Tag Archives: New York Hospital Queens

Fund to help family of toddler killed by alleged drunk driver in Jackson Heights

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

A family and community are left mourning three-year-old Olvin Jahir Figueroa after he was fatally struck by an alleged drunk driver while crossing a Jackson Heights street with his mother.

According to police, on October 11 at approximately 9:50 p.m. the toddler was crossing the corner of Junction Boulevard and Northern Boulevard with his mother after visiting a nearby market, when a white 2011 Acura struck him. The 35-year-old driver then stopped and drove the toddler and his mother to New York Hospital Queens in Flushing where the toddler was pronounced dead.

The driver, Gilbert Echeverria, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, police said.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras gathered with family, residents and members of the local church on Monday, October 14 to hold a candle light prayer vigil for Olvin.

“As a new mother with a baby boy of my own, I know what it is like to have so many hopes and dreams for your children,” said Ferreras. “Olvin’s parents will never get to see him attend his first day of school or see him graduate. He had his whole life ahead of him.”

The councilmember lost two of her best friends close to 20 years ago to a fatal traffic accident also involving a drunk driver at the same intersection.

Ferreras has set up a donation fund at TD Bank to help Olvin’s family with burial expenses. The account number is 4283969885. Checks should be made payable to the “Olvin Jahir Figueroa Burial Fund.”



Driver charged after toddler struck, killed in Jackson Heights

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A two-year-old boy is dead after being hit by an alleged drunk driver while crossing a Jackson Heights street with his mother.

According to police, on Friday night at approximately 9:50 p.m. Jaied Gigueroa was crossing the corner of Junction Boulevard and Northern Boulevard with his mother when a white 2011 Acura moving northbound on Junction Boulevard struck him. The 35-year-old driver then stopped and drove the toddler and his mother to New York Hospital Queens in Flushing where Jaied was pronounced dead.

The driver, Gilbert Echeverria, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, police said. 




Pols raise concerns over planned Cosmos soccer stadium near Queens border

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of the New York Cosmos

Some politicians feel the New York Cosmos need to do everything they can to win the community.

The soccer club, which restarted recently after not playing a game in nearly three decades, is planning to construct a 25,000 seat stadium in Elmont’s Belmont Park near the Queens and Nassau border. The team currently plays at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium in Long Island.

The project has come under direct fire by Carrié Solages, a legislator in Nassau County, while on the Queens side Councilmember Leroy Comrie has brought up potential community concerns, such as increased traffic, noise and lights.

“It’s a residential community and you can understand that people want to keep it that way,” Comrie said.

The team has started to give back to the community through various partnerships, including the American Cancer Society, Long Island City YMCA and New York Hospital Queens.

The Cosmos began hosting a series of “Back to School” soccer clinics around New York for children between the ages of seven and 14. There will be four clinics around the city and Long Island this month. Cosmos players and coaches will interact directly with children at the clinics to teach them the fundamentals.

“As a native New Yorker, being able to play for the Cosmos is a dream come true, and it’s made even more special when we get to go into the community and work directly with the next generation of American soccer stars,” said Carlos Mendes, Cosmos defender and team captain.

Comrie is not against the stadium as he was with Major League Soccer (MLS) trying to put a similar-sized venue in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the New York City Football Club because that project called for taking land from the park. But he thinks Belmont could be a “suitable” location for a soccer stadium.

The councilmember will gauge concerns from the community through future meetings.

The Cosmos’ plan for the stadium is still in the early stages as they have only made a proposal for the land and early renderings. A team representative said the organization is willing to work with the community to address any future concerns that they may have.

“The New York Cosmos have a strong belief in social responsibility and the desire to make a positive impact,” a representative said. “We feel that we have an obligation to be a leader in the community and we’ve shown that through our actions.”


Additional reporting by Carlos Montanez 


Driver crashes into Queens auto body shop, killing 1, injuring 2

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A car slammed into an auto body shop near Citi Field Tuesday, leaving one dead and two injured.

The vehicle’s 52-year-old driver was heading southbound on 126th Street between 35th and 36th avenues around 11:40 a.m. when his 1992 Toyota Corolla rear-ended another car, said police.

After the impact, the Toyota veered across the northbound lanes into New Pamir Auto Body Shop, located at 35-01 126th Street. The car struck a pedestrian in front of the shop and two men inside of it.

All three victims were taken to New York Hospital Queens, said police

One of the victims, a 33-year-old who was standing in the auto shop, was pronounced dead.

