As New York City’s number of new COVID-19 cases continues to decline and New York State is beginning to reopen, our country and city continue to face the most significant public health crisis of our lifetimes.
I’m proud to say that VNSNY is playing a central role in the fight against COVID-19. Since our founding in 1893, we’ve always been on the front lines, supporting our patients, our partners, and our community.
VNSNY staff are trained and equipped to provide care to all VNSNY patients and members, including those diagnosed with COVID-19. Our services have been critical to New York during this pandemic, allowing patients who can safely go home to recover in comfortable, familiar surroundings—and freeing up much needed beds at hospitals.
As the coronavirus pandemic has evolved, I can assure you that VNSNY’s commitment to protecting our community, our staff, and our patients has not wavered:
Protecting our staff—When COVID-19 first hit New York City, I wrote, “I believe no other workforce in this nation is better prepared to rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done at this critical time,” and over the last few months I have seen this statement fulfilled. As odd as this may sound in this time of social distancing and working remotely, I feel that in many ways this pandemic has brought VNSNY closer together as an organization. In every division and at every level, I have seen our employees overcome challenges and work with laser focus and passion to carry out our mission, “to improve the health and well-being of people through high-quality, cost effective healthcare in the home and community.”
Protecting our patients and members—VNSNY is maintaining its focus on continuing to deliver care to the vulnerable New Yorkers who depend on us. We have always followed strict protocols for preventing infection, but during this public health crisis, that safety has taken on new urgency—and has required a massive shift in how we deliver that care. We have implemented additional sanitizing and disinfection protocols, and we have equipped staff with the personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies mandated by the CDC to ensure that we are keeping staff and patients safe and reducing the potential to spread this infection—without this PPE we cannot safely send our workforce into homes.
Protecting our community—Throughout this crisis, VNSNY has collaborated with our partners in the health care community and government agencies. As part of our area’s reopening effort, I’ve accepted an invitation from Mayor de Blasio to serve on the Mayor’s Public Health and Healthcare Sector Advisory Council, one of several that will provide guidance on New York City’s plans for reopening. I look forward to participating with other leaders to ensure that these plans make sense and keep people safe. We also continue to collaborate with fellow providers and health care plans to ensure that federal, state and city legislation support and sustain the health care needs of our staff, patients and members.
Obtaining the necessary equipment and sufficient funding to serve and protect our patients and staff is a vital and continuing need for VNSNY. I invite you to learn about the VNSNY Coronavirus Response Fund, where you can help us continue to provide care to the vulnerable New Yorkers as we help relieve the strain on New York hospitals.
In closing, I want to thank you for supporting VNSNY. Your positive messages and comments on our social media pages, your letters and emails, and your generous donations all serve to remind everyone at VNSNY that we are part of a resilient community with a determined spirit.
We are in this together, and together we will stand strong.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Visiting Nurse Service of New York
New York State has established a hotline for questions and information: 1-888-364-3065.
You can also visit the VNSNY Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Hub to learn more about the Coronavirus and what is VNSNY doing to keep patients, plan members, and the community safe