Bears on the Frontline: Healthcare and Essential Worker Appreciation

As the COVID-19 remains a health emergency across the globe, we at Bear World Magazine would like to show our appreciation and gratitude for the courageousness and hard work of our essential workers and healthcare professionals during these difficult times. 

Here are the first eight bears who are all doing amazing work in their communities!

Dan Jiménez-Albistur 

City: Bronx, New York

Occupation: Administrative Assistant in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery

I have managed a pediatric practice for 15 years, taking care of children from all parts of the world with neurosurgical conditions. 

Néstor Barreto

City: Barcelona, Spain

Occupation: Critical Care Nurse

As a critical care nurse, I provide specialized care to severely ill or injured patients in the intensive care units (ICU) of a hospital. I am currently working in an ICU that was opened a month ago for COVID-19 patients who need intensive care. 

Due to the pandemic, the hospital provided many new beds for critically ill patients. All available spaces have been used, including operating rooms that are not in use now because of the current situation. The first days were especially hard and chaotic, but the situation has generated a lot of unity and camaraderie among the healthcare personnel. 


City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Occupation: Environmental Service Worker

Hey, my name is Thomas. I’m 27 years-old and I’m an environmental service worker by day and film student by night. I’m a dork who’s way into Tokusatsu (Think Power Rangers and Ultraman).

I live in Philadelphia where I work at a small children’s hospital. I usually clean and sanitize the rooms after a patient is discharged or sent to a different hospital.

In the past month, work has been stressful. PPE is low and everyone is in a panic. But we’re striving forward and looking towards the future!

As a reminder please stay home, only go out for essential reasons only, wash your hands, and wear a mask when going out. Stay healthy!

Jed Ryan

City: New York, New York

Occupation: Registered Nurse

I live in Queens, New York, which has sadly been the epicenter of the pandemic. I’ve worked for almost 25 years as an RN in a busy teaching hospital in the heart of Manhattan.

The last few weeks have seen many changes in both my workplace and my city. The rules change on an hourly basis as the pandemic evolves–and we all have had to rise to the occasion and be ready for ANYTHING.

It’s been a challenge, especially because there are so few options to “decompress” on my few days off.  You can’t go dancing, hang out at the bar, or even go to the gym. Still, I’m glad to be doing my part any way I can. Stay safe, Bears! 

Floyd (Pepa)

City: Key West, Florida

Occupation: Assistant Case Manager

I’m Pepa, aka Floyd, and I’m the current reigning Mr. Key West Bear 2019. As a case manager, I do a lot of daily problem solving. We’re the ones that make sure you have a plan, and that you get everything set up so that you have a successful and safe discharge.

My job includes a lot of one on one patient interaction and teamwork with doctors, nurses, physical therapists and insurance companies to ensure your next level of healing goes well. I really enjoy our team & we always keep each other smiling– which is good because it can be a lot of hard work, but it’s very gratifying to assist in making a difference in someone’s life. 

I look forward to the day we get ahead of this pandemic and giving hugs is acceptable again. I hope that happens by October, because I always look forward to seeing all the Bears, Cubs & admirers at Key West Bear Weekend. ‘Till then, I’m sending all my love to everyone. Stay safe! 

Mark Cooper

City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Occupation: LPN Charge Nurse

Hello, my name is Mark Cooper. I have been a nurse for 8 and a half years. I became a nurse after shattering my left elbow and caring for my late mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease. I am currently a charge nurse and mentor in a nursing home near Philadelphia.

Amid the current COVID-19 crisis that is present where I work, I was also supportive of a spouse with cancer, and I am now mourning his loss. Earlier in the year, some happy moments in the workplace included escorting a 101 year-old resident into her birthday party celebration, and also escorting a resident bride down the aisle at her wedding celebration. 

Melvin (Treble Onyx)

City: Chicago, Illinois

Occupation: Administrative Assistant for Internal Medicine

My job consists of making rounds with the doctor while he visits patients, drawing up a ”plan of treatment”, calling in prescriptions for patients, and helping patients with no insurance apply for Medicaid. Temporarily, I’m an Administrative Assistant for Infectious Disease (HIV & COVID division).  


City: Bronx, New York

Occupation: Hospital Police

I’ve been working at this job for about a year. In that time frame, I have experienced many unpredictable things, especially in the emergency room. When the coronavirus hit New York, my hospital quickly became the epicenter of the pandemic. I just try my best to stay safe for the time being and be optimistic toward the near future.

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2 thoughts on “Bears on the Frontline: Healthcare and Essential Worker Appreciation

  • The story is entitled Healthcare and Essential Workers appreciation and all I saw were hospital workers ….. Trust me I thank each and every First responder and Hospital worker I see as I work everyday as an essential worker. I didn’t see any hot bearish Bakery Managers like me or any hot beefy and tasty Deli Clerks ….. everyone that continues to work and face the public every day is essential too

    • Hi there. We’ll be featuring loads of essential worker bears from all backgrounds over the coming weeks. If you’d like to be part of it please email

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