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    Student Support for Public Health: Monitoring COVID Outbreaks in 5 Long Term Care Facilities in Newark

    Fourteen students from Rutgers-NJMS and SPH volunteered with the Newark Department of Health as liaisons with Newark’s long term care facilities. Students tracked the number of cases in residents and staff and provided guidance on infection control. LTC and Health Department staff have praised their dedication, professionalism, and effectiveness.

    Pauline Thomas and Peter Wenger

    , New Jersey Medical School

    The Commitment of Acute Psychiatric Service (APS)

    I have witnessed the strong commitment of Acute Psychiatric Service (APS) staff demonstrating ingenuity, compassion, and a dash of hope. APS has performed with clinical excellence without interruption while serving the vulnerable mental health community quarantined in their homes, during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. A family member on the phone, a police officer in the community, or a distressed patient at the door. The circumstances frequently change; but the exceptional services provided by APS to support the surrounding mental health community has been a constant. APS has been a lifeline to UBHC patients that are scared, psychotic, sad, anxious and frustrated during this unprecedented change in the delivery of behavioral health services at Rutgers.  


    The Perseverance of Mental Health Workers at Rutgers UBHC

    In times of uncertainty, the staff at Rutgers UBHC MJAPH continue to support and encourage the individuals they serve every day. Flawlessly, they have adapted their skills, creating even more unique services to meet the mental health needs of surrounding communities. Every day they inspire others to be their best selves.

    Katie Honovich, LPC, LCADC, ACS

    Program Coordinator, University Behavioral Health Care

    Stepping Up: Student Volunteers Assist Coronavirus Hotline at New Jersey Poison Center

    The New Jersey Poison Center has been operating the coronavirus hotline since late January with the help of volunteers throughout Rutgers. The Center has assisted over 22,000 callers with COVID-related questions and counseled NJ residents on how to keep themselves and their families safe. The Center was able to respond to a surge in call volumes due in large part to dedicated students throughout Rutgers. These students have volunteered hours and hours of their time to assist our New Jersey community. We are proud of the service provided by the students from Rutgers School of Public Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, and students mobilized by the Rutgers Global Health Institute and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Policy and Planning.

    Diane Calello, MD

    , Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison Center

    New Jersey Medical School COVID Appreciation Video

    There are individuals who wake up each morning to face this giant called COVID face-to-face in order to heal patients. There are others who continue to work at hospitals behind the scenes, ensuring a clean, safe space to provide care. Our administrators and teachers are spending every waking moment making and organizing plans so we can achieve our dreams. The majority of us are home, practicing social distancing, wondering how we can stay connected, when we feel so far away. I hope this video is a reminder that each and every one of us plays an essential role to fight this pandemic. We are each accountable for the safety of our loved ones, and we must do our part, no matter how big or small, in order to see the rainbow after the storm.


    Alone Together

    The PA class of 2022 (current freshman), along with some of the faculty and staff, created and circulate this video entitled “Alone Together” to send a message that we are all still together during COVID life. Awesome students, faculty and staff doing an amazing job staying positive, working hard adapting to teaching and learning on-line. Third years will graduate on time this May, a major accomplishment of the program! All are heading straight into jobs caring for patients across the country in May.

    Gwen Mahon

    , Dean, School of Health Professions

    Addressing Patient Needs at Promise Clinic

    As a student-run clinic, Promise Clinic rose to the challenge of providing consistent, quality care for their patients. It is amazing to see student-driven solutions that also address patients’ social needs, like organizing grocery deliveries with help from Elijah’s Promise.

    Simone Sukhdeo

    , Student, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

    COVID Testing: Celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals

    National Medical Laboratory Professionals week runs April 19-25th. This year, laboratory professionals have been in the spotlight more than ever in thanks to COVID testing. Thank a Medical Laboratory Professional for all their hard work this week!

    Kathryn Golab

    , Student, School of Health Professions

    UBHC Community-Based Staff Unite

    Community-Based programs at UBHC have united to obtain food donations and deliver them to individuals with high food insecurity in Middlesex County. Clad in PPE, these unsung heroes are providing crucial support to the most disenfranchised among us.

    Jeanmarie Leitch

    , Program Director, University Behavioral Health Care

    Keeping the ‘Public’ in Public Health

    Rutgers School of Public Health’s agile leaders, scholars, and practitioners are working to support NJ’s public health needs by volunteering, communicating crucial info. with press, and undertaking imperative research to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Michelle Edelstein, MPH, Manager of Planning, Communication, & Marketing

    School of Public Health

    Virtual Music Cover by NJMS Students

    Musician medical students from Rutgers NJMS (Classes 2020-23) prepared this musical video remotely. Music provides a unique, healing experience for both the performer and listener. The song “Stand by Me” truly embodies the attitude of our NJMS family, as individuals at every level (physician, staff, faculty, admin, technician, nurse, teacher, custodial staff, student, volunteer, and the list goes on…) are standing together to fight this fight for hopes of a better tomorrow.

