By Phil Corso
Yoel Lichstein has already collected two decades of experience in the nursing and rehabilitation business, but recently signed onto a Queens health care facility with hopes of matching the borough’s culturally diverse landscape.
Lichstein, a resident of Rockland County, said his goal was to take a good reputation at Jamaica Hills’ Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and make it great. He became the facility’s newest executive director as one of many new names on the staff to keep the brand’s name strong.
“We want to have this community continue to view us as a resource,” Lichstein said. “And our guiding principle will be diversity.”
Margaret Tietz, located at 164-11 Chapin Pkwy., has been providing three different levels of care for Queens residents since 1971, including short-term recovery, long-term rehabilitation and end-of-life hospice care. It opened in 1971, originally operating as a home for Holocaust survivors. The facility’s new director brought new and old staff members together Tuesday for a meet-and-greet with the area’s elected officials to re-enforce Margaret Tietz’s role as a premier health care center in Queens.
Lichstein joined along with four other new staffers filling the roles of associate administrator, director of clinincal services, senior social worker and case manager, after he said several long-time employees retired from Margaret Tietz.
“We have long benefited from our close relationship with elected officials,” Lichstein said. “We’ve had a voice through them.”
And it was through that voice that Lichstein said he hoped to promote the facility’s more focused approach toward cultural diversity for its roughly 200 residents from across the borough.
Joan Skyers, director of clinical services, said Margaret Tietz would be working with different groups across several ethnic backgrounds in Queens to build a more rich and cultural program there. She said the facility would be instituting new training courses for caregivers to ensure ethnic and religious sensitivity across the board.
“The cultural diversity in Queens is amazing,” Skyers said. “We want our staff to be culturally sensitive to different customs and traditions.”
A pack of Queens elected officials from the city, state and federal levels stopped by the Jamaica Hills center Tuesday to meet with the new executive director and express their support, some of whom drew from personal experiences.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) remarked on the facility’s caretaking of her grandfather, who died peacefully there several years ago.
“The staff and administration were great,” she said. “Every minute he was here, they made it as wonderful an experience as it could be for him.”
Other elected officials who met with the new director included state Assembly members Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) and Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.