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Jacobi Medical Center floor manager honored by NYC Health + Hospitals for work during height of pandemic

A floor manager at a New York City hospital was honored for the hard work she put in during the height of the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Mar 29, 2021, 12:35 PM

Updated 1,179 days ago

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A floor manager at a New York City hospital was honored for the hard work she put in during the height of the pandemic.
Desiree Guzman is the floor manager at Jacobi Medical Center, and worked 16-hour days for 42 days straight when the coronavirus hit New York.
She had to get creative to find rooms for all of the people who came in to be treated.
“We worked together with nursing leadership and executive leadership to open more spaces within the facility so we can accommodate the patients that we had, so we opened wards that were not opened,” Guzman says. “We accommodated staff that were staying there 24 hours a day or needed to sleep here.”
Guzman was also responsible for managing personal protective equipment for staff, handling transfers from other hospitals and making sure those that were critically ill connected with their loved ones.
She says it was hard for the entire staff as they had to ensure that loved ones had the opportunity to say goodbye when needed.
“And even if we cried when we went home, cried when we went to the bathroom or prayed outside or whatever helped us kind of be mentally stable,” Guzman says. “So that way we can do our job at the best of our ability, we did.”
New York City Health and Hospitals awarded her the Frederick O’Reilly Hayes Prize for her work.
Guzman says she was just doing her job, and she also had the help from her staff.
“It’s not a one-man show,” Guzman says. “It’s never a one-man show.”
Guzman tells News 12 has always led with compassion, but the situation has taught her to do so even more.


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