ITHACA, N.Y. — Cayuga Health welcomed medical staff returning from New York City on Thursday that had been sent to support operations at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in the nation’s hardest-hit city.

The group departed CMC on April 8 and was made up of doctors, nurses and support staf and partnered with teams from Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian. They spent several days learning the institutions’ standard practices and protocols. Once acclimated, they staffed an expansion ICU serving between 30 and 50 patients who needed additional care to manage severe pneumonia and other complications from COVID-19, according to a release from Cayuga Health.

Upon their return, each health care worker was given a pin, in recognition of their work, by President and CEO of Cayuga Health Dr. Martin Stallone.

“We could not be prouder of our medical teams who have spent the past four weeks on the front lines of this pandemic helping our Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center counterparts to care for New Yorkers diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Stallone. “This sharing of humanitarian support certainly highlights the commitment of our community to the greater good beyond our own region.”

The health care workers were welcomed home by family, co-workers and community members. A website was also created to allow people to create ‘Thank You’ messages that were then posted throughout Cayuga Health hospitals and practices.

The page, which can be found here, also has a downloadable We Love Our Healthcare Heroes banner that people could download, print and place on a door or window.

WATCH THE ITHACA VOICE’S COVERAGE OF THEIR SEND OFF ON APRIL 8 BELOW:

Photos courtesy of Cayuga Health System