Mar 26, 2021
Doctors Council SEIU and NYC Health + Hospitals today commemorated National Doctors’ Day. President of Doctors Council SEIU Dr. Frank Proscia and NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz joined clinical staff and administrators at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst to thank the City’s doctors for their heroic work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local elected officials, community leaders, professional unions, and grateful members of the community joined the event to recognized the selfless and dedicated medical teams that provided the highest quality of care to one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in New York City during the pandemic.
“Doctors Council SEIU represents frontline doctors and we know all too well the devastation over the past year that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the patients and communities of New York City, especially those in communities of color,” said President of Doctors Council SEIU Dr. Frank Proscia. “As doctors, we took care of too many patients who were infected with COVID-19 and too many that passed away because of it. We saw our colleagues and coworkers die and become ill with the virus. But we also saw the heroic work of doctors who stood together and fought COVID-19, essential workers all of who put their lives and livelihoods on the line for our patients and for our City. We honor all the heroic doctors across the NYC Health + Hospitals system and say ‘thank you doctors.’”
“Whether you were a physician in the emergency department or ICU, a nurse administering diagnostic tests or vaccines, or a primary care doctor taking telemedicine appointments, every provider played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz, MD. “Last summer, New Yorkers dedicated a couple minutes every evening to show their appreciation and gratitude to health care workers by banging pots and pans on fire escapes and blowing horns out of windows. Now, we use days like National Doctors Day to show our healthcare heroes that we have not forgotten how they risked their lives to save those most vulnerable to this horrific disease. Today and always, I thank my colleagues in our city’s public health system for the incredible life-saving work they did during the pandemic.”
NYC Health + Hospitals treated more than 160,000 patients, including 4,000 people at the peak of the pandemic in March and April. As a part of its response to the pandemic, the public health system has invested in patient care, testing, vaccination, and recovery for Covid-19 long haulers. The public health system has addressed its patient’s needs throughout the pandemic.
“As a longtime Queens resident and a dedicated supporter of our Hospital systems, I am delighted to take part in commemorating National Doctors’ Day with the fantastic Physicians, Nurses and full support staff who performed live-saving and life-changing medical procedures for the most vulnerable of our community during a global health crisis. They have earned our immeasurable gratitude and appreciation for the effort and resilience they showed day in and day out as New York City responded to COVID-19. You all make Queens proud – and we thank you for serving us with such dedication and compassion,” said Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, the Chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, who represents the area.
“Elmhurst Hospital was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Doctors, Nurses, and the whole team stepped up to an unknown virus and showed the world what bravery and courage looked like. They continue to be here for us as we get our community vaccinated and ready for the next chapter” said Assembly Member Catalina Cruz. “I am proud to represent the members of this community, as they come to work every day and perform their essential, life-saving jobs with the utmost care and accessibility to the community. We owe an incredible deal of gratitude and thanks to the tireless commitment of every single person involved in the COVID-19 response and I am proud to publicly praise these great people today.”
“This year’s celebration of National Doctors’ Day at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is especially meaningful given that Elmhurst was the ‘epicenter of the epicenter’ of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the doctors who have and continue to give so much of themselves to the well-being of the people of Queens, especially over the past year, as they cared for those stricken with COVID-19. The great work of these frontline heroes attending to COVID-19 patients, along with their skill and dedication in addressing the many other health concerns, is truly inspirational and well worth acknowledging and celebrating, not only today, but every day.”
“When the pandemic hit our district, it was our health care providers that we turned to as our only lifeline. Throughout this crisis, the committed staffs across all the hospitals in New York City have shown an unwavering dedication to save lives that inspired the whole city and, in turn, the world, said New York State Senator Jessica Ramos. “As we salute the medical community on National Doctors’ Day, the whole city gives an eternally heartfelt thank you.”
“We are all grateful for the selfless medical professionals throughout the city which are being celebrated today at Elmhurst Hospital for National Doctors’ Day. The commitment to their patients and care in the midst of an unprecedented and on-going pandemic is truly remarkable. The incredible work of these essential and globally respected groups of medical professionals is what New York City is all about.” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, who represents Elmhurst. “It is a special event to be able to say “Thank You” as a community to the people who served us with such honor.”
“On this National Doctors Day, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to New York’s doctors for the selfless and courageous work they have been performing from the moment the COVID-19 virus started to wreak havoc in our State, especially those serving in hard hit communities, like the ones I represent,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee. “I also want to honor the lives of those doctors who paid the ultimate sacrifice in their attempt to save as many New Yorkers as possible. As we continue our long recovery process, I remain committed to working with physicians to make our health delivery system stronger and fairer.”
“Doctors along with many other essential workers have put their own lives on the line during this pandemic. Along with Doctors Council SEIU, we give the utmost respect and thanks to all the doctors, especially at NYC Health + Hospitals. But our gratitude has to go beyond words. We must take action to improve the stressors and reduce the burnout experienced by doctors and nurses that has naturally grown more acute with COVID-19,” said Director for the Commission on the Public’s Health System Anthony Feliciano. “Furthermore, we must eliminate structural racism because that too helps patients and health care workers. Nationally, doctors are often asked to keep their views to themselves. That is changing because of this pandemic. But in New York, our doctors are talking more broadly and joining advocates about the issues that impact their patient’s health and lives.”
“As we look back over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the frontline doctors of Doctors Council SEIU and nurses of the New York State Nurses Association at our public and safety net hospitals who deserve the highest tributes because they took care of all patients regardless of their life circumstance,” said Director of Metro New York Health Care for All Mark Hannay. “They gave their all as best they could, way beyond the call of duty, and sadly, some of them paid the ultimate sacrifice. As Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature now close in on their final state budget deal, they must reject any further cuts to these institutions, and instead provide them the full funding they need and deserve.”
“Healthcare professionals have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year. The COVID-19 Pandemic stretched hospitals to their limits and placed enormous demands on those caring for the sick. Members of the New York State Nurses Association worked side by side with Doctors across the NYC Health & Hospitals System. Today, we honor the hard work and dedication of these Doctors who have been there for our communities, said Anne Bove, RN., Board Member, New York State Nurses Association. “We stand with them to honor the lives of our family, friends and healthcare and essential workers who lost their lives to the pandemic.”
“The resilience and commitment by hospital workers during one of the worst pandemics of our time is nothing short of heroic. I am incredibly proud of the heroes at Elmhurst Hospital and across the city for taking care of our community while risking their lives when our neighborhoods were at the epicenter of COVID-19, said NYC Council Member Francisco Moya. “As I always proudly share, I was born at Elmhurst Hospital and worked at Elmhurst Hospital, and I am honored to represent Elmhurst Hospital–they have been a beacon of hope for this City and our nation.”
NYC Health + Hospitals launched a website to help preserve the legacy of the system’s heroic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The website, found at nychealthheroes.com, serves as a public platform to recognize the more than 40,000 brave healthcare workers whose dedication is helping thousands of New Yorkers recover from COVID-19 and return home. To-date, over 15,000 COVID-19 patients cared for at NYC Health + Hospitals have returned home because of the hard work and dedication of the system’s health care heroes.