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Health Care Website's List Of Workers Who Have Died Of COVID-19 Includes 5 From Missouri

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Clockwise from top left: Jenniffer Davies, Celia Yap-Banago, Billy Birmingham and Stephen J. Huber were among the Missouri residents on Medscape's list of health care workers who have died of COVID-19.

More than 9,000 U.S. health care workers have come down with the coronavirus and at least 27 have died.

More than 9,000 U.S. health care workers have come down with the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and at least 27 have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Medscape, a medical news website, has posted a list of more than 700 health care workers worldwide who have died of the disease. It includes five in Missouri.

The site bases its information on news reports and obituaries. KCUR has drawn on those same sources for these brief portraits of the Missouri health care workers who have died so far.

Celia Yap-Banago, 69
Registered Nurse, Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri

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Yap-Banago family
Celia "Chil" Yap-Banago

Known as “Chil” to her friends and family, Celia Yap-Banago was the youngest of seven children. She was born in the Philippines and received her nursing degree there.

She died just days short of her 40th anniversary as a nurse at hospitals operated by HCA Healthcare, the largest private operator of hospitals in the United States.

Yap-Banago recently celebrated her 34th wedding anniversary and leaves behind her husband and two sons.

Quote from her obituary:

“She proudly put on her scrubs for many years and it is extremely apparent she loved what she was doing.”

Billy Birgmingham, 69
Emergency Medical Technician, Kansas City, Missouri

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Birmingham family
Rev. Billy Birmingham Sr.

A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Billy Birmingham was the second of 17 children. After completing training as an EMT, he went to work for the Metropolitan Ambulance Service Trust (MAST) in 1998 and joined the Kansas City Fire Department in 2010 when MAST transitioned to the department.

He was an ordained minister of the Upper Room Compassionate Ministry and received a master’s of theology degree from Faith Bible College in Independence, Missouri. He was pastor of Agape Love Ministries of Christ Unlimited in Raytown, Missouri, which he founded in 2013.

He was married three times and had seven children. He leaves behind his children and his wife Sharon A. Alford.

Quote from his obituary: “Over the course of his 22-year career, Bill increased his knowledge, established many bonds with his co-workers and touched the lives of countless others.”

Steven J. Huber, 62
Orthodontist, Jefferson City, Missouri

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Huber family
Dr. Steven J. Huber

Stephen Huber was born in Jefferson City, Missouri.

He was an Eagle Scout and varsity wrestler in high school.

He received his dentistry degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and later completed an orthodontic program at the University of Oklahoma.

He leaves behind his wife and three children.

Quote from obituary: “Steven loved the social aspect of his orthodontic practice as much as he loved creating perfect smiles. To all of his family, his extended family of staff, friends, patients and their parents and grandparents, he would hope that you smile when you think of him.”

Judy Wilson-Griffin
Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, SSM Health-St. Mary's Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri

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University of Missouri-St. Louis
Judy Wilson-Griffin

Judy Wilson-Griffin enrolled in a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing in 2017, after she'd already been a nurse for 30 years.

At Barnes Hospital (now BJC Hospital) and St. Mary’s, she established maternal transport teams after learning they decreased infant and maternal mortality. Before her death, she was working on creating a Maternal Fetal Triage Index, an evidence-based assessment of pregnant women, at St. Mary’s.

Information on her next of kin was not available.

Quote from an article in UMSL Daily: “Wilson-Griffin was an agent of change for the better throughout her career, and she lives on through the quality of her work, the lives she improved and her commitment to evidence-based care.”

Jenniffer Davis, 44
Nurse, Meramec Bluffs Care Center, Ballwin, Missouri

Jenniffer Davis most recently was an admission and discharge nurse at Meramec Bluffs, a senior living community.

She grew up in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and had been a licensed practical nurse for about 20 years. She leaves behind her mother and three children.

Quote from her mother in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “She’s a very big-hearted person. Her kids were her joy.”

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