Officials at Northwell Health were joined by healthcare staff, community leaders and former patients in the dedication of a mural at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park this week.
No hospital handled more cases throughout the pandemic than the team at LIJ, as the health system was pushed to the brink last April with nearly 3,500 hospitalized cases in a single day.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of LIJ’s first COVID-19 patient, a 15-foot painting, titled “Frontline Warriors 2020,” was displayed in the lobby. Created by New York-based artists Sergio Barrale and Angela China, the painting had been on loan until LIJ administration and Northwell Health Foundation purchased it at auction and donated it back to Northwell. In the painting, masked frontline health care workers stand together with arms intermeshed in an unbreakable human chain.
“No education or experience could have prepared us for what we went through,” Sandra Lindsay, RN and director of clinical care services at LIJ, said in a Northwell statement. “But my teammates were resilient; they came to work every day, put their heads down and got the work done. They went home and came back the next day. We leaned on each other. We supported each other. We laughed together and cried together. And that is what got us through the worst of the pandemic.”
The health system treated more than 163,000 COVID-19 patients in the span of a year. Northwell also lost 24 employees to the virus. As a memorial to fallen team members, the health system will pay tribute with remembrance circles and other events at its facilities, a town hall for its 75,000 employees and with a light installation at the corporate headquarters in New Hyde Park.