‘Hidden Hero’ Sandra Powell Helps Speed Coronavirus Testing In Broward

February 23, 2021

The Community Foundation of Broward is proud to honor 12 representatives of dedicated nonprofits who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Our new Hidden Heroes Awards shine a light on 12 outstanding examples of bold impact by individuals who make life better in our community.

Sandra Powell is one of the real-life superheroes who are stepping up to help in Broward, just when our community needs them the most.

Community Foundation of Broward Hidden Heroes Award Winner Sandra Powell of Broward Health.

Sandra’s heroic efforts through Broward Health have helped speed up and expand coronavirus testing in Broward, to stop the spread and identify those in need of care.

When the pandemic hit, Sandra sprang into action to ensure Broward Health’s testing abilities could keep pace with the growing need.

As Regional Laboratory Manager, Sandra found a way to establish three different testing platforms to provide more testing capacity and flexibility to get patients diagnosed as quickly as possible. To overcome a shipping delay, Sandra and a fellow employee even tracked down a FedEx truck at the depot site to find what they needed. They had the testing materials transferred to their Broward Health vehicle and got it to the lab so they could start helping Broward residents as quickly as possible.

Sandra stepped up to ensure clinicians were able to test, triage and treat patients efficiently and safely. Sandra developed processes and procedures to implement Rapid PCR Testing at Broward Health sites. This improved turnaround times, reduced the number of patients under investigation for COVID-19, freed up isolation rooms and aided in preserving masks and other Personal Protective Equipment.

“There have been countless times during the pandemic when she has stepped up to provide leadership, not only for us (but also) for the members of our community,” said Heather Havericak, CEO of Broward Health Medical Center.

The Community Foundation’s Prize patrol surprised Sandra with a cape and medal in recognition of her heroic community service. And like our other Hidden Heroes Award winners, Sandra received a prize package that includes $500, restaurant gift certificates and a two-night staycation at the beautiful Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel.

“It means a lot,” Sandra said after receiving her award. “People really don’t know much about the laboratory and how important it is to diagnosing patients.”
When asked what superhero she most relates to, Sandra said she strives to be fearless like Wonder Woman in the face of big challenges.
“There’s always got to be a way,” Sandra said.

Sandra is just one example of the many nonprofit hidden heroes all across our community whose hard work helps shape a brighter future for Broward. Thanks to support from philanthropists with charitable Funds at the Community Foundation, these hidden heroes can continue to tackle Broward’s big challenges – during this crisis and beyond.

Click here to see a video of Sandra being surprised with her Hidden Hero Award.

Click here to learn more about the Community Foundation of Broward’s Hidden Heroes Award winners.

Learn More

To learn how the Community Foundation can help you fuel heroic, life-changing philanthropy in Broward, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at nthies@cfbroward.org or 954-761-9503.

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