Military Medical Teams Deploying to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester and SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse
Governor's Request to Extend Existing Military Medical Team at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo Also Approved, Now Operational through March 10
Announcement Builds Upon Existing Support from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense Providing Essential Staffing Relief to State's Hospital Systems
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced additional resources from the federal government will arrive in New York State as early as February 7 providing additional relief to hospitals during the COVID-19 winter surge, which will assist over stressed hospital staff and systems over the coming weeks. Strong Memorial Hospital (URMC) in Rochester and SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse are both set to receive assistance from two U.S. Department of Defense Military Medical Teams (MMT) beginning in February. SUNY Upstate was previously supported by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Teams up until January 26. The new teams are estimated to have 20 members each, including physicians, nurses, respiratory technicians and command staff. They will assist in offsetting patient capacity and be mobilized for approximately 30 days. In addition to the new teams set to arrive, Governor Hochul also announced a 30-day extension of the existing MMT deployment at Erie County Medical Center, which will now last through March 10.
"We are grateful to President Biden for honoring our request for additional help to upstate hospitals, which are under pressure due to the current COVID winter surge," Governor Hochul said. "These teams will go a long way to bolster our healthcare systems, with teams supporting hospitals in Western New York, Central New York and now the Finger Lakes. I'll continue working with President Biden and our partners in the federal government to bring more resources to New York to get us through this phase of the winter surge."
The resources announced today build upon existing assets from the federal government already deployed in New York State, including Military Medical Teams at Erie County Medical Center, one at North Central Bronx and one at Coney Island in New York City.
"Thanks to the millions of New Yorkers who have been vaccinated and boosted, we are in a much better position than last year to hold the virus at bay through this winter surge," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "We are grateful to these professionals for lending a hand to help alleviate some of the stress and strain on New York's healthcare workforce and to the federal government for working with us to do everything we can to support them. Please remember that the best way to do your part is to stay out of the hospital by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors and practicing social distancing whenever possible."
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Governor Hochul and the entire state team are laser focused on supporting our frontline health workers everywhere we can. That includes working with our federal partners to bring additional staff resources into the State. I'm grateful to HHS and DOD for sending these teams to Strong Memorial and SUNY Upstate; the teams will help New York's healthcare workforce during this winter surge and relieve stress on our hospital systems. At the Division we will continue to work with our partner agencies, under Governor Hochul's leadership, to secure additional resources over the next few weeks to help all New Yorkers get through this wave."
Governor Hochul continues to call for additional medical staff support in upstate regions. So far, approximately 70 personnel from these teams are in New York.