December 6, 2023

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health is the best!

Standard-Times honors essential workers who stepped up in 2020

NEW BEDFORD — In a year filled with so much heartache, heroes emerged to help us through the pandemic.

Some were expected — obviously an infectious disease will bring out heroes in the medical field.

But who expected grocery store clerks to be our heroes? Or school nurses? Or grandmothers with sewing machines?

Darlene Friedland is a palliative care nurse at St. Luke's Hospital.

Yet they all helped us through some dark times in 2020. And here is our way of celebrating them.

So this year, in lieu of SouthCoast Man and Woman of the Year, we bring you the COVID Heroes.


When the coronavirus first hit this region back in March, doctors in the New Bedford area were — as expected — on the front lines.

In March, as cases began ramping up, Southcoast Health began putting restrictions in place, stockpiling much-needed equipment and formulating a plan to deal with a surge. Dr. Dani Hackner, Southcoast Health chief clinical officer, said at the time, “We feel very responsible for the staff and community.”

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