May 20, 2020
United States Army Reserve Specialist Amelia Keane has not yet begun her formal medical education at UNE, but she has already spent several weeks treating patients with COVID-19 in New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
Keane is a combat medic, the Army equivalent of an emergency medical technician. In late March, she was deployed to the Jacob Javits Center, a convention center converted into a field hospital.
“This is the first of its kind set up or operation by the United States Army Reserves,” Keane stated. “I worked in the intermediate care ward, which is a step below the intensive care unit. Patients were more or less on convalescence from COVID-19 complications. I was assigned my own patients and I provided all of their care, from vitals to medication administration and any other treatments they might need.”
Keane says she was never really worried about her safety inside the field hospital.
“I felt less safe in the streets of New York City than in the medical station itself,” she said. “Being in the city, out on the streets, was a little scary because that it was the epicenter of the outbreak.”
After quarantining at home for two weeks in Nashua, New Hampshire, Keane is looking forward to becoming a student at UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall.
“I went to a couple of open houses at UNE and fell in love with the college, the campus, and the community feel,” she said. “Thankfully I was given an interview and I was accepted. UNE was my first choice.”
Keane’s path to medical school has taken some unexpected turns, but all point to a greater call to serve. In addition to her military service, she also served her home state of New Hampshire in public office.
“I was a state representative in New Hampshire in 2016 for one term, which is two years,” she explained. “I was also the executive director of a political nonprofit, the New Hampshire Young Democrats, for the past four years.”
Now, Keane is focused on getting her degree and launching a career in the medical field. Her experience in New York has only further inspired her to achieve those goals.
“The experience really reinvigorated my passion for medicine,” she commented. “I think a lot of my strengths lie in inpatient care and connecting with patients. I look forward to getting a formal education and learning more.”