Story written by Long Island Herald’s Valley Stream Editor, Peter Belfiore
As hospitals across New York are inundated with Covid-19 patients, the state’s nurses and doctors have become front-line soldiers in the fight against the outbreak, doing everything in their power to keep those worst afflicted by the virus alive. At LIJ Valley Stream, it’s been no different.
“It was an honor to stand on the steps of LIJ Valley Stream and receive the applause and warm messages from our community leaders and the nurses association,” said Terry Pando, chief nursing officer at LIJ.
As the caravan of more than a dozen cars drove past, Pando along a crowd of her fellow nurses, donned in protective gear, gathered outside to receive the support, many with their cell phones out to record the event.
Among the well-wishers was Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, who had been invited after working with NYSNA to advocate on their behalf for more protective gear, which has reportedly been in short supply.
“I thought it was important for me to be there to represent the community … to show our appreciation for the healthcare professionals at LIJ Valley Stream,” she said noting the hospital serves patients from a wide range of economic and racial backgrounds within her district, and that in addition to the physical dangers the nurses are exposed to caring for Covid patients, there is a psychological toll too as they watch many succumb to the disease despite their efforts.
“It’s important to tell them that we know what you’re doing, to keep up the good fight and to let the authorities know that they need more support,” she said.
Pando expressed gratitude for the outreach.
“Thank you on behalf of our leadership team to everyone for your smiles, applause, food, flowers and care packages” she said. “We are Valley Stream strong together.”