By Steve Svetovich
When Dunmore’s Sarah Naro received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Marywood University four years ago, she did not envision herself working during a world pandemic, but here she is.
Sarah, 30, takes her role as a home health registered nurse very seriously. She was more than prepared when the Covid-19 Virus hit the Northeast PA region.
A home health nurse for Comprehensive Home Health Services, Dupont, Sarah sees patients in the comforts of their home all day during her travels. Most of her patients are in Lackawanna County, but she also sees patients in Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne and Wyoming Counties.
Daughter of Lisa and Paul Rome, she is married to Jeff Naro, a 2006 Dunmore High School graduate. The couple has two boys and one girl, Mason, 7, Giovanni, 4, and Calli, 5. Mason and Calli are students at the Dunmore Elementary School.
Her husband is the son of Sal and Theresa Naro, Dunmore.
Sarah said she had a strong feeling since January that Covid-19 was coming to this country and she was preparing for it.
“I was tracking it quite a bit before it came to the United States,” she said. “I was tracking China and knew about it. I already had masks ready. I was not at all surprised when it came here, but I was still nervous.
“I worked in an operating room before, so wearing a mask was not new to me. I knew what precautions I needed to take when seeing patients in their homes. I have my masks and gloves and sanitizer. I wash my hands constantly. But I have to trust that my patients are taking the same necessary precautions that I am. I need to question and educate them.
“Obviously, I don’t want to pick up the virus. I don’t want to bring it home to my husband and kids. And I want to educate my patients and their family members so they don’t pick it up.”
Sarah said initially, with Covid-19 in full force, she thought her patient load would be slowing down. And that was the case, but soon it picked up.
“I thought it would be slow, and then I saw it happen when a few patients refused visits. They were afraid of the virus. But after they saw we were educating them and we were wearing masks and gloves they became more comfortable with the visits. We reassure them. We protect ourselves and our patients.”
Sarah takes every patient’s temperature prior to each visit and takes vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level. She works closely with home health occupational, physical and speech therapists, certified nurse aides and administrative staff.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, before each visit she asks patients and family members if they have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 or if they or any members of the household have Covid-19 symptoms, including high temperature, cough, loss of taste and smell, weakness, fatigue and muscle aches. She asks if the patient or any member of the household has been out of the state or country.
“I was initially worried about how our patients and family members would handle us coming in to see them because we see multiple patients in different homes. But they see us protecting ourselves and thus protecting them.”
Sarah said her husband is also taking all necessary precautions as an employee of Valley Distribution Company, Pittston, where he is involved in distribution of various supplies, including medical supplies.
“I am worried that once people think they are comfortable, they can slack off. I have three kids who are home. And I think it is good they are home with all this going on. But I do not want to bring this virus home. That is always on the top of my mind.”
Sarah was raised in Hawley and graduated from Wallenpaupack High School in 2008. She moved to Dunmore in 2010 and has resided in Bucktown for the past decade. She attended Luzerne County Community College before transferring to Marywood where she received her nursing degree in 2016.
Sarah started her nursing career in the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital, working in the operating room for two years. She has been a home health nurse the past two years at Comprehensive Home Health Care, Dupont, owned and operated by Janet and Tony Trombetta.
“I am really finding out quickly that nursing is what I was supposed to do in life,” the Dunmore nurse said. “I was a bit shell shocked when I started in clinical nursing, but I got used to it. Some days were very challenging, but I knew I could do it. It provided very good experience. And many days are challenging now with Covid-19 upon us.”
Sarah is in her nursing role on the front line as an essential worker everyday, mask, gloves, nursing bag, sanitizer, gown if necessary and a scrub cap for her long, flowing hair. She takes all the necessary precautions and that is one less worry for her patients.
A salute to Sarah Naro, B.S.N., and all the essential workers on the front line.
By Steve Svetovich
After an outstanding freshman season, what does Dunmore Lady Bucks sophomore guard Moriah Murray do for an encore?
She gets named to the Class 3A All-State first-team.
Daughter of Joseph Murray and Lynn Plotkin, the sophomore standout was one of five Lackawanna League players who earned berths on the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State girls’ basketball team.
The 5-9 sophomore guard averaged 15.7 points per game in her sophomore season for coach Ben O’Brien and the Lady Bucks.
Moriah was the only player to mount a challenge for Player of the Year honors which was won again by Neumann-Goretti senior Diamond Johnson.
In two state playoff games, Moriah picked it up and averaged 28 points per game. She scored a career high 33 points, including seven 3-pointers, on 10-of-15 shooting in the 65-51 win over Neumann-Goretti. Moriah added six rebounds and three assists. She was 18-for-27 shooting in the two PIAA playoff games. She scored 23 points and totaled five assists in the win over Constitution.
Moriah had a hot hand and hit 11-of-17 from 3-point range in the PIAA playoffs before Covid-19 stifled Dunmore’s bid at a state title.
Moriah humbly accepted the news of first-team All-State recognition. “I am so happy about it,” she said. “This is a huge honor. It is great for this team.
“Both last year and this season were nice. I could not do it without my coaches and teammates. The coaches always had us prepared.
“And I am so happy our freshman Ciera Toomey was recognized as a third-team All-State selection. We play well together and have so much fun. We definitely have a chemistry.
“I enjoyed playing with Ciera’s sister Victoria last season, too. I am looking forward to playing at Dunmore in the future with Ciera. She has a bright future and we have such great chemistry together.”
Moriah, 16, said she has been keeping busy during the Covid-19 pandemic playing “hoops” in the backyard with her brother Matt, 23, who played four years of basketball at Dunmore.
Moriah is a member of TACT and the French Club at Dunmore. Her future goal is to play Division I college basketball.
For now, she loves going to Dunmore and playing basketball there. “Going to Dunmore and playing basketball is such an amazing experience,” she said. “It is such a small, close-knit community. The community is totally amazing. The basketball experience starts in the biddy leagues and with our parents. I always looked up to the Lady Bucks and now I am one. Our coach is great and he always puts us in a position to win. Coach O’Brien always has us prepared and ready.”
Moriah said her parents always teach her to be herself. “They just tell me to be my own person.”
The basketball stalwart likes listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Roddy Rich, a rap artist, in concert. She has a 90 academic average and her best subject is history.
She talked about what it takes to be a good guard in high school basketball. “It takes a lot of practice. You need to train by yourself. You need to eat right and take care of your body. And a lot of stretching in the gym helps.”
Moriah talked about the effect of Covid-19 and how it ended the team’s run in the state playoffs. “We were very upset, because in the beginning of the year everybody said we were a young team. No one knew how far this team could go. But we put the time and work in and were playing really well. After we beat Neumann, our attitude was that we could win it all. So it was upsetting in the beginning when we had to stop playing due to Covid-19.
“We did stay in touch though. We did three zoom calls with our teammates and coaches. We all are staying in touch on social media.
“We really wanted to win it all this year for our two seniors, Nora Haggerty and Katherine Hopkins. It was a bummer not to win for them.
“Dunmore is so amazing. I always wanted to be a Lady Buck and always wanted to play for these coaches.”