From the Frontline is an ongoing series highlighting members of the Florida Tech community who are working tirelessly to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
In this installment, Brittany Collins discusses her role as the director of Holzer Health Center.
Q: Please describe your duties related to the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brittany Collins: As director at the Holzer Health Center, a nurse practitioner and a member of the university’s Pandemic Response Team, I am responsible for the health and well-being of our campus community. Some of my key duties include keeping up with the ever-changing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Department of Health recommendations regarding coronavirus, maintaining an open line of communication with the Brevard County Health Department, and most importantly, evaluating and treating our students.
Q: What does it mean to you to play such a key role in assisting the university during this time?
BC: It has been an honor and a privilege to be able to share my medical knowledge and recommendations during this time.
Q: Talk about some successes and challenges during this unique time.
BC: Some of the greatest successes have been the teamwork throughout the university. Numerous departments have come together to help our campus community stay safe, protected and healthy. Also, our communication and partnership with the Brevard County Health Department has been a valuable resource for the Health Center and campus.
The biggest challenge we have faced is limited coronavirus testing early on. As a healthcare provider, I am accustomed to being able to test and get definitive answers for my patients. These resources have now been made available within our community and we feel that we can fully and accurately diagnose and treat our patients.
Q: From your vantage point, how well has the university responded to this pandemic?
BC: The university has been working hard to keep our students healthy and safe. This started with early planning and being aware and knowledgeable about a novel coronavirus that started in China in November 2019, and then moving into complete activation of the Pandemic Response Team in order to keep our campus community safe. Florida Tech has done an excellent job making the necessary changes while still accommodating the students throughout the process.
Q: What is a key thing for people to remember during this pandemic?
BC: Pay attention to social distancing guidelines, stay home and wash your hands frequently! We are working hard to keep you healthy, but it is our community’s response with self-protective measures that will make the biggest impact.
Q: Anyone on your staff you’d like to highlight?
BC: This has been a great team effort inside and outside of the health center. The health center staff has been working incredibly hard to keep all patients healthy and gone over and above for students who have been inconvenienced by restrictions or changes that have been put in place due to coronavirus. The Pandemic Response team led by Bino Campanini has been working incredibly hard to make sure the campus is safe and prepared. Some of these members, including Rodney Bowers, Greg Connell, Jaqueline Hetherington, Greg Graham, Charles “Sonny” Cherrito, Julio Sanchez and Tom Stewart, and their teams have been instrumental in helping the health center staff and our patients follow through with our medical recommendations.