GMA3 Team Announces Interview
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – (February 5, 2021) – Northside hospital caregivers Sharon Ellis, RN and Gus Palavros, RN were shocked when presented with Super Bowl tickets today during an interview with GMA3’s T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach. Both critical care nurses already felt honored to be asked by the show to appear in a Pandemic anniversary story to give their perspective as frontline nurses.
“Oh my gosh, “ exclaimed Sharon Ellis, as she wiped tears away.
A stunned Gus Palavros smiled just able to say, “Wow!”
Sharon and Gus work collaboratively in responding to hospital code blue and rapid responses. At one time during their Northside careers, both worked in the hospital’s Neuro Intensive Care Unit.
“We are so excited for Sharon and Gus, two extraordinary nurses whose work on the frontlines during this pandemic has positively impacted so many lives,” said Valerie Powell-Stafford, MHSA, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer for Northside Hospital. “Not only did they provide our patients with the hope and strength they needed to battle COVID-19, they went out of their way to keep patient family members connected to their loved ones.”
Sharon Ellis has been a critical care nurse leader at Northside Hospital for more than 20 years. She frequently volunteers for additional shifts, working tirelessly to ensure patients receive safe, high-quality care. During the COVID-19 patient surge, Sharon worked side-by-side with charge nurses to support their extraordinary efforts while helping patients maintain communication with their families. Sharon also shares the responsibilities for managing the overflow critical care unit and chairs the unit-based council which encourages caregiver input to improve quality and the patient experience. She is very involved in community outreach, rallying the critical care teams to compete in donations the local food pantry, noting she felt it was important to give back to the community in response to the outpouring of support the nurses and caregivers at Northside Hospital received throughout the pandemic.
Gus Palavros is a long-term Northside nurse who stepped up to care for the most critical COVID-19 patients in the hospital’s Neuro Intensive Care Unit. When staffing was tight, Gus was always the one who worked extra shifts. He became a unit charge nurse and the point person for fellow caregivers who needed support. During this time, Gus cared for some of his co-workers and his co-workers family members who were sick with COVID-19, explaining he felt a personal connection with them. Through all of his heroic efforts, Gus knew that connecting these severely sick patients with loved ones was an important aspect of their care plan and would facilitate face timing sessions when visitation had to be restricted. Throughout these tough times and being on the front line of treating COVID-19 patients, Gus had an amazing attitude and wanted to support his community inside and outside the hospital. Gus led the efforts of the ICU teams by coordinating a Thanksgiving food drive for the needy and a sock drive for patrons of Pinellas Hope. He is always thinking of others and is selfless in all that he does.
Gus and Sharon have been role models in getting their COVID-19 vaccinations early and encouraging other caregivers to do the same, to protect themselves, their patients and each other.
About Northside Hospital
Serving the community since 1976, Northside Hospital is a 288-bed hospital, offering a full range of services including comprehensive and interventional stroke care, preventative and corrective cardiac care, full-service orthopedic and spine treatment an ER 24/7®, and general surgery. As one of the first hospitals in the area to achieve Atrial Fibrillation Certification (SCPC), our technologically advanced hospital allows our highly skilled physicians, nursing, and caregivers to serve our growing community. Northside Hospital is the first nationally recognized Comprehensive Stroke Center in Pinellas County and nationally recognized for quality and safety by earning an ‘A’ Patient Safety grade from the Leapfrog Group Spring 2020. Our employees voted us a Tampa Bay Times Top Workplace in 2020. With campus-based specialized services including the Tampa Bay Heart Institute and the Neuroscience Institute for Interventional Neuroradiology and neurologic care, Northside Hospital continues to enhance and expand its services to better serve the community.