Victoria Terentiev, MD
Emergency Medicine Resident | New York, NY
As New York City battled an overwhelming surge in COVID-19 cases, we received an urgent plea from an emergency medical physician on the frontlines.
Dr. Victoria Terentiev is a 4th year resident at one of NYC’s largest hospitals. She was searching for a way to safeguard the air in her home after long shifts in the ER ward—something she could share with her fellow caregivers.
“One of our great stressors, in addition to work, is that we are bringing home some particles of the virus or other viruses to our families.”
“I know that your air purifiers feature HEPA filters and I think it would be a huge source of relief for healthcare workers knowing that we can control some of the air quality in our homes.”
Dr. Terentiev contacted us with a big request: Discount or donate purifiers for the homes of her 40-person resident team? Resident physicians, she explained, are fresh out of med school, do not earn the high salaries of more tenured attending physicians, and often have significant student debt. Yet these doctors face life and death battles against COVID each day.
Andy Graham, Alen’s CEO, didn’t skip a beat. He immediately approved a donation of Alen’s best-selling BreatheSmart 45i air purifier for all 40 doctors, even offering to donate PPE masks Alen was able to access thanks to a filter supplier’s ability to shift some production to masks.
“We wholeheartedly support the medical community,” said Graham. “Our main focus is to get these units where they can offer the most protection.”
“My daughter is a speech and language pathologist in a hospital where she is rationed to one disposable mask per week,” Graham added, “so, this is personal.”
After the purifiers made their way from Alen’s HQ in Austin to NYC, Dr. Terentiev was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about why air purification matters and what she hopes the purifiers will do for her team:
How do you view the relationship between HEPA air purification and wellness in terms of virus prevention, immune strength, and overall day-to-day health?
Dr. Terentiev:"As an ER Doctor I am constantly exposed to pathogens and viruses - it was important for me to get an air purifier with a HEPA filter in order to filter out viruses. We use HEPA filters in the hospital as well. I felt that coming home after work, I may be bringing pathogens home with me and this prompted me to look into an air purification system. Additionally, living in NYC, which like most major cities is susceptible to congestion, I also wanted to have cleaner air in our apartment."
Why did you decide to reach out to us?
Dr. Terentiev:"I reached out to Alen for several reasons: 1) I wanted an air purifier with a HEPA filter system, 2) Alen had excellent reviews 3) I liked the sleek design of the purifier 4) After speaking with their president and seeing how dedicated this company is to helping the COVID-19 mission (they donated air purifiers and even offered masks for our ER team), I knew I made the right decision."
What do you hope these purifiers will do for your team?
Dr. Terentiev:"Alen very generously donated air purifiers to over half of the ER residents in our dept. without any hesitation, which speaks to the altruistic nature of this company from the top down. During the COVID crisis, a lot of us were stressed that we were bringing home harmful particles from the ER such as viruses etc. Knowing there is an air purifier with a HEPA filter in our homes alleviates a lot of this stress. Nothing is 100% and usual precautions certainly need to be taken but this adds a layer of protection and more peace of mind for us. This will decrease a huge amount of stress when coming home after a shift filled with COVID."
What role do you think air purification will play in the new normal of life amid COVID-19?
Dr. Terentiev:"I believe that people will be thinking about air quality a lot more and be cognizant of what they are inhaling and what is around them (maintaining social distancing etc)."
Beyond COVID, why should people care about their indoor air quality from a wellness perspective?
"Those people who suffer from allergies, Asthma, etc. will benefit from an air purifier especially if they have known household triggers which the air purifier can eliminate. Additionally, HEPA filtration does filter viral particles which may reduce transmission of viruses in the home area assuming other precautions are taken (hand hygiene, appropriate distancing when sick, covering mouth when sneezing etc.)."