Coordinated Response to Care for Our Sickest Patients
For days, we watched the storm’s approach on the news, preparing for the worst. Deep in our hearts we did not really want to believe neighborhoods could be swept away and hospitals shut down. Still, we arranged for extra staff in all areas, leadership stayed on site and the winds blew harder and harder. That Monday night our worst case scenarios unfolded. My wife called, informing me they had lost power in Manhattan. Reports of flooding in the Rockaways, Brooklyn and Staten Island started streaming in, followed by reports that lower Manhattan was flooded, NYU was being evacuated. I was so impressed at how everyone worked together and stayed focus even though many knew their own homes were at risk. This time we were the hospital that stayed open and assisted others while others were forced to close. We hope to always be there. Now we turn to helping all those families still affected.
Dr. George L. Foltin, MD
Vice Chair for Clinical Services
The primary thing that struck me during Sandy was how “normal” everything seemed on the pediatric unit. Every resident that was assigned to the floor, day and night, was there. Rounds each morning went as per usual. We had a full complement of nurses and most ancillary staff. Each day we had two attendings available to round on the respective teams. But this apparent normalcy belied the extraordinary efforts that everyone made to ensure that the care we provided would continue. Nurses traded shifts to overcome transportation issues. Several residents, nurses, staff and attendings spent one or more nights at the hospital, or very nearby, so that they could personally ensure that they could get to the hospital and perform their duties. Even more remarkable was the fact that many of these nurses, staff, and residents stayed despite having homes and families in areas that were being ravaged by the storm and are still in recovery. Their concern and worry, the personal strain endured by everyone to a greater or lesser degree, occasionally showed through on their faces or in their voices, but never in their work.
Everyone I worked with during this storm and the aftermath, which continues, is an inspiration to me and a testament to why this unit works so well. The teamwork and commitment to the care we provide that was on display was not an anomaly, but an extension of what we do every day. And just as the crisis has not completely passed for large sections of our area, and for many of our coworkers more severely affected by the storm, not a day passes that I don’t see yet another effort to martial the resources we have for those still recovering.
Jeremiah T. Cleveland, MD, FAAP
Attending, Site Director of Pediatric Inpatient Unit, Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine
Associate Program Director, Division of Pediatric Education
Department of Pediatrics
In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, Alicia Salas and I, the peds seniors on PEDS6, had to adjust. On Sunday before the storm, we relocated from our Manhattan apartments to apartments of our fellow residents in Maimonides housing at 950 49th Street. Public transportation was discontinued from Manhattan to Brooklyn and therefore living in close proximity to the hospital was the only way we could get to work. Throughout the week we worked longer than normal hours to ensure proper patient care. This also included missing our continuity clinics to help with the larger than normal census.Reflecting on the storm, I am glad that we were seniors on the floor and able to help out. I would like to also acknowledge the other residents, hospitalists, nurses and other staff members who put in the extra mile to ensure great patient care.
Adam Zaentz <AZaentz@maimonidesmed.org>