Ithaca Sends Healthcare Professionals to NYC on COVID-19 Humanitarian Mission
“In any crisis there are those that run, not away from the struggle, but toward it. We normally call these individuals heroes. Today we call them doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals,” proclaimed Dr. Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health Medical Center in Ithaca, April 8th in his send-off message to 50 healthcare professionals who filled two Cornell University buses to travel to NYC to assist in treating COVID-19 pandemic patients.
With less than a day’s notice of the mission, the Ithaca community turned out in droves to send them off, lining the route out of town with posters of encouragement and cheers of well wishes. “It was heart wrenching,” reported one choked-up bystander as she watched the buses, escorted by police and emergency vehicles, leave the relative safety of upstate New York to travel four hours into a COVID-19 war zone at Columbia Presbyterian, Cornell Weill Medical Center in Manhattan.
“We will continue to do what it takes to fight this epidemic and meet the healthcare needs of our community and beyond,” said Dr. Stallone in his send-off remarks. This is the first time an upstate community hospital has sent volunteers on this type of mission. Hopefully it will serve as a model for other hospitals. “We may be a small community, but our employees have huge hearts and we know that we can step up and help out in a big way.”
Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack added, “These volunteers, and all of the healthcare workers at the forefront of this pandemic, are acting with courage and compassion in a situation that is both unprecedented and incredibly challenging.” Since its inception in 1983, Transonic has enjoyed a close connection with Cornell University where its core technology transit-time ultrasound was developed by Transonic President Cor Drost. Fruitful scientific collaborations between Transonic and Cornell continue to this day.
Many of the Transonic’s employees live in the city of Ithaca proper and its surrounding communities. “This exemplifies one of the many instances that I am incredibly proud of our Ithaca community,” said Miriam Tenorio, Transonic VP of Marketing. “We thank today’s heroes, our deployed healthcare professionals, and wish them God’s speed. May they return home to their families, friends and community healthy and safe.”