COVID’s impact on health care workers


On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic.

Two years later, a panel of experts from UC Davis Health shared perspectives on what it has been like for health care providers on KVIE’s “Studio Sacramento.”

A screenshot of the panel of UC Davis Health experts and host Scott Syphax
A screenshot of the KVIE television appearance with, clockwise from top left, Scott Syphax, Michelle Linenberger, Andrea Vega-Breaux and Peter Yellowlees.

“It’s easy to think COVID’S impact is diminishing. However, the collateral impacts for those fighting the pandemic, our health care providers, it continues to remain an important issue,” said host Scott Syphax.

Syphax welcomed Chief Wellness Officer Peter Yellowlees, Michelle Linenberger, coordinator of the Support U Peer Responder Program, and Andrea Vega-Breaux, a registered nurse in the medical ICU.

The show aired live last Friday night and is now available for online viewing at KVIE’s website.

Yellowlees shared both positive and negative impacts.

“It’s shown the public what health care workers do and lifted the veil of secrecy to show health care heroes and their essential value,” Yellowlees explained. “On the other side, it’s been extremely stressful and a lot of exposure to ‘moral injuries, which is an inability to work to the best of your training or practice.”

Michelle Linenberger shared how UC Davis Health’s peer responder program supports employees for what they’ve witnessed during the pandemic.

“The program has since grown health system-wide with 550 trained peer responders in all disciplines to create a community of support,” Linenberger said.

“The air is heavy and it helps to have that support that we all need,” added Vega-Breaux, who shared her experiences on the front lines with critically ill COVID-19 patients and what sustains her to continue making a difference for patients and their families: “My work isn’t in vain. I can still be part of a team to save somebody.”

COVID-19 information and additional resources