Residents Launch Nation’s First ENT COVID-19 ICU
In the spring of 2020, COVID-19 anxiety was on the rise at Elmhurst Hospital Center, a Mount Sinai Health System affiliate in the New York City borough of Queens. In response to increased cases of the novel coronavirus, the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at Mount Sinai had halted all nonurgent and elective cases and transferred the majority of appointments to telehealth. Throughout the hospital, medical wards were converted to COVID-19 intensive care units (ICUs) and the number of patients intubated threatened to overwhelm resources. Though the initial thinking was to keep residents away from the front lines and safe from infection, reinforcements were desperately needed and residents were eager to assist in the effort.
Launched in March 2020, the seven-bed unit distinguished itself as the nation’s first ENT/Otolaryngology-run COVID-19 ICU. Members included Arvind Badhey, MD; Benjamin Laitman, MD, PhD; Usmaan Basharat, MD; Jaclyn Klimczak, MD; Eliezer Kinberg, MD; Kevin Wong, MD; Peter Filip, MD; Caleb Fan, MD; Douglas Worrall, MD; Noel Phan, MD; Christine Barron, MD; and substitutes Joshua Zeiger, MD; Shirley Hu, MD; and Andrey Filimonov, MD. The group was organized into four teams of three residents, all of whom received guidance from attending physicians in Critical Care and additional support from ENT attending physicians.