Arlington, VA. (7News) — An Arlington woman who continues going above and beyond to help her community throughout the pandemic is being nominated for a community hero award from her fellow neighbors.
Lee Harper-Chen, an ICU nurse at a level one trauma center in the DC area, is passionate about her career and the community.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, her hospital was overwhelmed with many cases.
“It’s hard work to take care of a very sick COVID patient," Harper-Chen said. "It’s usually one nurse to one patient because they are so sick.”
The frontline worker who's taken care of some of the sickest ICU COVID patients combined both skills to educate thousands of Arlington residents.
“I thought I am going to educate myself against this scary information and educate others because if I am scared, then others are probably scared" Harper-Chen explained.
So, she jumped online in an Arlington neighborhood Facebook group to answer questions.
"I wanted to provide factual information with things that have been proven to work, things that have not," Harper-Chen said. "Here's how you can focus your attention and anxiety."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, she's helped countless people. If you scroll through the Facebook page, you can see dozens of people tagging her, asking questions and thanking her.
Harper-Chen stated “People have thanked me for being really honest telling it like it is and fighting hard knowing that I love my community."
Helping others became a labor of love for Lee. She also helped to secure scrub caps for her colleagues.
Now, she's being nominated for an Arlington community COVID-19 hero award.
“The County is home to many unsung heroes who have continually sacrificed to support others throughout the pandemic while enduring their own hardship – from driving neighbors to vaccine appointments, to donating meals from their small businesses, to organizing groups to share reliable health and safety information with those who may not otherwise have access to it, and beyond. We want to thank them for all they’ve done and use their stories as examples of exemplary citizenry to encourage others to do the same,” said Dr. Aaron Miller, Director of the County’s Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management.
“I am a happy person, I am not in it for the glory or praise, nursing is my calling I love it,” Harper-Chen said. “I would be so proud and so thankful for everyone for listening to me."
Arlington County encourages anyone who lives, works or spends significant time in Arlington to submit award nominations by September 30.
To learn more, click here.