Robin Ferrer ’00
While these are extraordinary times—we are extraordinary people. Many of our Milton Hershey School graduates are on the front lines of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and they are bringing hope to others. These are their stories.
Robin Ferrer ’00 has spent his career on the front lines of the healthcare field. As the director of operations and nursing for New York Presbyterian Hospital, he is responsible for more than 600 employees covering seven different areas of the hospital, at three different campuses throughout the New York City area—the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
“Our team has really embraced this moment in time,” he said. “This is an incredible moment in history. We’ve been presented with so many different problems, but we’ve come up with unique ways to solve them.”
With all hospital efforts focused on fighting this pandemic, Robin plays a big role in supporting his team emotionally along with working on hospital strategy, planning crisis responses, and coming up with contingency plans.
“I’ve been spending a large portion of my time on the ground, supporting my teams and being there for them,” he shared.
The hospital has coordinated housing accommodations and has three shuttle buses running for its employees in all five boroughs of New York City. In addition, there is pastoral care and the psychiatry department has set up support groups.
The community also is stepping up to keep the staff fueled for their long days. Generous food donations have been pouring in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“In moments of crisis, our character as human beings is revealed,” he said. “Our team has stepped up and embraced this challenge from day one. Each one of them has made a commitment that we will make every effort possible and exhaust every resource, to save as many people as we can.”
Growing up, Robin spent time in the foster care system following his mom’s incarceration. When she was released, Robin, his five siblings, and his mom were living in urban poverty. A priest told his mom about Milton Hershey School and they took a taxi from New York City to Hershey, Pennsylvania—it was a decision that changed Robin’s life and put him in the position he is in today.
“Coming from Milton Hershey School, you learn to be resilient. You learn not to lose hope. I was fortunate to be surrounded by an army of people at MHS that cared about me deeply and invested in me,” he shared. As a leader at my hospital, it’s my responsibility to take care of others and invest in others so they can be successful. I didn’t get to where I am today because I’m a great leader. I got to where I am today because people cared about me and helped me—and that all started at Milton Hershey School.”
Do you know of an alum on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak? Is it you or someone you love? Share your stories with us! Submit them here ➡️ https://bit.ly/2VhrOT4