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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.

Borough Hall dubbed ‘One Claire Shulman Way’

When Claire Shulman passed away last August at the age of 94, Queens lost one of its greatest advocates. However, the legacy of the borough’s trailblazing first female borough president continues to live on and inspire.
This past Monday, Borough President Donovan Richards presided over a ceremony unveiling “One Claire Shulman Way” as the vanity address of Borough Hall.
“Claire Shulman was a larger-than-life figure who consistently defied expectations with her uncanny ability to get things done for the people of Queens,” said Richards. “Her death last year was a huge loss to all of us who relied on her friendship and counsel, but we keep her legacy and memory alive by permanently and prominently affixing her name to Queens Borough Hall.
“From now on, everyone who visits the people’s house will see the name of Claire Shulman and reflect on the great work she did to build a better Queens,” he added.
Shulman was one of the first people to get behind Richards’ campaign for borough president.
“Claire Shulman was my unofficial campaign manager,” Richards said. “I can’t believe she supported me.”
Shulman served as Borough President from 1986 until 2002, and played a role in a wide range of issues.
Her accomplishments included the rezoning of dozens of neighborhoods to curb overdevelopment, expanding the borough’s infrastructure, and increasing funding to senior citizen centers, cultural programs and libraries.
“She expected a lot out of me and she expected a lot out of everyone,” explained Larry Schulman, the son of the late borough president. “She could not give up the task of making Queens a better place.”
Former borough president and current Queens district attorney Melinda Katz echoed similar sentiments.
“Claire was a loving person, there was no doubt about it, but she was tough,” said Katz. “I am proud of the years I had working under her and the years I had working with her.”
Taking part in the ceremony were former borough president Sharron Lee and City Council members Karen Koslowitz and Barry Grodenchik.
“There is B.C. Queens and A.C. Queens, before Claire Shulman and after Claire Shulman” said Grodenchik. “There is not a single neighborhood she didn’t touch.”

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