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An open letter from Paul Milton to all Ellis Medicine employees

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Celebrating a great accomplishment, reminding you to take care of yourself

I love it when a plan comes together.

For those of you of a certain age, those words immediately take you back to the mid-1980s and the hit TV show, The A-Team.

I couldn't help but think of them in recent days as a team of employees from across Ellis Medicine developed and implemented an ambitious plan to bring COVID-19 testing to underserved neighborhoods in the City of Schenectady.

Our plan came together in just three days, from the time the idea was raised to the moment the first test was administered. A truly remarkable feat! And over the first seven days of service -- in partnership with Schenectady County Public Health Services, Hometown Health Centers and MVP Health Care -- we tested nearly 600 local people who would otherwise not likely have had access to care due to lack of transportation or other social barriers.

What a tremendous, and perhaps life-saving, effort this is for the people we're testing and our community as a whole. Not only are we helping to identify COVID-positive people today, we're helping build a database of people who, down the road, may be able to donate their antibody-containing plasma to help combat the virus in others.

This community testing program is yet another example of how the people of Ellis Medicine continuously put their ideas, expertise, ingenuity and compassion to work for the health of our families, friends and neighbors. We've got our own A-Team right here!

Coping with COVID at Work and at Home

As I watch the minds, imaginations and hearts of the Ellis team at work in support of our patients and community, what makes your commitment even more impressive to me is that you are also coping with the impacts of COVID-19 in your lives away from Ellis.

Some of you have battled the virus directly. Others have had loved ones who have fought and, sadly, even lost their battles. Some members of the Ellis team are currently out of work, while others are helping family members cope with their loss of jobs.

Responsibilities are mounting. Many of you have added "teacher" to your role of parent -- an at-times overwhelming demand on top of your full-time career. Still others have taken on larger roles caring for elderly parents or other loved ones whose ability to live their normal lives are even more greatly impacted due to their physical vulnerability.

Some of you expected to be attending college graduations this month. High school families are missing out on prom, sporting events, music and drama performances and, possibly, the pride of Pomp and Circumstance, as well. Weddings are being postponed, and grandparents are "meeting" their newborn grandchildren through windows and digital screens. Large households are coping with a little-too-much "Together Time," while those who live alone are missing their networks of friends and social activities.

Your ability to put these outside challenges aside and focus on the needs of our patients is a testament to your professionalism and commitment to our community. But please remember to also take care of yourself. If you need someone to talk with about your life challenges, Ellis provides you with free access to counseling services through Capital EAP, a confidential employee assistance program. You can call them directly and confidentially at 518.465.3813.

We've been through a lot over the past month and a half, and I expect the COVID-related challenges will continue in our community to one degree or another for weeks to come. Together, we will get through this and help our community heal.

Thank you for all you do for our patients and Ellis Medicine.

- Paul Milton, President & CEO

Ellis Medicine | Newsroom

Ellis Medicine Media Inquiries

Media inquiries should be directed to the Communications Department at Ellis Medicine. The Communications Department is open and staffed Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The department can be reached by phone at 518.232.9288. If you leave a message your call will typically be returned within 24 hours.

All official communications regarding Ellis Medicine are arranged through the Communications Department. We look forward to working with members of the public and media organizations to provide accurate, up-to-date information about Ellis Medicine.


Ellis Medicine
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308