By Mark Hallum
The Parker Institute for Health care and Rehabilitation said it is planning to establish an Indian Cultural Unit, a facility dedicated to serving the Indian population of Queens and Nassau Counties.
Established in 1907 as a shelter for 25 indigent men, the Parker Institute has grown into a network of community programs which oversee the health and wellness of adults. The new unit will focus on patients in Indian communities suffering from short and long-term conditions and their families.
“The health care programs and services of our Cultural Indian Unit will be similar to those of all our residents and patients. The difference and uniqueness of the unit will be that the cultural identification of those patients and residents will be focused on the foods, art, language and entertainment that are particular to the Indian community,” Assistant Vice President of Corporate Outreach and Development Lina Scacco said. “Staff will be able to speak to the residents and patients on that unit in their language as well as offer food that is culturally specific to the Indian community.”
Parker CEO Michael Rosenblut said the new unit will serve a growing demographic in parts of Queens and Long Island.
“Parker plans to dedicate a unit to meet the needs of Queens and Nassau’s growing Indian population,” Rosenblut stated. “The unit will feature clinical and front line staff fluent in Indian languages, as well as Indian newspapers and movies, plus traditional Indian meals made fresh daily, prepared by our chefs. There will also be Indian recreation and cultural entertainment, and, of course, Indian-inspired décor and artwork.”
The organization held an inaugural ceremony for the new unit Dec. 5 which 100 members of the Indian community attended.
The ceremony included remarks from retired surgeon Indravadan Shah, who was acknowledged for influencing the community to attend the event.
Dr. Uma Mysorekar, an OBGYN, also spoke at the inauguration. President of the Hindu Temple Society of North America and a community advocate, Mysorekar has been nominated by the TimesLedger for a Queens Ambassador Award for her success in the medical field and her work with the immigrants.
The Hindu Temple Society of North America initiates programs to bring the Indian community together through spiritual, educational and cultural activities.
The unit is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017. The Indian Cultural Unit will be located on the fifth floor of the Parker Institute’s facility at 271-11 76th Ave., New Hyde Park.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall