NewYork – Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital
SW: Is it fair to say that you and your staff learned about COVID-19 about the same
time we all did and had to respond in a moment’s notice?
MF: Steve, that is true. To say it was a moment’s notice is an understatement.
Although our hospital staff prepares and drills for these type of emergencies, we had to
rapidly make adjustments to all aspects of our operation. Everyone can be proud of the
entire staff for how effectively they responded to the challenge and I was honored by
the selfless dedication of so many people on the front lines who put caring for their
patients as job one, knowing the risk to their own lives and those of their families.
SW: What key factors allowed the organization to respond effectively to COVID-19?
MF: There were several factors that allowed us to adapt and effectively manage the steady flow of patients.
NYP On Demand, our Telehealth portal, allowing patients and doctors to connect virtually was already in
use by patients and one of the more popular Telehealth systems in the New York metro area. It seamlessly
ramped up to accommodate more patient inquiries and medical consultations. What helped greatly was that
people’s receptivity to utilizing NYP On Demand grew and continues to grow. Also, being part of NewYorkPresbyterian Lawrence that now comprises 10 hospitals gave us immediate access to resources, expertise,
protocols and leadership that allowed the hospital and staff to adapt and manage the challenges.
SW: What about lessons learned and best practices you may incorporate in the future?
MF: There will be an opportunity for a diagnostic on how we can improve service delivery and implement
lessons learned, but overall NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence took on a big challenge and now remains
open, safe and ready to receive patients from the community both in the main hospital and through our ER.
At the same time, there has been this significant shift to usage of the telehealth services available through
NYP On Demand and I encourage all of your neighbors in Armour Villa to take advantage of this resource
as well as to feel secure in the knowledge that we have the finest medical support and patient care
available right in our own backyard.
MF: We were all deeply moved by the overwhelming breadth of the community response. The people just
dropping by to say thank you or the cards and letters that filled the walls of the main admitting area or the
ER…Then there was the food from individuals and restaurants that poured in. The signs of support are all
around the hospital and every evening at 7PM there was a drive by of community supporters and the whole
staff loves it and feels the support very intensely and justly feel proud of the work they are doing.
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