Friday Feature: In a Rochester Hospital, Scholar Athlete Alumna on the Front Lines

Christine Molinari Friday Feature

Late on a Sunday night in early March, Christine Molinari's phone rang.

The message was that a patient she'd treated at her hometown hospital in Rochester, N.Y., had tested positive for COVID-19.

"That's when it all changed," says Molinari, a former Davidson lacrosse standout. "That was our first positive patient at the hospital."

At that time, those working in the medical field were already taking some precautions, but the case made the worldwide pandemic hit home. Another ring of the phone later in the month did much the same.

This time, the news was more personal. Molinari learned that her paternal grandmother, Tina Molinari, had died on Long Island after testing positive for COVID-19. At age 89, she passed away in an emergency room with no family members present and a month after losing her husband, Bill, to an unrelated illness. Molinari's grandparents were married for 69 years and had passed within weeks of one another.

As she began to process those losses, Molinari channeled her grief into a renewed focus on the job.

"It kind of lit a fire under me that the people I'm caring for are just like the people I love," she says. "That was the moment that really hit me. This is exactly what I need to be doing with my life."

Molinari earned her biology degree from Davidson two years ago after starting 48 games in four years. An attacker, she scored 73 goals as a Wildcat, including 31 her senior year, and her 61 career assists rank fourth in program history. She was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Championship team in 2018 and received the team's Wildcat Award.

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  • April 24, 2020