In April, many Intermountain Healthcare clinicians expressed interest in assisting places experiencing severe staffing shortages due to the pandemic. Since Intermountain then had extra capacity, we created two COVID-19 Response Teams to deploy to the New York City area to assist hospitals for several weeks.
When I saw hundreds of our caregivers volunteer to travel to New York—the center of the storm—it reinforced to me that COVID-19 has met its match.
At the invitation of Michael Dowling, the first team was assigned to Northwell Health. The Intermountain squad was made up of 50 clinicians—physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists and other caregivers.
I’m incredibly proud that so many of our caregivers wanted to help others in need, and we had the capacity to share our staff with Northwell in the middle of their COVID-19 surge. Not only did they provide care for patients in New York, our team brought back knowledge and experience to share with their colleagues at Intermountain that has helped us better serve our patients.
In September, Northwell returned the favor by sending several teams to Salt Lake City to help with the pandemic.
It’s been wonderful to work closely with Michael and the Northwell team to attack this terrible disease. We’re currently talking with them about clinical protocols, sharing ideas around staffing and surge levels, looking into a leader exchange program, and considering the idea of a caregiver exchange program. I look forward to finding even more ways where we can collaborate and learn from each other.