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STLCC Nursing Faculty Pays it Forward

Michelle Petterchak selfie(This story was updated April 22)

In response to COVID-19, Michelle Petterchak, a nursing faculty member at St. Louis Community College, put out a request for donations on her personal Facebook page. Her goal was simple: to raise money to create care packages for STLCC nursing graduates who are working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus.

Since Petterchak posted her initial ask a couple of weeks ago, she has raised more than $600. With these funds, and the contributions she made herself, Petterchak has assembled nearly 30 care packages filled with salty snacks and sweet treats. Each package was either mailed or hand-delivered to her former nursing students who are treating COVID-19 patients in emergency rooms and intensive care units across the St. Louis region.

A former pediatric nurse practitioner turned educator, Petterchak’s efforts are driven by a personal desire to pay it forward.

“Although I’ve treated patients during peak times, like RSV and flu season, my experience doesn’t compare to challenges our health care professionals are facing,” Petterchak said. “I feel like everyone could use a little sunshine right now, and I want to do what I can to show our nurses that they are valued and appreciated, and that what they are doing truly matters.”

Petterchak hopes to continue supporting the medical professionals working on the front lines throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Editor's Note: Petterchak notes that as of April 23, she will have delivered more than 9,000 individually wrapped goodies to eight healthcare institutions in Missouri and another 3,000 goodies to healthcare institutions outside of the St. Louis area.

Anyone who interested in supporting this effort is encouraged to contact Petterchak at mwhite56@stlcc.edu.

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