Nearly $100,000 in essential medical supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment, as well as an additional $55,000 to fund the purchase of other critical medical supplies has been collected by Mount Sinai South Nassau and its attending medical staff in collaboration with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Queens Long Island, is being shipped by Wheels Global Foundation to hospitals in India to support them in their battle against a deadly outbreak of Covid-19.
“The purpose of this mission has two equally important aspects: to provide the hospitals, our clinical colleagues and their patients with the medical equipment and supplies they need to battle Covid-19,” said Dr. Rajiv Datta, chair of the Department of Surgery at MSSN, according to a news release, “and to give them the extra inspiration, encouragement and hope that they will need to win the battle.”
The initiative, which was spearheaded by Datta, collected thousands of PPE face shields, masks, gowns and sterile gloves as well as 10 pneumatic ventilators, 6 CPAP machines and 2 ventilators along with a significant inventory of the valves, filters and masks needed to operate that equipment.
At the height of the recent surge in India, more than 300,000 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported daily and an average of 130 people have died of the coronavirus each hour, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 dashboard. The massive and sudden surge of Covid cases has overwhelmed hospitals in India and has depleted their supplies of equipment, PPE and oxygen while exhausting healthcare workers.
MSSN has been a leader in the fight against Covid-19 since last spring. The hospital at one point had more than 400 Covid inpatients and has treated thousands of coronavirus patients during the last 14 months. The hospital also has been a leader in testing and vaccination efforts.
“We know first-hand how devastating this disease can be,” MSSN President and CEO Richard J. Murphy said, according to a news release. “Many organizations and individuals helped us get through the worst of it last year. Now it’s our turn to try and help. We have many local residents, staff and patients on Long Island who are of Indian decent. I commend Dr. Datta for leading this effort.”
MSSN’s relief effort augments Mount Sinai Hospital’s donation and delivery of 25 ventilators and 100 sleep apnea machines with kits to convert them to ventilators to five public hospitals in India by Emirates Air flight to Mumbai. This effort was led by Dr. Ash Tewari, chair of the Department of Urology, Mount Sinai Health System, and Michael J. McCarry, senior vice president of Perioperative Services, Mount Sinai Hospital. The Mount Sinai Health System acquired the ventilators during its Covid-19 surge last year. The plane to Mumbai left John F. Kennedy International Airport on May 5 in the late evening and landed Friday, May 7 in Mumbai (4:30 pm EST).
Dr. Abhay Malhotra, president of AAPI-QLI, said, “AAPILQI is always at the forefront to provide community service. Given the critical situation in India due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we felt a moral responsibility to do a fundraiser and provide India with essential medical supplies. We are very thankful to Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital for their tremendous efforts for raising funds and providing medical supplies for this endeavor.”
AAPIQLI is also working on a telemedicine project in which physicians from the U.S. will volunteer to provide expert medical advice overseas by a telemedicine platform.
“It is our hope that this donation is a help to India’s hospitals and their patients,”. Datta said. At the same time, the AAPQLI and Mount Sinai South Nassau physicians join me in adamantly advising the people and our family and friends in India to follow every recommendation that will keep them safe and healthy.”
For more information or to contribute medical equipment or supplies, visit https://aapiqli.org/donate.
AAPI-QLI is one of the largest and most prestigious organizations of Indian physicians consisting of more than 750 physicians, providing essential medical care to the residents of Queens and Long Island. It was founded to facilitate and enable Indian American physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. It facilitates professional solidarity throughout the physician community in pursuit of excellence in patient care, teaching and research, while integrating the distinctive contributions in medicine from India and advancing the American creed of one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Courtesy MSSN; compiled by Mike Smollins