2005-02-18 / Community

SJEH Opens New Cardiac Center, Begins 100 Anniversary Celebration

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

By Miriam Rosenberg
Contributing Editor

The Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr., the Bishop of Long Island and the President and Chair of the Board of Managers for Episcopal Health Services, blesses the new unit.The Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr., the Bishop of Long Island and the President and Chair of the Board of Managers for Episcopal Health Services, blesses the new unit.

  • A large gathering of doctors, nurses and community representatives turned out on February 15 for the dedication of the new Cardiac Care Center at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.
  • Luis A. Hernandez, the hospital’s chief executive officer, told those at the ribbon cutting that the new cardiac care center meets an important need on the peninsula.

    The Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr. cuts the ribbon on the new cardiac care center.The Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr. cuts the ribbon on the new cardiac care center. “Heart disease is the leading cause of adult hospitalization, and the leading cause of death in the Rockaways,” said Hernandez.

    Thirty of the 43 beds are equipped with radio-frequency telemetry monitors connected to the unit’s nursing station. These monitors are watched constantly so that any emergencies can be responded to instantly.

    “I’m excited about the potential to grow this into the heart hospital in the Rockaways,” Dr. Oluyemi Badero, the chief of cardiology told The Wave. “We have a number of programs we are working on.”

    St. John’s chief of cardiology, Dr. Oluyemi Badero welcomes everyone to the ribbon cutting.St. John’s chief of cardiology, Dr. Oluyemi Badero welcomes everyone to the ribbon cutting. The ribbon cutting began the celebration of St. John’s, formerly St. Joseph’s, 100 anniversary.

    The Sisters of St. Joseph turned a former women’s academy into a hospital in 1905, after residents petitioned the Bishop of Brooklyn to open a hospital in the Rockaways. A new building was opened in 1913.

    “By 1971, over 115 Sisters had served in this hospital when it was decided by the Diocese to form the Catholic Medical Center,” said Sister Edna McKeever, the archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, New York.

    Luis Hernandez, the chief executive officer at St. John’s, said, “We are committed to renovating the institution floor by floor.”Luis Hernandez, the chief executive officer at St. John’s, said, “We are committed to renovating the institution floor by floor.” In 1976, the hospital became St. John’s Episcopal Hospital when Episcopal Health Services Inc. took over.

    “I am very proud of what our sisters have done in Far Rockaway,” continued McKeever. “I, and all my sisters, are grateful to all of you for the continuing the mission of mercy in caring for the sick.”

    As a retrospect, the unit’s hallway was lined with enlarged black and white photos from the Sisters of St. Joseph’s archives showing the hospital from 1905 to the dedication of the Tower 11(where the unit is located) in October 1983.

    Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr. and Luis Hernandez cut the cake celebrating the 100 anniversary of the hospital.Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr. and Luis Hernandez cut the cake celebrating the 100 anniversary of the hospital. The renovation is the latest in changes that the hospital has undergone. Hernandez that he hoped the community would come to see SJEH in a new light.

    “One of my goals is to change the negative image the hospital has in the community,” said Hernandez.

    Rabbi Zalmon Baida opens the ceremony with a blessing.Rabbi Zalmon Baida opens the ceremony with a blessing. He believes that this can be accomplished through the quality of health care and as the community, patients and visitors interact with the staff.


    Penny Chin (SJEH’s Director of Public Affairs) talks with Sister Edna McKeever (archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood) in front of some of the photos of the hospital from her order’s archives.Penny Chin (SJEH’s Director of Public Affairs) talks with Sister Edna McKeever (archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood) in front of some of the photos of the hospital from her order’s archives.Photos of the hospital from 1905 to 1983 line the unit’s hallway.Photos of the hospital from 1905 to 1983 line the unit’s hallway.Cardiac care unit nurses Patrice Brown, Marlyn Hoilette and Vida McCue (nurse manager on the floor) pose for The Wave’s camera.Cardiac care unit nurses Patrice Brown, Marlyn Hoilette and Vida McCue (nurse manager on the floor) pose for The Wave’s camera.

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