Project Wingman Opens First Lounges for ‘Frontline Medical Heroes’ in U.S.

By Paul Riegler on 6 May 2020
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Flushing Hospital EVP Robert Levine cutting the ceremonial ribbon

Project Wingman USA, a group comprised of volunteer airline crewmembers from major airlines, opened its first lounges for healthcare workers at two hospitals in New York City.

The initiative was inspired by the success of Project Wingman UK, which is operating lounges in 30 hospitals there.

Flushing Hospital Executive Vice President Robert Levine cut a ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of the Project Wingman lounge at 1 p.m. local time, and the lounge welcomed several hundred hospital workers over the course of the afternoon. The lounge offers healthcare workers at the hospital a variety of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages as well as a selection of coffees and teas prepared by the volunteer flight attendants, but more importantly, it offers them a place to sit down and relax, even if their busy schedules only allow for a short break. It also offers the workers an empathetic ear if they want to talk.

Only a limited number of people can enter the lounge at one time, in order to ensure proper social distancing. The second lounge is located at Jamaica Hospital. Both hospitals are in Queens, at the epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the United States and the group is planning to open additional lounges in the region.

“We hope to replicate the success of Project Wingman UK and open as many lounges for the country’s frontline healthcare heroes as possible,” said Anders Lindström, the group’s chairman, who is North American director of communications for Norwegian Air.

Each lounge is located in a safe, non-patient facing environment and the hospitals provide the volunteers with personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves.

Multiple organizations including several airlines have donated everything from snacks to pillows

Airline employees can volunteer their time at the group’s website, and donations are being accepted at the group’s GoFundMe page.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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