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Upstate University Hospital nurses to Stony Brook University Hospital: ‘We’re on our way’

Twenty-two nurses from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse will join their colleagues at Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island to aid in patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nurses will leave from Upstate University Hospital Thursday morning. Most of the nurses will be there for two weeks. Food and lodging will be provided.

“I am in awe of this incredible Upstate nursing team, but not surprised that our Upstate nurses have volunteered to take on this fight standing side-by-side with their Stony Brook nursing colleagues,” said Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Page, RN, MSN.

Page also praised the more than 3,000 nurses who remain at Upstate to assist in a variety of roles related to Upstate’s COVID-19 response. “I’m grateful for their work every day on behalf of our patients.”

COVID-19 cases and deaths have hit the Long Island and the New York City area the hardest of any region in the United States.

The Upstate nurses headed to Stony Brook University Hospital will work alongside staff in intensive care units with critically ill patients on ventilators and in the Emergency Department.

Upstate Medical University Interim President Mantosh Dewan, MD, said the entire University is sending its support and well wishes to these nurses as they head downstate.

“In this time of great need at one of our SUNY campuses, we are pleased to be able to answer the call for assistance,” Dewan said. “Everyone at Upstate is touched by this heroic show of support by our nurses.”

 Robert Corona, DO, MBA, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital praised the nursing staff. "When the CEO of Stony Brook reached out to me asking for help, our nurses stepped up as they always do.  I see our nurses show up every day with compassionate smiles and determination to pull all the patients through their illness no matter what. I can't say it enough...our nurses are courageous warriors,” he said. "Our nurses define "One Team...One Fight...Upstate Strong"

Support for the effort came from many, including SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson: “With hospitals and health care workers in the New York City metro area taxed like never before, these 22 brave and selfless SUNY Upstate University Hospital nurses have chosen to put themselves on the front lines, which really exemplifies the ideals of service and giving back to the community that are the foundation of our SUNY system and our state as a whole. They will save lives while providing much-needed relief to their counterparts at Stony Brook University Hospital, volunteering to leave their families to put themselves at the national epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am so proud to see two of our university hospitals helping one another at this unprecedented moment of crisis, and I can’t say enough about their tireless commitment to bettering the world and the lives of the people around us.”

County Executive Ryan McMahon: “These nurses are true heroes in our fight against COVID-19. As County Executive, I could not be more proud of all of our healthcare heroes for their work. These people are on the front lines of this pandemic, working every day to literally save the lives of our neighbors. While the words will never exist to truly express our gratitude, on behalf of all of Onondaga County and Central New York, thank you.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh: “SUNY Upstate Medical University has been the source of good science, smart planning and deep caring for the people of Syracuse and Central New York as we have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Upstate took a strong and early leadership position to help our region prepare, and I am certain its work has and will continue to save lives in our community. I am not surprised that a team of Upstate nurses have stepped forward to bring that same commitment to members of our New York State family at Stony Brook. I deeply admire them, wish them well and look forward to having them back home with us soon. Thank you, Upstate.”