Mayor Adams Announces Opening of Wellness Rooms for Frontline Health Care Workers
Donation Will Fund Wellness Rooms at Clinics in Bronx and Brooklyn
Wellness Rooms to Provide Peer Support, Respite, and Healing to Health Care Workers at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Clinics
New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the city will open wellness rooms at two NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health clinics, providing support and resources to city health care workers. An anonymous $100,000 donation will fund spaces at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Belvis and Cumberland. These essential wellness spaces will provide respite and support for health care workers who have served in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rooms, expected to open later this year, will provide a quiet place for frontline workers to recharge, de-stress, heal, and emphasize the importance of taking a break and taking care of themselves during the workday. The announcement comes as Mayor Adams hosts a Super Bowl watch party for first responders from all five boroughs.
“Our frontline health care workers and first responders have kept New York City safe for the past two years of this pandemic and this generous donation will ensure that these heroes have the support and resources they deserve to recharge and continue serving thousands of fellow New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “I thank this anonymous donor for recognizing all that our health care heroes have done and our first responders for putting their lives on the line every day.”
“Wellness centers with access to comprehensive resources is exciting and critically important news for our health care workers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “To be able to serve their patients fully, our frontline NYC Health + Hospitals workers need support to recharge and recover from accumulated stress. We are grateful to every nurse, doctor, and hospital staff person who has done their job to keep us safe and treat us in our most vulnerable times.”
“Wellness rooms are an essential part of our Helping Healers Heal program, and this donation will allow us to expand to two additional clinic sites,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “As we enter the third year of the pandemic, these rooms have become ever more important to the health and well-being of health care heroes.”
“I’m appreciative of the support that we have received from an anonymous donor for our health care heroes on Super Bowl Sunday,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health CEO Michelle Lewis. “The pandemic has been extremely challenging for many of our frontline health care workers that have worked tirelessly to protect our communities. These new wellness rooms will ensure that our health care heroes have a place to gather their thoughts and take a moment for themselves.”
“We are so grateful to our anonymous donor for ensuring that our frontline workers know that they are the true champions of Super Bowl Sunday,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President for External and Regulatory Affairs Deborah Brown, JD, MSW. “This wonderful generosity will serve as a model to so many caring New Yorkers who want to show their thanks for our hard working heroes. “
These respite rooms are part of the health system’s Helping Healers Heal (H3) program. H3 is a peer support program that was expanded to be a holistic proactive and preventative well-being program during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure employees’ emotional, environmental, intellectual, financial, occupational, physiological, social, and spiritual wellness needs were being addressed.
H3, in partnership with NYC Health + Hospital’s Office of Behavioral Health, is made available to all employees and aims to help identify and monitor distress, as well as to assist staff in resilience-building, while aiding the utilization of recovery resources and coping support services. Wellness Rooms provide staff the opportunity to take a break and engage in well-being activities, such as mindfulness, peer support, and wellness events to allow thoughts and feelings to be expressed and shared verbally and nonverbally using the healing powers of creativity and art. Wellness Rooms are an established space for peer engagement, for frontline staff to share their experiences in a safe environment with other staff members who were experiencing similar stressors with the intention to bring greater awareness to support resources.
New Yorkers seeking to support NYC Health + Hospitals can contact Philanthropy@nychhc.org.
Contact: Press Office, 212-788-3339
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlusHealth health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.