Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus visited Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Garnet Health Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill on Wednesday, Dec. 16, as healthcare workers received the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the county.
Neuhaus took the opportunity to thank the hospital’s administration and frontline staff for their inspirational response during the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in mid-March.
“I want to thank all of Orange County’s healthcare workers for their resiliency and for the extraordinary care that they are providing our residents during this unprecedented time,” Neuhaus said. “Their perseverance, spirit and commitment are instrumental in getting us through this crisis. I’m grateful that the first vaccinations have arrived in Orange County and are earmarked for these brave individuals.
“e have a long way to go in the fight against the virus and we must remain vigilant about following public health guidelines to stop its spread,” he added. “However, the arrival of the vaccine has raised spirits and morale, and that energy was palpable at both hospitals that I visited.”
Bon Secours Community Hospital, part of the Westchester Medical Center Network, gave the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Orange County Tuesday to workers there and affiliate St. Anthony Hospital in Warwick.
“Yesterday, Bon Secours Community Hospital was proud to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to our frontline workers,” said Mary P. Leahy, MD, MHA, CEO, Bon Secours Charity Health System. “And we greatly appreciate that Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus was able to join us to share in this historic undertaking. We appreciate the support he and his team have provided to our Orange County employees and hospitals, Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, and St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of our partnership and we know we can always rely on one another and grow stronger together.”
Approximately 30 nurses, doctors, and other highly essential staff were vaccinated with the first round of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesday. Melanie Pinto, RN, an ICU nurse, and a COVID-19 survivor was the first to get vaccinated.
Pinto said that having COVID-19 for five weeks was one of the sickest times in her life and it was one of the hardest illnesses she has had to overcome. She encourages everyone to get the vaccine when it is available to them.
“Today is a day that we will remember forever,” Garnet Health Medical Center CEO Brian Tew said. “Our dedicated healthcare experts at Garnet Health have poured their hearts and souls into caring for our community from the very beginning of this pandemic.
“As more vaccines become available,” Tew added, “we’ll continue to vaccinate our staff so our community can count on us to care for them when they need it most, just as they always have.”