    Grace Ro, Jack Reep & NJMS COVID Health & Wellness

    New Jersey Medical School

    UBHC NJ Peer Recovery – Fighting the Epidemic During the Pandemic

    Just seeing others be able to connect to one another without prejudice or stigma is a beautiful scene. Seeing my co-workers able to connect to individuals during this time makes me see what a strong team we have. People with substance use disorders are really struggling right now, and seeing people so passionate about their work and helping these individuals through their wellness is amazing to me.

    Arielle Estes

    , Peer Support Specialist II, University Behavioral Health Care

    UBHC Develops 90 Seconds of Resiliency Video Series for the Community

    University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) has put together a series of short videos to assist in building and maintaining resilience during these challenging times. UBHC has called upon their diverse staff to share techniques they use and have shared with the individuals they serve at UBHC. Watch them anytime – before you start your day, on your break or during your free time. Share these videos with your colleagues, family and friends. In 90 seconds, you can be reminded of simple things you can do. Here is the link: 


    Instant ICU Breeds Instant Team

    I covered ICU nights and amidst all of the strenuous unknown and suffering around us, I witnessed many beautiful things. What sticks out in my mind was when we decided to start proning COVID patients overnight in a make-shift ICU that was created the day prior. Despite being very short on staff, we managed to create a proning team within minutes. We were led by enthusiastic nurses who didn’t take breaks, as well as OR staff and residents from various specialties who were willing to pull together to help us turn patients, outside of their normal responsibilities. No one questioned it, no one complained. We formed an instant team for the good of the patients and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.


    War Zone

    “Armed for battle?” asked a nurse standing 5 feet away from me as we watched each other don 8 articles of PPE. We’re fighting a war with the unseen enemy invisible to the naked eye, the little devil in the shape of a spiky ball, yet we know it’s here.

    Anoush Kalachian, BSN, RN

    , Student, School of Nursing

    Connecting Globally

    Many rushed to teach on-line. Let’s transform teaching. Let us support teaching in these crazy times. We invited smart-energizing speakers from the UK, US and Brazil. We spread the word through social media. 300 people came from all over the world to share and learn. We started a global conversation.

    Judith Deutsch

    , Professor, School of Health Professions

    I’d Be Lying If I Said I Wasn’t Scared

    Seeing patients die alone, removing breathing tubes – I’m a pretty emotional guy and sometimes there’s nothing I can do except express my condolences. Our patients are sick and not just with respiratory failure, but kidney, liver, cardiac involvement. I’m wearing an N-95, which is in short supply. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, but this is what I do. This is a calling. And I know in my heart of hearts, I am doing my best.

    Al Heuer

    , Professor and Respiratory Therapist, School of Health Professions

    NJMS Students Helping Out Seniors in Newark

    About 16 New Jersey Medical Students, along with volunteers from Councilman Luis Quintana’s office, make up the group that gets fresh vegetables to senior citizens buildings each week. See the YouTube video created by for more information.


    Virtual Tutoring Team

    Our virtual teaching program has partnered with four schools in the Bronx, Harlem and Manhattan to develop a simple system where medical students and professionals from across the country provide free, virtual instruction on a broad range of topics. We have over 200 volunteers and growing who are dedicated to helping all K-12 students!

    Robert Romanzi

    , MD Student, New Jersey Medical School

    EMS Support in the Emergency Department

    The staff is making do with less, and in a time when the risk to doctors, nurses and EMS workers has never been higher. Yet, they continue to respond when called upon. “I’ve been a paramedic here in Newark for 34 years, and it was one of the most challenging and emotional moments I’ve seen in that time period,” Hoben said. See article for more.

    Terry Hoben

    Love Wins: Most Worry, Some Cry, I Listen

    We all fear something, I dread breaking bad news to family. With COVID 19 risks and no family at the bedside, we, the healthcare workers, have become the eyes and ears for the patients and families. A husband who cannot see his pregnant wife after her surgery, a daughter who struggles with her mom’s fall related traumatic brain injury, each patient has a story, and a million things that their families want to tell them. However, nothing was more important to them than saying “Could you please tell him/her that I called?” Each day, I updated families about the progress of their loved ones. Some updates brought them joy while others brought tears. I listened. I can’t say I will ever completely overcome my fear of giving bad news, but I take solace in the fact that I try, often just being there on the phone in silence, offering comfort.

    Syed Farrukh Haider

    , MD, PGY1, New Jersey Medical School

    The NJMS COVID Team – Supporting Our Community

    As medical students, we are seeing colleagues, mentors and friends working at the frontlines. We initially focused on childcare, errands and pet-sitting to support our healthcare workers, but our organization now includes PPE acquisition, a mental health initiative, staffing the NJPIES COVID19 hotline, telemedicine – and the list is growing!

    Anushka Sindkar

    , Medical Student, New Jersey Medical School

    Stepping Up to the Challenge

    I have seen my co-residents and fellows really step up to the enormous task of taking care of the influx of patients. We are all working more and harder than we or anyone else in the hospital has ever worked before but we have done it with a smile on our face and have been there for each other throughout. We hope everyone understands that we (residents) are vital to the well being of the health care system.

    Dean Marella

    , MD, PGY2, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School