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In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, practice facilitator Anna Rosenblatt ’12 and her colleagues at Cayuga Medical Center sprang into action to create two COVID-19 testing sites in Ithaca.

“Something that Ithaca has on its side ... is that people, for the most part, have cars. So you can contain people in their own individual ‘rooms’ and have them drive up for testing.” 

While Ithaca’s car-centric culture helped streamline testing efforts, the area’s late-March snowy weather brought its own challenges. “We had to plow the parking lot and make sure our staff was warm enough outside because they couldn’t be coming in and out with their protective gear on,” Anna shares.

Anna’s graduate school training and work with the IC Gerontology Institute ably prepared her for a challenge of this magnitude, as did her time as a student in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. “On any film set, you need to learn how to mobilize groups of people toward a common goal, keep people updated, and keep people on task,” Anna says. 

As of late April, the efforts of Anna and her colleagues have paid off, and Anna deeply appreciates how the the local community has shown support for its healthcare workers. “When the Cayuga Medical Center employees went down to New York City to help at New York Presbyterian, all the roads ... were lined with people cheering them on,” Anna recalls. “It was a moving experience, and that’s why I am happy to live in Ithaca, New York.”