Middle States

Tennis on the Front Lines: Hank Chen

Hank Chen is putting tennis on hold.


An avid tennis player and fan, Chen is a Senior Medical Physicist at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. There, he helps treat and care for cancer patients. 


Chen’s job has gotten a bit more complicated in the recent weeks as COVID-19 has spread around the region. 


“Working in a hospital, it’s clear what a crucial time this is,” Chen said. “All of us at the hospital just want to support the rest of the workers as much as we can. The doctors and nurses —anyone in the emergency room — they are doing so much for the community right now.”


While Chen said he doesn’t consider himself a “front-line worker” he is certainly part of the greater fight against the spread of COVID-19. In many cases, cancer treatments can not be delayed, meaning he is actively working with many cancer patients who are continuing to fight their battles. 


Given that he works closely with people in a high-risk category, Chen  is doing everything he can to protect his patients and communicate with them as much as he can — ensuring they know the proper protocols and how to stay safe.


“We’re all in this together and trying to get through it,” he said. 


Chen certainly misses tennis. He and his wife (pictured above) are longtime players and huge fans of the game. They both play USTA League Tennis in Delaware and have attended the US Open for the last nine years. The duo plays together in mixed doubles, and they even contribute as USTA Captains. Both of their children (college age and high school age) play tennis and are missing the game, as well.


So what does he love most about the game?


“When you play tennis, you never know who you might be playing with,” he said. “You can play with a university professor, a VP of a health insurance company or an interior designer. Through this you get all kinds of chances to learn and to expand your vision of this world.”


But Chen said there is no rush to get back to tennis. He has a message for anyone out there who wants to support medical workers and the others he calls heroes of the community, including grocery store workers and public transportation workers.


“We stay at work for you, you stay home for us,” he said. “That is the biggest help. If people can stay home and stop the spread of the disease, that’s the biggest gift we can get.” 


When the time is right, we will get back on the courts.” 


The tennis community fighting COVID-19.


While playing our game is on hold, members of the tennis community are coming together to fight COVID-19. As we continue to fight the spread of the disease, USTA Middle States is featuring people on the front lines: including hospital and grocery store workers, drivers, first responders, volunteers, and more. If you know of someone who deserves to be recognized, let us know by emailing communications@ms.usta.com.

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