New York is the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, and hospitals in the area are preparing themselves. Over the weekend of March 21 and 22, Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead completed a 16-bed unit in the Corey Critical Care Pavilion, which was previously intended for future expansion of the emergency department.
“In light of the ever-changing situation, we are working diligently to create plans to increase our capacity in the hospital to be able to treat more patients should the need arise,” Peconic Bay Medical Center stated in an email release Sunday afternoon.
As the virus spreads and hospitals become more infectious, the hospital, part of the Northwell Health system, has activated a new internal response team: Lavender. This team’s primary concern is to reduce stress and strain of those on the frontlines. Beyond small efforts, Lavender initiated a recharge station for staff members to pause when needed during their shift. While the team works internally, there are also ways for the community to help their healthcare workers.
PBMC is accepting surgical masks, goggles, and N95 masks, which can be dropped off at the front entrance. With approximately 100 people serving the rapid influx of patients, PBMC also set up a meal train for donations. Donate meals and water bottles at www.mealtrain.com/yo31r1.
For those who may be affected financially and unable to donate a meal, PBMC suggests creating a piece of art. Kids big and small are encouraged to send in artwork no larger than 8.5” by 14” for patients and staff. Artwork can be mailed to Peconic Bay Medical Center, Healthcare Heroes, at 1300 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead, NY, 11901 or pieces can be left with security at the front entrance.
Parents looking for help on how to talk to their children about the novel coronavirus can visit the Facebook page (@PeconicBayMedicalCenter) for infographics.
Any retired healthcare providers who can help are encouraged to call the human resources department at 631-548-6340. Additional donations can be made on www.pbmcfoundation.thankyou4caring.org.
According to a press release from Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital, to stay ahead of the demand for personal protective equipment, the Greenport hospital is hosting a donation drive, accepting donations that are boxed in-person and via mail.
ELIH’s community relations department will be collecting donations of face shields, N95 masks, protective eyewear, goggles, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and other supplies required for staff safety.
If members of the community have medical supplies that are in unopened boxes, or any comfort care items to donate, including “Meal Train” meals (learn more at www.mealtrain.com), contact Linda Sweeney at 631-477-5164 or 631-477-5100 so a drop-off time and location can be arranged and donations put into the right hands quickly. Scheduled appointments are the safest and most efficient way for all involved.
“Throughout the hospital’s history, our community never wavered in its commitment to sustain our day-to-day operations,” said Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital CEO Paul Connor. “There is no better example of this dedication than the added extra willingness that our local businesses and residents have shown.”
Additional reporting by Bridget Leroy