Longwood Chorus Members Combating COVID19

As a community of students and professionals in healthcare, we have many members who are contributing their skills to combat the COVID19 crisis. We are so proud of how our community has come together during this time, and wanted to highlight some of the many ways our members are serving the public.

In addition to his usual shifts as an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's, our conductor, Jeremy Faust, MD, has been doing research and policy writing, and serving as an advisor to Mayor Marty Walsh on the city's crisis response. You may have also seen him on one of the several major news sites for which he has been doing public messaging. He started a blog (Brief19) which summarizes research and policy about COVID-19, written by emergency doctors. The blog has thousands of readers daily, and has been covered by Fox, Bloomberg, and others. 

Dr. Faust's media presence also includes writing academic writing and mainstream media writing for Slate and the Washington Post, outlining policy movements and proposing changes. He is proud that some of what he has advocated for has occurred, including temporary changes in litigation standards in order to protect front line providers.

As an emergency physician, Dr. Faust is also testing and treating for SARS-CoV-2, whether that means sending patients home and telling them to isolate, admitting them to the hospital for oxygen, or, at times, intubating them and putting them on mechanical ventilators. 

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Andrew Lewis, tenor, is a Med/Surg nurse working in an ICU for COVID positive patients requiring critical levels of care; there, different teams of caregivers are providing ICU (ventilators, sedation, blood pressure support) level care outside of the ICU.

 

"It's a huge learning curve, but I'm very proud to be part of an amazing team who is stepping up across the board to make this all happen!"

-Andrew Lewis, RN (Beth Israel)

Ali Setaro, alto, is working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic at Beth Israel. She was redeployed from her department to work on the PPE conservation effort. Her current job involves gathering used precaution gowns, stethoscopes, and N95s from COVID positive rooms to be sterilized and reused. 

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Samantha Taylor, soprano, is a psychiatry resident physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She sees patients on the inpatient psychiatry unit at Faulkner Hospital, in the Emergency Departments at Faulkner and BWH, and throughout numerous units at BWH. Her role as a psychiatry resident is to care for psychiatrically ill patients and to help assess acute mental health care needs, including imminent safety concerns, delirium, and capacity. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, many of her interactions have moved to virtual mechanisms, but she and many other residents are still required as in-person psychiatry staffing for evaluation. BWH is currently planning to start a med-psych unit for COVID positive psychiatric patients who are stable from a respiratory standpoint, but unable to discharge to inpatient psychiatric facilities due to their COVID positive status. Psychiatry residents like Samantha will be staffing these patients 24/7, under the supervision of medicine and psychiatry attending physicians, as a way of helping medicine teams prioritize their staff physicians for the sickest COVID patients. 

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Tori Flormann, soprano, typically works as an outpatient speech pathologist at Beth Israel, but when ambulatory clinics were shut down, she rotated to assist the inpatient team with direct patient care, primarily assessing and managing individuals with swallowing disorders. She was then redeployed, out of need, to the "Swab Team," which tests for COVID-19 in patients who are suspected to have it, or who need clearance in order to discharge.

Katherin Hudkins, soprano, a social worker at Beth Israel, helps patients and their families find ways to connect while social distancing, walking alongside patients who are navigating significant illness and psychosocial crises, and working to provide resources in a constantly changing landscape.

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 Mikaela Bartels,soprano, is a child life specialist at Boston Children's Hospital. Although she does not work directly with COVID-19 patients in an effort to preserve PPE, her team has been working hard to help normalize the situation for their patients. They have created activity bags and shared child-friendly education about COVID-19, in addition to conducting zoom sessions to provide their patients with play and a sense of normalcy. While most of the patients on Mikael's surgical floor are not there because of the pandemic, her job is just as important as it always is - to give those patients a chance to be a kid, too. As a child life specialist, she provides play, comfort, and developmental support.

"This pandemic can't stop me from doing my job and providing for patients and families like I always do. The hospital is a stressful place to work right now, but I am so thankful that I still get to come in and help." - Mikaela Bartels (Boston Children's Hospital)

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David Campbell, tenor, works at Beth Israel as a vascular surgeon, doing leg bypasses and amputations, fixing abdominal and thoracic aneurysms, and taking care of carotid blockages. He has had to operate on a few patients with COVID-19, but is grateful for the way that his residents and fellows have made an effort to protect him, as he, at age 71, is at a higher risk of contracting the virus. 

