Swedish Institute Turns 105, Celebrates its Alumni on the Frontline in NYC Hospitals


Century old school attributes its longevity to its hard-working graduates who make an impact in NYC hospitals and clinics everyday, especially during pandemic.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, April 9, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Celebrating its 105th anniversary this year, Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences in Manhattan attributes its longevity to the success of its alumni. During what has been arguably the most challenging year for healthcare workers in its history, Swedish Institute celebrates its graduates that have been working tirelessly during the pandemic in hospitals, clinics and medical spas throughout New York City.

Turning 105 this year, Swedish Institute is the longest running massage therapy school in the US. This century old NYC school has survived 2 pandemics – Spanish Influenza and COVID-19.

In 2012, the Institute added programs in Nursing, Medical Assistance and Surgical Technology to their curriculum. Producing hundreds of graduates in these health sciences, the Institute touts a high percentage of their students placing in healthcare jobs after graduating. Richard Gardner, Director of Career Services at Swedish Institute, reported 75% of their Medical Assistant graduates, 81% of their Nursing graduates, and 83% of their Surgical Technology graduates acquired jobs in hospitals or clinics.

“In our 105 year history, we are most proud of the fact that our graduates constantly get placed in NYC hospitals and other health care facilities,” says Gardner. “They continue to make a huge impact on NYC communities every day.”

Hillory Thorpe, Swedish Institute’s Dean of Nursing since 2012, notes how 90% of their nursing students come from the five NYC boroughs. According to Thorpe, the nursing graduates most often go on to work in NYC hospitals.

The following are Swedish Institute nursing graduates who have gone on to work in NYC healthcare facilities and have remained steadfast in their commitment to saving lives through the pandemic:

Dwayne Brown is one Swedish Institute graduate that has been impacting his own community, both in and out of the hospital. Since he graduated from the Swedish Institute Nursing program in 2018, Brown has been working as a Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn. When the pandemic hit NYC, he consistently worked long hours, up to 20-24 hour shifts. On his time off, he would continue to work caring for his own family members and friends who had COVID. Brown says, “I wasn’t even resting on my day off, I was basically working seven days a week. Paid and unpaid.”

Bridges Jones, a Registered Nurse in the Med-Surg unit at Harlem Hospital and a 2016 graduate of Swedish Institute’s Nursing program, also had to work very long hours at the height of the pandemic. She noted the daily stress of the long shifts and navigating through the unknown causes and cure of the virus.

Agnes Alvarez, Manhattan-born and living in Harlem, works as a Registered Nurse in the Geriatric Comprehensive Care at Rikers Island. She was one of the first nursing cohorts at the Institute’s two-year nursing program. Working with the growing elderly population over 65 at Rikers, she saw several inmates inflicted with COVID, both symptomatic and asymptomatic. After their staff underwent a vigorous letter-writing campaign, they were able to get all of the inmates vaccinated, resulting in zero COVID illnesses in the past 6 months.

Weadly Jean, a 2018 graduate of Swedish Institute, currently works as a Nursing Supervisor for Meadow Park Rehab & Healthcare in Queens. He saw at least one patient a day succumb to COVID-19. As he describes, “It was a very surreal feeling being so close to death, and having interacted with almost every resident in our building, every loss was devastating.” At the end of the day, Jean says, “we will be able to look back at what we did and be proud of it.“

Michael Bottrill, President and CEO of Swedish Institute, says the demand for certified healthcare professionals continues to grow. Thus their enrollment at Swedish Institute continues to grow. In 2020, their enrollment shot up by 17% from 2019, and enrollment is up 6% so far in 2021.

Says Bottrill, “Healthcare is definitely an industry that is not going away. You could even call it pandemic-proof.”

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Beatrice Kimmel
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