PORTLAND, Maine – A video capturing the thoughts and emotions of Maine Medical Center (MMC) ICU nurses as they cared for unvaccinated patients during the Delta COVID-19 surge won MaineHealth videographer Charlie Berg a Regional Emmy® Award at Boston’s Wang Theater Saturday night. The story, entitled “Inside View of Maine Medical Center ICU Nurses Caring for Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients,” was posted on the MaineHealth YouTube page and other social media channels on September 2, 2021 to encourage vaccination against COVID-19, and has now been viewed more than 750,000 times.
Berg shot, edited and produced the video, but he credits its power to the ICU nurses who opened up to him about the toll the surge was taking on them and their community. He went to the ICU that day expecting the focus of his story to be an unvaccinated patient whose experience with COVID-19 left him wishing he had chosen vaccination. As he began speaking to nurses Chani Marcoux, RN, Britney Meunier, RN, Danielle Poulin, NP, and Kimberly Matheson, RN, he knew their stories were just as important because they not only were speaking for themselves, but for the patients they lost.
“The truth is I showed up for one day with a camera and the nurses and the front line care teams have been doing this for two years, putting their lives on the line,” Berg said. “It was important to them that people see the needless pain and suffering that patients, families and care teams were going through when effective vaccines were available. It was important to me that that story be told.”
When the Regional Emmy® was announced, Marcoux, Meunier, Poulin and Matheson took the stage with Berg to receive the award. Berg introduced the nurses, who received a standing ovation.
“Charlie really was able to portray and capture the message of what it’s like to be an ICU nurse during the pandemic and the importance of vaccination,” Meunier said. “Inviting us to be part of the Emmy ceremony was so special.”
“Just being acknowledged, not only that night but also with the number of times that video has been seen was emotional for us,” Marcoux said. “To us, this award is for the patients we lost, those who passed away without their families with only us there. They’re always on our minds.”
MaineHealth continues to urge everyone who is over the age of 5 to get vaccinated and to receive booster shots when eligible. Click here for more information on COVID-19 vaccination.
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system whose vision is “Working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.” It consists of nine local health systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and 1,700 employed providers working together through the MaineHealth Medical Group. With approximately 22,000 employees, MaineHealth provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.