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LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing graduates make a difference wherever they go.

Alumni news with illustration of graduation cap and diploma

Louisiana Brothers-in-Arms on the COVID-19 Front Line

Medical emergency is nothing new to two LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing graduates who serve their country in the U.S. Army. Both were deployed to Afghanistan in 2017 in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. But when they were called to duty in New York this past spring, they were fighting a battle of a different kind.

“This mission and practice was quite different from previous ones where we provided anesthesia for trauma patients undergoing emergent surgical procedures,” says Army Maj. Harold “Beaux” Mustin (CRNA ’04).

Maj. Mustin was deployed to a makeshift medical center at the Javits Center in New York City for Operation Gotham as part of the COVID -19 response. His role was in the intensive care unit as an intensivist and as part of the rapid response and airway teams. He supervised a few nurses caring for critically ill patients with COVID-19. In addition, he managed ventilators and oxygen therapy, placed central lines and arterial lines, and was in charge of positioning patients in the prone position to improve ventilation. In six weeks, he and the teams treated 1,100 patients.

“The training and experience as a CRNA prepared me to be an essential provider in accomplishing a successful mission,” he says.  

During the same period, Army Maj. Charles “Chip” Peacock (CRNA ’05) was deployed to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York. The hospital was 100% occupied by COVID-19 patients. Maj. Peacock rotated 12-hour day and night shifts supervising enlisted medics who were part of a proning team that positioned patients in the prone position for improved ventilation and oxygenation. He also provided patient airway management, including intubations and re-intubations as needed.

Alumni Peacock and Mustin standing in front of a military helicopter
Army Majs. Harold “Beaux” Mustin (CRNA ’04) and Charles “Chip” Peacock (CRNA ’05) were both deployed to Afghanistan in 2017 in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. In 2020, they found themselves in New York on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.

Alum Honored for Journal Publication

Chelsea Melerine (BSN ’19) has received an honorable mention Folio: Eddie Award for her article “PANDAS: What Nurses Need to Know,” published in the journal Nursing2020. The award recognizes engaging content and design.

Nursing2020 is a peer-reviewed journal of clinical excellence that publishes practical information for all nurses on a comprehensive range of nursing topics. Melerine’s article discusses what nurses need to know about pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS) – a pediatric disorder of abrupt neurologic abnormalities following a streptococcal infection. Melerine co-authored the article with Linda Ledet, DNS, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing.

While attending LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, Melerine was selected to be in the Mentoring Undergraduate Students for Excellence in Scholarship (MUSES) program. The program helps students to develop and implement a research or evidence-based practice project during their undergraduate studies.

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