Northwell Health Sends Global Health Team to Fight COVID in Barbados
NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 13, 2021--
A COVID-relief team from Northwell Health just returned from a seven-day medical mission to Barbados. The team was deployed to the island nation from September 30 to October 6 to assist overburdened clinicians who are fighting a crippling second wave of COVID.
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Dr. Aleksandr Melamud, Dr. Joseph Ciano, Emily Fawcett, RN, Christina Michels, RN, Ms. Juliette Sutherland, Executive Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, Northwell Health, The Center for Global Health, Dr. Maria Cioe-Pena, Mr. Daniel Leon, CGH Admin. (Photo: Business Wire)
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With the introduction of the more contagious Delta variant and a population struggling with vaccinations, COVID-19 has made the destination a literal hot-spot, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to place Barbados as a Level-4: Very High warning for travel on October 4.
A situation that starkly resembles Italy’s first wave, the Bajan culture of multi-generational households contributes to the spread of the disease, making home isolation nearly impossible.
“There’s a saying in the Caribbean: Trouble don’t set up like rain, meaning bad luck doesn’t often give warning,” explained Dr. Eric Cioe Peña, Northwell Health’s Director of the Center of Global Health (CGH). “Like the rest of the world, COVID quickly overwhelmed what preparations they had made, but they’ve been incredibly resourceful and resilient in providing excellent care,” he said.
Like the U.S. and other parts of the world, the unvaccinated make up the lion’s share of cases with 85% of the totality fueled by the delta variant.
Northwell Health’s Center for Global Health was mobilized after a chance meeting with the Barbadian Prime Minster, the Hon. Mia Mottley during her visit for the U.N. General Assembly in September to address vaccines inequities and lack of an international strategy in that effort.
A meeting to explore medical education opportunities quickly shifted to a request for assistance in their fight against a second wave of coronavirus. Mottley also asked for an assessment to see how Northwell can help prepare them for future surges and other partnership areas.
“Like many other countries struggling with human resources, there big thing is workforce, workforce development and medical expertise,” Dr. Cioe Peña explained. “We’re excited to offer tele-medicine and tele-emergency medicine at a moment’s notice.”
The team consisted of a critical care and emergency medicine attending, a critical care and float nurse – with multiple COVID deployments – who worked in COVID units at Harrison’s Point isolation facility and at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Saint Michael, Barbados to relieve overworked providers.
He went on to say that their Accident and Emergency Center has had a lot of issues with boarding and patients waiting for beds.
“The Prime minister was very interested in building a free-standing emergency department like Lenox Hill Greenwich Village in Manhattan,” Dr. Cioe Peña touted. The facility would alleviate issues the medical system has been having with their ICU capabilities and enhance the ability to care for COVID patients in the emergency department.”
Using natural resources
With a dense population of nearly 300,000 people – to help contain the spread – the government has taken advantage of one of the island’s most valuable resource – the weather. Located in the Lesser Antilles, the island sits just below the hurricane belt, making it ideal for outdoor care.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous all year round, so you can have a lot of open-air environments to create wards and other vented applications like schools to help contain the infection - something we all can learn a lot from,” said Dr. Cioe Peña.
“They’re set up very well operationally to care for these patients with some out of the box thinking,” Dr. Cioe Peña noted one example where they converted the ambulance bay into an outdoor patient care area by running oxygen lines over scaffolding.
“Long-term, we’re looking at a fellowship training program for their providers,” Dr. Cioe Peña stressed. “Coupled with telemedicine, information sharing and 24/7 access to critical care physicians - this will be a game changer for them.”
Dr. Cioe Peña says the domestic benefit to the Caribbean neighborhoods in New York City is a core tenant to CGH’s overall strategy.
“By developing these relationships, and visiting these nations, our providers learn their cultural values and customs, which translates to better, compassionate care back in the U.S.,” he explained.
Northwell Health established the CGH in July 2019 with a vision to position Northwell Health as a global leader in healthcare and education. The Center focuses on developing programs to pursue health equity in education and practice, both locally and globally.
The CGH is part of Northwell Health’s graduate medical education programs, which collectively educate more than 1,800 residents and fellows each year. By bridging the gap between local and global, our future physicians can advance their careers and provide exceptional care within the changing health care landscape.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 76,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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CONTACT: Christian Preston
KEYWORD: NEW YORK BARBADOS CARIBBEAN UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: NURSING HEALTH INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITALS OTHER HEALTH MANAGED CARE
SOURCE: Northwell Health
Copyright Business Wire 2021.
PUB: 10/13/2021 02:43 PM/DISC: 10/13/2021 02:43 PM