Heroes Work Here: Kathleen Rubino, Guest Services Representative

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Kathleen Rubino transitioned from greeting patients and visitors for surgical services to screening visitors at the hospital’s entrance. She shares what she’s experienced as she helps to keep patients, visitors and staff safe.

Members of the Community Medical Center team in Toms River have been tirelessly caring for patients, and one another, as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout it all, they have responded with strength, skill, and compassion, and shown who they truly are – heroes.


I’ve gone from pretty much a receptionist, to being put at the front door, screening people, handing out masks, vendors coming in, people coming in for labs, x-rays – that sort of procedures that we were doing temperature screenings on them, making sure that they were okay and safe to let them pass through the hallway.

When I was at the main lobby, we would get family members coming in, and they would come to visit and I would have to turn them away, saying ‘you know, we couldn’t take visitors at this point, it was for their safety – safety of the patient, safety of our employees’, and so that was a little hard to do, you know you feel sorry for these people that are here alone, and you feel sorry for the people that want to come and sit with them.

And then we would have end-of-life patients here, and families would come, you know, sometimes to say good-bye and we would only limit one at a time, so that hurt my heart a lot that I would have to tell the rest of the family, ‘I’m sorry, you’ll have to sit in the car. You know, we will let you come in, but we do have to do one at time for the same reasons, you know, for the safety of everyone.’