WEST ISLIP

One year after first coronavirus case, hospital honors its heroes

Commemorative bench offers solace at Good Samaritan Hospital

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To acknowledge the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and recognize the selfless healthcare workers in the community, Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip unveiled a commemorative bench near the hospital’s main entrance. 

The new memorial was unveiled during a ceremony on Wednesday, March 24, where hospital staff, Islip Town officials and others gathered outside.

As a major supplier of health services on the South Shore, Good Samaritan Hospital became “overwhelmed by the vast need of care by so many”, hospital president Ruth Hennessey said at the event. 

“This is where our Good Samaritan heroes rose to the challenge,” Hennessey said. “At Good Sam, I have seen unbelievable acts of heroism, countless acts of compassion, overwhelming displays of selfless behavior and a community spirit unlike any other. I am so proud to be part of this incredible team and so humbled by your acts of selfless behavior.”

Hennessey reminded healthcare workers in the crowd to take care of themselves and seek resources if they need them during this traumatic time.

“The full story is not complete, the COVID pandemic is not yet over,” Hennessey said. “Future waves may be upon us, and my message for you is to stay the course. Stay healthy, socially distant, wear your mask and receive your vaccine. I wish you all peace and hope.”

Islip Town supervisor Angie Carpenter acknowledged that while March 2020 brought about a great deal of uncertainty, it also showed a great deal of community support. Carpenter recalled the car parade organized by Islip Town officials one year ago. The parade trailed throughout West Islip to honor hospital workers and staff. 

“That car parade went on for miles,” Carpenter said. “It just epitomized what the community was all about. … it was touching to see that show of support for our medical professionals, frontline workers and everyone, no matter what your role is here at Good Sam.”

Carpenter thanked the employees in the crowd for their continued hard work, and added that the community can look ahead with optimism that “the worst is behind us.” 

“We would not be in this position if not for the resilience, courage and tenacity of the entire Good Samaritan Hospital team and the supporting staff who give their all to care for patients in our community,” Carpenter said. “[You have] played an invaluable role in helping us guide this Town and its residents through the darkest period we have ever known. For that, we owe you our deepest gratitude.”

After Carpenter presented a certificate of authenticity to the hospital, the ceremony concluded with a group photo at the commemorative bench.

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