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December 14, 2021

HANYS awards 2021 Pinnacle Award to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

Hospital at epicenter of the first COVID-19 surge dramatically expanded its peer support program

Rensselaer, NY, Dec. 14, 2021 ­– The Healthcare Association of New York State is pleased to present a 2021 Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst for Helping Healers Heal: Innovative Path to Post-pandemic Resilience. Learn about their initiative in our our video profile.

Helping Healers Heal is a peer support program originally started to decrease second victimization and burnout; NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst first used it to help staff debrief sad and dramatic cases. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital was at the epicenter of the public health crisis and need for workforce psychological support skyrocketed. The Helping Healers Heal team expanded their services to reach all hospital employees by engaging more peer support champions and strategic outreach. The program grew into a robust, all-encompassing initiative, ballooning from reaching 6% of hospital departments to more than 90%, and from a core team of five peer support champions to more than 40. Best practices are now used throughout the NYC Health + Hospitals system.

The Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety recognizes and encourages broad dissemination of successful quality improvement and innovative patient safety initiatives in four categories based on organization size and type. Award honorees are members of HANYS’ Commitment to Excellence, a statewide program designed to recognize HANYS’ member commitment and ongoing efforts to improve quality and patient safety.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is the fourth and final honoree to be announced this fall. Learn more about all of this year’s honorees on awards webpage.


The Healthcare Association of New York State is New York’s statewide hospital and continuing care association, representing nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations. HANYS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the health of individuals and communities by providing leadership, representation and service to healthcare providers and systems across the entire continuum of care.