Samantha Jacques was named vice president of clinical engineering at McLaren Health Care in December, after holding a similar position at Penn State University.

“Health care wasn’t new to me,” she said. “But being new to the area and having to figure this out was quite difficult.”

“This,” of course, was the COVID-19 pandemic. The role of her and the 72 McLaren workers she supervises statewide — including nine in Flint — was to ensure that all patients throughout the health system had adequate equipment, including ventilators but also feeding pumps, IV pumps and poles, extra beds and high-flow oxygen setups. Their efforts included buying or renting supplies as needed and moving equipment from McLaren hospitals where there was little COVID to areas that were hit badly — such as Flint.

Samantha and her team performed all the work with little fanfare, despite the risks to themselves. And when it turned out that McLaren had an ample supply of high-flow oxygen setups, Samantha ensured that the equipment was still put to use helping patients. She called around to other health systems and found that Beaumont had a need for them in metro Detroit.

“So we sent a bunch of them, a bunch because they were more useful down there,” she said.

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