The pedestrian, identified as a 30-year-old man, is in serious condition with severe body trauma. The third victim, 34, is in stable condition with body trauma.

According to published reports, the man killed was a worker at the auto body shop. Another victim and worker may have his legs amputated.

Both vehicles involved in the accident remained at the scene and the investigation is ongoing.



NYHQ ranked tops in maternity six years in a row

| MKirk@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Mitchell Kirk

For the sixth year in a row, New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) was awarded the Maternity Care Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a national health care rating company.

During a ceremony in the hospital’s lobby, NYHQ received the top two rankings given by HealthGrades for maternity care — the Excellence Award for being in the top 10 percent of ranked hospitals and the five-star rating for being in the top 15 percent.

“Awards are very important, particularly when you win one six times in a row,” said NYHQ president and CEO Stephen S. Mills. “Five stars from HealthGrades is a remarkable feat.”

HealthGrades currently rates maternity care for hospitals in 19 states based on several different criteria, including infant mortality rates and the number of complications that arise from deliveries. The information is evaluated from patient records by doctors and biostatisticians.

The ceremony garnered an appearance from Assemblymember Grace Meng, whose two sons were born at the hospital.

“I’ve had firsthand experience in how much this hospital deserves this award and I’m proud to represent it,” Meng said. She went on to describe giving birth at NYHQ as “an amazing experience,” praising it particularly for the orientation program it provides for new parents.

Members of the hospital’s staff said they plan on performing just as well in the future.

“We will continue to strive for a seventh time,” said Mills. Then, addressing the hospital staff sitting before him, he said, “Everybody in front of me deserves praise for the jobs that they do.”

Dr. Gary Eglinton, chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who accepted the award, agreed with Mills’ remark.

“It’s a matter of continuing to do more of the same,” Eglinton said, “as all members of the team particularly maintain focus on the patient and continue to provide safe, quality care.”


9/11 anniversary events around Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

New York Hospital Queens
There will be a 9/11 remembrance service with moments of silence and a salute at New York Hospital Queens Emergency Services Memorial Site located at Booth Memorial Avenue near the Emergency Room entrance from 8:40 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. on September 11.

Remsen Memorial Park
There will be a candlelight ceremony at Remson Memorial park at Alderton Street at 6:30 p.m. on September 11. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at American Legion Hall, 107-15 Metropolitan Avenue.

Bayside Hills
The Bayside Hills Civic Association will be holding a 9/11 observance on Horace Harding Expressway and Bell Boulevard at 7:00 p.m. on September 11.

Juniper Valley Park
There will be a candlelight vigil at Juniper Valley Park, between 77th and 78th streets, at 7:30 p.m. on September 11. Bring a candle and chair.

Astoria Heights
The United Community Civic Association together with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is having a 9/11 memorial candlelight vigil at McManus Memorial Park at 81st Street and Grand Central Parkway at 7:30 p.m. on September 12.

Stavisky and Messer face off in 16th Senate District debate

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Terence Cullen

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and opponent John Messer agreed job creation was a priority in the 16th State Senate District as the two stated their platforms and fielded questions at a Wednesday, August 29 forum before hundreds of residents in the district.

Despite agreeing on general issues such as employment, energy and bilingual signage, the six-time incumbent and Senate hopeful found themselves on opposite sides on gay marriage and charter schools.

The forum, held at New York Hospital Queens and hosted by Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association, was co-moderated by Queens Courier reporter Melissa Chan and a TimesLedger reporter Joe Anuta.

Plans for Willets Point would bring thousands of permanent jobs to the area, Stavisky noted, and economic activity to Queens. She went on to say that as chair of the Higher Education Committee, she’s pushed for private/public partnerships between colleges in the state and businesses — giving the example of the developing tech-campus on Roosevelt Island.

Messer, a small business owner himself, said the problem was that too many businesses were leaving the city, and state, because of fines and the inability to grow.

“We should be supporting our small businesses,” he said. “Most importantly we need a long-term strategy to keep our businesses here and stop sending them out of the state.”

At the same time, both said, albeit through different plans, that they would work on increasing minimum wage. Messer said he would propose a two-tiered approach: first increase minimum wage to $7.85; when the economy was better he would push to raise it to $8.50.

Stavisky said she is co-sponsoring a bill that would base minimum wage on consumer-price index.

“It seems to me that you can’t live on $15,000 a year,” Stavisky said.

Through the terse time each had to field questions from moderators, each faced boo’s and calls from the audience.

