Sharon Rojas and Elizabeth Mitchell: Memorial Hermann's mother-daughter duo

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Healthcare workers have always been our heroes, but today more than ever.

Here’s a look at two special heroes, a mother, and daughter who work at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

For Elizabeth Mitchell and her mother Sharon Rojas, nursing runs in their family. Mitchell’s grandmother had been a nurse for 30 years.

Rojas had attended nursing school but was unable to finish due to a family illness.

After watching an open-heart surgery during a health careers conference while still in high school, Mitchell says, “I knew I wanted to be a nurse in a big city hospital, where the action was.”

Mitchell had been working as a bedside nurse in Intensive Care Units at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center for eight years when she convinced her mom to apply for a position as coordinator of a Trauma Unit. Rojas got the job.

“At first, we were both working nights, so we would meet for coffee breaks and go to breakfast after our shifts. It was great to have that time together. After I moved into clinical management, I was moved to days.  So, we would pass in the hallway or parking garage at shift change. It was always a nice surprise to get to see her,” says Mitchell. 

Today, Mitchell is the clinical manager of the Medical ICU and Rojas works in the hospital’s Silver Trauma Unit for patients ages 55 and over as a unit coordinator. “If you need someone or something, nurses know to go to the unit coordinator. They run the unit. It gives me a tremendous sense of pride that mom is the go-to person for her unit. The Silver Trauma Unit is lucky to have her,” says Mitchell.

“Working at the same hospital with my mom is a privilege.”

— Elizabeth Mitchell

Roles of both mother and daughter have been impacted by COVID-19. In March, the hospital began isolating patients testing positive for COVID-19 to a dedicated COVID-19 Response Unit that Mitchell helped to set up in under four days.

“It’s very rewarding that when I tell my leadership what we need to do our jobs, they listen to me. That’s always our main focus:  What do we need to take care of our patients right now? It’s always at the center of all we do,” says Mitchell.

“After I finish my paperwork, I make rounds and check on the patients in their rooms.  Especially now with the No Visitor policy in place, it’s tough on older patients, who may have some dementia and be confused.  It helps to have someone to reorient them to what’s going on,” says Rojas.

Rojas reminds us all it’s important to celebrate life’s milestones even during a pandemic:  “In May, Elizabeth turned 40. We held a drive-by birthday parade on her street.”

Despite the pandemic, both daughter and mother still love their careers.

“There are good and bad days, but I can’t imagine a better career,” says Mitchell. “We’re here for you if you need us. And, we always will be.”

Rojas adds, “We’ve had tough times before. We’ve learned to cope. We’re Texans, we can beat this, too.”

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