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Local businessman donates $1 million to NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens

(From l. to r.) Nagatheepan Mahalingam, assistant director, Queens Ambulatory Care Services; Tricia Roberts, Queens chief financial officer; Hari Hariharan, Donor; Neil J. Moore, Queens chief executive officer; Anthony Andrews, Queens Community Advisory board chair; New York State Assemblymember David Weprin; Dean Mihaltses, Queens chief operating officer. (Photo courtesy of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens)

NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, a major healthcare provider in the borough, received a $1 million donation from a local businessman that will help fund new diabetes management services at the hospital and update related equipment, including a wide field camera for ophthalmology clinic, and upgrades to existing exam rooms that will be acquired this summer. 

Hari Hariharan, who recently received his COVID-19 vaccine at the hospital in February, was impressed by the kindness, professionalism and efficiency of the staff, which encouraged his decision to make the donation to the hospital on Friday, April 23. 

“When I recently came to NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens to receive services, I was blown away by what I saw — a caring organization set amidst a magnificent, multicultural and multiethnic community,” said Hariharan, chairman and CEO of NWI Management LP, an alternative investment adviser. “I observed a certain urgency to get things done, which I found impressive during a pandemic. It was an eye-opener for me, a moment of enlightenment. I am delighted to be able to contribute toward the hospital’s success in providing quality healthcare for the people of Queens County.”

Neil Moore, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, said they’re honored to accept the generous contribution from Hariharan on behalf of the central and southeast Queens communities. According to Moore, after his experience at the hospital, Hariharan reached out to leadership to express his interest in making a donation that would help the hospital address a major health concern impacting their community. 

“The fact is that diabetes is a prevalent health concern in the communities we serve, which is why our hospital has designated a Center of Excellence in Diabetes Management,” Moore said. “I am confident that this funding will lead to improved management of patients and ultimately the saving of precious lives.”

The hospital has approximately 7,000 diabetic patients in its registry who come to the hospital’s Center of Excellence in Diabetes Management for care. The center offers a nutritionist, a diabetes educator to help patients achieve specific goals in the management of diabetes, and clinical research involving the diabetic population. 

Hariharan’s donation will help fund the following upgrades to the hospital’s diabetes management services, which includes the ophthalmology clinic:

  • Lumera microscope: A device used to perform vitreo-retinal surgery in patients with diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the retina caused by diabetes that if left untreated can result in loss of vision;
    Wide field camera: A device utilized in the ophthalmology clinic to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, as well as other ocular conditions, by displaying images of blood vessel;
  • Slit-lamp camera: A device used in the general examination of the eye and to capture images and findings digitally;
  • Laser system: A device used to manage select ocular conditions, like cataracts and opacities, occurring on their own or as related to diabetes;
  • Visual field machine: A device used in the general examination of the eye; and
  • Upgrades to exam rooms: The nine examination rooms in the eye clinic will be updated, including replacing existing furniture and related computer software. This upgrade would benefit all eye clinic patients, particularly those with diabetic ocular complications.

As chairperson of the hospital’s community advisory board, Anthony Andrews thanked Hariharan for his financial support that will assist in addressing the critical issue that has disproportionately impacted the surrounding communities. 

“Thanks to the entire team who worked together to make this happen, and we again thank Mr. Hariharan for making NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens your personal choice for quality healthcare,” Andrews said. 

Hariharan was also recognized by Queens elected officials for his significant contribution to the hospital. 

Senator Leroy Comrie commended Hariharan for his donation to one of the community’s preeminent public healthcare facilities, saying that the enhancements funding by the donation will make an enormous impact on the quality of care for the thousands of diabetic patients who use NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens for their treatment. 

“The tremendous medical staff and administrators of Queens hospital have worked valiantly throughout the pandemic and are well-deserving of this generous support,” Comrie Jr. said. 

Assemblyman David Weprin said Hariharn is a shining example of a New Yorker giving back to the community. 

“His donation to the Center for Excellence in Diabetes Management at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens will save lives and improve the quality of life for people diagnosed with diabetes. May we all learn from his example of generosity and compassion,” Weprin said.

Councilman James Gennaro called Hariharan’s gesture a “most selfless gift to the people of New York City.”

“This donation for the diabetic ophthalmology services at the hospital expands their already extensive capabilities even further. Technology that can accurately detect diseases that stem from diabetes will give patients and physicians the chance to catch and treat degenerative problems before they develop further,” Gennaro said. 

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