**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19**: HealthAlliance Healthcare Workers, Community and Elected Leaders host Holiday Caravan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2020
Contact: Kristi Barnes | kristi.barnes@nysna.org | 646.853.4489
Michael Hertz | michael.hertz@nysna.org | 917.232.3803

Car Caravan and Speak Out to Highlight How to Stay Safe and Healthy this Holiday Season, and Need to Reopen Mental Health Services

Kingston — Healthcare workers at Westchester Medical Center (WMC)’s HealthAlliance Hudson Valley Hospital are joining with community and elected leaders on Saturday for a Safe and Healthy Holiday Caravan. The car caravan and speak out will raise awareness about COVID prevention, as well as the need for safe staffing and mental healthcare services at HealthAlliance to keep the community safe and healthy through the holidays and beyond.

Nurses and elected officials will share updates on the closure of inpatient psych and detox services at HealthAlliance.

Debbie Stewart, RN, a NYSNA nurse who used to work on the inpatient mental health unit at HealthAlliance, said: “Our community and patients are losing access to local inpatient mental health and chemical dependency services. Unfortunately, this is at a time when these services are needed even more due to the pandemic. It is our hope that Westchester Medical will restore these vital services to Kingston, so that we can be a community where everyone’s health needs are met.”

WHO: NYSNA, CWA Local 1120, Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, State Senator-elect Michelle Hinchey, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, Kingston City Alderwoman Ward 9 Michelle Hirsch, Hudson Housing Coalition Ulster County, Hudson Valley Guild of Mental Health Professionals, and more.

WHAT: HAHV Safe and Healthy Holiday Caravan and Speak Out

WHEN: Saturday, December 19 from 1:00–3:00 PM, **Speakout from 2:00–3:00 PM at Plaza of Miron Lane, 500 Miron Lane**

WHERE: Car Caravan begins at SUNY Ulster Parking lot at Marys Avenue and Webster Street and ends at the speak out location: Plaza of Miron Lane Parking Lot next to Texas Roundhouse, 500 Miron Lane, Kingston, NY 12401

VISUALS: Masking and social distancing will be strictly observed. Cars will be decorated with festive holiday signs.

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.