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NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst nurses celebrate with a standing ovation and cheer, "Elmhurst Strong!" on Friday, May 8, 2020. (Ann-Sophie Fjello-Jensen/AP Images for Hyatt)

More than 4,000 employees at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst will each receive a free, three-night vacation from American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the airline and hotel announced last week.

The partnership is a showing of thanks to the doctors, physician assistants, nurses and the facilities and food employees who staffed one of the hospitals hardest hit by COVID-19. The vacation destinations will be around the U.S. and Caribbean.

“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.”

According to American, the donation is the largest total flight count ever given to an organization by the airline.

With the purpose of unwinding and spending time with their families after months of tireless work in the hospital, Elmhurst staff will be provided wellbeing experiences, meals and beverages and outdoor activities in Hyatt hotels.

“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, the 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.”

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