It especially became so when either answered a question that upset members of the increasingly rowdy crowd.

On gay marriage, Messer fielded first by saying that gay marriage was state law, but recognized that “many people in my district oppose…” The answer was met with boos, and the Senate hopeful sat down passing the microphone to Stavisky.

Stavisky, the first woman from Queens in the state Senate, said she supported gay marriage and was adamantly against discrimination.

“You can’t pick and choose who you’re against,” she said.

Charter schools, a recently debated issue in the city, were presented on both sides by the candidates. Stavisky, formerly a teacher, said she had seen research showing students at charter schools did not do any better than public school students.

“I am not a big fan of charter schools and I must be very honest, it is my opinion the mayor would like to see an end of public schools,” she said.

Messer, however, said charter schools had potential to ease the burden of overcrowding in schools and could create competition in the public system.

“Charter schools are an option where we can alleviate some of the overcrowding and also they make our public schools more competitive and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Messer said.

Democrat voters will decide on Thursday, September 13 if Stavisky or Messer will face off against Republican J.D. Kim. in the November 6 general election.

Star of Queens: Stefan Stanjevic

| GGiaconelli@queenscourier.com


Stefan Stanjevic
New York Hospital Queens

Community Involvement: Stefan Stanjevic is currently a volunteer member at New York Hospital Queens, where he is involved with the patient hospitality program. Stanjevic’s job at the hospital is to greet and converse with patients and ask them if they would like a book, magazine or newspaper. Stanjevic also works in the lab, mailroom and pharmacy in order to help keep the nurses and other health care professionals from having to leave the patients for deliveries.

Personal: Stanjevic originally lived in Ridgewood and eventually moved to Glendale. He attended Forest Hills High School and is currently a double major in biology and sociology at Stony Brook University. One of Stanjevic’s favorite hobbies is drawing, which he began doing in his senior year of high school.

“I try to keep with my hobby through college, but I find it difficult to make time” said Stanjevic. Before he started to draw he was a big fan of TV and the computer.

Currently he works for Hostess where he is a merchandiser/stock boy. This is his first “real” job and he feels lucky to have it.

Inspiration: When it comes to inspiring people in his life, Stanjevic finds a lot of them in his favorite TV shows. Stanjevic believes that characters facing extreme hardship or characters that are extremely altruistic really inspire him to be the same.

“You can always find at least one character in any of your favorite TV shows that makes you think, ‘I want to be just like that’ or ‘What they did was so kind, I wish to be more like that,’ and then you’re inspired,” said Stanjevic. “Especially when you’re growing and defining yourself, you can find inspiration to be the best version of yourself through something as simple as a TV show.”

He also says his parents set a good example for him.

Challenge: Stanjevic feels that the main challenges he faces are at school. The competition at Stony Brook is stressful. “You want to be above the curve, to ensure that ‘A,’” said Stanjevic. In one of his classes, it is all about being at the top of the class. “You could be third in the class of 20, but the only As that are given are to the first two,” he said.

Other than trying to do well at school, his other challenge is finding a way to deal with the stress that comes along with being in college.

Favorite Memory: Stanjevic’s recent favorite memory was going to Six Flags for the first time during the end of the summer before his freshman year. He had to be convinced by his friends to go due to his fear of heights. He recalls being on line waiting to go on the first ride and he was extremely nervous. When it was over he realized it was not so bad and that he actually enjoyed it.

“The day was filled with a lot of anxiety, but it was such a fun day and I really appreciated the support of my friends,” said Stanjevic.

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: Summerstage WR/Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue 

With over forty years in the music industry, their music and history transcends generations of pop culture and has a universal appeal to parents, grandparents, and children across the world. Also featuring DJ Felix Hernandez mixing in soul, Motown, funk, salsa and disco dance classics.

[Click here for more info or submit your events]

New $500,000 New York Hospital Queens Center for  Wound Healing at Silvercrest opens in Briarwood  

New York Hospital Queens and Silvercrest Center For Nursing and Rehabilitation celebrated the opening of the NYHQ Center for Wound Healing at Silvercrest with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 10. The new $500,000 center, at 144-45 87th Ave., in Briarwood, addresses the increasing need for more aggressive wound treatment for people with hard-to-treat chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers and radionecrosis, officials said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Queens high school principal Caril Hudson Jr. arrested for possession of methamphetamine 

