St. John's in Far Rockaway honors its heroes


By The Jewish Star

National Superheroes Day was an occasion for St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway to celebrate its frontline staff.

 For 90 minutes starting at 7 am on April 28, St. John’s executives and senior management teams applauded employees whose dedication has not waned during the coronavirus pandemic.

Observing social distancing guidelines, managers grabbed hand clappers and lined up around the hospital’s main entrance as workers were coming and going.

“It’s been a rough two months,” Jerry Walsh, St. John’s CEO, said. “You are the true heroes, and as we recognize you on National Superheroes Day, know that we appreciate each and every one of you every day all year round.”

St. John’s, the only hospital on the Rockaway peninsula, serves the Rockaways as well as the adjacent Five Towns communities.

Elected officials at the celebration included Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, and NYC City Council members Donovan Richards Jr. and Eric Ulrich.

Adams, in collaboration with Richards, contributed face masks that were delivered at the event. Previous mask deliveries were facilitated by Meeks, in collaboration with Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer-Amato, state Senator James Sanders, and councilmembers Selvena Brooks-Powers and Richards.

“The health care workers clocking in every day to our hospitals and health centers are nothing short of heroes,” said Meeks.

“Each shift they risk their own health and safety in order to come into work and take care of others, selflessly putting themselves on the front lines of this pandemic to help others. Our nation owes them all a bottomless debt of gratitude and a great deal more for their bravery and self-sacrifice. Honored to cheer them on in person during National Superheroes day and look forward to continue fighting for their protection and support in Congress.”

“I was a police officer on 9/11 and I remember watching the buildings collapse and watching the ground smolder” at ground zero, Adams said. “On 9/12 we got up. We continued to show the entire country what we’re made of as New Yorkers.

“This is not terrorism but it’s terror,” he said. “People are afraid and unsure of what’s going to happen. New York is ground zero for coronavirus. We’re saying we are going to defeat the coronavirus and rebuild this country and be sure that we will never again be caught flat-footed.”

He voiced thanks to hospital personnel and other essential employees, “the grocery store clerks, the transit employees, correction officers, police and firefighters, EMT — everyone that got up every day and decided that they will keep this city, state and country moving forward.”

Ulrich said his “office is doing everything we can to support the dedicated medical professionals on the frontlines of this crisis.”

“As healthcare workers, you are the true heroes,” said Richards. “Each day you risk your lives to saves others. Thank you St. John’s for your commitment to our community and together to will continue to fight against this pandemic.”

National Nurses Week

For National Nurses Week (May 6–12), St. John’s Episcopal Hospital posted this statement:

“We would like to thank and recognize our nurses who serve our patients each day and exemplify our organizational values of Innovation, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Empathy.

“Our nurses play an integral role throughout our health care system. Now more than ever, their determination to help those who are sick and in need continues to shine through as we battle COVID-19 in the communities we serve.

“With our dedicated nurses on our team, we have more than 400 COVID-19 related successful discharges since early March!”

Updated May 5, 2020.