Taryn Hughes is a lead respiratory therapist at Washington Health System Greene, where she has worked for almost 20 years.

In addition to her regular duties, Hughes is responsible for collection of patient samples in the hospital’s COVID-19 tent, and oversees distribution and education in regards to N-95 masks and the health system’s MAX AIR system.

A graduate of Sharon High School, Hughes attended West Virginia Wesleyan and the University of Arizona, and in 1998, she graduated from St. Francis School of Respiratory Care.

She and her husband, Ronnie, have been married for 12 years.

She has three grown children, Cody Morales of Sanford, N.C., Courtney Burkhaulter of Round Rock, Texas, and Casey Morales, of Bethel Park, and two stepchildren, Angie, of Holbrook, and Nick, of Rogersville. She also has a grandson and three stepgrandchildren.

In addition, Hughes has an English mastiff, Jake, who weighs 230 pounds, a 12-year-old Yorkshire mix named JD, and a 15-year-old Bichonpoo, Moe.

Hughes enjoys gardening, reading poolside and taking rides in her side-by-side.

Q. What was your first job?

A. At 14, I was a shampoo girl at a hair salon in Sharon.

Q. If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?

A. It would be the same advice that my mother gave me many years ago. No matter what you are doing or what you become, do it with all your heart and soul, for you need to be able to get up every day and enjoy what you are going to do. Love what you are doing and make others laugh.

Q. What would be your ideal vacation getaway?

A. A long road trip that allowed me to spend time with my kids and grandson, covering Bethel Park, Sanford, N.C., and Round Rock, Texas.

Q. What are two of your favorite snacks?

A. Oreos and milk (of course), and fresh fruit.

Q. What radio station or kind of music do you listen to on your way to work?

A. K-Love

Q. What do you want people to know about the COVID-19 pandemic?

A. First and foremost, to be safe by continuing to wash your hands and cover your mouth. Have respect for others while returning to our new normal. Remember your families, friends and your neighbors today and when this is over. People have mentioned they are afraid to go to the doctor or the emergency room. Please don’t be. Always follow the guidelines, and remember we are doing our best to keep you and ourselves safe. Beneath these goggles and face masks are the same smiling faces that have cared for you.

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