Response to COVID-19

SUNY Downstate was designated by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as a COVID-19-only facility during the pandemic in 2020. As such the hospital staff, attendings, and residents rose to the call and served the people of New York and their community.

We are proud of our team of frontline workers and the many others who provided behind-the-scenes support.

Our ability to stand together in those challenging times reinforces the importance and underscores the critical need for the University Hospital of Downstate in the borough, and particularly in the community.

Example of the exemplary role played by our program during the pandemic. 

Resident’s Role in the Pandemic

residentsThere is no doubt that NYC was caught by surprise when COVID-19 hit the city. It was unanticipated and no one in the city was ready for a sudden and quick large-scale outbreak of the disease. During those challenging times, the internal medicine residents were at the forefront, they put the health and safety of their patients first. A lot of changes were made to the resident’s schedule. With a significant decrease in the outpatient patient volume, residents scheduled for their Y block were deployed to staff the already stretched-thin workforce on the inpatient side. The enthusiasm and the zeal with which our residents served the patient population are indeed praiseworthy.

Resident FightersOur resident fighters not only faced COVID-19 as first responders but also helped others on the way in various fund-raising activities, attracting donations for PPE and other materials including meals and other necessities to keep our machinery functional all the time. Our star residents made various media appearances, sometimes in different languages to help educate the rest of the world about the pandemic and ways to protect our communities. Together with the unwavering support of our Chairman, Dr. Moro Salifu, as well as our institutional leaders, we were able to survive the tsunami of COVID-19 while maintaining the academic and functional integrity of our program and guarding the careers of our residents.

Our residents were able also to contribute to the evolving literature on COVID-19 with many case reports, research, and pathogenesis articles with at least 50 papers that came out of our department on COVID-19 since the pandemic started and many more since then. The highly multitasking efforts of our residents prove, time and again, the exceptional quality of physicians our training program successfully attracts.

In Memoriam

James MahoneyDr. Mahoney joined the hospital’s teaching college as a student in 1982 and never left. He eventually became a pulmonary and critical care physician and a professor at the University Hospital of Downstate. Dr. James A. Mahoney was an exceptional physician who served the community during the worst days of the pandemic. He will forever be remembered by everyone at the hospital and our program as a wonderful teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.

NY Times Article