Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In recognition of National Nurses Week, I want to thank all the nurses throughout our service system who have dedicated themselves to supporting people with developmental disabilities and keeping them safe. The personal sacrifices our nurses and clinical staff have made on behalf of the people we support, especially in the age of COVID-19, have not gone unnoticed. The people we support rely on you, and the direct support professionals in our field turn to you when they need support and guidance. Your role is a crucial one in our service system.
OPWDD directly employs more than 1,100 nurses statewide, including Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Infection Control Nurses, Community Mental Health Nurses, Nurse Administrators and temporary or part-time nursing staff. Our provider partners employ many more nurses throughout the state.
Whether you are providing personal care, advocating with a health care provider on behalf of someone, promoting preventative care or explaining the benefits of vaccination, your daily work is vital to our mission. As we navigate the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it brings to our mission, I want you to know that I will be in your corner. New York State has already recognized your efforts by providing retention bonuses of up to $3,000 in this year’s enacted Budget for full-time healthcare and mental hygiene workers. I know how hard you are all working, and I will continue to advocate for even greater support for you in your work.
Thank you for all you do to help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives. We could not do what we do without you.