April 28, 2020
On April 28, 2020, Hackensack Meridian Health’s Hackensack University Medical Center discharged its 1,000th coronavirus patient, marking a significant milestone in Hackensack Meridian Health’s mission to deliver lifesaving COVID-19 treatment. Hackensack University Medical Center physicians, staff and administrators joined the patient, 58-year-old Karan Omidvari, M.D., of Manhattan, New York, at a 12:30 p.m. event to celebrate his recovery and successful treatment.
Dr. Omidvari is a critical care intensivist at Hackensack University Medical Center and a married father of two children. He tested positive for COVID-19 after presenting to the Hackensack University Medical Center’s Emergency Department on April 7, 2020, with shortness of breath, fatigue and fever. During his hospital stay, Dr. Omidvari was intubated twice and received convalescent plasma therapy and a medication through his participation in two clinical trials.
“Throughout our network, we have expanded our capacity to safely and effectively care for COVID-19 patients by providing them with access to the latest clinical trials and treatment options,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, who attended the event. “Although the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over, achieving these milestones provides a much-needed dose of hope and optimism to members of our staff, as well as to residents of the communities we serve.”
New Jersey is among the U.S. states that have been hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the northeast, Hackensack University Medical Center — which is Hackensack Meridian Health’s flagship facility located in Bergen County, New Jersey — has successfully treated and discharged more COVID-19 patients than any other hospital in the state. Hackensack University Medical Center was also the first hospital in New Jersey to treat COVID-19, admitting the state’s first COVID-positive patient on March 4, 2020.
“Although this event is certainly an important recognition of Dr. Omidvari’s successful recovery, it is also a time to recognize the ongoing commitment and dedication of our team members who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mark D. Sparta, President and Chief Hospital Executive at Hackensack University Medical Center and Executive Vice President of Population Health at Hackensack Meridian Health. “The celebration of Dr. Omidvari’s discharge is evidence that our hospital and team members remain prepared to offer the best available COVID-19 care to members of our community.”
The event also served as a reminder of the lifesaving impact of COVID-19 research, which has led to the development of new treatments and tools that are now being used throughout the Hackensack Meridian Health network.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hackensack Meridian Health researchers have been pursuing innovative approaches to COVID-19 care,” said Ihor Sawczuk, M.D., regional president of Hackensack Meridian Health’s Northern Market and the chief research officer of the network. “Backed by the full support of our network, our researchers and clinical teams remain optimistic about future advancements in the treatment of COVID-19 and are proud of how much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time.”
Advancements in COVID-19 care Hackensack Meridian Health include:
- A rapid-response coronavirus test developed by researchers at the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation, which has reduced the time it takes to diagnose COVID-19 from days to hours.
- Access to the ID NOW™ Diagnostic Tool developed by Abbott Laboratories, which is a point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic test that uses molecular technology to deliver positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.
- Participation in convalescent plasma research and treatment, which involves infusing plasma — a part of the blood that contains high levels of COVID-19 antibodies — donated by COVID-19 survivors into seriously ill COVID-19 patients to help support the immune system as it fights the virus.
- Clinical trials, which are studying the effectiveness of several medications that may have the potential to combat COVID-19 infections, such as remdesivir, sarilumab, and tocilizumab.
In addition to Dr. Omidvari and Hackensack University Medical Center team members, the Hackensack University Medical Center Color Guard and EMS Honor Guard also attended the event.