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Team Leaders Leaders at Strong Memorial Hospital establish command center to direct UR Medicine’s regional response to the pandemic.

No one knew much about COVID-19 last winter. But patients were calling their doctors and arriving at hospitals—and relying on treatment.

Mike Apostolakos ’90M (Res), ’93M (Flw), chief medical officer at the Medical Center, and Kathy Parrinello ’75N, ’83N (MS), ’90W (PhD), chief operating officer and executive vice president at Strong Memorial Hospital, moved quickly into action. They organized more than 200 colleagues from six hospitals as well as labs and physicians offices, as cochairs of a regional command center at the University-affiliated Strong Memorial Hospital. With that team, Apostolakos and Parrinello developed new protocols for patient care, employee protection, visitation, and much else. Above all, they made sure UR Medicine would have the capacity to weather a surge.

In the spring, a surge never arrived. In the fall, however, as cases spiked, Apostolakos and Parrinello went to work full throttle once again. “We all want to go back to normal, but it’s time to get our second wind and fight through the COVID fatigue we are suffering from,” Apostolakos said in a November news conference.

Throughout, they have given credit to UR Medicine staff members for their commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. “I couldn’t be more proud to be part of UR Medicine,” Parrinello said.