This website is a digital salute and multi-platform storytelling project featuring stories and experiences that honor the 40,000+ brave NYC Health + Hospitals workforce heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to their dedication thousands of New Yorkers with COVID-19 recovered in our hospitals and have returned home.
The mission of the site is to document and preserve their heroic legacy for future generations and inspire the recovery of our city in months and years ahead. We also hope the site serves as a powerful archive for all New Yorkers to reflect on these experiences, show gratitude to our health care workers and provide support to them and their families.
This project is dedicated to all the NYC Health + Hospitals’ fearless health care heroes who made unmeasurable sacrifices to save lives before losing the fight to COVID-19.
Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund for their generous donation that made possible the photography and video sections of this website.
All NYC Health + Hospitals staff members who shared their stories for this project for their generosity and commitment to their teams and to NYC Health + Hospitals at large and for their devotion and compassion for our patients and their families.
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than 1 million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs including 11 hospitals, five nursing homes, dozens of community-based health centers, a home care agency. The public health system also manages correctional health services in the city’s jails, and has its own health plan, MetroPlus. Its diverse workforce of more than 40,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. The system’s mission is to care for all regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
Meet 25 health care heroes from our hospitals, nursing homes, and other parts of the NYC Health + Hospitals system. Each profile offers a closer, intimate look at the vital role each staff member played in our pandemic response.
A gripping photo essay and powerful visual narrative of the pandemic as it unfolded at our facilities -- from the frantic intensive care units and emergency departments, to the pure and tender moments of our heroes caring for patients and supporting each other.
A series of documentary-style videos featuring the heroic work of our staff. The first two videos of the series feature the experiences of Respiratory Therapists and the support provided to staff facing emotional and psychological trauma through our Helping Healers Heal program.
Two Respiratory Therapists share how they cared for hundreds of patients whose lungs were attacked by the virus.
Data trends, patient volume, PPE use and other key indicators that made the NYC public health system a leader in pandemic response locally and nationally.
The data in this section covers different periods between March and July of 2020.
25,000 COVID-19 patients
3,000 Additional ICU beds created to deal with the surge of COVID-19 patients.
5,000 Additional nurses recruited to care for patients.
100,000 N95 masks used every week.
90,000 Calls to COVID-19 Hotline for clinicians to answer questions on the virus, assess symptoms, and connect patients to care.
$30,000,000 Raised in cash and in-kind donations to support our staff with hotel rooms, meals, taxi rides, groceries and, more.
3,353 Hotel rooms.
256,313+ Meals to hardest hit areas and service lines of the system. Plus over 1 Million meals (through Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen).
60,000 Taxi rides.
81,108+ Non-perishable food, personal hygiene and home cleaning product bags.
1,068+ took advantage of free child care services.
1,000 Helping Healers Heal Peer Support Specialists at hospitals to address trauma.
31 Wellness Rooms created in city public hospitals to help with stress.
60,000 Staff visits to Wellness Rooms.
160 Calls to the Emotional Support Hotline.
Send notes of gratitude to our heroes and share their stories on social media.
In this COVID-19 crisis, our dedicated, compassionate, brave workforce of more than 40,000 employees are needed more than ever before. Your non-restricted donation can help us provide much needed services and support to our doctors, nurses, and other health care workers on the front line.
First confirmed case of COVID-19 in New York City
NYC Health + Hospitals meets with NYC Medical Reserve Corps to request volunteers
New visitor policy issued to increase safety and reduce transmission
First reported COVID-19 death in New York City
NYC Health + Hospitals treats first confirmed COVID-19 patient
All NYC Health + Hospitals clinic visits converted to televists.
Crisis intensifies as 13 patients pass away in 24 hours at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
NYC Health + Hospitals opens new 350-bed hospital, Roosevelt Island Medical Center to handle increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
USNS Comfort arrives in New York City
Temporary hospital opens at Billie Jean Tennis Center to relieve need at Elmhurst
NYC Health + Hospitals recruits 5,000 nurses and 1,500 other health care staff from across the country to help with mounting surge of COVID-19 patients.
NYC Health + Hospitals outlines plan to triple ICU capacity to 3,000 beds
Over 700 federal health care workers from Dept. of Defense deployed to public hospitals to help fight COVID-19.
New York City hits a tragic COVID-19 milestone, reporting 590 deaths in New York City in one day.
NYC Health Dept. releases report showing coronavirus is killing black and Latino New Yorkers at twice the rate of white people.
NYC Health + Hospitals launches text-based monitoring program for discharged patients
Bloomberg Philanthropies donates $6 million for World Central Kitchen to provide daily meals to more than 30,000 health care workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.
City announces COVID-19 testing in hardest-hit communities.
New York Times Magazine publishes photo essay on NYC Health + Hospitals entitled: “Epicenter-Inside New York City’s hospitals as they face the pandemic.”
City partners with Dept. of Defense to Address trauma in health care workers.
NYC Health + Hospitals hits milestone of 5,000 patients discharged
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx marks completion of 20 new ICU beds to manage surge of COVID-19 patients
Mayor announces new Test & Trace Corps
Mayor says all New Yorkers should get tested for COVID-19
Launch of NYC Test & Trace Corps