April 21, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
The Floating Hospital is about to receive more than $4 million in funding to boost its COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
The funding, which comes as part of the $1.9 trillion federal relief package, is being earmarked to help the non-profit healthcare provider expand COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts in underserved communities.
Named for its earlier sea-based operations dating back to 1866, the Floating Hospital operates clinics through out the city including three in Queens—two of which are in Long Island City and the other in Astoria.
In addition to COVID-19 services, the Floating Hospital’s clinics provide primary and specialty healthcare, regardless of immigration status, or whether patients are insured or have the ability to pay.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who is credited with getting the $4,320,500, announced the new funding Friday at the non-profit’s Queensbridge clinic. She was joined by Borough President Donovan Richards, as well as officials from the Queensbridge Tenants Association and Floating Hospital.
“This money will ensure that people are tested and vaccinated,” said April Simpson, President Emeritus of the Queensbridge Tenants Association.
“Even in the face of staff and revenue shortages, the Floating Hospital has continued to provide life-saving care to underserved communities and played a pivotal and indelible role in our response to the COVID-19 crisis,” Maloney said. “They have ensured that everyone – especially those in typically underserved communities – got the help they needed and deserved.”
In addition to vaccination efforts, the funding will also be used to expand the operational capacity of its health centers in the long term. This would include modifying and improving existing physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.
“These critical funds, which will be used right here at the Floating Hospital, will help expedite our COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts in underserved neighborhoods and boost the collective health of our communities,” Richards said in a statement.