Protecting Community - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1789719

Protecting Community

It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Mayor Jesse Warren for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the director of a local healthcare center and a registered nurse and certified perioperative nurse, I had the pleasure of collaborating with Mayor Warren throughout the pandemic to ensure that our community remained safe and healthy. His unwavering work ethic and dedication to serving this village resulted in measures that protected thousands of residents.

Most notably, Mayor Warren and I worked to establish the East End’s first COVID-19 PCR and rapid antigen testing site, and continued to hold testing throughout the pandemic. These sites not only served Southampton Village residents but also attracted those from adjacent municipalities, demonstrating that Mayor Warren was a leader among his neighboring mayoral counterparts.

He also bottled and circulated hundreds of hand sanitizer bottles, distributed thousands of masks to residents and local business owners, and secured N95 masks, ventilators, gowns, and oxygen tanks for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. His diligent efforts led Southampton to have the lowest COVID-19 positivity rates in New York State, even amid an influx of new residents from urban areas. He was also the first mayor in New York State to establish a mask mandate, a decision initially met with controversy but one that proved crucial to keeping our community safe.

I was also impressed by his efforts to secure greater vaccine supply for our local federally qualified health center. He wrote personal letters to numerous public officials with this request and made sure to state that FQHCs are highly effective in reaching communities of color, rural and semi-rural communities, and seniors above the age of 80 who could not book appointments online. Recognizing that FQHCs would help these high-risk groups receive the care they needed, he was vigilant in ensuring that our local FQHC was well equipped to serve them.

When the time came to distribute vaccines, Mayor Warren’s stellar communication skills were on full display. He called nearly every senior village resident to inquire as to whether they wanted a vaccine, and promptly shared this data with me to ensure that each of them was serviced as quickly as possible. The village reaped the benefits of his hard work: Every senior resident who wanted a vaccine received one by mid-March.

As residents of the East End with a young family, my husband, Dr. Sang Pak, general surgeon, Southampton, and I are committed to promoting health and safety within our community. Health care has always been our foremost priority.

To that end, I support Mayor Warren wholeheartedly.

Joy Pak, RN, CNOR