A breath of fresh air: Bayside’s St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital marks completion of respiratory care center

Photo by Carlotta Mohamed/QNS

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday to celebrate the completion of its new Center for Pediatric Respiratory care, a 22,300-square-foot expansion of the hospital’s pediatric facilities. 

St. Mary’s President and CEO Dr. Edwin Simpser was joined by Cindy Johnson, Norman Feinberg, Attilio and Beverly Petrocelli, and the Kids for Kids Foundation, whose generosity was instrumental in the completion of the project at the hospital, located at 29-01 216th St. in Bayside.

“Today marks a historic moment in the history of our hospital,” said Simpser. “Expanding the number of ventilator-equipped beds will allow us to care for more children than ever, helping us fulfill our mission of serving New York’s most critically ill and injured children. We’re so deeply grateful to the Johnson family, Norman Feinberg, the Petrocelli family and the Kids for Kids Foundation for their work making this extraordinary project into a reality.”

The capital project transformed 22,300 square feet of administrative space into a state-of-the-art facility. The 27 ventilator-equipped beds will be in multiple two-bedded patient rooms, which provide comfortable space for children’s accessibility, equipment needs, family visits and privacy.

(Photos courtesy of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children)
(Photos courtesy of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children)

According to the Medicaid Redesign Workgroup on Medically Fragile Children, nearly 100 of New York’s children who require ventilator-equipped beds are forced to seek care out of state due to high demand. St. Mary’s — the only pediatric post-acute care facility in New York City — was already operating at 100 percent capacity. The expansion will allow the hospital to meet the growing need for pediatric respiratory care.

The renovation has included a new Great Room, a communal space for recreation, education, visitation and dining. The transformation will provide home-like amenities that put patients into a total-healing environment.

“In times of struggle, the proper support and facilities are crucial to help sick children and their families. That’s why we were so thrilled to support the new expansion at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children,” said Robert Catalano, founder and board chair of the Kids for Kids Foundation. “We look forward to continuing our work with St. Mary’s to provide care and support for any child who needs it.”

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