Ascension Seton Hometown Hero: Toby Hatton
AUSTIN, TX (March 26, 2021) – AG Rugby and its partner Ascension Seton have launched the Hometown Heroes program to honor community members who never hesitate to show up and help their community. Eight local heroes will be honored during halftime at each AG’s home match at Bold Stadium.
When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, central Texas’ own Toby Hatton and his team of infectious disease experts were prepared, trained, ready. Without Hatton’s hard work, preparedness, and dedication to the pandemic relief, many more lives would’ve been lost to COVID 19.
“Texas is beyond fortunate to have Toby Hatton in our corner and we’re happy to name him the Ascension Seton Hometown Hero,” says AGs General Manager Mike Sheehan. “Toby is still hard at work today, living right here at COTA, to make Texas a safer and healthier place for all of us.”
Hatton’s primary role throughout his career is as an ER Trauma Nurse but beyond his duties as a healer at the hospital, he doubles as a pandemic and infectious disease response expert and sits as the state chairman on the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force For Infectious Disease Response. In fact, his master’s thesis was on Healthcare Preparedness For Pandemic Events & Response. You could say Toby Hatton was preparing his entire life for the COVID 19 pandemic.
“We were the best-case scenario for the worst-case scenario,” says Toby Hatton.
Following the 2018 Ebola outbreak, Hatton assembled the Infectious Disease Response Unit for the State of Texas and began preparing for future outbreaks of high-consequence infectious diseases. He also runs a similar team of 25-32 nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center that meets quarterly at a minimum to prepare for infectious disease mobilization for diseases far worse than COVID.
“We train for all scenarios past and future that we can imagine, we train and test in personal protective equipment, we plan mobilization of treatment or vaccine efforts, for behavioral health impacts, we train under long hours, and we do well… a lot of science on the path of physiology and how these diseases would transfer,” says Hatton.
In February of 2020, Hatton’s team at Ascension Seton was activated to treat the first COVID 19 patients brought into the United States from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship in Japan. “Infected US citizens on the cruise ship were being held off the coast of Japan and we got notice at 12:30 pm on a Sunday afternoon,” says Hatton. “We hurried into San Antonio and transformed an old infectious disease unit from an office space back into patient rooms and built isolation rooms and in under 14 hours, then we treated the first COVID 19 patients in the United States.”
Hatton’s team wrote the first playbook on how the United States would treat the outbreak and continued to evolve that playbook as information continually changed by the hour.
Over the next year, Hatton took on the task of preparing the vaccine distribution plan before the vaccine became available. His plans have been used in counties across the State of Texas and the United States.
Today, Toby Hatton heads the vaccine distribution center at the Circuit of the Americas; a location he idealized as the best possible destination for a vaccine site in Central Texas. Hatton himself has given out over a thousand vaccines and opted to live on the Circuit of the Americas grounds so he can be best positioned to help vaccine distribution move along without a hiccup. In the last year Toby Hatton has worked 361 days to see to completion the COVID 19 pandemic plans he set in place.
Toby Hatton is a hometown hero to us Austinites, us Texans, and us Americans. We can only begin to show our gratitude to Hatton, his team at Ascension Seton, and the teams of doctors and nurses that are seeing out his plan day after day.
Thank you Toby Hatton, you truly are a Hometown Hero!
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