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Supporters parade outside Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital in Oceanside to thank front-line staff

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More than 300 vehicles lined up outside of the entrance to Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital on Wednesday in a parade organized to show front-line workers that the community appreciates them.

“It was a really, really special moment,” said Joe Calderone, MSSN's senior vice president of corporate communications and development. “Just knowing that people on the outside of the building have some idea of what's going on inside this building … and that they care about what's happening here and how hard the front-line workers are at it, it's just really terrific and we are very grateful.”

Doctors, nurses, support staff, maintenance workers and other hospital employees — many of whom work 16-hour shifts each day — came out to greet the caravan of supporters, which included police officers, firefighters, other first responders and community members looking to show their support.

The supporters came from Oceanside and several surrounding areas, including Rockville Centre, Baldwin and Freeport. Many of them came holding signs thanking the medical staff, and enthusiastically honked their horns.

“It was a tremendous outpouring of the community,” Calderone said. “Our employees are stretched thin and working under unprecedented conditions that they have not seen in their medical careers. For them, it was just a great morale booster, lifting their spirits, and we're just extremely grateful to the community and our volunteer board members who helped organize it.”

Board Vice Chairman Tony Cancellieri and member Butch Yamali organized the parade.

Calderone said the front-line staff is “in the fog of war with this invisible, deadly virus,” and noted that it was important for the staff to have the support of the community. He added that the community has stepped up in many ways, including donating food, money and supplies.

“The community has just stepped up in every way possible, mostly unsolicited” he said. “They've done everything they possibly could to support us, and it just really means a lot to us.”