MPSH alumni on the forefront of Mount Pearl COVID testing

·2 min read

Husky blood runs deep in June Tavenor, a Mount Pearl Senior High alumni who has been aiding the fight against COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak.

Most recently, her and her team at Catalyst Health Solutions have been on the forefront collecting blood samples for COVID testing.

“When the variant showed up, and we had this big surge out of Mount Pearl Senior High, that was something that I was really excited to be able to help with,” said Tavenor. “It was a full circle kind of moment, coming out of Mount Pearl Senior High myself. I graduated there in 1997, and have super Husky Pride, so it was really rewarding for us to provide that service.”

Having graduated and lived in and worked in Mount Pearl, Tavenor often has personal connections with those she is helping.

“When I was trying to get into nursing school, I went to work at the Tim Hortons there right next to the high school. And the man that owns that Tim Hortons wrote my reference letter to get into nursing school. And then, he had a couple of his employees who needed to be tested, and I was able to do the test for them,” she said.

Other than Tavenor, there’s five members of the Catalyst team who have a Husky heritage. One has a daughter who currently attends the school, and Tavenor’s son will feed into the school.

Tavenor has been a registered nurse for over 15 years. After graduating from Memorial University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Nursing degree, she worked for five years at a Level One trauma facility in Toronto before moving back home in 2010 after the birth of her son, where she formed Catalyst in 2016.

During the pandemic, the clinic has been offering both educational sessions and testing to battle against COVID-19.

“We were able to pivot quickly when COVID-19 hit,” said Tavenor. “So, even though we were already doing nursing and medical support services, we were then able to turn the focus to the COVID-19 response.”

Hailing from Mount Pearl Senior High, Tavenor beams with pride when addressing her Husky heritage.

“We’ve had some pretty influential people who are alumni,” said Tavenor. “In fact, one of the people in Dr. (Janice) Fitzgerald’s office, who is one of the key epidemiologists, was one of my classmates. So, even though it might feel like everybody is taking aim at Mount Pearl, and Mount Pearl Senior High in particular right now, we turn out a pretty good product. So, stand fast, everything is going to be just fine.”

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News