NEW YORK (PIX11) – More than $9.6 million in federal funding will address a staffing crisis that has hit hospitals across the state triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Senators Chuck Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) announced Tuesday.

The $9,655,841 will come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will be used to develop and implement programming to address mental health challenges faced by health professionals, particularly those providing care in underserved and rural communities. 

“The pandemic has taken a huge toll on our health care workers, and they are in need of more help to overcome new challenges and struggles related to their mental health,” said Sen. Schumer.  

Many overworked nurses in the city have demanded better working conditions. Many have resigned in the faces of overcrowding and delays. They’re tired, NY State Nurses Association President Nancy Hagan said during a rally in the Bronx earlier this month.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in East Harlem, will receive $2,138,544 to support its Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program. In the Longwood section of the Bronx, La Casa de Salud will receive $2,955,998 in funds for its Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professional Workforce Program.  

Two hospitals of The Research Foundation for the State University of New York, in Albany and Long Island, will receive $2,280,666 and $2,280,633 respectively to bolster the Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program. 

“The past two years have been a time of nearly unprecedented stress for health care workers,” said Senator Gillibrand. “And as a result, too many nurses and other medical professionals have left the field – just when we need them most. This federal funding will provide long-overdue support to our frontline workers, including physicians, nurses, and health care students as well as firefighters, law enforcement officers, and ambulance crew members.”