BY DEAN MOSES
When former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman passed away in August, the loss of the woman dubbed the “Queen of Queens” was felt by countless constituents throughout the borough. In order to celebrate her life and to thank Shulman for her support to NYC Health + Hospitals during her political tenure and beyond, Elmhurst Hospital held a virtual donor wall unveiling on Nov. 18.
Prior to the unveiling, the video stream featured many of Shulman’s peers, along with individuals whose lives have been touched by the well-renowned figure. The ceremony saw speakers such as current acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, Schneps Media President Victoria Schneps, Queens Borough President-elect Donavan Richards, Attorney General of New York State Letitia James, beside additional distinguished persons who joined the celebration to express their gratitude for Shulman’s friendship and her contributions to Queens.
“Dearest Claire, how do I love you? Let me count the ways: You were my mentor, my inspiration, my traveling companion, my best friend and my cheerleader,” Schneps said.
Flashing across the live stream, dedication contributors appeared one by one sharing their fond memories of Shulman. Many alluded to the innumerable barriers she broke, blazing a trail for countless women to follow in her footsteps.
“Claire Shulman not only served as the political heartbeat of this great borough. She gave life to so many of its dreams, including my own. I will not limit her just to Queens,” James said.
As much as the webcast strived to honor Shulman as a person, it also emphasized the importance of celebrating her actions.
Prior to becoming the first-ever female Queens borough president, Shulman served her community as a registered nurse at Queens hospital. She advocated for the importance of the medical profession throughout the course of her life, aiding in the funding of institutions including Elmhurst Hospital.
“It is almost impossible to think about the borough of Queens without thinking about the late, great Claire Shulman. She was a political force of legendary authority and impact, but it was her passionate advocacy for the quality of life in Queens and the well being of everyone living here that will be her legacy,” said former CEO of Elmhurst Hospital Israel Rocha.
The Claire Shulman Donor wall is a lavish façade located within Elmhurst Hospital embedded with an electronic screen, which exhibits and credits the names of those who have made financial contributions to Elmhurst Hospital, allowing for advanced care and innovative procedures residents of southeast Queens can benefit from.