Nurses at SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital received a special tribute on Nurses Day.
In a joint effort of the Barbados Consulate at New York and three Barbadian associations, they were treated to lunch and received donations of masks and face shields.
The participating associations were St. George Secondary Old Scholars Association International, (SGSI); Daryll Jordan Secondary School New York Chapter Alumni, (DJSSANYC) and Combermere Alumni Association, Inc., NY, (CAA).
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.
In one of the many twists of these times, Hewitt is now in his 32nd year of employment at the same hospital that saved him.
Downstate was also a designated Covid-19 center when the onslaught of the virus was overwhelming all institutions.
Consul General of Barbados at NY, Mackie Holder lauded the nurses for their superlative work during the pandemic.
On behalf of Mr. Hewitt, he singled out for special mention Nurse Marlene Cooper, a Jamaican, who went way beyond the call of duty in looking after Hewitt.
Holder also noted that one of the best of the few good 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.
Presidents of SGSI, Earl Phillips and DJSSANYC also spoke at the presentation.
Letters were also delivered to the Interim CEO of Downstate, Mrs. Patricia Winston acknowledging the contributions of all health care workers at the hospital.