Northwell’s ‘Health Story’ dives into Maria’s devastation

Eye witness: Northwell Health medicos share their firsthand experiences dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September, in Northwell's latest "Health Story" podcast. (Satellite image by NOAA)

Northwell Health’s latest “Health Story” takes listeners into the heart of the storm, both literally and figuratively.

The newest episode of the New Hyde Park-based health system’s monthly podcast follows a 27-member Northwell Health team – including physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians and administrators – that joined a larger contingent organized by the Greater New York Hospital Association in response to Hurricane Maria, which left a major humanitarian crisis in its wake when it devastated Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands in September.

On Oct. 12, three weeks after the 10th-most-intense Atlantic hurricane on record killed dozens in Puerto Rico and left tens of thousands in the U.S. territory without shelter, power, food or even passable roads, the Northwell Health team made for the capital city of San Juan to deliver lifesaving care in most-brutal conditions.

Eddie Reyes: Personal mission.

The 15-day deployment would also strike a personal nerve for team member Eddie Reyes, a Northwell Health registered nurse and EMT who was raised in Puerto Rico – and whose family members would be directly aided by the Northwell team.

That includes an aunt who turned up with cardiac issues at HIMA Hospital San Pablo in Caguas, where the team was deployed.

“This hit home as soon as we hit the ground,” Reyes notes in the podcast.

Northwell Health’s humanitarian mission to Puerto Rico marks the seventh episode of the “Health Story” series, which launched in May to share Northwell’s latest healthcare innovations, explored largely from the patient’s perspective.

The entire catalogue of episodes, each running between 11 and 16 minutes, is available here.