Gianaris works hard to provide health care for residents

I write to thank state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) for his support for increased health care options in western Queens, where we are plagued with pollution-emitting power plants that have caused a high rate of asthma and emphysema throughout the community.

I would also like to set the record straight that he has been one of the leading proponents of greater health care for people in need, including the expansion of Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens. We are lucky to have elected officials like Gianaris standing up for all members of this community, particularly those who are in need of extra care.

Gianaris, understanding the increased need for care following numerous hospital closures in Queens, continues to be one of our community’s strongest allies and advocates for additional hospital beds. Since becoming a member of the state Legislature, he has been an outspoken proponent not only for the expansion of Mount Sinai, but for increased health care options for everyone in western Queens.

Indeed, as recently as February Gianaris led his Queens colleagues in requesting the state Department of Health approve Mount Sinai’s application for a Certificate of Need to construct a new, modern hospital building. Such an addition to the hospital would not only increase the number of beds, services and care provided by the hospital but it would also create hundreds of permanent and construction jobs.

While a member of the state Assembly, Gianaris requested $5 million for the expansion of the hospital through the Assembly speaker.

It is my understanding that he was also successful in securing $250,000 in state funding for a new CT scanner for Mount Sinai to help diagnose and treat patients more efficiently.

Understanding the increasing, urgent need for improved health care in western Queens, Gianaris was a strong advocate for allocating the settlement money from the 2006 Con Edison blackout that affected thousands of western Queens residents and hurt hundreds of local businesses to improving health care options for those affected.

In previous years, Gianaris co-hosted an annual health fair, which offered free blood pressure, cholesterol level, bone density and asthma screenings to neighborhood residents. Gianaris also sponsored free flu shots for area seniors.

Gianaris’ record speaks for itself and shows that he is in tune with the current quality of life in western Queens and how it needs to be improved. Not only has he been a strong proponent of green energy production to make our air cleaner and decrease the number of asthma and emphysema cases in this community, but he has also been one of Mount Sinai’s strongest advocates in its expansion efforts, which will better serve our health care needs.

It is clear he is committed to improving health care in western Queens and throughout the borough. We are lucky to have such a dedicated representative who understands the needs of this community and works relentlessly on our behalf.

Tony Gigantiello


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