ROCHESTER, NY — If you end up at Strong Memorial Hospital in the next month, part of your treatment may come from a member of the military.
“We are here to support FEMA at the request of New York State to help medical personnel deal with the stress the latest outbreak of COVID-19 has put on the healthcare system,” said Lt. Col. Allan Delgado, a US Air Force nurse practitioner in family medicine and aerospace.
Delgado now offers his medical training and skills to Strong.
“I am a Family Nurse Practitioner and an Aerospace Medicine Nurse Practitioner by training. Right now, I’m sort of two-headed as the officer in charge,” Lt. Col. Delgado said. “So, you know, ensuring mission success while we’re here, but also using my training that I have here in whatever capacity Strong needs me to in helping with the patient population.”
The large patient population and staffing shortages are why Lt. Col. Delgado and his 40-member Air Force team are now at Strong.
“Your team’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Kathy Parrinello, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer of Strong Memorial Hospital and Medical Center. University of Rochester. “Our staff have been working and doing a great job taking care of the patients, but they are tired and your help has really lifted everyone’s spirits.
“Over the next 30 days, Airmen, including Lt. Col. Alan Delgado, will be part of our family working hand-in-hand with our teams caring for patients.”
Two military medical teams from the US Department of Defense arrived this weekend from various military bases around the country. Lieutenant Colonel Delgado is from Nevada.
“Our team is made up of military doctors, nurses, nurses and respiratory therapists as well as command support personnel who bring with them an abundance of medical experience and knowledge,” said Lt. Col. Delgado. . “Their expertise, coupled with that of the staff at Strong Memorial Hospital, will help meet the continued need for access to medical care within the local community by increasing hospital capacity.”
Military medical teams will support clinical operations.
“I am currently involved in an internal medicine clinic here and I see incoming patients working alongside the staff,” Lt. Col. Delgado said. “So the primary care setting.”
“There are three units in particular that they spend time on and those are units where the needs were great and the staffing shortages the greatest,” Parrinello said.
These areas include medicine-surgery, other levels of care and other units of the hospital.
Although the army is initially scheduled for 30 days, this could change depending on the needs.
“The duration of our support here will be determined based on the evolution of the situation, but our team of highly trained military medical professionals will remain committed to the mission for as long as necessary,” Lt. Col. Delgado said.
“I want to thank you and your team for your service and sacrifice,” Parrinello said.
“Thank you very much for having us here,” said Lt. Col. Delgado. “We are honored to be here to support Strong Memorial Hospital and the citizens it serves.”