May 11, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Frontline workers at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst have been rewarded with a free vacation in recognition of the care they have provided COVID-19 patients.
More than 4,000 staff at Elmhurst Hospital were given free round trip flights on American Airlines to destinations across the U.S. and Caribbean. As part of the award, they will receive free hotel accommodation at a Hyatt.
The two companies came together last week and are providing a three-night complimentary vacation to staff–which they can use once the pandemic subsides.
The entire workforce, which includes doctors, nurses as well as facilities and food service workers were awarded the free trip. Workers are allowed to bring a loved-one along with them for free.
Staff at the hospital were notified of the treat at the hospital’s weekly staff call on Friday. The heads of American and Hyatt got on the call and delivered the good news.
It was reported that cheers of “Elmhurst Strong” rang out among staff on hearing the announcement.
Robert Isom, President of American Airlines, said that workers at the hospital selflessly chose to serve their community with care and compassion throughout the crisis. He said the free vacation is an acknowledgment of their hard work and dedication.
“When they are able to take a break, we hope the time away will help them and their loved ones recharge and that they feel our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice and heroism,” Isom said.
Elmhurst Hospital saw its intensive care unit capacity increase by 500% during the pandemic and has been referred to as ground zero and the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Israel Rocha, CEO of Elmhurst Hospital, thanked both companies for their generosity and said that staff are looking forward to their well-earned vacations.