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White Plains, NY — On Monday, the Westchester County Board of Legislators celebrated Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a virtual ceremony recognizing the efforts of two outstanding Asian-American women in the battle against COVID-19.

Board Chair Catherine Borgia (D – Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton, Ossining, Peekskill) convened the observance saying, “I would like to give special thanks to our County’s Asian-American Advisory Board for helping to identify two such worthy honorees – Mamaroneck resident, Jeanhee Chung and Pelham resident, Dr. Nandini Anandu. Each has exhibited extraordinary efforts to protect our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are very grateful for all they have done.”

Legislator Catherine F. Parker (D - Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye) presented the first proclamation to her constituent and friend, Jeanhee Chung.

She said, “Jeanhee is one of those people who is always willing to help – whether in the Mamaroneck community, as an advocate for Asian-Americans, or during COVID … When the pandemic began over 2 years ago, Jeanhee realized there was a mask shortage and wanted to help. Putting her web development and sewing skills to use, she founded SewforNY.org and SewforCT.org. Initially, the masks went to help nurses in need to stretch the utilization of the one N-95 mask per week they received due to lack of supplies. As PPE became more available, the mask donations went to smaller health clinics, homeless people, seniors, women’s shelters, and children’s hospitals, among others in need. While Jeanhee and her son were personally able to sew hundreds of masks, her volunteers were able to sew and distribute over 16,000 masks. We are grateful for all of their help in protecting us and our frontline healthcare workers from COVID, and especially to Jeanhee for being the catalyst who put this tremendous effort in motion.”

Ms. Chung thanked the Legislator saying, “I’m honored here today to represent the hundreds of volunteers who donated their time and care to sew masks, cut fabric, deliver masks, and do outreach.  The way that Westchester came together to help was truly a beautiful thing and it was my privilege to see it in action.  Being able to be part of a diverse community working together in peace and love is my American Dream come true.”

The Board declared May 26, 2022 “Jeanhee Chung Day” in Westchester County.

You may also go to Vimeo to watch the full video.

Legislator Terry Clements (D – Pelham, Pelham Manor, New Rochelle) presented the second proclamation. She said, “It is with great pride and admiration that I take this opportunity to recognize the extraordinary work of Pelham resident Dr. Nandini Anandu, as we celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month. Dr. Anandu is an Internal Medicine Hospitalist at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco. She has a unique role, in that she is one of the nocturnists -- physicians who provide care overnight to patients already admitted to the hospital or admitted from the emergency room. This puts her on the front lines of many emergency situations, and particularly on the front lines of the COVID pandemic.”

“Before the pandemic, Dr. Anandu typically worked part-time. But when the volume of patients being admitted rose to unprecedented levels, and her fellow colleagues became sick with the virus and were unable to work, she rose to the occasion. When asked to pick up more shifts to help with the surge, she did not hesitate, even when the weeks turned into months. Her ability to provide overnight coverage was critically needed. During the peak of the pandemic, she also helped our local nonprofits create a database of healthcare workers in Pelham to provide support to the local frontline workers, and is involved in so many other important community efforts in Pelham.”

Dr. Anandu accepted the honor with these words, “Thank you, Legislator Clements and the entire Board of Legislators for this honor and recognition. Legislator Clements represents the region that was the epicenter of the pandemic. I am so grateful for her leadership during that time. Her outreach to the community included finding aid with food distribution, especially for children who received lunch at school, finding places to get tested, finding mental health support, and many other services.”

“I also extend my sincere gratitude to so many in my medical community, especially the nurses, patient care associates, respiratory therapists, environmental service employees, transporters, radiology staff, and my physician colleagues. I thank the leaders of my medical community, who are also fellow Westchester residents, for providing us the most up to date recommendations for caring for our patients afflicted with COVID-19, and continue to provide this guidance. Despite their busy schedules, they provided personal outreach, which gave us strength and hope during one of the most challenging times of our careers.”

The Board declared May 25, 2022 “Dr. Nandini Anandu Day” in the County of Westchester.

You may also go to Vimeo to watch the full video.

Read a program for Monday night’s event at: https://www.westchesterlegislators.com/images/Newsroom/2022/2022-AAPI-Program.pdf