Date of Award

Summer 2024



Embargo Period


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity


Emergency Management and Homeland Security

First Advisor

Samantha Penta

Committee Members

Eric Stern, Theodore Wilson


Surge capacity, hospital preparedness, hospital surge, disaster medicine, co-occuring disasters

Subject Categories

Other Public Health


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sweeping disruption and changes across healthcare systems. Examining how these changes have impacted surge capacity and capabilities is necessary to plan for future co-occurring surge-creating events in hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). While there is extensive research on patient surge management, no study has looked at how the presence of a prolonged surge would impact the healthcare system’s ability to handle a concurrent acute patient surge. This study seeks to demonstrate the need for comprehensive planning for co-occurring patient surges in New York State using hospital capacity data from Health and Human Services (HHS) in 18 patient surge-creating events in rural and urban areas. The data was insufficient to show differences in ICU capabilities between treating patients from one incident versus treating patients from two independent patient surges. However, the hospital data showed high levels of hospital overcrowding across the state both during COVID-19 patient surges and during baseline periods.


This work is licensed under the University at Albany Standard Author Agreement.