Fifteen nurse volunteers from four GNYHA member hospitals and health systems were part of a contingent of more than 20 health care workers who flew to Houston on July 13 and 14 to support the city’s COVID-19 response. The deployment is the result of a partnership involving New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, GNYHA, Montefiore Health System, Mount Sinai Health System, NewYork-Presbyterian, Northwell Health, and SOMOS Community Care.

The volunteers are staffing two testing sites in Northwest Houston’s Fallbrook Church and Southwest Houston’s Higher Dimension Church. The testing sites, both of which are in highly impacted minority communities, will be operational for two weeks and have the capacity to administer up to 1,000 tests per day.

GNYHA President Kenneth E. Raske said, “When COVID-19 slammed New York, our hospitals and their heroic workers treated an unthinkable number of extremely ill patients. When we needed help, equally heroic caregivers came to New York and delivered care with grace, courage, and determination. Now it’s time to reciprocate the generosity of colleagues, friends, and family across the country. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, workers from New York’s hospitals are hitting the ground in Houston to help deliver care and save lives. GNYHA salutes their selfless generosity and sacrifice and is proud to partner with the Governor on this important mission.”

“When New York went through the unprecedented challenge and unimaginable tragedy of COVID-19’s apex in the State, states throughout the country provided supplies, ventilators, and personnel during our time of greatest need,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference on the effort. “Now that New York’s numbers have stabilized, we’re returning the favor across the country, and I am glad to be able to help the great city of Houston establish two testing sites in vulnerable communities. I thank our incredible partners for their efforts to establish the sites and provide supplies and expertise.”

The volunteers will return to New York on July 28.