KITCHENER -- The head of the ICU at St. Mary's General Hospital is helping patients stay connected with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Dr. Landridge has been very good at communicating not just with patients, but with families," said Dr. Mary Jackson, chief of pulmonary services.

A COVID-19 patient told the hospital's president that Dr. Jonathan Langridge played a key role in helping him fight the disease.

"It was a time of fear for him and Dr. Langridge took the time to be caring, supportive and support him and his partner with their questions," Lee Fairclough said.

"It's a blessing being involved with families and when things aren't going well," said Dr. Langridge.

He's also known for quickly helping others outside of the ICU, like helping when the hospital took over management at a retirement home that was dealing with a major outbreak.

"I phone Dr. Langridge and said 'We need somebody to come and assess everybody at the home,' and the next morning, he was on-site," Fairclough said.

Dr. Langridge said he recognizes working in critical care during the pandemic has been exhausting for staff members.

"Often I kind of see myself in the ICU as a positive cheerleader in a sense," he said. "Just trying to provide encouragement and boost spirits where possible."

His leadership has helped the ICU staff, and the whole hospital, feel stronger together.

"The power of having a positive attitude going through a difficult period like this is hugely important," Dr. Jackson said.