Coronavirus: Health care workers at NYC hospital getting free vacations

Health care workers at one of the New York City hospitals hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic got some good news Friday.

The staff of more than 4,000 doctors, nurses, medical assistants, food service and facilities workers at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens were given complimentary three-day vacations by American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels, WABC reported.

"Every worker at Elmhurst has seen and experienced challenges many of us cannot imagine. They've given so much of themselves and chose to serve their community with care, compassion and equity for every patient," Robert Isom, President of American Airlines, said in a statement. "When they are able to take a break, we hope the time away will help them and their loved ones recharge and that they feel our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice and heroism."

The vacations will be three-night excursions later this year, including priority round-trip flights from American Airlines and hotel accommodations from Hyatt, the television station reported. Staff members will have their choice of select destinations across the United States and Caribbean.

"We've heard from so many of our colleagues and members who simply want to do some good and find a way to share their gratitude for some of the heroes of this pandemic in one of the hardest-hit areas of New York, " Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt, said in a statement. "We are humbled by the health care workers' dedication to saving lives."

"We are extremely grateful to Hyatt and American Airlines for this generous gift to our health care workers, who have been at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic," Elmhurst Hospital CEO Israel Rocha said in American Airlines' news release. "Our doctors, nurses, and other staff on the front lines of this unprecedented health care crisis really appreciate the outpouring of support from two of America's major companies, and we look forward to taking advantage of these well-earned vacations in the near future."

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