Sky Blue FC Honors its First Five #SBFCheroes

Sky Blue FC has named its first five SBFC Heroes honorees. The nominees were recognized for their dedicated work serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their communities safe. Hackensack Meridian Health is proud to partner with Sky Blue to honor the #SBFCheores.

The first honoree named was Kim Shinkle of West Deptford, N.J. She works for ManorCare Health Services and has been working tirelessly on the frontlines. Shinkle also inspired the Sky Blue FC digital card community initiative. She was nominated by fellow nurse, Beth Tachdjian who praised Shinkle’s dedication to helping her community. Tachdijan said, “Kim Shinkle is one of the kindest and most generous people I know Putting aside her own health issues she chose to step-up and stay with her patients so they could be cared for by someone they are familiar with.”

The next recipient was Mary O’Brien of Piscataway, N.J. She is a respiratory therapist who works primarily with children and infants. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, she has been even more committed to keeping her community safe. She was nominated by Colleen O’Brien for her work ethic during this global pandemic. “The unique respiratory aspect of COVID-19 puts her even higher at risk,” said C. O’Brien. “Despite having recent neck surgery and consequential other injuries, she still works all day on her feet. She will still take the time to mail me newspaper articles that she thinks I will find interesting and check up on me. I’m looking forward to being able to sit next to her at Sky Blue games in the future.”

Julia Hennessey and Kimberly Trumbull of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were the next two SBFC Heroes. Hennessey works at Jefferson Methodist Hospital as an emergency department nurse. She was nominated by Hennessey. “Kimberly is often picking up extra shifts to help provide care for her patients and assistance for her coworkers,” said Hennessey. “She is looking forward to the time that her, her wife, and her father in law (all nurses on the front line and Sky Blue Season Ticket Members) can enjoy cheering on Sky Blue FC together.” Julia Hennessey also works as an emergency department nurse and has had to face unprecedented changes during the pandemic. She was nominated by Trumbull. “Julia is truly on the front line with COVID-19 patients because you don’t know at that point who is positive and who is not since she is the first point of contact,” said Trumbull. “It’s been heartbreaking to hear the losses that she’s faced and how much her daily job routine has changed since the pandemic has started.”

The most recent SBFC Hero named is Kayla Tibaldo of the New York Presbyterian Hospital. She works as an occupational therapist, usually, but since the outbreak, she has started volunteering in the emergency department and ICU to help as much as she can. She was nominated by Brianna Garvey for her dedication to help those suffering most during this pandemic. Since the outbreak, Tibaldo has been picking up longer shifts and helping doctors’ ready patients for chest x-rays.

“It has been an honor to recognize these everyday heroes in our community,” said Sky Blue FC Community Relations Coordinator Halsey Urban. “Seeing the impact to be had when individuals like Kim Shinkle, Mary O’Brien, Julia Hennessey, Kimberly Trumbull, and Kayla Tibaldo put their health and safety at risk to help their community is truly remarkable. I want to commend these SBFC heroes for their dedication as well as essential workers around the world that have worked tirelessly to keep life as close to normal as possible.”

Nominations for SBFC Heroes are still open. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their continued work on the frontlines of COVID-19, nominate them here.