Around Our Regions: Even During COVID, Buffalo RN Gives Back To her CommunityJanuary 12, 2021
Cathy Mahar, a first assistant surgery RN at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Buffalo since 1987, grew up with the Golden Rule, and it’s one of the reasons she became a nurse. “I wanted to take care of others, and people who are sick,” she says. Mahar’s parents were her biggest supporters, encouraging her into the profession. She credits her high school ROTC program with encouraging her toward the education and discipline she needed to become a nurse.
When COVID-19’s first wave hit the Buffalo area, Mahar immediately volunteered to continue working at St. Joseph’s (which was converted to a COVID hospital by the institution’s parent organization, Catholic Health Systems).
Mahar valued the education and experience, but says it was particularly important that she support her hometown. “This was something I HAD to do,” she says. “People were dying and not seeing their families.
People were constantly donating food and looking after us. It was rewarding to be there for my community and my patients.”
After the surge, Mahar donated her crisis pay to Catholic Health’s food pantry. “I’m glad the Union fought for hazard pay, because it’s definitely needed,” she says. “But this was something I was happy to be able to do, particularly because so many businesses and community member had done so much for us.”