Saints Serving Others: Kelly Rebertus, St. Mary’s Alumni Class of 2006
Kelly (Latta) Rebertus, a St. Mary’s School alumna (Class of 2006,) currently serves as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant at the American Spine and Orthopedic Institute in Fort Myers, Florida. In her role, Kelly works primarily on outpatient cases, but the escalating crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Kelly to reach out and offer her care and expertise to other institutions where the need for assistance was critical.
She applied for several positions in Florida hospitals, anticipating she’d be called to serve somewhere around Miami; however, when she got a request to assist hospital staff in the New York City area, she didn’t hesitate. “I got an email from a CEO of a company on a Friday that I would be activated at 5:00pm that same day,” Kelly said. “They needed me in New York on Sunday.” Even with the extremely quick turnaround, Kelly felt this was the right thing to do. “Being part of this pandemic is something we never thought our generation would have to go through, but I wanted to help,” she said.
Kelly was stationed at the Harlem Hospital Center (NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem) emergency room where she worked on their COVID unit, seeing about five patients a day and providing comfort management. Kelly spent 22 days at the hospital, working 12-hour shifts each day. Kelly noted that the unit was hectic from the start and was difficult in ways she didn’t quite expect. “One of the hardest parts about the entire experience was when someone had an underlying condition and didn’t know it,” Kelly said. “Many patients had no family to support them, so I did a lot of helping to FaceTime families and provide supportive care because people were having to make big decisions about care without family to consult.”
When asked how she felt St. Mary’s prepared her for this unexpected and challenging experience, she expressed the friendships she formed at school made working through this time more bearable. “These friends have been a huge support system through all of this,” she said. “They have sent prayers and support and even meals to my husband and two kids at home. It is so great to have a support system like this.”
St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.