More than 4,000 health care workers from NY hospital hit hard by COVID-19 gifted free vacations

American Airlines has partnered with Hyatt Hotels Corporation to reward medical staff currently working at a New York City hospital hit hard by the novel coronavirus with complimentary vacations once they are able to take time off for themselves. 

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The two companies announced on Tuesday that more than 4,000 medical staff who work at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst will be treated to round-trip flights on American Airlines, including a three-night stay at a Hyatt hotel in select destinations across the U.S. and Caribbean.

“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,” said Israel Rocha, Vice President of NYC Health + Hospitals and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “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.”

According to a release by American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is located in the heart of New York City, where it typically serves up to 1 million people per year. 


Staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst celebrate complimentary vacations from American Airlines and Hyatt. (American Airlines and Hyatt.)

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the city, the hospital was forced to increase its intensive care unit capacity by roughly 500 percent.

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New York has been the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. with the borough of Queens having the highest number of confirmed cases at more than 56,000 people and over 4,400 deaths as of May 12, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.

“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,” said Robert Isom, president of American Airlines. “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.”

Taking ongoing lock down orders into account, the American Airlines say these health care workers will “be treated later this year to priority airfare from American Airlines and hotel accommodations from Hyatt.”

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“Once at their destination, these special guests will be able to unwind with wellbeing experiences, world-class food and beverage menus, outdoor activities and more like all guests at Hyatt hotels,” according to the release.