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Meng helps secure $3 million for new labor and delivery wing at Elmhurst Hospital

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng and representatives from the office of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visited Elmhurst Hospital to celebrate $3 million in federal funding secured for a new Labor and Delivery unit on the hospital’s fifth floor.

In honor of Women’s Health Month in May, Meng led a “wall-breaking” ceremony before touring the current Labor and Delivery unity to see where the future renovations will take place.

Federal funding for the initiative — which will support the hospital’s goal of improving health indicators for pregnant women and decreasing maternal and infant mortality rates — was made available under the Community Project Funding Program and through the offices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.

Black and Native American women in the U.S. are three times more likely to die than white women from pregnancy-related causes, and black babies are twice as likely to die than white babies, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While 700 pregnancy deaths occur per year, two-thirds of them are considered to be preventable.

Rep. Grace Meng and representatives from the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visited Elmhurst Hospital to celebrate $3 million in federal funding secured for a new Labor and Delivery unit on the hospital’s fifth floor.

In New York City, black women have an eight times greater risk of pregnancy-related death than white women. They were also three times more likely than their white counterparts to experience severe maternal morbidity, which can include blood clots, kidney failure, stroke or heart attack.

Meng said she was proud to deliver the federal funds to the local hospital, enabling expanded access and care to families. Construction of the new hospital wing is scheduled for spring and summer 2022

“Elmhurst plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of our communities, and I cannot wait until the renovation is completed,” Meng said. “All families deserve a modern, safe, and equitable maternal health care experience, and investments like this are needed to ensure that the hospital can continue to provide efficient, high-quality and state of the art services that local residents need and deserve. It is also crucial to meet the growing needs of the area. When the COVID-19 crisis began, NYC Health + Hospitals in Elmhurst was in the heart of the epicenter, and this project is an example of how we must build back better and stronger as we work to recover from the pandemic. I’m excited for this renovation to begin, and look forward to the upgrades benefiting Queens families for decades to come.”

Meng also took part in a patient baby shower co-sponsored by MetroPlusHealth, which included educational presentations on prenatal care, breastfeeding, safe sleep, nutrition, and the hospital’s doula program. Community-based organizations CommonPoint Queens and the Queens Museum also joined in the baby shower events. Following presentations, patients had the opportunity to win prizes by answering trivia questions related to well-baby care.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst CEO Helen Arteaga-Landaverde said that she is beyond ecstatic and grateful to lawmakers who will help see the project through to its completion..

“Our expectant mothers and newborns will greatly benefit from these investments in infrastructure and improving patient care and patient satisfaction at our facility,” Arteaga-Landaverde said. “We look forward to working closely with our federal legislators to ensure that Elmhurst has the resources it needs to meet the growing healthcare demands of our community.”

Pandemic predators

Dear Editor,
I’m shocked by accusations that “nonprofit” hospitals sued patients and filed liens against their homes during the COVID crisis, despite receiving state emergency funds.
The Coalition for Affordable Hospitals, a group of labor unions, claims that 55 hospitals sued nearly 4,000 patients for medical debt while getting over $442 million from the state’s Indigent Care Pool.
These pandemic predators exploited taxpayers and patients out of sheer greed. Among the worst culprits, says the Coalition, is Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system a biggest private employer with 23 hospitals, 650 outpatient facilities and more than 70,000 staffers.
Its president & CEO, Michael Dowling, got a total compensation exceeding $4 million last year, ten times higher than President Joe Biden’s salary. Not bad for the head of an enterprise designated as a “nonprofit, tax exempt” organization by New York State and the federal government.
In television commercials, hospitals portray themselves as compassionate lifelines to their communities. But their bottom line takes top priority in real life.
They are nonprofit profiteers who violated a basic mandate of medicine: “First, do no harm.” State leaders and regulatory agencies must probe and penalize them for financial abuse.
Sincerely,
Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Elmhurst honors those affected by COVID, cancer

The front facade of Elmhurst Hospital now features 655 lights, each paying tribute to a frontline worker, cancer survivor or someone affected by COVID-19.
Last week, the hospital illuminated the exterior exhibit while remembering and honoring those affected.
“Cancer has touched so many of our lives and, as we all know, so did COVID,” said Elmhurst Hospital CEO Helen Arteaga. “Even in my own family we’ve suffered from both cancer and COVID. Today, we stand just a little bit brighter because we are reminded by these lights that there is always light in sadness.”
The first ten names on the 90-foot long installation are staff members from Elmhurst and Queens hospitals that passed away due to COVID-19. Integrated into the exhibit are photos of the community and hospital workers.
Paddle for a Cure NYC, a support organization for breast cancer survivors/supporters, and Women in Lighting and Design (WILD), a networking organization for women in the architectural lighting community were integral in creating the exhibit.
Leah Salmorin, CEO of Paddle for a Cure NYC, expressed her gratitude to Elmhurst Hospital workers who comforted her during her own treatment for breast cancer and COVID-19.
“By coming together, we share our emotional support for each other,” she said. “Be a light to others and be a light to yourselves. The brighter we shine the better the world will become.”
WILD President Kelly Roberts said the exhibit creates a place for people who have been affected by the pandemic to be remembered, especially in one of the areas hardest hit by COVID.
“We decided to use light to bring joy back to the Elmhurst community,” she said. “This connection and interaction with the installation is exactly what we hoped and envisioned for the community.”
Lights are still available to be purchased in tribute of a loved one or friend, to remember those lost or to celebrate those who survived from all cancers or COVID, or to thank a frontline worker. Visit pfcnyc.org/lightforlife

