ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Thursday a team of local heroes from the University of Rochester Medical Center returned from the frontlines of the coronavirus epicenter. 14 nurses, physicians, and physician assistants spent nearly a week supporting staff at three different hospitals through Northwell Health in New York City.
“When things were unfolding in the city, here in Rochester things were fortunately very calm. And a lot of our staff came forward and said, how can we help. And they requested to go to New York,” said Dr. Michael Kamali, chair of the the Department of Emergency Medicine for University of Rochester Medical Center.
The team heeded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for healthcare workers throughout the country to aid medical workers fighting COVID-19 in the city. Rebecca Stott is one of the 6 nurses who volunteered with the team.
“Personally, I said sign me up,” said Stott, a nurse manager of emergency medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital.
She spent the past week working with COVID-19 patients in the emergency room of Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
“We just sort of jumped right in and started helping the nurses. I mean they were a little overwhelmed for the past couple weeks, so were were getting there just as their peak started to flatten out a little bit,” said Stott.
New York City hospitals saw a surge in patients two weeks ago.
“They were all on ventilators. I think there were 20 ventillators in the unit I was in. It was very crowded,” said Stott.
The University or Rochester team helped with the surge while learning from the hospitals. The team got hands on training to be better prepared in the case of a spike regionally. University of Rochester Medical Center said they have plans in place in case of a surge here in Rochester. A spokesperson for the hospital also said they have volunteers ready to be deployed throughout the country to fight COVID19 should any other region need help.
Stott said she was happy to do her part.
“I think they were really appreciative of us being there. And it felt good to give back to them,” said Stott.