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Healthcare workers are our front line, fighting the battle against COVID-19. In this edition, we profile only a few of the heroic healthcare workers in the YOF family, as there are literally thousands of our alumni who are fighting this battle.

We pray for the safety of the countless healthcare workers as they go above and beyond the call of duty to protect all of us in this unprecedented time. We thank you for everything you do!

Dr. Rozalina Grubina McCoy (HS '00) is an Internist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and most of her patients are considered high-risk. She is also the incoming director of Community Care, training local EMTs and paramedics to provide care at home. 

The greatest change for her is how COVID-19 has changed care delivery. "We are reliant on telemedicine to connect and providing the tools to those who need them."

Dr. David Khaski (ES '90, HS '94) is a Brooklyn based physician with an Internal Medicine and Cardiology practice and on staff at NYU Medical Center-Brooklyn.

In his office, he has been caring for COVID-19 patients. Through his hard work and care, many patients were able to stay home. David's wife, Adele Mizrachi Khaski (ES '79, HS '83) is helping the helpers, providing free Zoom exercise classes to healthcare workers, to stay healthy and relieve stress. 

David said, one of the greatest challenges, “is the uncertainty of the virus. COVID-19 is not following any rules of disease progression."

Dr. Joshua Shatzkes (ES '92, HS '96), Daniel Shatzkes (ES '94, HS '98), and Dr. Joseph Shatzkes (ES '96, HS '00).

Joey, a cardiologist at Englewood Health, shared his experience in the recent Alumni Speaker Series. When asked about how to keep faith in such a dark time he referenced a pasuk from Megillat Esther, "you never know why Hashem puts you where he puts you, and more so - you run to take advantage of that moment." 

Danny is an EMT with Hatzolah of Flatbush and shared that Hatzolah of Flatbush has responded to over 6,500 calls since March, many for COVID-19.

Josh, specializing in cardiovascular medicine, spearheads the Mount Sinai antibody testing and plasma donation program. 

Dr. Boris Khodorkovsky (HS '93) is the Associate Chair of the Emergency Department at Northwell Health System - Staten Island University Hospital (SIU). They saw hundreds of COVID-19 cases, but another challenge was that many people with underlying conditions avoided the hospital out of fear. SIU designated separate zones with the Emergency Department. 

Boris shared a few thoughts about the virus and vaccine development. "Nothing is 100% effective, but like other vaccines, the benefits outweigh the risks."

Dr. Yossi Farkas (HS '02) is the medical director of Inpatient Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.

When asked about working through the pandemic, Yossi said, "we are working to provide the best care for pediatric patients with COVID-19 and to make sure that our teams stay healthy and safe."

He was recently selected as one of the Jewish Week "36 under 36".

Dr. Shira Benzaquen Rogoff (ES '04, HS '08) is an OBGYN at Maimonides Hospital Medical Center. 

The staff was dealing with caring for patients and limiting the viral spread, while PPE's and testing remained scarce. They were forced to create their own ICU, offering respiratory support. 

When asked about the challenges as we move forward, Shira said, "this crisis put additional stress on healthcare workers. We must be on guard for signs of burnout."

Our next newsletter: Are you a mental health professional working through the pandemic? Email us at

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