ABOUT THE PROJECT
Workers of Worcester is a documentary photography series of portraits and interviews of frontline workers. It was created by two physician photographers, An-Hoa Giang and Henry Del Rosario, to honor the humanity of those who risk their lives and provide a space for their voices to be heard.
The pandemic has brought incredible changes to our jobs and healthcare system as a whole. We have all been inundated with emails, meetings, new protocols, extra shifts— all the while trying to keep ourselves healthy and safe for our families at home. As we work there has been little time to reflect and think about what has happened. Yet even during this perilous time, it was curiosity and empathy that led us to ask questions to our colleagues: What has changed in your life? What will never be the same? In a time of sickness, isolation, and anxiety what are your sources of hope and strength?
We both have always been interested in photography and how stories are an essential part of medicine. A powerful image or photograph can change the lens through which you view the world — cultivating empathy, reordering priorities, and igniting an urgency to act. It can provoke inspiration and even outrage. Moreover, seeing your own photograph and hearing your own story can affirm a sense of who you are and your place in the world.
We started the project in April of 2020 and have continued it to the present-- finding time in between patients or tasks, in the hallway, or in the back rooms and office spaces of the hospital to hear what people would say. People shared stories about patients, themselves, their work, and home-- some about suffering but many shared stories of hope. Our favorite stories were not just from nurses or physicians, but from the cashiers at the cafeteria or the patient transporters in the hallway. Our documentary photography series hopes to humanize our frontline workers and also give them an opportunity to reflect and realize they have a story worthy of sharing.
An-Hoa Giang MD
An-Hoa was born in Erie, PA to Vietnamese immigrants, the sixth of seven children in a large family with diverse character. She is currently a third year Family Medicine Resident at the Worcester Family Medicine Program where she has developed passions for global health (particularly in Vietnam) and maternal & child health. She chose family medicine because of the closeness it brings her to patients' treasured stories. She chose photography and writing as expressive mediums because it allows her to share those stories - to broaden her lens and that of every viewer's just a little more.
Henry Del Rosario MD
Henry was born in Chicago, Illinois to Filipino immigrants. He currently works in Massachusetts as an Assistant Professor and academic Family Physician doing inpatient medicine, primary care clinic, and obstetrics. He chose family medicine due to the joy coming from seeing patients from birth to death, in the clinic and in the hospital, and often times in the context with other members of their family. He sees that art deconstructs and constructs what is beautiful while medicine deconstructs and constructs what is sick. He enjoys exploring how art and literature integrate with and humanize medicine.