Tag Archives: St. mary’s hospital for children

WWE stars spend time with patients at St. Mary’s Hospital in Bayside

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) stars were at Bayside’s St. Mary’s Hospital for Children Wednesday for a meet and greet with their fans.

Wrestler Dean Ambrose and WWE commentator Renee Young first spent time at the care facility with patients in a group for disabled young adults aged 18 to 26. The stars gave out autographs and replicas of WWE championship belts, and then moved through the hospital, first to an area with younger fans and then to private rooms for bedside appearances.

“It’s so cool to be able to come in here and get to hang out and see their faces light up when you come in the room,” Young said. “They see us on TV, and just to have that one-on-one experience with them is amazing.”

Ambrose — a former WWE U.S. Champion who hails from Cincinnati and cuts a massive figure at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 225 pounds — said that he was impressed with the positive attitudes of the patients he met that day.

“It’s always nice to come in and see someone stuck in the hospital on a nice day and who still has such a positive energy and outlook, and being able to use WWE to brighten up their day more,” Ambrose said. “It always makes us feel good to help out anybody.”



Nick Cannon presents new children’s book at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children

| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

“Neon Aliens” may not have really eaten Nick Cannon’s homework when he was younger but that didn’t stop him from using it as an excuse for one of his teachers. And just as stories like that inspired him to release his new children’s poetry book, so did his experience with the youngsters at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside.

So much so that he even released the novel at the hospital on Monday to some of those who were an inspiration to him.

The book, “Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems,” was inspired by Cannon’s desire to combine the worlds of poetry and hip-hop and his previous visit to the medical facility. He has become so inspired by the kids that he is also a member of the hospital’s board.

“I visited a few years ago and hanging out with the kids really touched me,” he said, speaking at St. Mary’s back in October of 2014. “Now I’m officially Dr. Cannon on the board.”

Cannon greeted the crowd of children at the hospital on Monday and told them how inspired he was by each and every one of them. He read excerpts from his new book and gave each child in attendance a free copy.


Danielle Monaro, a co-host on Z-100’s “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” was there to introduce Cannon. She even helped the children play a game with him by having them shout out words which Cannon then had to freestyle to.

The poems cover a range of kid-friendly topics and even have a number of illustrations created by Cannon himself. He mentioned that several of the poems he wrote were inspired by the “courageous young patients,” at the hospital.

At the end of the release, Cannon accepted from St. Mary’s a plaque inscribed with one of its patients’ poems.



St. Mary’s program that serves thousands of special needs children to end

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A valuable program will come to an end this year for nearly 3,000 children at St. Mary’s Healthcare System, officials announced this week.

The Bayside-based facility that serves children with special needs and complex medical conditions will close its Early Intervention (EI) program May 5 due to state Department of Health cuts to reimbursement rates, St. Mary Interim President and CEO Edwin Simpser said.

More than 750 children, who currently use the program, will need to be transitioned into other agencies, he said.

“We know that these are challenging times for other EI providers, who are experiencing similar struggles,” Simpser said, “and we will continue to advocate for more appropriate reimbursement rates for vital childhood programs, including EI, that are so essential to the success and future of our children.”

The cuts have made it difficult for the program to survive, St. Mary’s administration and other nonprofits said.

“Despite the growing need for service, EI rates have not increased in 12 years, making it almost impossible for not-for-profit providers, with hospital-based providers in particular, to operate,” said Christopher Treiber, associate executive director for Children’s Services at the InterAgency Council.

Each year, the state-funded EI program at St. Mary’s serves nearly 3,000 children, who are or might be at risk for developmental delays or disabilities.

For more than 20 years, it has provided free evaluations, special education and therapeutic, support services for children under three years old.

“Our main priority at this time is to ensure a smooth transition for the children,” Simpser said.