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Rome Memorial Hospital submits plan to increase capacity 50 percent

By Eric Reinhardt (


Dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE), Amy Samson, RN, an employee of Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) performs a dry run prior to the recent opening of the hospital’s COVID-19 collection station. The station is open by appointment only. RMH on Tuesday submitted its required “surge” plan to prepare the facility for an increase in critically ill patients from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo credit: RMH)

ROME, N.Y. — Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) on Tuesday submitted to the New York State Department of Health its required “surge” plan to increase its capacity by 50 percent.

The plan seeks to prepare the facility for an increase in critically ill patients from the COVID-19 pandemic, RMH announced.

The plan addresses three key components, including space, equipment, and staffing, Samantha Vining, chief nursing officer at RMH, said in a release.

“The plan takes a multi-dimensional approach of identifying resources inside and outside of the hospital that can be utilized to meet our community’s need,” Vining explained.

For example, RMH can reassign areas and people within the hospital where they are needed most. Externally, the hospital is in contact with providers and facilities that can support surge needs, such as the Griffiss Surgery Center.

The hospital is also preparing to bring aboard retired health-care professionals and nursing students who will be graduating soon.

“We have established phone numbers for retired health-care personnel or providers who may have temporarily suspended their operations to contact us for emergency credentialing and onboarding,” Vining said. “We are working with [registered nurses] who expected to graduate in May to assist us in a limited patient-care capacity.”

Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can call the medical staff office at (315) 338-7140, RMH said. All other health-care personnel should contact human resources at (315) 338-7290.

Teams of providers have already developed and tested plans to manage multiple patients on a ventilator because the state has identified this as “one of the most critical” resources to manage patients who are critically ill.

“We express our deepest appreciation to everyone who has come together to protect our patients, residents, staff and community during this evolving COVID-19 pandemic,” Vining said. “Because of your dedication, teamwork and ingenuity, we are developing and implementing response plans to best meet our community’s needs.”