To the Fishers Island Community:
On behalf of the Island Health Project Board (IHP) and the Island Community Board (ICB), I would like to personally thank the many people who were instrumental in our COVID-19 battle over the past eight months.
While we did have some cases, we are fortunate to have kept them to a minimum. We could not have done it, however, without the hard work of an incredibly dedicated team of individuals who deserve our deepest thanks:
Chris Ingram, M.D., is our fearless leader, yet he worried from the start about the impact an outbreak would have on our fragile medical infrastructure. He diligently obtained up-to-date information to share with the COVID-19 team and the community. He continues to be careful and cautious in his approach, and steadfast in his convictions. Di Shillo and her office staff, Jamie Doucette, Dee Ross, Kapri Thomas, and Stacy Hoch, worked tirelessly all summer trying to keep up with the constant demand for testing, patient administration and normal office visits.
Willard Soper and Dicky Riegel led the ICB team scheduling and hosting our IHP/ICB Zoom meetings, as often as three times a week since March. These calls established the information disseminated over the past eight months. ICB has done a fantastic job, and we are so lucky to have its elected and appointed representatives always working for the betterment of Fishers Island.
Ginny Wilmerding jumped into gear to help us from the beginning, as she was here in the states from Hong Kong. We could not have produced all the letters, updates, FAQs, etc. without her excellent writing expertise.
Candy Whitman of Union Chapel was our steady, conscientious and caring ICB representative who looked out for everyone. Her thoughtful insights into the needs of others were outstanding and not surprising.
Mimi Gary, of FIDCO, was also our eyes and ears to concerns and needs of the Island community. She has a wealth of knowledge and was always available to add important facts and ideas.
Mecky Kuijpers, Amelia Riegel and Nick Wilmerding were our summer contact tracers, COVID-19 Census watchers, office help and our link to the younger generation. Their technological skills and creative thinking added much to our success. They put in countless hours of work, and I am not sure where we would be had they not been on our team. They are still helping us as needed.
Diane Baker, Maisie Pollard and Di Shillo, all on on my IHP board, were instrumental in every aspect of this effort. We could always count on them for advice and thoughtful suggestions as they are all involved in the healthcare world.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the clubs, their presidents and managers, and all Island businesses and organizations who adhered to our recommendations and kept us apprised of how their entities would operate this past summer. Also, some of the teenage children of Islanders were instrumental in reaching out to their generation and helped get information to their group. There are more people, too numerous to name, who selflessly gave their time, and who also deserve our gratitude.
Finally, Jane Ahrens. You all know her and the fantastic job she does with the Fog Horn and fishersisland.net. We could not have accomplished what we did without her! In spite of the mountain of extra work this summer, she was always there, with a smile, saying, “I can get this online first thing tomorrow,” or “When do you want it out there?”
So, a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who helped us this year. They say it takes a village, but this took an Island. It was a group effort, and we should be proud of the job we accomplished. Let’s hope summer 2021 is a normal summer.
Stay safe and healthy wherever you may be.
Susie Parsons, President Island Health Project