There were countless acts of selfless dedication demonstrated by Mount Sinai staff when Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City in October 2012, but one team was recognized formally with an award for its extraordinary coordination of patient care and leadership during and after the storm.
The New York Times “Tribute to Nurses” 2013 team award was presented recently to The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Women and Children’s Services for the care they provided to pediatric and obstetrical patients, some critically ill, who were evacuated from the flooded NYU Langone Medical Center. The award also cited the team’s ability to expand services to accommodate a great influx of additional patients—and staff—from NYU for weeks following the storm, when NYU’s facilities remained closed.
Says Carol Torchen, DNP, RN, Clinical Director of Women and Children’s Services, “This team had never faced such challenges, but throughout it all, patient safety was upheld, families were kept together, and births were celebrated. The staff was phenomenal.”
Women and Children’s Services helped coordinate care with the 26 NYU nurses and physicians who were temporarily credentialed at Mount Sinai to oversee their patients. They also set up a special pediatric intensive care unit and well-baby nursery, and helped with an unprecedented number of labor deliveries. One month post-Sandy, Mount Sinai delivered nearly 200 more babies than its monthly average of 535 births.
Says Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN, Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair, Department of Nursing, and Chief Nursing Officer/Senior Vice President of Nursing, “They were creative problem-solvers, compassionate in their care, and exceptionally welcoming to their NYU nursing colleagues. They never faltered, even under the most challenging conditions.”