By Emily Davenport
A new website aims to help preserve the legacy of a hospital system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Dec. 15, NYC Health + Hospitals announced the launch of nychealthheroes.com, which 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. The site gives users a behind-the-scenes look at patient care and life-saving efforts that have been taken during the first wave of the pandemic.
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, a major supporter of NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine program, provided funding to support the creation of photography by photographer John Rae and videos by Bronx Documentary Center for this website.
Visitors can also use tools on the website to show their gratitude to NYC Health + Hospitals’ health care workers and their families. NYC Health + Hospitals’ COVID-19 legacy site will also house a dedication page to the fallen heroes of the system.
“It is critical for us to capture the stories and experiences of our heroic hospital workers who made it possible for our system to respond to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and who continue to help save the lives of thousands of New Yorkers from this terrible virus,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Their sacrifices and fearless passion to fight against a virus we knew little about cannot be overlooked, and this website helps us ensure these stories are known to all New Yorkers and beyond. Additionally, this platform gives the public an opportunity to show their gratitude and support as the city continues to fight this pandemic and moves toward recovery in the years ahead.”
The website has five key sections: Profiles of Courage, which highlights human interest stories of 25 health care heroes from throughout the City’s public health system and their role in the pandemic; Scenes of a Pandemic, a photo essay and powerful visual narrative of the pandemic as it unfolded in the City’s public health system; Inside the Surge, a series of documentary-style videos featuring the heroic work of staff; COVID-19 by the Numbers, which outlines data trends, patient volume, PPE use, health care staff support, and other key indicators that made the City’s public health system a leader in pandemic response locally and nationally; and Join the Conversation, which offers visitors an opportunity to write notes of gratitude to the health system’s heroes on a public virtual wall, and share their stories on social media.
The website encourages donations to the healthcare heroes within the NYC Health + Hospitals system. Those interested in making a donation can do so here.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered for many generations to come and it’s important for the stories of healthcare workers and the community’s gratitude to have a place to live,” said Senior Vice President and Interim CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst Eric Wei, MD, MBA. “This legacy website is just one way we can extend our appreciation to all those hospital workers who risked their own lives, some isolated from their families for weeks or months, others succumbed to the virus, but 100 percent of them proved their dedication and heroism to all New Yorkers throughout this pandemic.”
For more information, visit nychealthheroes.com.