Sharon Kurfuerst

System Chief Operating Officer, ChristianaCare

Photo courtesy of Sharon Kurfuerst

In March, COVID-19 forced Sharon Kurfuerst to modify her operations and those of nearly 4,000 caregivers who administer care through ChristianaCare. As head of the healthcare system’s COVID-19 incidence command and response team, Kurfuerst coordinated with state and federal government agencies, local officials and other healthcare systems.

Kurfuerst created drive-through testing, secured PPE, and sent equipment to underserved communities and in-need medical centers, even those not affiliated with ChristianaCare. The magnitude of integration and collaboration was unprecedented, Kurfuerst says.

“The beauty of Delaware is our ability to collaborate in the best interest of all Delawareans,” she says. Kurfuerst’s long career prepared her to lead through the pandemic, as did one of her role models. “I am the proud daughter of a Delaware state trooper and I watched my father manage emergency scenarios,” she says. “His favorite statement was: ‘Tears aren’t going to fix this.’ You can’t stand inert and paralyzed during a crisis. You have to take a step forward.”

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