(PLAINVIEW, N.Y.) - During the COVID-19 pandemic, the George Harrison-penned Beatles classic, “Here Comes the Sun,” has been widely embraced as a hopeful anthem of recovery and resilience. On Tuesday, July 14, the sun shined down brightly in Plainview upon some of the people who were instrumental in healing the region and its residents.
As Long Island approached the one-week anniversary of embarking upon Phase Four of its regional reopening, Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker (D - Plainview) joined Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Plainview community leaders to celebrate the first responders, hospital staff and frontline healthcare workers that empowered the region to emerge from the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic by renaming a portion of Old Country Road between Kalda Lane and Central Park Road “Heroes Way.”
“As community members, we always knew how important these institutions were, but I’ll be honest - we probably took them for granted. COVID-19 has forever changed that. What has emerged through this life-changing pandemic is the selfless display of unwavering courage, sacrifice and professionalism never seen before in my lifetime,” Legislator Drucker said. “Day after day, these brave men and women kissed their loved ones goodbye and went to work, literally saving lives while putting their own at risk. This is the definition of heroism.”
This lasting tribute honors the tireless efforts of healthcare and hospital workers at Plainview Hospital, the compassionate care provided by Central Island Healthcare’s team of healthcare professionals, and the courageous and selfless service of first responders from the Plainview Fire Department. The stretch of road that was renamed Tuesday abuts each of those entities.
“Plainview Hospital employees have demonstrated tremendous courage and compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic despite fears of contracting the virus. They are truly heroes and renaming this street as such, provides appropriate recognition for our team members and all of the frontline workers in our community who kept us safe, healthy and fed during these trying times,” Michael Fener, Executive Director of Northwell Health’s Plainview and Syosset Hospitals, said.
“The Plainview Volunteer Fire Department is grateful for this honor and for the opportunity to provide professional and compassionate care for all of our residents,” Gregory Kies, Chief of the Plainview Volunteer Fire Department, said. “We stand ready to serve the community along with all first responders and health care workers. We thank Legislator Drucker for his support and for making this day special for the department.”
“Although the past few months have been more difficult than anyone could have ever imagined, being part of the Plainview medical community and having the community’s support helped get us and our patients through,” said Michael Ostereicher, Executive Director of Central Island Healthcare in Plainview. “We are blessed to have a dedicated staff who faced danger head-on and never turned their backs on our patients. I’d like to thank the community for their support during these trying times and for recognizing the heroic efforts of our staff.”
The final speaker of the morning, longtime Plainview resident and community advocate Francesca Carlow, recounted her family’s battle with COVID-19 and the instrumental, life-saving role first responders played in their recovery.
“Without the fast-acting response from the Plainview Volunteer Fire Department and the subsequent professional, caring emergency medical help Bruce and I received from the staff at Plainview Hospital, our much anticipated first grandchild could have grown up without his Nana and Grandpa,” she said. “It took a hospital filled with dedicated health care workers and a community of local volunteers to help fight this pandemic. My family and I - we were the incredibly lucky ones that survived.”