Team Beef Member on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Patient Care
As passionate beef advocates, Team Beef members promote beef’s health benefits and are firsthand examples of athletes leading active and healthy lifestyles fueled by lean beef. Members not only rely on lean beef when preparing to run road races but also incorporate it as a staple in their diets to help fuel the day-to-day rigors of life, family and work.
Avid runner and Northeast Team Beef member, Carole Stevenson of Edgewater, NJ, is a shining example of how lean beef plays an essential role in one’s diet. Stevenson currently relies on lean beef as a source of sufficient energy for long days caring for COVID-19 patients.
Stevenson works as a physician assistant (PA) in three different hospitals close to the U.S. coronavirus epicenter in New York City. On a typical day before the pandemic, Stevenson would manage the surgical and trauma patients: ortho, vascular, plastics, general surgery and trauma patients in the ICU. With the spread of COVID-19, she is now primarily caring for COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
“It is a whole new world, and it’s been an adjustment to wear N95 masks the entire 12-13 hour shift,” Stevenson says. “Those are in addition to the rest of the hazard gear that’s easily donned – hats, gowns, goggles and gloves.”
The hospitals where Stevenson works are overflowing with COVID-19 patients; every person in the ICU is on a ventilator and in critical condition, many with failing kidneys and in need of dialysis. “The hospital feels and looks like a war zone,” Stevenson says. “The operator is overhead paging staff to respond to cardiac arrests, decompensating patients and other emergencies on a way-too-frequent basis.”
Community support helps Stevenson stay positive. The food deliveries and uplifting cards, notes and posters she receives tell her she’s not alone in this fight. Looking forward to the future, Stevenson is excited to accomplish her running goals, meet up with her running friends and continue advocating for beef.
The Beef Checkoff program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.