NATIONAL NURSES WEEK, MAY 6–12
FLOWERS OF HOPE
Maimonides adorns windows with faux fl owers
18 COURIER LIFE, MAY 8-14, 2020
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BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK
A couple hundred fl ower decals have gone a long
way for Maimonides Medical Center, where staffers
have lined the windows with nearly 1,000 makeshift
daffodils — each representing a recovered COVID-19
patient who has been safely discharged from the Borough
Park hospital, and collectively spreading hopeful
joy to healthcare heroes.
“We were talking to our residents about the humanistic
elements of medicine, which is really, how
do you remember to be a human being in the face
of the stresses of healthcare?” said Dr. Jennifer Breznay,
who helped spearhead the effort with her colleagues
Mark Roberts and Robin Gitman, vice president
of the hospital’s Academic Affairs Department.
“Mark and I both thought that the idea of really
focusing on the successes — and on the good and the
positive — was important, even as we face our darkest
days,” she said, stressing that the project, which
doubles as a source of positivity for patients and their
families, serves as a “visual sign” of Maimonides’
success and growth during the current crisis.
As of Monday, 920 daffodils composed the fi eld
of faux fl owers in the 10th Avenue medical center’s
large, glass window display — which Dr. Breznay
compared to a “community garden.” The fl ower itself
symbolizes “rebirth and new beginnings,” according
to the website TeleFlora, and is virtually
synonymous with spring.
“It really is something beautiful,” she told Brooklyn
Paper, adding that the Academic Affairs Department’s
hope is that each hospital staffer gets to take
part in the project in some way.
Some discharged patients have even been able to
hang their own daffodil, the doctor said.
“It’s important to remember that we’re in this
together,” Dr. Breznay said. “At Maimonides, we’re
all about celebrating success — even in light of very
dark days and sad losses. We have to have hope for
things to get better and that’s what we’re doing with
While Dr. Breznay is a geriatric care and internal
medicine provider, Roberts and Gitman work in
the hospital’s Academic Affairs Department, which
supports the medical center’s 400-plus residents who
are still in training.
Gitman has often encouraged her team to come
up with creative projects like this one — but, in
times like these, support for staff is even more crucial,
the doctor said.
But, at the end of the day, Dr. Breznay hopes that
all who pass the growing display will feel a sense of
“hope” when entering or leaving Maimonides Medical
Center, and realize that “good things are happening
A staffer hangs daffodil decals in the hospital’s window.