Nurses from Colorado arrive to help NJ hospitals hit hard by coronavirus
Thirty-four nurses from Colorado landed at Newark Airport on Tuesday afternoon and after a short prayer service headed off to three New Jersey hospitals hit hard by the coronavirus to lend a hand.
The nurses, from Centura Health System, part of Catholic Health Initiatives, agreed to travel to New Jersey after its president, Peter Banko, received an appeal from his counterparts in the state.
“Each Centura Health caregiver has an inner calling to minister where the need is,” Banko said.
“The team that has miraculously assembled exemplifies the spirit of the sisters and brothers that came before us,” he added.
Hospital officials from Catholic HealthCare Partnership of New Jersey, which includes St. Joseph’s University Hospital in Paterson, reached out to Banko for help.
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St. Joseph’s President Kevin Slavin said knowing what his staff was up against, he made contact.
Centura Health, as a result, asked any member who could be spared, due to the low COVID-19 volume in Colorado, to serve.
From this appeal, the group managed to assemble registered nurses with medical surgical and emergency department experience.
“This assignment felt right to me,” said Mara Doyle, a nurse from Centura Health. “The thought of people struggling and dying alone tugs at my heart; we need nurses who want to be here.”
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The nurses will work a minimum of three weeks, up to four, as a part of each New Jersey facilities’ care team.
Eleven of the 34 will work at St. Joseph’s in Paterson and the others will split up and go to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth and St. Peter’s Healthcare System in New Brunswick.
The three hospital systems are part of the Catholic Healthcare Partnership of New Jersey and have all witnessed unprecedented volumes of COVID-19 patients in the past several weeks.
Centura caregivers will be paid for this deployment and be provided the proper personal protective equipment, per federal guidelines, for their assignment.
The team traveled to New Jersey for free on United Airlines, Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Matt Fagan is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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