Healthcare union celebrates its frontline workers with caravan through Queens

Photos courtesy of 1199SEIU

More than a hundred vehicles, packed with 1199SEIU officials and staff, made its way through Queens on May 13 to show support and gratitude for frontline healthcare professionals who have risked their own health to care for others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With horns blaring with signs that read “All healthcare workers are essential” and “Thank you healthcare professionals for all that you do” hanging from car windows, the caravan made three dozen stops at hospitals and nursing homes in Queens and then Brooklyn and Staten Island.

“We are here today to honor the brave and courageous healthcare workers who have been putting their health — and their lives — on the line every day to care for others,” 1199SEIU President George Gresham said before the motorcade left its staging area at Aqueduct Racetrack. “All of our workers are essential: nurses, technicians, cleaners and all the others. They are extremely courageous to risk getting sick to help those who cannot take care of themselves.” 

The caravan’s first stop was Jamaica Hospital, where their fellow 1199 members greeted them with cheers, songs and dancing. From there they made stops at several Queens nursing homes, including the Franklin Nursing Home and Hillside Manor, as well as Queens Hospital Center and Long Island Jewish Hospital.

Brooklyn stops included Maimonides Medical Center, Mount Sinai, Brooklyn Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Oxford Nursing Home and Marcus Garvey Residential Rehab. The caravan also visited Richmond University Medical Center and both Staten Island University hospitals.

A similar motorcade visited locations in the Bronx and Manhattan the following day to celebrate the healthcare professionals from 1199SEIU.