Beep announces new Elmhurst Hospital funding

Borough President Donovan Richards last week announced two multi-million dollar allocations for new projects at Elmhurst Hospital. The event also served as a celebration of the borough’s healthcare workers who have spent over a year on the frontline fighting the pandemic.
“A year ago, Elmhurst Hospital was the epicenter of the epicenter of the world’s worst public health crisis in a century,” Richards said before a crowd of doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. “The staff here at Elmhurst Hospital were working double and triple shifts to fight a virus we knew nothing about. They handled the unprecedented crisis with true grace and kindness.”
“The best thing you can do to support health and hospitals is to hire the best people and support the best people,” added Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals
The funding will be used to build a new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Elmhurst Hospital. The facility will be the first of its kind in Queens and will serve children in need of immediate medical attention.
Additionally, the investment will support the conversion of two undersized operating rooms into full-service operating rooms.
“We have secured more than $5 million for projects at Elmhurst Hospital that will expand access to critical care for thousands of families,” Richards said.
He also stressed the need for a more centralized medical center for Queens.
“No family in Far Rockaway or Long Island City should have to travel more than 30 minutes by car or 90 minutes by public transportation to get the care that they need,” he said.
“Over the course of the last year we have been clapping for our healthcare heroes,” said Richards, “but one of the commitments I made when I was elected Borough President was that I would not simply clap for you but that we were gonna put our money where our mouth is.”
Richards also celebrated the over one-million people who have been vaccinated in Queens, a figure that leads all other counties in New York State.
Other elected officials, including State Senator Jessica Ramos, Councilman Fancisco Moya, and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz also spoke at the event.
“I know that as the years continue and as you continue to be reelected, which I know we aren’t here to talk about but I just got to plug that in, I know that your commitment will always be with the people,” said Cruz, “the people that need it.”
Richards is facing a primary battle against Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and former councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley next month. He took office last year after winning a special election to fill the seat.
Councilman Danny Dromm, who chairs the Finance Committee, stated his intention to direct more money to Elmhurst Hospital in the finalized $90 billion budget proposal.
“It doesn’t matter if your documented or undocumented, rich or poor, when you come to Elmhurst Hospital you get the service that you need,” he said.

Beep announces new Elmhurst Hospital funding

Borough President Donovan Richards last week announced two multi-million dollar allocations for new projects at Elmhurst Hospital. The event also served as a celebration of the borough’s healthcare workers who have spent over a year on the frontline fighting the pandemic.
“A year ago, Elmhurst Hospital was the epicenter of the epicenter of the world’s worst public health crisis in a century,” Richards said before a crowd of doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. “The staff here at Elmhurst Hospital were working double and triple shifts to fight a virus we knew nothing about. They handled the unprecedented crisis with true grace and kindness.”
“The best thing you can do to support health and hospitals is to hire the best people and support the best people,” added Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals
The funding will be used to build a new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Elmhurst Hospital. The facility will be the first of its kind in Queens and will serve children in need of immediate medical attention.
Additionally, the investment will support the conversion of two undersized operating rooms into full-service operating rooms.
“We have secured more than $5 million for projects at Elmhurst Hospital that will expand access to critical care for thousands of families,” Richards said.
He also stressed the need for a more centralized medical center for Queens.
“No family in Far Rockaway or Long Island City should have to travel more than 30 minutes by car or 90 minutes by public transportation to get the care that they need,” he said.
“Over the course of the last year we have been clapping for our healthcare heroes,” said Richards, “but one of the commitments I made when I was elected Borough President was that I would not simply clap for you but that we were gonna put our money where our mouth is.”
Richards also celebrated the over one-million people who have been vaccinated in Queens, a figure that leads all other counties in New York State.
Other elected officials, including State Senator Jessica Ramos, Councilman Fancisco Moya, and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz also spoke at the event.
“I know that as the years continue and as you continue to be reelected, which I know we aren’t here to talk about but I just got to plug that in, I know that your commitment will always be with the people,” said Cruz, “the people that need it.”
Richards is facing a primary battle against Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and former councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley next month. He took office last year after winning a special election to fill the seat.
Councilman Danny Dromm, who chairs the Finance Committee, stated his intention to direct more money to Elmhurst Hospital in the finalized $90 billion budget proposal.
“It doesn’t matter if your documented or undocumented, rich or poor, when you come to Elmhurst Hospital you get the service that you need,” he said.

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