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Grand Care Pharmacy gives community a boost

Amid the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Grand Care Pharmacy in Maspeth is ready to serve the community.
“At Grand Care Pharmacy, we are giving out booster shots to eligible people of all ages and communities,” said Dr. Trevor Latchminarain, pharmacist and owner at Grand Care Pharmacy. “We vaccinate approximately 60 to 80 patients daily with the booster shots. We are so happy to see that so many people have confidence in the vaccine, while at the same time ensuring that our communities are staying safe.”
Latchminarain says patients have been eager to get their booster shots and the pharmacy has been getting positive feedback from patients.
“The only requirement for getting the booster shot is ensuring that you are within the eligible time frame to obtain it,” Latchminarain says. “If you received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, you would need to wait six months after your last dose. If you were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, you will need to wait two months from your last dose.”
A 2009 graduate of the St. John’s School of Pharmacy, he says some have received their COVID-19 booster shot and then came back for a flu shot the following week.
“About 25 percent of the patients who received the booster shot are also taking their flu shot,” Latchminarain says. “Some are not comfortable taking both at the same time, but they do come back for both ultimately.”
Grand Care Pharmacy also offers PCR testing. The test involves a simple nasal swab, and results are returned in less than 24-hours, making it convenient for people who need a COVID test for work or travel.
“PCR testing is free to all,” Latchminarain said. “You can fill out the form at grandcarerx.com or simply walk-in.”
Grand Care Pharmacy opened in Maspeth in July of 2019. In November, Martin Luther School honored Latchminarain with the “Shot in the Arm” Award for his efforts to support the student body.
Latchminarain has provided weekly testing to the school and used their parking lot as a weekend pop-up site for testing and vaccinations.
“Trevor has been a great addition to Maspeth’s business community and a great friend to Martin Luther School,” said executive director Jim Regan. “We were honored to recognize him.”

FCBA welcomes new board, president

The Flushing Chinese Business Association (FCBA) held a ceremony on Monday at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing to celebrate the swearing in of their new Board of Directors and the organization’s 28th president, Dr. Yaoming Wang.
“I understand that we are in a tough time,” said Dr. Wang, who is a pediatrician. “Even though we’ve made a lot of progress, we’re still in a pandemic. I am confident with the leadership in this room, we will move past the pandemic and make Flushing stronger.”
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz did the swearing in as state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Borough President Donovan Richards, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Councilman Peter Koo and Queens Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Tom Grech looked on.
“Thanks to the advocacy of Peter Tu, the Queens Chamber of Commerce has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Flushing Chinese Business Association for the past six years,” said Grech. “Queens is the most diverse community in America, and immigrants continue to find opportunity here because of the great work organizations like the FCBA do.”

Chaplain’s recovery celebrated on one-year anniversary of crash

Staff at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills celebrated the one-year anniversary of the recovery of it’s chaplain, Fr. Radu Titonea.
One year ago on August 5, Fr. Radu and Dr. Orlando Santandreu, chief of Obstetrics/Gynecology, were on jet skis when a four-foot wave caused Fr. Radu to suffer a near fatal crash.
Fr. Radu shattered his face and neck in the crash. Dr. Santandreu was 100 feet behind the chaplain when he saw him fall.
“The water was very choppy and I think that he slipped forward, and as he was coming down the jet ski was coming up and then they crashed,” said Dr. Santandreu.
“It looked like he was just jumping off and going for a swim,” he said. “I drove up to him and he was face down. I turned him over and he was bleeding.”
After getting Fr. Radu to shore, Dr. Santandreu attempted to resuscitate him with backward chest compressions. He worked on him for 20 minutes and was beginning to lose hope when a tugboat appeared and transported the pair to the hospital.
“I was literally looking for some sign, and that’s when I saw the tugboat,” said Dr. Santandreu.
Fr. Radu was intubated on a bed where he would lay unconscious for three weeks, fighting for his life. He endured three strokes.But six months later, the chaplain returned to work without any memory of the accident .
Fr. Radu credits his recovery to the power of prayer. During the time when he was unconscious, hospital staff from multiple religions came together and prayed for his recovery.
“Because of everybody’s prayers and support, I am the way I am today,” said Fr. Radu. “I consider LIJ Forest Hills my extended family, you guys were there for me.”
Fr. Radu and Dr. Santandeu had only been jet skiing together once before.
“I thought he needed more of a break than me because it was the middle of COVID, he was working a lot of hours, and he liked it and I knew that was an escape for him,” said Dr. Santandreu.

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