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Published on March 05, 2021

Hilary Ward, Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist

Hilary Ward

Hilary Ward figured that if you can’t see a smile through a mask, then draw one on the mask. And so she did. Day after day. And those silly, hand-drawn faces on her N-95 gear are now legendary throughout the halls of the Cone Health Green Valley campus, not to mention in the hearts of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and their families. As an occupational therapist, Hilary is at the very front of frontline caregivers. When COVID-19 began to spread through our community, she was called on to not just help patients recover, but to do so from a virus no one even knew how to recover from. With an indomitable spirit and a remarkably positive attitude, Hillary dove headfirst into making rehab effective, memorable and, even in the most trying of circumstances, fun.

Hillary instinctively knew that mandated isolation and strict visitation rules would pose a significant threat to patient recovery so she took it upon herself to arrange for Facetime therapy sessions in which family members could encourage and support patients virtually—the next best thing to being there. It’s no wonder she’s been called a guardian angel and why she is now a COVID-19 Legend.