This effort to help patients during the COVID-19 pandemic was initiated by the Chair of the Veterans Advisory Council (VAC), Frank Larkin. Learn more about Mr. Larkin and the VAC.
Ryan Larkin was a Navy SEAL medic and sniper who died in April 2017. The Ryan Larkin New York Presbyterian Field Hospital at Columbia University will treat 288 patients plus a 47-bed Emergency Department overflow outpost with a dedicated staff of highly-trained physicians, advanced-practice providers, registered nurses, elite-level Special Operations medics, civilian paramedics/EMTs, care techs, and in-house mental health care with on-call dietary and ancillary therapies.
A Message from Frank Larkin:
If you are interested in using your former DoD medical skills in the response to the COVID pandemic, please complete this form. By completing this form you consent to receiving email updates regarding work opportunities. The pandemic response is an evolving need, so this form is intended to generate a database of medically skilled individuals who can be called upon for employment/volunteer opportunities. Completion of this form is not a commitment to work nor does it guarantee employment or a volunteer opportunity.
This is a grass roots effort done by a sole volunteer to match retirees or those who have ETS’d from the military to needs. So please be patient as we build the connections.
** We have filled the NYC field hospital with staff for the first few weeks. However there are needs across NYC and we are now resourcing other facilities from our volunteer list. This may take a few days so please be patient. There are needs across the country. It would be great if someone could be a community leader in other hard hit areas and reproduce what we are doing in NYC. We will share our methods.
Meet the Leadership Team:
Colonel (ret) Melissa Givens, MD, MPH, FACEP is RLFH’s Medical Director, bringing over 20 years’ experience in emergency and special operations medicine and disaster operations. Dr Givens is a West Point and Uniformed Services University alumna and currently practicing emergency physician in the DC area.
Chief of Nursing and Deputy Director is Kate Kemplin, PhDc DNP RN CCEMTP(Emer.), by trade an Army-trained civilian Nurse Specialist in Trauma/Emergency, whose certifications include critical care transport, advanced disaster life support, operational medicine, and emergency management. Dr Kemplin’s doctoral focus was Special Operations Forces medics’ curricula; current research focus is biobehavioral mechanisms in US Army Special Forces and Naval Special Warfare personnel.
Clinical Operations Lead Rickey Ditzel is prior 160th Special Operations Flight Paramedic and certified as TPC, FP, and CCPC. Mr. Ditzel’s academic background includes Leadership in Emergency Action and Disaster Management, in addition to serving as Lead for Research and Education at the Special Operations Medical Coalition (SOM+C), and Lead for the Lethal Diamond Working group for Hypocalcemia in Trauma.
Safety Officer Steve Viola is a retired Naval Special Warfare Command Master Chief, SEAL corpsman, and nationally-registered paramedic. Master Chief Viola holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and advises multiple high-level clients on complex corporate resolutions. The Special Operations Medicine Association (SOMA) elected Master Chief Viola as its first non-physician President, and during his tenure SOMA’s annual Scientific Assembly significantly expanded programs in research excellence and practice advancement.
We aim to stand up RLFH by April 15. An advance team is scheduled to be on the ground on April 8 to coordinate with extant authorities.
RLFH VOLUNTEER APPLICANTS: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfOQDDxjznVjvwwvpC2lWEXSd8WKAeUkbjINGIA3clmGII-gg/viewform