The city has appointed new CEOs to serve at two of Queens’ major public hospitals, President and CEO of Health + Hospitals Michell Katz announced on Friday, Jan. 29.
Helen Arteaga Landaverde will be the new CEO of Elmhurst Hospital in Corona and Neil J. Moore will be the new CEO of Queens Hospital in Jamaica. They will help lead their respective hospitals’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and address the ongoing public health challenges that some of the borough’s hardest hit communities still face.
Katz said they’re excited to welcome two New Yorkers with history in the city’s health system.
“Helen’s proven success in establishing and running community health centers, and her own family’s lifetime experience in healthcare advocacy, will help her further strengthen Elmhurst and continue to meet existing and prospective patients where they need us the most,” Katz said. “And it’s a great honor to welcome Neil back to our system and have him share his healthcare expertise and passion with yet another NYC Health + Hospitals facility. I’m looking forward to working with both in their new roles as CEOs and seeing these two hospitals continue to flourish for our Queens residents.”
Both Arteaga and Moore also bring with them a deep personal connection to the Queens communities they will serve.
Arteaga, a longtime resident of Corona, dreamed of establishing a community health center that would provide quality health care to local residents. After her community activist father passed away from Leukemia at Elmhurst Hospital years ago, she set out to build that center.
Arteaga went on to open Plaza del Sol Family Health Center in Corona in 2009, with the help of Urban Health Plan, Inc.’s CEO and President Paloma Hernandez. Last year, Plaza del Sol provided care to more than 29,000 patients regardless of their ability to pay for the service.
“The cultures of Elmhurst Hospital and Plaza del Sol are the same, it being giving access to healthcare to anyone that knocks on its doors,” Arteaga said, adding that she often worked with Elmhurst Hospital when a patient needed urgent care.
Arteaga told QNS her appointment at Elmhurst Hospital is a “full circle moment.”
She couldn’t help but remember her dad, who she said always encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
“Every time I would doubt myself, I would hear his voice, like, ‘No, Helen, there’s nothing you can’t do as long as you put hard work to it,’” Arteaga said. “So the fact that I come back to Elmhurst Hospital as a CEO, it’s like [hearing] his voice again saying, ‘Mija, you did it, and now your impact to our community is even going to be bigger.’ And through that, I feel it’s the work of God. I’m so blessed.”
Arteaga has big plans for Elmhurst Hospital, including ensuring everyone who wants the COVID-19 vaccine can get it as well as securing funds in order to expand operations, increase the number of beds for their maternity ward and procure the tools their staff needs “to become a stronger team.”
When asked what may be Elmhurst Hospital’s most important work in trying to combat COVID-19 and the new strains in a community still reeling from the pandemic — other than ensuring at-risk communities get vaccinated — Arteaga said it will be finding ways to communicate safety precautions in a culturally effective way.
“The community already looks to it as a beacon of light, and now we need to make sure we’re communicating back saying, ‘We hear you, and this is what we need to tell you how to keep safe,’” Arteaga, who is Ecuadorian and speaks fluent Spanish, said. “We need to learn how to communicate that to so many different cultures we serve. What does that mean? Being six feet away doesn’t mean that I love you any less, or because I can’t touch you at this moment, that doesn’t mean I can’t feel connected to you.”
Arteaga has been with Urban Health Plan, a system of community health centers, for 15 years, most recently serving as Assistant Vice President of the Queens Network and Executive Initiatives since 2015. Prior to her work with Urban Health Plan, she held various positions at Northwell Health System in Queens.
Arteaga has a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She also completed a fellowship with the National Hispanic Leadership Institute and Harvard Kennedy School of Government in September 2010. She is currently completing her doctoral degree at CUNY-School of Public Health.
Arteaga will begin her role as CEO of Elmhurst Hospital on Feb. 8.
Moore has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience, and is returning to the city’s public health system after dedicating a decade to various financial and operating roles at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, Kings County and Woodhull.
Moore even interned at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County before graduating from George W. Wingate High School in Brooklyn.
Moore told QNS he’s excited to work at Queens Hospital, one of the hospitals that had a key response to COVID-19.
“It’s also me returning home to New York, which I’ve been away from for the last 15 years,” Moore said.
Moore’s most recent position has been Principal of LIEN Healthcare Solutions, a consulting firm providing services in the areas of start-ups, financial turnarounds and strategic planning. Before LIEN, Moore was employed by University of Maryland Capital Region Health, formerly Dimensions Healthcare System (DHS), as president and CEO, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
At DHS, Moore was responsible for an integrated health system comprised of a number of healthcare facilities. There, he led the system through a challenging period with significant financial and operational improvements that resulted in building a new regional medical center for the residents of Prince George’s County.
Moore said that in his new role at Queens Hospital, he will be working in collaboration with hospital colleagues in order to continue the work they have been doing throughout the pandemic.
“What I really want to do is lean in on those individuals who have done a tremendous amount of work — the clinicians as well as the administrative staff — in running the facility and getting it to where it is, [to end] the COVID-19 epidemic,” Moore said.
Moore is also dedicated to community service. He’s sat on numerous boards and advisory committees, participated in roundtable discussions, presented on a national level, holds several organizational memberships and has mentored several aspiring healthcare individuals.
Moore received his BS from St. Joseph College in Brooklyn, his Master of Public Administration in Health Policy from Long Island University, and his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the New York Institute of Technology.
Moore will begin his role as CEO of Queens Hospital on Feb. 15.