Colorado Healthcare Worker Spreads Smiles and Support with a Little Help from His Singing Dog

You can lean on Tate Hegstrom and his husky Kovu during the emotionally difficult times brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Hegstrom, an administrative resident with HealthONE, a part of HCA Healthcare, has spent the past few months at North Suburban Medical Center in Denver helping the operations of the Colorado hospital smoothly react and respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

"It's been setting up different ICU capacity rooms and identifying where we can safely place patients if we have a surge," the 25-year-old told PEOPLE of his recent workdays, adding that there has also been a focus on "staffing appropriately and covering the needs where they are."

"We're making sure we keep and take care of our employees,' Hegstrom added. "HCA Healthcare has laid off zero employees during all this."

Along with working to protect the jobs of hospital staff, Hegstrom and his colleagues are always looking for opportunities to show their support for the medical world's frontline workers.  Hegstrom's program recently showed its appreciation for the hospital's nurses, doctors, cleaning staff, and other frontline employees with a video of different HCA Healthcare administrative workers signing "Lean on Me."

Hegstrom hopes Kovu's moment of fame inspires others to take time to show their appreciation for those on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

"Any sort of appreciation people can show online is helpful, including donating to hospitals, donating food or sending cards," he said.

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