Central Park Emergency Field Hospital

Since April 1, Samaritan’s Purse doctors, nurses, and disaster response specialists have sacrificed to help treat patients with COVID-19 at the Emergency Field Hospital in New York City. In this week’s episode of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, Kristy Graham introduces you to Ken Isaacs, the vice president of programs and government relations, and Shelly Kelly, an ICU nurse on our Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART).

Tune in as Kristy asks Ken and Shelly about the partnership with Mount Sinai Health System. Ken dives deeper into the ministry’s relationship with the hospital and its encouragement to our staff. Samaritan’s Purse has shared crucial knowledge with Mount Sinai about protocol and infection prevention control that the ministry learned while fighting Ebola in Liberia in 2014 and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019.

“I respect and admire all those who have come here to work in New York City and in Cremona during this time to help in Jesus’ Name. They’re dedicated to our mission, dedicated to serving, and dedicated to helping.” – Ken Isaacs

The coronavirus response in New York City is the first time Samaritan’s Purse has deployed the Emergency Field Hospital in the United States. Kristy discusses the difficulties and expectations of setting up the hospital with Shelly, who has served with Samaritan’s Purse for over seven years. Shelly is used to providing critical care in the developing countries or locations devastated by natural disasters. While running an Emergency Field Hospital in the United States is different in many ways, the goal is still the same—providing the highest quality of care to patients in need.


Listen as Ken sheds light on the ways Samaritan’s Purse is able to minister to those serving in New York City. From the police force to local vendors, it is incredible to see the city coming together.

“This is a time where we’re stopping and realizing our frailty as humans. Prayerfully, we hope it turns our nation and globe to the Lord.” – Kristy Graham

Shelly explains the challenges that DART members face as many left behind family and friends to fight the infectious disease. With two Emergency Field Hospitals being operational at the same time—one in Italy and one in New York—there are nearly 200 DART staff currently serving on the field. It’s like a family as they support each other and pray for each other during this unique and challenging time. Shelly expresses her gratefulness for the wisdom and support the team in Italy has given to the medical team in New York City—sharing what they have learned and encouraging each other in the fight.

The episode wraps with Ken and Shelly lifting up prayer requests for patients and staff on the ground in Central Park, New York City. Thank you for continuing to partner with us in prayer and support for our teams around the world combating COVID-19.


An Inside Look

Are you a licensed medical professional seeking to serve in Jesus’ Name? Apply on our website to be a part of our COVID-19 response.

Learn more about our Emergency Field Hospital in New York City in episode 16.

Check out our website to stay up-to-date with how God is working through our Emergency Field Hospitals in Cremona, Italy and New York City.

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