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June 3, 2021

Elmhurst Hospital Was at the Epicenter of the COVID-19 Crisis, Lawmakers Highlight Obstetrical Inpatient Facilities Renovation as Top Priority

QUEENS, N.Y. --- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Grace Meng, member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will stand in front of Elmhurst Hospital to advocate for the much-needed renovation of New York City Health + Hospitals Elmhurst Obstetrical Inpatient facilities, in order to provide a more modern, safe, and equitable maternal health care experience to surrounding working class and immigrant communities. They will be joined by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H), and Helen Arteaga Landaverde, Chief Executive Officer of Elmhurst Hospital.

At the height of the pandemic, Elmhurst was one of the hardest-hit communities in the country. The Elmhurst public hospital, which serves a majority immigrant population across Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, struggled to keep up with the harrowing demand from patients. Large numbers of residents in the community work in construction, food service, and other jobs where remote work was not possible, and where they often had to choose between risking their health and losing a paycheck.

Representatives Ocasio-Cortez and Meng recently submitted a joint community funding request for $3,000,000 for FY 2022 to House Appropriators. If the funding request is fulfilled, Elmhurst Hospital would be able to provide a more modern, safe, and comfortable family-centered environment that also meets current privacy standards. When giving birth, privacy leads to a quieter environment which promotes recovery, provides for better infection control, and is better for bonding between parents and their babies. Healthy breastfeeding is also fostered in single rooms. Read the public text of the lawmakers' funding request here.

Gillibrand recently announced the Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards (MOMS) Act and Maternal CARE Act to help address the disproportionate rate of maternal deaths among Black and brown women.