Earlier this week, a group of nurses from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
, which has been produced from the host’s home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling themselves the “Swab Squad,” the group generated significant social media buzz with a viral video of its members dancing to Ciara’s “Level Up” in the parking lot where they perform drive-through testing for the novel coronavirus. One of the group’s members, Jeff Doucette, is a proud Marymount Saint, and has three degrees from the University (AAS ’93, BSN ’94, MS ’98). He is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Thomas Jefferson.
“What this team has been able to do is test over 2,000 people and get them at home where they need to recover,” Doucette told DeGeneres during the show. “And so this team has come together and formed this amazing family that has really kept this community safe.”
During the episode, Swab Squad members talked about what it’s been like on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they’ve bonded as a work family during these tough times. DeGeneres also had a few surprises for them, including a personal message from Ciara and her husband, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.
“You guys are doing something so amazing and so special,” Ciara told the nurses. “You guys are giving the world joy at a time when we need it by dancing and leveling up.”
“What’s up, squad?” Wilson added. “You guys keep leveling up, keep doing your thing. You’re the true, true heroes.”
DeGeneres also surprised them with a $50,000 donation to help Thomas Jefferson employees who are struggling financially due to the pandemic, courtesy of Shutterfly. The host added that once it is safe to do so, they all would be invited to one of her studio shows and included in product giveaways.
“I am sending you so much love,” DeGeneres said. “Just know when you’re there and it’s the hardest moment, the hardest day, you haven’t seen your family…know how many people are thinking of you and thanking you and sending you love.”