Margaret Carpenter, a longtime Lawrence, N.Y., resident, volunteer and member of the Episcopal Health Services Inc. board of trustees, will be honored with her name attached to St. John’s Medical Group’s first women’s health center opening in Far Rockaway in winter 2022.
The Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center, located at 105-38 Rockaway Beach Blvd., will be the first health center of its kind on the peninsula. Carpenter is the second vice chair of the board of trustees and has been instrumental in the health system’s development over the past four decades.
Carpenter has been an active volunteer across many organizations in the communities of the Rockaways and Five Towns, but her connection to Episcopal Health Services Inc. — the corporate entity of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital — began in the late 1970s, when she would bring her father to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital while he was battling emphysema.
At that time, she witnessed the important role the hospital played in the lives of many people in the community. While the doctors, nurses and other staff at the hospital were caring and attentive to her father, it was clear to Carpenter that she could be helpful to the hospital. Back then, the emergency department’s reception area was in a makeshift location in part of the hospital’s boardroom, and the hospital was in need of equipment in order to be the caring and responsive resource the community needed.
“It dawned on me that we must build the hospital into something better, because when people in the area call 911, this is where they are going to come,” Carpenter said. “That’s when I really began in earnest to try to help the hospital.”
While Carpenter is proud of the hospital’s growth, she credits that growth to the work of many others.
“It’s not my style to have my name on anything. What I like to do is to help people, and that in itself makes me happy,” Carpenter said. “Throughout the years, the community and hospital personnel all worked together to raise funds for critical care. It has been joy to do — to see equipment come in and see the hospital thriving. It makes me really happy.”
Carpenter is also pleased to see the hospital continue to play a strong role in the community, continuing its mission of delivering high-quality, value-based services with cultural sensitivity to the faiths and traditions of those the hospital serves.
“I’m very proud of this hospital because it is faith based, and takes care of anyone who needs help, regardless of insurance and their ability to pay,” Carpenter said. “We are all children of God. And, we are all family caring for one another.”
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital providing emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved populations of the Rockaways and Five Towns in southern Queens County and southwestern Nassau County, New York.
Celebrating over 110 years of community care, the 257-bed facility provides people of all faiths with comprehensive preventative, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative services, regardless of ability to pay.