A Queens high school principal was nabbed just a block away from his school when cops found a baggie of methamphetamine in his car during a traffic stop, police said. Carl Hudson Jr., 33, was around the corner from Flushing High School on Northern Blvd. about 8:35 p.m on Tuesday when police discovered the meth in the bag in the car’s center console, police said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Far Rockaway man pleads guilty to JFK luggage thefts 

A Queens man is facing three to six years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of thefts from passengers in the terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Wednesday that 46-year-old Frederick McDonald of Far Rockaway, N.Y., had pleaded guilty to grand larceny in connection to six thefts. Read more: [1010wins] 

Bicyclist killed in hit-&-run 

A cyclist was fatally struck in Queens last night by a speeding car whose driver fled the scene, cops and witnesses said. The victim, who was carrying a bouquet of flowers, was struck at around 10:50 p.m. at Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Place in Sunnyside. Read more: [New York Post] 


NYHQ wound center helps patients heal

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

CFWH Ribbon Cutting


Clarence McKay loves planting tomatoes, beets and carrots, doing yard work and other odd jobs around his home.

Unfortunately, a diabetic ulcer on his left foot means the 75-year-old retired hospital worker is unable to do the things he loves.

But that could change.

McKay has a better chance than ever at recovery thanks to New York Hospital Queens Center for Wound Healing at Silvercrest in Briarwood, which opened on June 26.

The facility features two hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers, the second facility in Queens to offer this type of therapy.

The project, located at Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, costs about $500,000, and helps patients with chronic wounds achieve high healing rates in shorter times. It is open to everyone in the community.

There are about 5 million people in the U.S. suffering from chronic wounds, and the number is rising, officials said.

“People are living longer and unfortunately there is a higher rate of diabetes and obese people in the country. I’m hearing about the cancer rate increasing and with that comes an increase in radiation injuries,” said Cari Dabak, the center’s program director.

Dr. Victor Chen, a specialist in wound care at the center, believes there is a current trend to open more wound care centers.

“Wound centers have a lot to offer,” Chen said. “Many will be at risk for amputation. And centers can offer an advanced level of care.”

While the facility treats all types of wounds, only 11 percent of patients qualify for hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment.

Examples of patients who benefit from the chamber therapy include those with diabetic wounds, and those suffering from soft tissue damage due to radiation treatment.

McKay is one of those patients.

During treatment, McKay lies down in the transparent bed-like chamber for about two hours a day, Monday through Friday. His treatment will last up to six weeks. In the chamber, patients breathing in 100 percent oxygen under pressure, about two times the regular atmospheric pressure.

Humans normally breathe air consisting of 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen.

“When patents come out (of the chamber), they say the feel ‘okay,’ ” Dabak said. “We check their sugar, lungs, blood pressure. . . and there can be some ear pain when you come right out. It’s like getting off of a plane.”

McKay doesn’t mind.

“I get to watch T.V. and they say I sometimes doze off,” he said.

After one week of outpatient treatment, McKay said he’s already noticing a difference. His pain has lessened and he sees more circulation in his foot.

“If I could get back to gardening and doing things around the house, well, I’d be jumping up and down,” he said.

The center is part of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System. Silvercrest Center is a 320-bed skilled nursing facility at 144-45 87th Avenue, Briarwood.

For more information about the center, call 855-480-HEAL.


NYHQ celebrates ER expansion

| sarahyu@queenscourier.com


New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) just keeps growing.

On Monday, June 25, hospital administrators and elected officials such as Senator Toby Stavisky, Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmember Peter Koo proudly cut the ribbon to celebrate the completion of the latest expansion of the emergency room.

Earlier this year, NYHQ celebrated the opening of its Urgent Care Center, which allowed the emergency department to expand community access to health care by making more beds available.

HEAL-NY (Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers), a state grant-funding program that supports the restructuring of New York’s health care system, funded the expansion of the emergency room and the completion of the Urgent Care Center for the hospital.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to open this emergency component and we were very fortunate to receive HEAL-NY money for this,” said NYHQ president and Chief Executive Officer Stephen S. Mills. “We try to take advantage of opportunities to provide more access for the population that needs it.”

To go along with the additional space, Marshall is giving NYHQ $300,000 from her capital budget toward the purchase of essential patient care equipment.

“We have increased the number of inpatient beds, have expanded community access to ambulatory care and opened a new urgent care center and today we cut the ribbon,” Marshall said. “I’m thankful to have this medical institution in the borough of Queens and I’ve continued to show my support and appreciation by awarding funding through my capital budget.”


