Mary Ellen Derstine, a 16-year employee of Grand View Health, will be honored during the opening game of the Philadelphia Phillies 2021 baseball season as one of 41 “Frontline Heroes.” She was chosen from over 500 entries submitted to the Phillies organization.
Her video testimonial, submitted by Grand View’s Chief Medical Officer, Jane Ferry, MD, and cardiologist Todd Alderfer, MD, related the story of Mary Ellen’s selfless, cheerful demeanor and bravery as she donned personal protective equipment (PPE) each day and cleaned the rooms of COVID-19 patients during the darkest days of the pandemic.
Her photo, now transformed into a banner, is posted just feet from the iconic Mike Schmidt statue, adjacent to the third-base entrance of Citizens Bank Park at the intersection of Passyunk Street and Citizens Bank Park Way (11th street.) The banners surrounding the ballpark will be posted for the entirety of the 2021 season.
In her video submission, Alderfer and Ferry spoke of Mary’s dedication during the pandemic and her steadfast reliability and positivity.
“She was an inspiration to our doctors, nurses and patients, and her infectious smile and sunny outlook lifted the spirits of all of us,” says Ferry.
“Sometimes, when I just needed a little lift, I would actually seek out Mary Ellen,” says Alderfer. “A few minutes with her would make our doctors and nurses feel better.”
Throughout the 2021 Phillies season, Mary Ellen and the other essential workers chosen by the organization will also have the chance to tell their story in a “Frontline Hero Video Series” that will air during Phillies games and on the team’s YouTube channel.
“I’m very excited to represent all of us at Grand View Health,” says Mary Ellen of the honor. She will be part of the opening day ceremonies broadcast on NBC 10, and during Thursday’s game, she’ll be seated with her husband behind home plate in “dream seats” provided by the Phillies. Mary Ellen plans to bring her dancing shoes, as she has also been chosen to dance with the Phillie Phanatic during the fifth inning.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me,” Mary Ellen gushes. “I’m beyond excited and so grateful for the support from my wonderful co-workers at Grand View Health who have saved so many lives, and our doctors for nominating me just for doing what I love to do.”