.

      If you’ve ever been interested in taking your cooking skills up a notch, there’s no better time than now to do just that. The Learning Kitchen in West Chester wants to help you create high-quality meals with help from the pros. 

      “The Learning Kitchen is Greater Cincinnati’s premier cooking class destination,” says Owner David Metz. “Our take on cooking is simple: It should be easy, fun, and delicious.”

      This hands-on cooking experience (when we aren’t on lockdown), uses locally grown foods to give you the freshest ingredients to prepare your meal.

      But, since we’re still practicing social distancing for the time being, The Learning Kitchen is now offering virtual classes. 

      “Virtual classes are for work groups, friends, and families,” says Metz. “We send you the recipes, grocery list, and setup instructions. Each person gathers their ingredients. Then we have a live Zoom video call. Our chef leads you through prepping, cooking, and plating the entire meal while everyone follows along at home. Viewers can ask questions and interact with the chef.” 

      As Ohio slowly begins to reopen, The Learning Kitchen is offering classes again, but with reduced capacity. 

      Regular classes restarted on May 12 with a maximum of 7 guests or 6 couples to maintain the required 6-feet for social distancing. “We provide hand sanitizer and gloves when needed and we have eliminated any need to pass items,” says Metz. 

      Also available now are private daytime classes, which are ideal for couples, families, or groups who share a living space. Metz says this is a great way to get out of the house and do something fun. The classes are run like regular classes except the building is occupied by just the private cooking class. After a date is booked, the team from The Learning Kitchen will contact you to coordinate the menu, confirm the number of guests, and go over safety precautions with you.

      Find out more information about The Learning Kitchen at https://www.thelearningkitchen.com. You can also like them on Facebook to stay up to date with new announcements regarding classes and safety precautions. 

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      A local boutique bakery that started from scratch is now offering cookie kits to make their signature sweets at home.

      Cincy Chic: What is Delicious Designs Cookies?
      Arin Singer-Bonk, Founder of Delicious Designs Cookies: Delicious Designs Cookies is a small boutique bakery specializing in custom cut-out cookies for special events and occasions. Everything is created for your exact specifications.We love doing cookies for graduations, weddings, baby and bridal showers and any special event that merits a special cookie.  In addition to cookies, we also have an extensive after school cookie decorating program, primarily in Lakota Schools and the Cincinnati Public Library System. The after school program is six week of cookie decorating, meeting once per week, where each week is a new theme. We meet for one hour and have an absolute blast.

      Cincy Chic: What inspired you to launch the bakery?
      Singer-Bonk: Delicious Designs Cookies was started, from scratch, in 2006. My family moved to Cincinnati that year and it seemed like a great time to launch a new business and follow dreams of creating delicious things for people.

      Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
      Singer-Bonk: Me! My name is Arin and I own the company. While I am the creative and driving force behind it, I can’t do it without the support of my family and my assistant Tricia. I’ve also been fortunate enough to use the Lakota Local Schools Internship program to develop high school interns to help me with the after school program. They have really helped me maximize the amount of schools and children I can serve in the course of a week.

      Cincy Chic: What makes Delicious Designs Cookies unique?
      Singer-Bonk: I am convinced that you won’t get better customer service anywhere. I love meeting with people and getting to know them to learn how I can best serve their needs. My company has become immersed in the community and we have a reputation to uphold. I rely a lot on referrals and I want to always make sure that people can trust me to take care of those they have referred to me. In addition to cookies and classes, we also offer birthday parties and summer “Camp Cookie” that has been entertaining kids since 2011.

      Cincy Chic: Tell us more about the new cookie kits you’re offering!
      Singer-Bonk: When the coronavirus came to the forefront of our lives in early March things quickly changed for my business. It began with canceled after school classes and followed with canceled orders. All in just a couple of days the  stay at home orders were put into place and large scale gatherings were against protocol. For a day or two I panicked because the orders I had were for baby showers, bridal showers and parties. I brainstormed and thought of the families trapped at home, sorting things out and looking for entertainment. I thought about the cookie kits I had made at Christmas and thought that might be a good idea, especially if they were offered in different themes. And, what if they were delivered to all those that were homebound? I made a Facebook post with a few theme ideas and was completely surprised and overwhelmed with their popularity. For the past eight weeks I have offered kits that get delivered, primarily to West Chester and Liberty Township and beyond. Each kit has 12 cookies and everything needed to decorate them…utensils, base coat icing, piping bags, sprinkles and accents. After a week or so people started ordering for birthdays as well. So, I started offering balloons as an add-on. As it turns out, those were a big hit, too, because quarantine birthdays need extra cheer! I have since employed two people to help with deliveries. I have made a lot of new amazing customers through the process, which is amazing!

      Cincy Chic: How can readers place an order with Delicious Cookie Designs?
      Singer-Bonk: To order, people primarily message on Facebook or instagram and I take their information and they are either invoiced or transfer money through Venmo.

      Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Delicious Cookie Designs?
      Singer-Bonk: I am looking to develop my summer program into an online platform where a kit is purchased (either one time or through a subscription) and online instruction is provided through a video platform. With summer camps being so up in the air right now, this might be a viable option to keep kids entertained this summer. And we are always looking to further develop the things that have always been working for Delicious Designs Cookies. Even if our in-person camps are able to happen, this might be a fun way to reach more people outside of my community.

      Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
      Singer-Bonk: Delicious Designs Cookies is on Facebook and Instagram, or you can check out our website here. To contact us, call 513-490-7221 or send an email to deliciousdesignscookies@yahoo.com.

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        While the pandemic postponed this local nurse’s wedding, she’s finding positivity in the chaos of treating COVID-19 patients. Read on for her inspiring story of heroism and hope.

        Megan Gulbrandsen’s was supposed to walk down the aisle on May 2, 2020. But instead, she was walking room to room caring for COVID-19 patients as a nurse in the Progressive Care Unit at Jewish Hospital. 

        “I work on the Progressive Care Unit, essentially a step-down-ICU at Jewish,” she explains. “However, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, my unit has been converted into COVID central alongside the Intensive Care Unit. Between the two of us we are taking most of the COVID patients.”

        Becoming COVID central has meant many changes for Gulbrandsen, and a lot of learning. 

        “There are always many new things one must learn during change,” she says. “We had to learn more about how to operate as an ICU by going through training, taking care of ventilators, how to give out medications for those who are ventilated, learning how to swab for COVID, how to operate other various machines, drawing blood, and other responsibilities to take care of our patients.”

        Megan Gulbrandsen and fiancé Eric

        Gulbrandsen says the changes were challenging at the onset of the pandemic but the frontline heroes at the Jewish Hospital have a better handle on how to care for COVID-19 patients as they flatten the curve. 

        “The hardest part at the beginning was just staying on top of the ever-changing information from work and always reading my emails,” she says. 

        Although this time has been stressful for her, including the postponement of her wedding, Gulbrandsen says that she’s been taking everything day by day and is mindful about staying positive in the face of this adversity.

        “There are a lot of things I’m doing to stay positive during this time of gloom including finding enjoyment in my off days with my family and dogs, getting out and enjoying nature, and really just enjoying time for myself – like reading and baking,” she says. 

        Once the time has passed and we find a new normal, Gulbrandsen says that there’s a very important lesson she’s going to walk away with. “I’m going to just enjoy what we have in life, enjoy the relationships we have,” she says. “Just living each day to the fullest, never taking anything for granted.” 

        She’s now looking forward to walking down the aisle on August 1.

        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.

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