Augusta University Medical Center remembers nurse who died from COVID-19

Yolanda Coar died last August from COVID-19.
Yolanda Coar died last August from COVID-19.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Memorial dedicated to well-respected nurse who died last year after contracting COVID-19

AUGUSTA — Augusta University Medical Center has dedicated a memorial to a well-respected nurse who died August 9 after contracting COVID-19.

Yolanda Coar spent more than a decade serving patients with “a big smile and positive spirit,” according to university news release. Staff gathered this week for a ceremony in her honor.

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Coar, 40, was well respected and highly thought of by nurses, technicians, residents, pharmacists, physicians and clinicians, said Laura Brower, chief nursing officer for Augusta University Health.

“I think it is important for the faculty, staff and the community to celebrate the work Yolanda did for AUMC, because she spent 13 years of her life as a nurse, taking care of people from this community, consistently giving her strength, knowledge, caring, compassion to ensure the best of care was given to every patient, every encounter, every time,” Brower said.

Dr. Alicia Vinyard, an assistant professor of surgery in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the Medical College of Georgia and surgical oncologist at the Georgia Cancer Center, said Coar had been a strong advocate for COVID patients before she became ill herself.

“She would not want our community, our hospital or others she helped to give up, fall down or let the integrity of our patient care be compromised due to the hardships of battling a pandemic,” Vinyard said. “She would still want the nurses, staff and the hospital’s standards to remain exceptional. She took pride in her job and would want us to continue to do the same.”

The Democratic National Convention honored Coar in a video memorial to people who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Coar’s photo is featured in the beginning of a video that ends with a view of a face made up of a mosaic of many other faces, with the words: “In Memoriam … To the more than 160,000 people who have died, including over 900 healthcare workers.”

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