Health Blog

Cherry Health Frontline Heroes: Paul Bryant

Even during a pandemic, Cherry Health providers and staff work day-after-day to care for patients who are sick and need urgent care. Despite the challenges of adapting to a new normal – both at work and at home – these healthcare professionals never fail to find inspiration around them to keep them going.

In this series, we want to take a moment to feature a few of the many resilient, dedicated Cherry Health staff working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Bryant, PA-C – Obstetrics and Gynecology

With more than 26 years at Cherry Health, Paul Bryant has seen it all when it comes to providing family, prenatal and OB/GYN care to his patients over the years. But even seasoned healthcare providers like Bryant couldn’t have foreseen just how much the COVID-19 pandemic would upend every aspect of the way they provide care to patients.

In addition to only seeing essential visits in the office and postponing all surgeries, Bryant, a physician assistant at Cherry Street Health Center, said he has adapted to the new environment by learning how to conduct telehealth visits in order to further reduce the spread of the virus while continuing to provide care for patients. Though he said the most profound change from this experience is the elevated alert level he and his colleagues are now on.

“We are all very aware of little symptoms we would never have noticed in the past like an occasional cough or sneeze, wondering if that is the beginning of symptoms for ourselves or coworkers,” he said. “Everyone’s stress level is high, but we have a very dedicated team.”

Regardless of whether one is on the frontline or not, Bryant said it’s likely the coronavirus pandemic will impact most of us before things subside – either directly or indirectly, like an elderly member of his church who lost her life to virus. That’s why he strongly urges everyone to diligently follow the necessary safety precautions to protect all in the community, especially those who are at high risk for infection.

“If we all take our roles seriously, we can keep them from being exposed to others and keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed by too many people being sick at the same time,” he said. “That way those who do get sick will be able to receive the care they need.”

Nonetheless, Bryant said what keeps him going through these tumultuous times is his faith and deep belief that his patients deserve to continue to receive the best care he can give them. Bryant also looks to his faith as an anchor and source for inspiration and comfort.

“I am continuing my habit of praying every day, now including prayers for protection of my family and friends, my patients and coworkers,” he said.