MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For this week’s Healthcare Hero, we recognize Dr. Carl Shrader. Shrader is the medical director at Sundale Nursing Home and a family medicine physician at WVU Medicine.

Shrader is a name that might be familiar, as he has been at the forefront of Sundale’s efforts to handle a coronavirus outbreak at the facility. The nursing home officially became COVID-19 free at the end of May.

With what Shrader and the nursing home have gone through this spring, it may come as a surprise that at one time, he was stuck deciding if he wanted to go into the medical field, or into engineering. Through experience and learning, he made his choice to pursue the medical field. Seven years later, he said it was the best decision he ever made.

“As a family physician in particular, people look to us for guidance often for things that aren’t medical related because we have that relationship with them,” said Shrader. “So, it’s an amazing feeling whenever you see people making progress, whether it’s in their personal life, professional life or their healthcare recovery.”

At times, the job can be difficult, said Shrader. That is why one of his favorite parts of his job is being given the opportunity to teach future physicians to overcome those more difficult moments.

“Drilling down and reflecting on what brought us to that moment. Why did I choose to do medicine? Why did I become a healthcare worker that was at a nursing home setting? Just trying to remember what it was inside of me that drove me to this point,” Shrader said. “I think that’s important, and sometimes it’s very difficult, in negative times, especially, to see what is important to us, what gives us hope.”

When Shrader received information that he would be recognized as a healthcare hero, he said his initial response was he is just doing his job.

“In my mind, we took an oath to do this. I didn’t do anything special to deserve this,” said Shrader. “I felt like I got a call on a Sunday afternoon. I’m the medical director of the facility. It is my job and obligation to do everything within my reach to keep these people safe and bring as many people as I could through it all. So, I guess that’s what I think about. I was just someone who did my job, and that’s all we can do.”

To nominate someone to be recognized as a Healthcare Hero, click here.