St. Louis-based correspondent Jim Salter and photographer Jeff Roberson teamed up for an intimate look into a 25-bed rural hospital whose medical staff was struggling with deeply personal concerns as they treated people they had known long before the coronavirus hit.
Salter, from rural Missouri himself, has been covering the pandemic in the state all year, on the lookout for undertold stories. When he found a hospital with an extraordinarily accommodating public relations chief, he proposed an all-formats package that would put readers inside the Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri. As they have for years, he and Roberson collaborated on this package, Salter working the phones to interview patients and staff while Roberson suited up in personal protective gear to capture poignant photos and video on the hospital floor.
Said Roberson: “What makes this story different and interesting to me are the close relationships between the hospital and its patients. The fact they are often neighbors, coworkers and sometimes even family makes the story unique and somehow more personal.”