Thursday, July 16, 2020

Hospital Remembers Patients and Staff Who Lost in the Battle with COVID-19

Jacobi Hospital Remembers Patients and Staff Who Lost in the Battle with COVID-19
An attendee places the battery operated candle in honor of the lives lost to COVID-19.--Photo by David Greene

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By David Greene, July 14, 2020

Staff members of Jacobi Hospital were joined by local elected officials and a handful of community members for a candlelight vigil to remember the Bronx residents and staff of the hospital who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Held along the Pelham Parkway Pedestrian Mall outside of Jacobi Hospital the event was presented by The Jacobi Summer of Hope Coalition with support from The Helping Healers Heal Team.

Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez and Councilman Mark Gjonaj stood shoulder to shoulder, allowing for social distancing of course, with hospital officials-- many who spoke like the city had just fought a battle with a nation, instead of a virus.
Attendees, mostly staff members of Jacobi Hospital place lit electronic candles on a table in honor of those who died during the coronavirus crisis.--Photo by David Greene

Chris Mastromano, the Chief Executive Officer of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation - Jacobi, told attendees, "This event that we've gone through is a life transforming event. One that ordinary words are unable to describe, but yet we cannot remain silent."

"This vigil by intent," Mastromano continued, "is a remembrance of those lives lost here in the community, here at Jacobi and for the three lives of the staff who we also lost."

The fallen staff members were a behavioral health nurse and former head nurse of the psychiatric unit Freda Ocran; Maria Cintron, the operating room patient care technician and Louise Thomas, described as a "beloved laborer."
Chris Mastromano, the Chief Executive Officer of Jacobi Hospital pays homage to the patients and staff who succumbed to COVID-19.--Photo David Greene

Dr. Robert Faillace, the Chair of the Department of Medicine, recalled that battle-- fought one patient at a time, saying, "Jacobi Hospital in all our differences, whether it be age, gender, race, religion, we all became one unified force in fighting, clamping down and even beating the COVID scourge."

Clergy members from several different faiths then offered prayer and after a moment of silence, electronic candles were lit and placed on a table in honor of the fallen. 

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