Dear AHRC Families and Friends,
As always, I hope this email finds you safe and well. One of the most meaningful aspects of my role is sharing the excellence of our AHRC Nassau team. COVID-19 has changed many things, but not our team’s dedication to the best outcomes for the people we support.
It’s National Nurses Week through May 12. It’s also been called the Year of the Nurse by the American Nurses Association. Our nursing team is exceptional. Their expertise, care and dedication to the people we support surpasses best practices, setting new standards of excellence. They do so while working longer and additional shifts. They do so under added environmental pressures and their own concerns for their families. They do so because they are nurses. It’s not only what they do – it’s who they are.
I absolutely agree with Senior Director of Health Services Nicole Uterano-Ferrar, RN, who said, “The people who you care for are better for having you as their champions. I have heard it said that health care workers are like warriors or superheroes, but you do not need to be compared to anyone. You are NURSES! You are brave, and strong, and heroic in your own right.”
Our team is incomparable. It’s for us – the AHRC network of families, supporters and friends -- to increase awareness of who they are and what their jobs mean to us and the wider community. As I write to you, the scope of responsibility and work of direct support professionals (DSPs) remains under-recognized. Every day, DSPs find new ways to bring joy and happiness to the people they support. In addition to maintaining health, there have been birthday parties, care packages of art supplies, community service to other nonprofits, and countless other projects of support to ensure morale remains high. Suffice to say, our team goes above and beyond.
I urge you to continue advocating for these professionals. I thank everyone who filled out our advocacy form – but ask you to do so again and again. Right now, it’s unclear when the House of Representatives will be back in session. Out of sight can be out of mind and the competing priorities of our lawmakers makes it necessary for us to continue advocating. That can mean adding a comment to our Facebook and Instagram posts with #WeAreEssential or sending an advocacy letter.
Thank you for your support and trust in us as we move forward and through this health crisis. I send you all my best wishes for good health.
Stanfort J. Perry