Mary Hidalgo’s words were both a plea and an order. The Interim Nurse Leader was tasked with leading a COVID-ravaged facility through unprecedented circumstances, but first, she had to get buy-in from the other stakeholders. How did she do it?

Her story of using servant leadership to affect life-saving change proves what’s possible with the right leader in place.

The facility’s COVID-19 numbers headlined the evening news. Three-fourths of its residents were positive for the novel coronavirus.

Located in a large Southeast city, the small post-acute facility saw its first positive cases in mid-April. A week later, the Department of Health, assisted by the National Guard, tested all residents and staff. Out of the 204 residents and staff who were tested on-site, 104 residents and 21 staff members were positive for COVID-19. One resident and a member of the staff had already died as a result of the virus.