Northwell Health remembers and spreads the light of our fallen heroes due to the COVID-19 pandemic
This March marked one year since Northwell treated the first case of COVID-19. While it has been a challenging year for all of us, the perseverance of our frontline heroes, the power of science, and the hope of ongoing vaccinations and innovative treatment plans brings us comfort for the path ahead.
The most difficult challenge has been coping with the grief associated with the loss of our colleagues, friends, family members and those in our communities. From March 9 to March 14, Northwell held remembrance activities to “spread the light” for our fallen team members and those who we have lost due to COVID-19. New York City – the epicenter of this pandemic – has also declared Sunday, March 14, as a Day of Remembrance to honor everyone we’ve lost.
To spread the light throughout our remembrance week, team members were encouraged to wear blue in memory of those who worked at Northwell and as a show of solidarity for our Northwell community. On site, our chaplains hosted moments of silence and remembrance circles to help our team members find meaning, hope, connection and comfort through togetherness regardless of religious affiliation. Spread the light activities were also available at our facilities, allowing team members to reflect by writing messages on remembrance boards, prayer cards, and lighting luminary bags to symbolize fallen team members.
Team members and their families also continued to spread the light in our communities over the past week as they organized light parades in their neighborhoods, created luminary bags and took a moment to pause to reflect with their loved ones.
During our remembrance week, Northwell also held an organization-wide Town Hall featuring our President and CEO, Michael Dowling, and other senior leaders, to connect our 75,000 team members and speak about the strength and sacrifice of our healthcare heroes. In addition to honoring those we have lost, it also recognized the efforts and unwavering dedication of our team members throughout the pandemic. From March 12 to March 14, our corporate headquarters in New Hyde Park, New York was illuminated in blue to honor our fallen team members and recognize the enduring courage and spirit of our Northwell community.
Throughout these challenging times, Northwell has also supported our team members by expanding benefits, offering prayer groups and providing well-being resources from our Team Lavender, a program at Northwell that provides staff with an opportunity for timely emotional, spiritual and physical support. These resources, such as Tranquility Tents, which offered areas of respite for our hospital workers during their shifts, and opportunities for 1:1 counseling through our Employee Assistance Program, have allowed for us to care for our team members as they delivered care to our communities. A 24/7, free and confidential, emotional support call center for all team members and their families also provided emotional well-being experts to answer their questions, provide additional resources, or just listen.
At Northwell Health, we will continue to battle this pandemic, look forward to brighter days, and support our team members.
We will always remember our brave fallen team members and their families. Join us as we spread the light.
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