NSU Distinguished Alumnus Guides Hospital and Community During COVID-19

Randy Katz, D.O.  continues to carry the NSU value of service in several leadership roles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katz, a graduate of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, serves as Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Memorial Healthcare Systems. He leads a team of 300 nurses and 32 doctors while also serving as lead medical consultant for the City of Hollywood COVID-19 task force.

Early on in the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Katz worked with his team at Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital to prepare their operations for potential patients. In addition to having protective equipment and suitable procedures in place, it was equally important to address the significant mental impacts that would follow.

He shares how the intrusiveness of the protective gear and overall distancing led to the psychological challenges in his staff.

“Nurses and physicians break down and have difficulty getting through the day. Some elderly patients are very sick and we, as their healthcare providers, know that they’re dying. They are so lonely; it is difficult for everyone to witness that,” he said.

“What keeps me going is that the decisions that we make as an emergency department potentially save thousands of lives. […] Emergency physicians are typically not scared; we are problem-solvers. This challenge is an opportunity to fix a problem,” Katz said.

When considering the risks of working as a leader in an emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic, Katz highlighted the importance of letting go of his own fear, as he is also a husband and father of three.

“I have to show confidence, leadership, preparedness, and protocols to reassure them [his team] and, that way, assist them in doing the right thing,” Katz said.

Among his many roles, Katz advises the community on health issues as medical director for the City of Hollywood and associate medical director for the City of Pembroke Pines. He also educates future physicians as associate professor in several universities including NSU, where he established the Randy S. Katz, D.O. Changing Lives Scholarship.

“The community has sacrificed a lot to save our healthcare systems and, as healthcare providers who have been the beneficiaries of those sacrifices; it is our obligation to give back,” he said.

Reflecting on his time as an NSU student, he remembers how valuable his experience was because of the bonds he built with other physicians and stays engaged with the university.

“The school has grown so much with its international ties and how it’s become a research center,” he said. “That’s what keeps me connected to it.”

Katz also hopes to pave a way for future healthcare leaders at his alma mater.

“Medical school is expensive, wherever you go,” he explained. “There are a lot of bright kids who would choose NSU if they had the financial ability. If there’s anything I can do to help those kids achieve their dreams, I will.”

Randy Katz, D.O. was honored with the NSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018. He received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from KPCOM in 1999.

Learn about the Distinguished Alumni Awards and Changing Lives Scholarships at NSU.