Over the next few weeks, we'll be honoring members of the NYU Steinhardt community who are dedicating themselves to others in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Even the sickest patient needs nourishment. As a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) on the front line, I provide enteral nutrition support through a feeding tube to patients who require specialized therapy such as a ventilator in the COVID ICU to accelerate their recovery. It is an unprecedented and heartbreaking situation, but I have been training for my entire career to prepare for this. The worst pandemic this generation has ever seen has elevated the mission of my colleagues and me to provide the best care possible to help our patients recover.
Anne Caverly (Communicative Sciences and Disorders MS '19)
With our facility locked down to visitors, per CMS guidelines, I know that I am one of the only friendly faces my patients see each day. I am there to provide my skilled services with a brave face, ease my patients’ fears, and to provide as much comfort as I can in these uncertain times. My husband and I have been in self-isolation for over a month to protect my family, ourselves, and my patients. My job is to be the best speech-language pathologist, human being, and friend to my patients each and every day.
Michelle Humphrey (Music and Performing Arts Professions Costume Shop Supervisor)
I saw a need when hospitals started saying there were not enough masks for them to treat patients. When NYU first announced remote work, I had myself, Madison, and Hally take home supplies to continue to work from home. We are very glad we did. We have things that help produce masks quickly like fabric scissors and tape measures. So far, we’ve each made about 25-50 masks using our own materials. We are hoping to receive more supplies so that we can produce 100 a week. We have had such a great response from everyone – people are asking how to make their own and how they can help.
Danielle Butin (Occupational Therapy BS '95)
Afya is working with large, underfunded outpatient centers to get them essential supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), for healthcare professionals. We have already delivered thousands of pounds of supplies to Hudson River Health in Peekskill and United Harlem in NYC. Afya is also supporting local community agencies (residential facilities, Meals on Wheels, and more) and diverting large shipments from manufacturers and resellers straight out to major hospital partners’ loading docks.
Lianne Davidoff (Educational Theatre BS '23) and Tyler Orbin (Educational Theatre BS '22)
Lianne and I put together this video because we saw it as a way for so many people to share their appreciation for those that are helping to ease the many difficulties caused by COVID-19. We hoped that spreading this type of positivity and gratitude could do at least a small part in brightening in the scary time we’re all living in.
Rachel Kuo (Media, Culture, and Communication PhD Candidate)
The zine was a way for us to directly respond to a viral outbreak racialized as Asian by connecting first-hand accounts of racism to social movement organizing the midst of the pandemic and longer-term movement visions for the future. The rhetoric around ‘Asian-ness’ as contagion has been a huge part of the media and information environment surrounding COVID-19, and we were noticing our friends and communities sharing stories of how anti-Asian sentiment was impacting them in their day-to-day experiences and in material ways.
Mia de Bethune (Art Therapy Internship Coordinator)
I started asking various agencies and hospitals where I have contacts if they wanted face masks and the demand was immediate and overwhelming. Elmhurst Psychiatric contacted me because their recreation and art therapy staff were working with COVID-19 patients, but were not given full PPE...so we made them masks, shields, and full hospital scrubs out of old sheets. I call it the ‘Sheets to Scrubs’ program and it felt like a Project Runway moment. We have also set our sights on helping the food supply workers who work on upstate farms and on prison populations where people can’t social distance. Just this week we have 600-800 new orders to fill and the sewing machines are busy. We will keep at it until we aren’t needed anymore, which will be a happy day.
Carolyn Sorkin (Internation Education PhD '02)
I’ve been modeling for my kids what it means to be a team player and take on civic responsibility. Some actions require very little thought or effort: my daughter and I made a big front-door sign to thank essential workers, and I taped a teddy bear to my window for local kids to find when they go on a ‘bear hunt’ during neighborhood walks. Others require a little more time. At a professional level, I have seen a major uptick in anxiety among students and families. In an attempt to tamp down that anxiety, I have begun offering free online presentations to the general public on topics like how COVID-19 will change the college application review process.
Jayanthi Moorthy (Art, Education, and Community Practice MA '19)
As a visual artist who also loves working on social projects, I thought it was important to show appreciation by making some art dedicated to healthcare workers. I believe that constraints make us super creative by helping us dedicate our mental energies in finding new ways to do old things. In the current world where there is so much unpredictability....we need to be super creative and innovative to survive. I created a series of online art workshops to help adults and kids find creative inspirations in simple materials in and around them and in the process find their own creative expression.
Bernadette Lora (Communicative Sciences and Disorders MS Student)
I’m a hospital worker and I work in the emergency room. I still went to work every day but my days were anything but normal or routine. We observed people dying right before our eyes. Everyone had tears in their eyes as I told them what I was witnessing as a front liner. Then I explained that my reality had changed, as I was at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 myself as we didn’t have enough PPE. One of my classmates offered to send some N95 masks she had. Dr. Bridges suggested that maybe some people could donate if they had any available or were willing to make some. My classmate Elizabeth sent some homemade masks. Everyone is so grateful.
Maria Kondratiev Sossi (Art Therapy MA '11)
When my school closed due to COVID-19 I desperately wanted to engage my entire school community at PS 124 (not just the students and families on my art therapy caseload) in a project that would promote a sense of connection and therapeutic art-making at home. I asked my students and our school community to make drawings of what they saw through their windows and invited them to share those images with our school community. I have been collecting images and statements from students, teachers, and parents since mid-March in an ongoing effort to create a virtual art show.