Hospitals duel with dance videos to relieve the tension

The staff of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital has thrown down the gauntlet in a dance challenge with its North Fork counterparts.

A video the hospital staff posted to YouTube this week features doctors, nurses and administrative staff dancing to Justin Timberlake’s song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” in the halls and on the lawn of the hospital to break the tension of their battle against the COVID-19 epidemic.

The dance-off started when Stony Brook Medicine administrators suggested that all of its staff consider taking a brief break during their shifts to … dance a little.

It would help reduce the mountainous stress that hospital staffs all over the country have faced, they said.

In short order, of course, there were clips of these boogie down interludes circulating, and when some of the Eastern Long Island Hospital’s staff landed on the screen of SBSH’s longtime chief administrator, Bob Chaloner, a challenge was on.

“I think the video speaks to the joy everyone here felt taking part in it,” said Barbara Jo Howard, the SBSH director of marketing and communications. “It was a great break that lifted everyone’s spirits and was a lot of fun to take part in.”

The video created by ELIH staff was set to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer.”

All of the hospital’s departments — including those at the Phillips Family Cancer Center in Southampton — were coordinated by SBSH’s Chief Nursing Officer Althea Mills and contributed their part during their respective shifts.

For one shift at SBSH, Sam Santiago, who works in the hospital’s patient access department, put on his other hat as a professional DJ and set up musical equipment in the yard outside the emergency room.

Dance moves were coordinated by Jillian Scholl, a registered nurse in the maternity ward, and the video was shot by Rachel Siford, Chelsea Hanson and Ms. Howard, who edited the clips into a YouTube video.