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The following is a letter from Robert S. Chaloner, Chief Administrative Officer, dated April 8, 2020:
As I write this, a Code Blue was just paged on the overhead speaker for one of our ICU patients. For me it was a vivid and immediate reminder of the life and death struggles of our patients during this pandemic. In my mind I have a clear vision of the scene unfolding with nurses, attending and resident physicians, respiratory therapists, and others all engaged in trying to save a life. It also reminds me of how much our work matters and how well we as an organization have risen to the challenge. We celebrate every time a patient recovers and goes home as a victory for all of us.
In just a few short weeks, we have gone from our relatively quiet “winter mode” to being on the front lines of a raging war. We have doubled our bed capacity, tripled our ICUs, brought in huge quantities of supplies, redeployed from usual work environments to new and different areas, rapidly adapted new policies and guidelines, transformed facilities, reassured and comforted the sick and their families, and changed daily work patterns and habits to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our patients. The level of creativity, teamwork, and adaptability has been nothing short of spectacular.
From the day Suffolk County’s first COVID-19 patient was admitted to our ICU to now, I have never been more proud to be a member of this team. I am not ashamed to admit that at times I have actually been choked up by the courage and compassion I have seen in our ICU, ER, patient care floors, and throughout the hospital. From our brave EVS workers cleaning patient rooms, to our Nurses and Respiratory Care Therapists at the bedside, from our Facilities and Security staffs transforming our facilities, to our Residents, Hospitalists and Intensivists making care decisions, I have had the immense honor to witness the work of real heroes. Add to this the support, teamwork, and overwhelming collaboration we have enjoyed from our great colleagues at Stony Brook University Hospital and Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital. Stony Brook Medicine as a system is truly proving its value and strength. I am so thankful for the support of our colleagues and the fact that during the crisis we are part of Long Island’s newest healthcare system.
We are deeply grateful for the amazing demonstration of support provided by you, our East End community. Your generous donations help fortify our supplies and brighten our days. It is our privilege to serve you.
It is my sincere hope the coming months will bring a return to our normal lives and an end to this pandemic. When that day will be, none of us knows. So for now, please accept my heartfelt appreciation, along with my fervent wish for you and your families to stay safe and healthy. I also urge you to find time to eat, laugh, and relax with your loved loves during the Passover and Easter holiday season. Today’s realities certainly drive home the message of how precious life really is!