NYHQ celebrates life

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

NYHQ 02w

Curtis Sliwa, radio personality and founder of the Guardian Angels, recalled being shot four times in 1992, then he told of his more recent struggle — prostate cancer.

Sliwa was the keynote speaker at the New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) Celebration of Life, which sought to bring together cancer survivors who were once patients of the hospital and are either in, or on their way to being in, remission.

The event featured cancer information talks from some of the hospital’s doctors on how far treatment has come, along with tales from survivors.

AN emotional Helena Falletta, who only three weeks ago had surgery for stage-4 lung cancer, told the auditorium of fellow survivors about her several bouts with different cancers and how the staff at NYHQ had been there every step of the way.

“Since 2010, I have been fighting every day of my life,” she said.

Janice Zaballero, who survived her bought with breast cancer about 15 years ago and now works to help those who cannot afford screening or treatment, also spoke about the strength every one of the survivors had in making it through treatment.

“And I say to all of you, we are amazing,” Zaballero said to a roar of applause.

Sliwa, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, said the disease was something men shy away from discussing. He encouraged all men age 40 and up to get PSA testing and be more open to discussing the disease.

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rangel, Long, Meng, Jeffries, Velazquez Declared Winners In Primaries 

According to AP numbers as of 12:30 a.m., Meng had 51 percent of the vote with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Assemblyman Rory Lancman had 28 percent, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley had 16 percent and Dr. Robert Mittman had 5 percent. Read more: [NY1] 

Rapper 50 Cent Involved in LIE Crash 

Rapper 50 Cent is out of the hospital after an accident with a tractor trailer. The accident happened just before midnight Tuesday on the Long Island Expressway. A spokesperson for the rapper, also known as Curtis Jackson, said he was treated for minor back and neck injuries at New York Hospital Queens. Read more: [NY1] 

Congregation Ahavath Shalom Synagogue in Forest Hills loses relics in burglary 

Religious artifacts were swiped from a Queens synagogue sometime in the past week, and the thief is still on the lam, cops said. The four objects — including a silver pointer, Torah breast plate, silver-coated plate and a ritual wine cup — were discovered missing Monday from the Congregation Ahavath Shalom Synagogue on 113th St. in Forest Hills, according to officials. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Students once again learn to cook with acclaimed chefs as web show ‘Culinary High TV’ debuts its third season

A Queens producer is in talks to turn a popular web series, that teaches at-risk teens how to cook in some of the city’s top restaurants, into a television show. The third season of “Culinary High TV” debuts Friday on the show’s website. Read more: [New York Daily News] 


Cancer center to become a reality at NYHQ

| sLieberman@queenscourier.com

New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) has begun the five-year process that will culminate in the opening of a new cancer center.

The project was put into motion by a gala benefit on May 30 that raised $1 million towards the expansion of the center. The benefit honored Prabha and Kanak Golia who, in conjunction with Dr. George F. Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Debra, spearheaded the movement.

“We would like a comprehensive center so that patients can have access to one location,” said Stephen S. Mills, president and CEO of the hospital.

The idea is to put the three modalities of cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation) under one roof so that patients will receive treatment in a more organized and expedient way.

In addition, the creation of the cancer center will bring new social workers and support structures for patients and their families. It will allow the hospital to generate clinical trials, fellowship programs and a major research program, as well as increase educational screenings for cancer prevention.

“We will have much more access to some of the latest and best drugs with the hospital system backing us,” said Dr. Barry Kaplan, NYHQ’s director of Medical Oncology.

Because of its location in the middle of Flushing, the hospital is faced with a unique variety of cancers needing to be treated. For example, it has created a center that is focused on the treatment of liver cancer, the most prevalent cancer among the Asian population.

“We want to give people the confidence that NYHQ is the place for them to get treatment,” said Golia.


Queens man hacks wife with meat cleaver

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

A Queens woman is fighting for her life after her husband apparently bludgeoned her with a meat cleaver. The 54-year-old wife fought with her spouse in their Flushing home on Parsons Boulevard, near Ash Avenue, before running out into the street at about 5:55 a.m., cops said. Kang Wang, 53, allegedly stabbed her repeatedly on the sidewalk, while her son tried to break up the fight, cops added. She was rushed to New York Hospital Queens in very critical condition.

Police arrested the husband at the scene. Wang has not been charged yet. Wang’s adult son used a 2×4 and chased the dad off his mother, police said. The woman suffered severe head wounds from the meat cleaver, which was recovered from the scene, police said.