FOLLOWING HIS DIRECT ADVOCACY & VISIT TO STRONG MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN ROCHESTER, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEDS HAVE HEEDED HIS CALL WILL DEPLOY MILITARY MEDICAL PERSONNEL TO AID ROCHESTER HOSPITAL; SCHUMER SECURES CRITICAL SUPPORT NEEDED TO KEEP ROCHESTER FINGER LAKES COMMUNITIES SAFE & GIVE HOSPITALS THE HELP THEY NEED
Schumer Visited Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital Earlier This Month To Hear From Doctors And Nurses Firsthand And Put His Full Weight Into Getting Them The Additional Help They Needed
Senator Says Feds To Deploy Troops To Rochester And Other Hard Hit Areas Of NYS
Schumer: Feds Have Heeded My Call And Will Give Rochester’s Frontline Workers The Booster Needed To Combat Surge & Keep Communities Safe
Following his visit to University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) Strong Memorial Hospital and direct advocacy on behalf of Rochester’s frontline healthcare workers, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that Strong Memorial Hospital (URMC) in Rochester will receive assistance from two U.S. Department of Defense Military Medical Teams (MMT) beginning in February. Schumer said 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.
“Earlier this month I stood shoulder to shoulder with Rochester’s frontline healthcare worker to demand they get the help they desperately needed to combat the latest COVID surge. Today I am proud to say the federal government has heeded my call and will provide the critically needed physicians, nurses, and technicians needed to help Strong Memorial beat back this latest wave and keep our communities safe ,” said Senator Schumer. “Our brave healthcare workers are working non-stop, and the recent surge has only increased the work load. These Military Medical Teams will provide a much-needed booster for Rochester’s hospital and give our doctors and nurses the relief they need. I thank the Biden administration for answering my call and will continue to fight to ensure Rochester’s healthcare workers have all the support they need.”
A copy of Schumer’s original letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell appears below:
I write today to ask for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) assistance as the State of New York continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge in cases due to the Omicron variant. This surge has led to severe capacity and staffing challenges at hospitals across the state – in particular the hospitals in the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, and Central New York. FEMA has been a great partner in battling this pandemic, most recently providing significant federal resources to Buffalo, Syracuse, and New York City and I am deeply appreciative of FEMA leadership and staff in moving this money to New York quickly. Tragically, COVID continues to rage and we need more help. I ask that FEMA deploy flexible U.S. Department of Defense Military Medical Teams (MMT), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medial Assistance Teams (DMAT) and/or other federal medical personnel to New York State, in particular the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, and Central New York regions, to assist with the COVID-19 surge.
Across the state, hospitals are simultaneously experiencing record volumes of COVID patients and chronic staff shortages due to workers contracting or being exposed to COVID, which has negatively impacted communities’ access to care and our health care workers. In Upstate New York, hospitals are pausing non-essential surgeries and closing Urgent Care Centers in order to maintain sufficient capacity for rising COVID-19 hospitalizations. I have heard from our brave health care workers and support staff who are on the front lines of this pandemic, caring for our COVID patients, and the rising hospitalizations combined with their regular exposure to this highly contagious disease have led to a strained workforce. That is why I am echoing Governor Hochul’s request that the federal government mobilize clinical staff across the state, specifically to upstate regions experiencing the most severe challenges.
Prior to COVID, when FEMA has sent DMAT teams to the state, the federal government has allowed them the flexibility to deploy these teams where the need is greatest as things shift on the ground. With recent deployments, FEMA has sent these teams to specific hospitals and without this flexibility. I urge FEMA to provide as much flexibility to New York State as possible with any future and currently deployed teams. This flexibility will allow the state to make real time decisions on where the need is greatest and how to best serve the people of New York.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, FEMA has played a central role in New York’s fight against COVID-19. While I am grateful for these efforts and for the work of FEMA staffers, I ask that FEMA continue this partnership and build on its efforts as hospitals across the state are facing severe staffing and capacity challenges. I ask that as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly you swiftly provide New York hospitals with the flexible federal resources needed to combat this surge.
I appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to your response. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions.
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