FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MAY 27, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital celebrates its COVID-19 heroes
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (SJEH)
in Far Rockaway hosted a “Night for
Heroes” on Tuesday, May 18, celebrating
its employees and refl ecting on the ongoing
SJEH, the only hospital on the peninsula
serving 140,000 residents, was the fi rst
hospital to confi rm a COVID-19 patient
in Queens on March 7, 2020 — and was at
100 percent capacity from March through
Th e Far Rockaway community was one
of the hardest hit in New York during the
peak of the virus in New York state.
Before special guest host and comedian
Dion Flynn, who has appeared on
“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and
the “Tonight Show” portraying former
President Barack Obama, opened the program,
the Art-Strings Ensemble entertained
the crowd with a potpourri of classical
and pop music.
SJEH behavioral health tech
Animashaun and his colleagues Kobby
and Promise were grateful that the hospital
organized the event.
“I feel like this is a fantastic tribute for
those that lost members during the whole
COVID pandemic, very heartfelt and very
sincere from the hospital,” Animashaun
e Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano,
who also serves as the chairperson
of the board of trustees of
SJEH, expressed the board’s
profound gratitude to the
staff ’s service, dedication
and courage while facing
countless hours of anguish.
“Th ere really is no way to
just say thank you to each
of you, other than to, on
behalf of the board, to
encouraging you and having
your back as we continue
in the years to come
to serve this community,”
Provenzano said before
leading the crowd in prayer
for those lost in the past
SJEH CEO Gerard M.
Walsh said the event was
an occasion to celebrate the
strength, tenacity and resilience
of all team members.
He recalled that many were getting
ready to join the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
on March 7, 2020, when the hospital confi
rmed the fi rst case of COVID-19. Th e
hospital was prepared for disasters, he
said, but not for the “tidal wave that was
about to happen to us on that Saturday
morning, up on the sixth fl oor.”
“It was hard work for everyone here.
And every single person rolled up their
sleeves, and they took on duties that
maybe they’d never done before, and
they did things that they had never done
before,” Walsh said. “And people just
stepped to the plate and did what they
needed to do because we had a job to
do to take care of this community and
to take care of each other. We became
learners and innovators over the last year.
Because of that, and we were fl exible,
but because of what we became, St John’s
Episcopal hospital and every person that
works there, we’re better than we were a
Read more on QNS.com.
Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
CEO Gerard M. Walsh
refl ects on the COVID-
19 pandemic at the
“Night of Heroes”
the St. John’s
E p i s c o p a l
staff on May
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