May 24, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has pledged $5.5 million in capital funds to Elmhurst Hospital to help build a pediatric intensive care unit and upgrade two main operating rooms.
The funds come more than a year after the hospital became known as the epicenter of the epicenter of the pandemic, when videos of body bags being loaded into refrigerated trucks outside the facility made national news.
Now the public hospital — no longer overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients — has plans to upgrade its infrastructure with help from Richards’ office.
The $5.5 million will be split into two allocations, Richards said. The first will support, in part, the construction of an $12 million pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for children in the area.
Currently, many local children in need of care are transported to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Long Island. The new PICU will allow them to receive treatment closer to home.
The second allocation from Richards’ office will support the conversion of two “undersized” operating rooms inside Elmhurst into full-sized, full-service operating rooms. The expansion will allow doctors to perform a wider array of surgical procedures there and decrease overall wait times for patients.
Richards joined other Queens elected officials and NYC Health + Hospitals administrators Tuesday to announced the funding.
“This major investment will fund a number of projects at Elmhurst, which will expand access to critical care for thousands of families,” Richards said. “By allocating this funding, we are thanking our healthcare heroes not just with our words but also with our actions.”
We’re so grateful to @QnsBPRichards for allocating $5.5 million to expand critical care & surgical services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst! These funds ensure that our #HealthCareHeroes have the high-quality resources to care for New Yorkers. More: https://t.co/wwAoIFOXc1 pic.twitter.com/fbxaYLvG5G
— NYC Health + Hospitals (@NYCHealthSystem) May 20, 2021
NYC Health + Hospitals officials thanked Richards for the allocation, particularly after a year when the hospital was overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
“NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst proved to be a backbone of the Queens borough during the horrible COVID-19 pandemic, and the infrastructure improvements supported by this generous allocation will make our community hospital bigger and stronger,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz.
Council Members Francisco Moya and Daniel Dromm, Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz also thanked Richards for the commitment to Elmhurst Hospital.