UTICA — Mohawk Valley Health System’s Emergency Department on both the St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth campuses has been named one of the top response teams in the Northeast by TeamHealth for its work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Dr. Afsar Khan, medical director of the MVHS EDs, has been awarded the 2020 Northeast Group Medical Director of the Year by TeamHealth for his role in leading the MVHS team this past year.
In his role as medical director, Dr. Khan oversees the day-to-day operations of the ED on both the St. Elizabeth and St. Luke’s campuses, as well as providing direct patient care. He was honored for providing high quality patient care throughout the pandemic as well as outstanding leadership to his team.
“We are so proud of Dr. Khan and our Emergency Department team for the role they have played throughout the pandemic and the critical service they provide to our community every day,” said Darlene Stromstad, FACHE, president/CEO of MVHS. “Dr. Khan is very deserving of this recognition. He has been a shining example of leadership, strength and consistency through an incredibly difficult year.”
TeamHealth, which provides staffing for the ED at MVHS, is an organization comprised of more than 16,000 affiliated health care professionals and advanced practice clinicians. The company offers emergency medicine, hospital medicine and more to approximately 3,100 acute and post-acute facilities and physician groups nationwide.
Dr. Khan sees the awards as reflections of the support, teamwork and strength shown by the organization and community through an unprecedented time in health care.
“It was a difficult year with all of the stress that the COVID pandemic put on the health care system across the country,” Dr. Khan said. “I am personally grateful for all of the support shown to the department from the hospital’s administration, staff and the especially from the community.”
In addition to his personal accolade, Dr. Khan remarked that the team award is particularly meaningful. “It is always nice to be honored,” he said. “The department award is a fitting tribute to the caregivers at both campuses for the hard work and personal sacrifices everyone made throughout the pandemic. From the doctors, nurses and lab personnel to the environmental services staff and technologists, these awards are a reflection of the expertise, caring and bravery displayed organization-wide by our caregivers.”
Dr. Khan also credits the tremendous amount of planning and behind the scenes work as a key factor to the success of the ED.
“As an organization, MVHS is constantly undergoing emergency preparedness training to be ready for a worst case scenario,” he said. “To see all of that planning come to fruition, including consolidating services and moving testing sites to alternate locations for safety, was truly amazing.”