A special tribute for medical workers was the homage paid on Nurses Day at SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital.
The nurses, among those, working in the frontline of the COVID-19 epicenter in New York were treated to lunch and received donations of masks and face shields, all thanks to a joint effort of the Barbados Consulate at New York and three Barbadian school associations.
The participating associations were alumni of three Barbados schools, St. George Secondary Old Scholars Association International; Daryll Jordan Secondary School New York Chapter Alumni; and Combermere Alumni Association, New York.
According to the Barbados consulate, the presentation was a salute to the work of nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly the effort in saving the life of Barbadian, Jasper ‘Bop’ Hewitt, who was at Downstate for more than a month before emerging to a fanfare two weeks ago.
Incidentally, Hewitt is now in his 32nd year of employment at the same hospital that saved him.
Consul General of Barbados at New York, Mackie Holder, lauded the nurses for their superlative work during the pandemic.
Holder singled out for special mention Nurse Marlene Cooper, a Jamaican, who went way beyond the call of duty in looking after Hewitt.
“One of the best … things to come out of the present coronavirus situation was that the everyday heroes, notably nurses, were finally being acclaimed for the work they do daily, pandemic or not, and he hoped that the focus on them would continue and they be accorded the conditions they deserve,” Holder commented.
Letters were also delivered to the Interim CEO of Downstate, Patricia Winston acknowledging the contributions of all health care workers at the hospital.
Barbados school alumni presidents also spoke at the presentation.
Downstate was also a designated COVID-19 center when the onslaught of the virus was overwhelming all institutions.