Queens borough president allocates $6 million in funding to NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and Jamaica Hospital

Queens funding
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced a combined $6 million in capital funding for NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on Tuesday, Aug. 23. (Photo courtesy of QBPO)

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards on Tuesday, Aug. 23, announced a combined $6 million in capital funding for the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment for NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. 

NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens will receive $5 million toward the acquisition of a new linear accelerator (LINAC), which is used to deliver external beam radiation treatments to cancer patients, along with $500,000 for renovations to its adult emergency room observation unit. 

Jamaica Hospital will receive $1.3 million for the purchase of a new MRI machine. Currently, the hospital only has one machine in use.

Richards presented a check to Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals System; Neil Moore, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens; and Bruce Flanz, president and CEO of Jamaica Hospital, outside of Queens Hospital in Jamaica. 

During the press conference, Richards reflected on the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that strained the healthcare system, as doctors and nurses sacrificed on the front lines to help patients.

As the pandemic subsides, Richards said he is committed to ensuring that institutions have the highest-quality, state-of-the-art equipment to care for patients.

“Well before COVID-19, we know Queens Hospital and Jamaica Hospital were saving lives every day, and, in some cases, they were doing it with less than the state-of-the-art equipment they deserve,” Richards said. “These two hospitals, predominantly serving working-class and immigrant communities, deserve better.”

“At the end of the day, our hospitals are the lifelines of our communities. They are where our lives begin, and in some cases, they’re where they end. For all of those years in between, each one of us deserves nothing short of high-quality care — no matter your social, economic status, no matter who you love and where you come from,” Richards added. “Our hospitals should be a place that welcomes everyone and be equipped with the same quality of any hospital in Manhattan or anywhere else.”

Moore and Flanz thanked the borough president for his contribution to the hospital.

“The new accelerator will replace an older machine that we have. The funds provided for the ER room will also give us the ability to take in the influx of patients coming through our ER,” Moore said. “This is going to help us deliver a kind of care that the patients in our community need and require.”

While acknowledging their “health care heroes” at the hospital, Moore also noted the recent grade A the hospital received from LeapFrog, an organization that measures patient safety. According to Moore, the recognition is symbolic of the hospital’s “unbreakable commitment to creating the culture of safety and excellence that their patients need and deserve.”

According to Flanz, the new state-of-the-art machine will help support Jamaica Hospital, the busiest Level 1 trauma center in New York City.

“The Radiology Department provides over 160,000 imaging examinations a year; over 4,000 of those are MRI,” Flanz said. “Now with the wonderful state-of-the-art machines, we will have the technology that will truly benefit our patients in so many ways, and allow our team to provide more accurate and faster images. In addition, the open design will alleviate stress and anxiety of our claustrophobic patients.”

Jamaica Hospital was recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals for the third year in a row, according to Flanz, placing the hospital in the top 5% of all hospitals in the country, demonstrating its commitment to delivering superior patient outcomes year after year.