Mobile medical units from Samaritan‘s Purse set up in Central Park. Submitted photo.

Samaritan’s Purse Responding to the Pandemic

An internationally known faith-based organization is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and abroad.

Samaritan’s Purse has opened an Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park adjacent to The Mount Sinai Hospital, the main facility of the Mount Sinai Health System to provide additional specialized care for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. With nearly half of all U.S. cases occurring in New York City, medical centers are overrun and in desperate need of added capacity. 

Medical staff from Samaritan’s Purse taking care of a patient. Submitted photo.

“Samaritan’s Purse has been asked to help in New York as the state and their medical infrastructure have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are grateful to be working alongside Mount Sinai Health System to help meet this critical need. In a time of crisis, we all have to come together to help people who are suffering. Samaritan’s Purse is responding in Jesus’ Name—please pray for everyone affected by this deadly virus.”

The Central Park Emergency Field Hospital is opening less than two weeks after an identical unit was established in Italy. The New York City location will be staffed by 76 disaster response specialists, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, lab technicians, and other critical support personnel. 

“In order to meet the needs of the coming surge, we must work as a united front in order save as many lives as possible. We are grateful for the collaboration with Samaritan’s Purse who have come to the aid of the people of Italy and now New York. Through this partnership, we are leveraging our collective resources to care for our patients and community.” said Margaret Pastuszko, executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief strategy officer for Mount Sinai Health System.

“As part of its broader COVID-19 response, we have activated surge planning to expand our capacity to care for patients with COVID-19. As a system, we’re changing our policies as needed and in real-time, freeing up physical space to expand capacity to serve COVID-19-positive patients, and freeing up staff and resources to manage this crisis however we can. We are doing everything we can do to mitigate this crisis, and taking extraordinary steps to protect and serve our communities, including erecting triage tents outside of emergency departments throughout our eight hospital system to expand services in addition to the mobile tent hospital made possible by our partners at Samaritan’s Purse. These measures are critical, along with the collaboration of our city and state governmental partners and with Samaritan’s Purse, will ensure we get through this pandemic together,” said Dr. Jeremy Boal, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Mount Sinai Health System.

“I am very proud of the life-saving work we have done thus far. We are working diligently, around the clock, to prepare for the increase in patients. The partnership with Samaritan’s Purse will allow us to expand inpatient and critical-care capacity to meet this growing need. We thank them and our governmental partners for joining us in this fight to stop this pandemic,” said Dr. Brendan Carr, chair of emergency medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai Health System.

Samaritan’s Purse welcomes the opportunity to work with the Mount Sinai Health System, which will transfer patients within its system to the field hospital. The 68-bed unit, was delivered to New York by a convoy of trucks from the Samaritan’s Purse warehouse in North Carolina.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan’s Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org.