Direct care staff members at a New York-based facility received a special form of thanks from the community for their COVID-19 efforts.  

The city of Mount Vernon hosted a “First Responders Parade” in support of Wartburg, a provider that offers long-term care and assisted living. The parade, which was held in May, featured personnel from the fire and police departments, mayor’s office, city council, office of emergency management, public works and recreation departments. 

New York long-term care facilities have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. As of late June, more than 6,000 people had died in the state’s nursing homes due to COVID-19.

“The gesture is an inspiration to this team as we begin to heal in the aftermath of unprecedented physically and emotionally challenging circumstances, and I am grateful to the mayor for recognizing the unsung healthcare heroes who work in the post-acute environment,” said David J. Gentner, Wartburg’s president and CEO. 

The parade traveled through the operator’s entire 34-acre campus. The city also provided grab-and-go meals for second-shift staff members who missed out on the celebration. 

“We are a resilient community and you are here doing heroes’ work. We just wanted to show our appreciation to you on this day,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.