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Detroit Heroes: Annie Mendoza

Detroit Heroes: Annie Mendoza

Highlighting the Essential Workers of Detroit

During these uncertain times, we can lean on hope! We are starting a new series entitled "Detroit Heroes" where we will highlight the essential workers at the City of Detroit ensuring we are safe and our city is running! 

According to a Timex survey, human beings spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line.

For you, maybe it was concert tickets, that new roller coaster at Cedar Point, or perhaps one of those Popeyes spicy chicken sandwiches.  

Truth be told; there are some lines we’d rather not be in.

“Everybody’s a bit anxious here |LS|in this line|RS|,“ said City of Detroit employee Annie Mendoza, pronounced Ahhh-knee. 

Mendoza is a project manager and data analyst for the Property Maintenance Division in Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED).  

Since April 1, she goes by a much shorter title: Checkpoint 2. 

Mendoza volunteered to work at the Michigan State Fairgrounds COVID-19 testing site.  She’s responsible for escorting patients to receive the test.

“As cars line up, we’ll identify the prescription number to the car, then we will walk them with their script to the nurses’ tent,” said Mendoza.

We all know the importance of testing, and Mendoza is passionate about the mission.    “You have to get people tested in order to be proactive to make sure that they’re not making other people sick.”

Mendoza admits being worried when she first signed up.  But her mind was put at ease after seeing the safety precautions in place.  

Volunteers wear masks, gloves, and rely heavily on nonverbal communication (hand gestures), minimizing close contact with patients.  And all car windows stay up.

But unfortunately, a car window can’t protect anyone from the unsettling mood.

“All of us are very aware that this is scary, it’s not a comfortable test.  But I think the drivers are grateful that we’re there and we’re giving them the best customer service possible,” said Mendoza.

Since the testing site first opened, Mendoza says they’ve changed and adapted, making the process run smoother for residents.     

“I’m young, I don’t have any kids.  I just felt like I needed to give back in this way.  I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t be here volunteering.”

Her willingness to help should come as no surprise.  Her husband was already on the frontline at Sinai Grace Hospital, and her mother is a nurse.

Mendoza was just next in line.

For COVID-19 resources, call the Detroit Health Department Hotline at (313) 876-4000 or visit the City's COVID-19 response page here.