Third Wave of Upstate Nurses Heads Downstate for COVID-19 Relief
As New Yorkers continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a third group of Syracuse nurses left for Long Island to treat patients at Stony Brook Hospital.
The group of 13 registered nurses, which included pediatric intensive care unit staff from Upstate University Hospital and Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, left Tuesday morning as fellow medical staff and first responders cheered them on with signs of encouragement.
Upstate's Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Page said, in total, 46 registered nurses, two respiratory therapists, three pharmacists and five pharmacy technicians have gone to work at Stony Brook this month from the three groups. The first group left for Long Island on April 9 and returned to central New York over the weekend, and the second group, who left for Long Island on April 14, will be on their way back by the end of the week.
"They just commented on how much in need Stony Brook was because of the number of patients that they have," Page said. "They felt incredibly welcomed by the Stony Brook staff. You know, I think Stony Brook was just thrilled to see these nurses arrive and to have that assistance."
Page said every single one of the 56 healthcare workers who traveled to Stony Brook volunteered their services during this time of crisis because they knew how great the need was. She said the work they are doing downstate is not only beneficial to downstate coronavirus patients in need, but it can also help nurses at Upstate fight the virus in the future.
"Certainly we appreciate every piece of knowledge they've gained," Page said. "As our COVID numbers increase or as we deal with this over time, I just think what they've learned will be incredibly beneficial for our patients here."
Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing from Upstate University Hospital Tuesday afternoon and tipped his hat to all of the work Syracuse medical staff has done so far during the crisis.
"We had a chance to say hello to the nurses and doctors who work here, got to wave from a social distance, but I wanted to say thank you for all they've done here," Cuomo said. "They also sent a team down to New York City, so it's just been an extraordinary experience."