Despite having no cell phone service and limited bandwidth available in the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan, Amsterdam native Dr. Tom Catena recorded a video message of solidarity to honor health workers during the COVID-19 crisis and commemorate both National Nurses Day, which passed Wednesday, and the upcoming National Hospital Week, which starts Monday.
The city posted Catena’s video to its official YouTube page.
“I just want to send you a message of solidarity from our hospital here in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains to all the health workers there in Amsterdam, New York,” Catena said in the video. “A special shout-out to St. Mary’s Hospital on Guy Park [Avenue], the hospital where I was born and where all my siblings were born. We’re all in this together, no matter where we are, so let’s all hang tough and do the right thing. Thank you so much.”
Catena, a 1982 Amsterdam High School graduate, is a missionary doctor in the war-torn Nuba Mountains and the only doctor at Mother of Mercy Hospital. He’s worked in the region since 2008, following an eight-year stint as a medical missionary in Kenya.
Catena’s work as the only surgeon in a region of more than 750,000 people has been honored by numerous international and humanitarian organizations. In 2017, he received the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, and earlier this year he was named the recipient of the Gerson L’Chaim Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Mission Service. In 2015, he was named to the Time 100 by Time Magazine as one of the year’s 100 most influential people and was the subject of a film, “The Heart of Nuba,” that received the 2019 Cinema For Peace Most Valuable Documentary Film award.
See Dr. Tom Catena's message:
More on Dr. Tom Catena: Work of Amsterdam native Dr. Tom Catena in remote Sudan now focus of film, June 15, 2018