When Dr. Anthony Boutin, president and interim CEO and chief medical officer of NuHealth walked outside of the Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) on April 2, his smile could be seen from down the street.
Boutin’s staff was treated to a hot lunch that day thanks to New York State Senator Kevin Thomas (D—Levittown). Thomas partnered with The Cotillion, located at 440 Jericho Tpke. in Jericho, to hand out hot lunches to more than 300 hospital staffers as they treat coronavirus patients.
“This wasn’t something out of the blue,” Thomas said. “They need to be appreciated. I see how hard they’re working. I have a lot of family members who are nurses and are in the health care profession. They work elsewhere, but I know from personal experience how hard it has become over the past few weeks. We have to show just a little bit of appreciation. We fed more than 300 people that day. It was just a small sign of my appreciation.”
Thomas, who represents the Sixth District, has been helping residents in his area, which has become one of the epicenters on Long Island. East Meadow and Levittown have seen some of the largest amounts of cases in Nassau County, meaning that NUMC has been overwhelmed with a plethora of new patients.
“They were very appreciative,” he said. “They see that their concerns are being met, that everyone sees how hard they’re working and it’s so nice that we were able to do that for them.”
Thomas said this won’t be the last time he does this as health care workers in the area continue to fight the battle against COVID-19. In doing so, he plans on having a “mobile health checkup bus that goes around the district, checking up on people.” The date for this program will be nailed down sooner rather than later, he explained.
“Donate masks, food and anything you can to health care workers, who are working longer hours and are burnt out,” Thomas said. “They want to know that all of us are cheering them on. We know you’re fighting day and night for us on this battleground that we have.”
Visit www.nysenate.gov/coronavirusresources to see Thomas’ COVID-19 community resource page, which features questions and answers about the disease, as well as volunteer resources. He said there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer, whether in-person or remote, and now is the time to lend a helping hand.