The $10,000 award from the foundation will go toward covering the expenses for medical professionals from across the country who have volunteered themselves at the hospital as part of a national effort to help Queens fight COVID-19.
Over the past two months, the Queens Chamber of Chamber has been making an effort to channel resources from the business community to institutions and organizations that comprise the front lines of the outbreak.
“When National Grid reached out asking how they could help, I was delighted to connect them with Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, who are dealing with extraordinarily difficult circumstances,” said chamber CEO and president Tom Grech.
As of Friday afternoon, the city recorded 176,086 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14,389 deaths, more than anywhere else in the world. Of the five boroughs, Queens has been hardest hit by the virus and is often referred to as the “epicenter of the epicenter.”
With many city hospitals overwhelmed with patients and staff falling ill from exposure to coronavirus, doctors, nurses, EMTs and other health care workers are flocking to the hotspot from all over the nation, putting their lives on pause to fill an urgent need for personnel.
Already sustaining losses as a result of the crisis, however, hospitals are struggling to pay for expenses like airfare, housing and transportation.
Jamaica Hospital and its sister hospital, Flushing Hospital, have been two of the busiest in the borough throughout the pandemic. Both have been able to bring on nearly 25 doctors to their staff thus far, but more will likely be needed in the future
"While caring for a high volume of critically ill patients, many of our front-line employees contracted the virus themselves,” said Bruce Flanz, president and CEO of Jamaica Hospital. “When we needed it the most, many volunteer medical professionals from across the nation responded to help us provide care to our patients.”