(Posted at 7:43 am)
Around 8:30 this morning, two Cornell buses filled with Cayuga Health doctors, nurses and other crucial staff will be sent to New York City, where they’ll join others on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight at NY Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
A short send-off ceremony at Cayuga Medical Center will be followed by a special procession through Ithaca, led by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, Ithaca Fire Department and nearby Watkins Glen representatives in the official NASCAR pace car.
Community members are encouraged to cheer and hold up posters at a safe social distance from one another.
“We are proud to be sending such outstanding medical professionals and true ‘Healthcare Heroes’ to assist hard hit New York City in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health. “We are encouraging our community to hold up signs and cheer on our professionals as they head into the epicenter. Special thanks to President Pollack and Cornell University for providing the transportation of our teams.”
Yesterday was the pandemic’s deadliest 24-hour period in New York State so far, with 731 new deaths and just under 5,500 total since the first was reported on March 13.
At least 3,200 of those fatalities have been in NYC alone – more lives lost than at Ground Zero on the day of the September 11 attacks.
“We will continue to do what it takes to fight this epidemic and meet the healthcare needs of our community and beyond,” added Stallone. “We may be a small community, but our employees have huge hearts and we know that we can step up and help out in a big way.”
The official route from this morning can be found at www.cayugahealthsystem.org/nyc/, where Cayuga Health Hero Posters can also be downloaded and printed.
“These volunteers, and all of the health care workers at the forefront of this pandemic, are acting with courage and compassion in a situation that is both unprecedented and incredibly challenging,” said Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack. “Together with our essential workers, like police, firefighters, facilities workers, food and grocery workers and others, they deserve every support we can offer them as they help to meet the critical human needs in this crisis.”
(Update 1 pm)
PHOTOS AND FOOTAGE COURTESY OF CAYUGA MEDICAL CENTER:
Join us as we send off our Healthcare Heroes on the NYC Medical Mission
Posted by Cayuga Medical Center on Wednesday, April 8, 2020