This is part of a series of stories profiling members of the Niagara Health team and the work they are doing as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meet Anna Cobian, a Digital Communications Specialist.
Anna Cobian has always been proud of the work she and her colleagues on the Niagara Health Corporate Communications team produce.
But providing key health and safety information for Niagara Health patients, staff, physicians and the public during the pandemic has reinforced even more for Anna the critical role of Communications.
“The pandemic has validated more for me the work of our Communications team. Everything that our team is creating is so important for our staff, physicians, patients and the community,” says Anna, a Digital Communications Specialist who has been part of the Niagara Health team for seven years. “It makes me feel good knowing I am helping to provide this important information. We all have a part during the pandemic and we are truly in this together."
During the pandemic, the Communications team has been working to provide staff and physicians the information they need to perform their work safely. They have created a new daily email newsletter, organized biweekly virtual town halls and produced infographics, posters and education videos. The Communications team’s work has a large focus on health and safety, including informing our teams about the proper use of personal protective equipment, the importance of meticulous hand hygiene and physical distancing, screening, and wellness supports for staff and physicians.
Communications is also responsible for helping the public understand what to expect when coming to the hospital and what we are doing to keep them safe during the pandemic and at all times.
Anna is the person behind the visual branding for Niagara Health. She supports departments with campaigns to educate staff and the public by creating digital and print infographics, posters, signage and publications. She also does photography and videography and manages our internal and external websites.
How has your role changed during the pandemic?
I went from designing materials for various campaigns to focusing solely on the pandemic, especially at the beginning. The urgency to get information out has changed a lot, too. We already work in a fast-paced environment, but since the pandemic, it has been even more so. The information, like new guidelines involving personal protective equipment or screening, comes in fast and we have to be ready to create materials quickly to keep our Niagara Health team and the public informed. You keep yourself going because you know what you are creating is important for our staff and the community to ensure they are up to date on the latest guidelines and protocols related to the virus.
What does it mean to you to be working with your team to protect the health and safety of the NH team and community?
It is so meaningful to know that the work we are producing is keeping people safe and healthy. This has been such an evolving situation and it’s important our team moves quickly so the Niagara Health team, patients and community have the latest information.
What’s the most challenging part about working during the pandemic?
It would be not seeing my colleagues face to face on a regular basis. We’re such a close team and we’re always working closely together on multiple projects. Since we started alternating weeks working from home, I don’t see everyone as often. We have regular Zoom meetings each day, but you miss something from that face-to-face interaction. That distance apart can be difficult.
What is a learning for you during the pandemic?
In the beginning of the pandemic, it was so busy and I didn’t have time to process it. COVID was around me everywhere at work, and at home when I turned on the television. I was feeling anxious, and thought one way I could reduce it at home was by limiting how much news I was watching about the pandemic or what I was reading on social media. I didn’t want it to consume me. I’d rather watch a movie or listen to an audio book so it’s not always around me or on my mind.
How do you unwind after a workday?
The one thing I go to unwind is listening to music. On my drive home from work, I play music depending on my mood. That 20-minute drive home is my time to unwind. And I love spending time with my husband and my dogs, Mocha and Sammy. Coming home and snuggling with my dogs is a big stress reliever. They’re always so happy to see me when I get home. It takes any stress or worry away.
Click on the In It Together button below to read more stories about our team.