News and Events – August 2023

2023 intern program ends on a celebratory note

For 15 years, our six-week intern program has brought youthful energy and fresh perspectives to our work. This year’s enthusiastic interns came exclusively from the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), a New York City program that connects young people aged 14 to 24 with paid summer work experiences that can open doors to career opportunities. Floating Hospital interns assisted staff with tasks such as shadowing patient navigators and providers in the clinic to helping with outreach at community events—activities that develop critical skills in time management, communication, administration, teamwork and leadership. This summer, we offered lessons in conversational Spanish so that interns could assist the recent high volume of Spanish-speaking migrants seeking our services.

Last month, interns accompanied our community outreach team at the Consulate General of Mexico, helping inform more than 100 newcomers to the United States on the importance of regular medical care and signing them up for appointments at The Floating Hospital. Earlier in the season, they engaged with Ravenswood Residence Association members and the New York Police Department at Ravenswood Family Day, a family community-building block party to help build neighborhood vigilance. They also participated in a pilot program community outreach director Cynthia Davis launched this year to strengthen connections at local senior centers. Interns kept company with Ravenswood residents, playing trivia games, reading books and dancing.

On Aug. 10, our season of services and personal growth culminated at SYEP’s Youth Power Day, a resource fair for young adults. While we hope our program will guide them to a career in the healthcare field, our larger goal is putting them on a path to their future success and making a positive contribution to society. One intern said about her summer experience: “I felt a genuine sense of making a positive impact. Regardless of my future path, giving back will remain a core part of it.”

Give flu prevention your best shot

Flu season will soon be upon us. Typically intensifying in winter, the flu virus begins its spread early in the fall. Receiving a flu vaccine each year helps ensure you’re protected from the outset and helps safeguard others. When large numbers of people are inoculated each year, it significantly builds community herd immunity—a communal protection that is invaluable, especially for those unable to get vaccinated due to specific medical conditions. Children, individuals over 65, and those with chronic health conditions such as asthma and heart disease are especially vulnerable.

The CDC strongly endorses the annual flu vaccine for everyone aged six months and older. To further fortify your defenses:

  • Minimize contact with individuals diagnosed with the flu
  • Adopt proper respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose during coughs and sneezes
  • Consistently wash your hands with soap and water
  • Exercise caution to avoid touching your face
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas

For detailed guidelines and recommendations, please refer to the CDC’s official website.

Flu vaccines will be available at The Floating Hospital in September. Call 718-784-2240 if you are interested in getting your vaccine at our clinic. Be well!

Pickleball for health equity

On July 28, the first “Women in Healthcare Give Back” pickleball tournament was organized by the NY Tri-state regional chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), a organization committed to gender parity and equity in the healthcare industry. Held in Chatham, N.J., and spearheaded by HBA members Beth Bauer, Raca Banarjee and Charlene Prounis (who also sits on The Floating Hospital’s foundation board),  the event provided a fun framework for more than 30 members to learn more about our commitment to health equity for New York families.  A raffle followed, where HBA members donated essential items for the 80 young people attending Camp Rise Up this year.

The tourney was the second HBA-TFH event partnership: HBA volunteers were on the ground at our spring Women’s Wellness Day, showering patients with attention and good cheer, and helping us demonstrate our “more than healthcare” delivery of care. We are thrilled to welcome HBA members to Camp Rise up in Rhinebeck, N.Y., this month, where they will help organize the campus for a week of learning, growth and recreation, and greet happy campers as they arrive.

By Matt Fink

This post is featured in our monthly newsletter from August 2023.

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The Floating Hospital provides high-quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay. By providing unrestricted medical care in tandem with health education and social support to vulnerable New York City families, The Floating Hospital aims to ensure those most in need have the ability to thrive, not just survive.


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