Abra Shen, co-founder of the Longwood Chorus, and Christine Xu, soprano, are HMS medical students working with the Arts and Humanities Initiative at HMS to create an online archive of the COVID-19-related experiences of faculty and staff at HMS. The goal of the initiative is to interview healthcare workers and hospital staff to gain an understanding of how they have been affected by the pandemic. The stories will be collated and stored on a website which will be maintained at Countway Library.

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Fritz Stabenau, bass, is a cardiology fellow at Beth Israel. Cardiology fellows care for their own patients who have primary cardiac problems, and support other physicians in the hospital who have cardiology-related questions about their patients. Many of these providers are now taking care of COVID-19-infected patients, some of whom have sustained an injury to the heart as a result of the viral infection. Dr. Stabenau's duties as a fellow also at times include being on call overnight for urgent cardiac problems such as heart attacks or cardiac tamponade (fluid accumulation around the heart, causing it to be unable to fill with blood). These conditions may also happen in COVID-19-infected patients. Here, you can see Dr. Stabenau in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, getting ready to help take care of someone who has had a heart attack.

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Matt Reinemann, tenor, recently quit his job doing data management for the Broad Institute, in order to work as a firefighter/paramedic.

As a mental health provider, Liz Bernstein, alto, is helping people cope with the enormous emotional trauma of this epidemic, including fear of infection, debilitating isolation, stress of quarantine, and job and income loss. Her practice also includes health care providers managing overwhelming stresses.

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Jonathan Berry, tenor, is an internal medicine resident at Beth Israel. He has been working in the medical ICU - the first ICU to care for COVID-positive patients in his hospital. By the end of his first month in the medical ICU, every patient in the unit was COVID-positive. Now that practically all of the hospital's ICUs are caring for COVID-positive patients, Dr. Berry has returned to work on the medical floor, caring for patients who are sick enough to need to be in the hospital, but not necessarily in intensive care. 

"I worked with an amazing team of residents, nurses, and respiratory therapists who were so gracious and devoted to service as plans an dprocedures changed nearly constantly for the first few weeks as we figured things out." - Jonathan Berry, MD (Beth Israel)

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Marissa Wilkinson, soprano, a clinical dietitian at Beth Israel, has been working to make sure her COVID patients are being fed adequately, especially those on ventilators in the ICU. Her department has done more tube feed and IV nutrition calculations than ever, on top of continuing to provide education and supplements to all of their patients.

Jenna Korotkin, alto, is a clinical research coordinator for Barbara Smith, MD, PhD, of the Division of Surgical Oncology at MGH. She is currently developing a tool to track and reschedule breast cancer patients whose surgery was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pamela Chen, soprano and co-founder of the Longwood Chorus, is a graduating 4th year HMS student. Her clinical rotations were cancelled, but she and many of her classmates rallied together to synthesize the ever-growing literature on COVID-19 and teach it to their medical school classmates. The curriculum (which can be found here) has now been accessed by approximately 100 countries around the world, translated into 10 languages, and incorporated into several formal medical school curricula. Pamela has also been part of smaller efforts to make educational COVID-19 content for the lay public and children. In June, she will be starting her pediatric residency at Boston Children's Hospital and Boston Medical Center, where she will be joining the front lines

Joe Kopp, tenor, is an ER doctor at the Brigham and Faulkner Hospitals. He is seeing patients that are mostly COVID-related right now, but still sees heart attacks and strokes as well. He has seen a high level of sick patients at the Faulkner, and regularly has to place people on respirators and get them to the ICU.

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Emily Graham, alto, is volunteering with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard's genomic platform as a testing personnel. She works specifically with the Nursing Home Testing Initiative program, which works with the Massachusetts National Guard to test every nursing home in Massachusetts. In addition to doing paperwork and sorting samples, she has joined the National Guard on-site at nursing homes to understand their testing procedures. She plans to work with this program until she is able to go back to her normal day job as a research assistant in chemical biology.