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Everyday Healthcare Heroes: Doctor Natasha LaBelle

Meet ER Doctor Natasha LaBelle

Meet Doctor Natasha LaBelle

Dr. Natasha LaBelle’s work as an ER doctor this past year has placed her at the front lines of the pandemic. We are struck by her compassion and her strength as she faced these enormous challenges, and her deep commitment to keeping her patients—and our community—safe and well.


What is your job title and what do you do at work? 

I’m an Emergency Medicine Physician. I take care of patients in the emergency department—anything from a broken toe to a heart attack, ages 0 to 100+.

 

Where do you work? 

MarinHealth Medical Center
 

What makes your job unique?

We have the privilege of caring for everyone who walks through the hospital door—we serve the community regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. I have the great honor of working as part of a team who supports and treats patients through some of the hardest moments of their life. Witnessing and experiencing humanity as we see it on the front lines is an indescribable place.
 

What do you love to do away from work? 

I love spending time with my two crazy kids—ages 3 and 1. They keep me on my toes! We also have a new "pandemic" puppy—a big black Lab that keeps us busy. I'm an athlete at heart and love runs and bike rides. We escape to the great outdoors whenever we get a chance. We live in Northern California and are fortunate to have mountains and ocean right in our backyard. International travel is on hold for the time being, but my husband and I have been fortunate to enjoy unique travels throughout the world experiencing and learning about other cultures through West Africa and Papua New Guinea. 
 

What is the most memorable moment from the past year?...and what is your key lesson learned in the past year?   

Most memorable moment: I spiked a fever early in March right as the COVID pandemic hit our area after a night shift. Being on the front lines and afraid to infect my family, I packed up my bags, said good-bye to my babies and husband, and went into quarantine in a separate studio (my mother's place) not knowing what the future would hold or if I would get terribly sick. I was lucky that UCSF had started doing rapid testing for healthcare workers and drove late at night to their emergency department. I thankfully tested negative and was back with my family and work within a few days. It was the beginning of a long year worrying about potential exposure to my family and patients—I am so VERY thankful for PPE!!

Key Lesson Learned: There is so much incredible collaboration and end products that can come out of a dark period of time of the unknown. The generosity of people's time, knowledge and love I have witnessed as a front line provider through this pandemic has been the silver lining through each day. I am incredibly inspired by people who care for their community—from as small an act of neighbors coming together to gather masks for healthcare workers, to distributing food to local families, all the way to scientists creating a safe and effective vaccination for this nation. In trying times, people will rise—I have seen it on a daily basis.

 

What women inspire you? 

The female colleagues I work with everyday inspire me on a daily basis. When the pandemic hit a few of us banded together and worked night and day to secure PPE in innovative ways, created protocols to keep our patients and staff safe, and collaborated among multiple departments in a rapid and ever-changing COVID-19 response to help our community and hospital. It was an incredible response and we did it together.  

 

What message would you share with the DOLAN community? 

Let's continue to lift each other up and be our best selves, we truly can get through anything together. 

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DOLAN’S Everyday Healthcare Heroes is an ongoing series featuring some of the women who are working so hard, day in and day out, and making such an enormous difference in our lives. If you are a healthcare worker, please click here to request a questionnaire for sharing your story with us. Or, if you know of someone you’d like to nominate for us to consider spotlighting, please send us their name and contact information. 

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