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County pays tribute to health care ‘heroes’ on National Nurses Day

NUMC discharges 565th Covid-19 patient


In honor of National Nurses Day, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and other county officials paid tribute Wednesday to the health care professionals working on the frontlines of the pandemic.

“These are our heroes,” Curran said at a news conference outside of the Nassau University Medical Center, joined by nurses and other medical staff. “They are the crucial part of our health care infrastructure . . . and oftentimes they take the place of the family. In people’s last days, they’re the ones there, providing care and holding the hands. It’s difficult work, it’s emotionally taxing, and it’s incredibly important.”

Some health care professionals are sleeping in RVs, staying in their basements or even camping out in tents in their backyards, the county executive noted, to maintain self-isolation orders. Others go through meticulous self-decontamination measures, including changing in the garage and showering before hugging family members.

“You are our warriors and we want to thank you for what you’re doing each and every day,” Curran said. “As I say, this crisis has not created heroes, it has revealed the heroes already among us.”

To date, the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management has distributed 2 million pieces of personal protective equipment to health care workers and first responders.

Dr. Anthony Boutin, CEO of NUMC, thanked Curran for coming to the hospital to celebrate National Nurses Day.

“I commend our hard-working nurses, all our valuable employees working hard here,” Boutin said.

As of Wednesday, the hospital was housing 52 patients who tested positive for Covid-19, and 20 whose results were pending.

“This is a significant achievement. We have a 74 percent decline at our peak here at NUMC,” Boutin said, “and I’m happy to report some good news. We are discharging our 565th patient today.”