July 21, 2022 By Christian Murray
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has reached out to the head of NYC Health + Hospitals requesting that Queens Hospital be renamed in honor of former borough president Claire Shulman.
Richards penned a letter to Mitchell Katz, the president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, and said that the Queens hospital branch—located at 82-68 164th St., in Jamaica—should be named in recognition of Shulman, given all the work she did for the borough and the public hospital system in general.
“In recognition of the late former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman and her illustrious legacy of community service, especially in the field of health care, I write to express my strong support that NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens be renamed the NYC Health+ Hospitals Claire Shulman Queens Hospital Center.”
Shulman, who served as borough president from 1986 to 2002, died on Aug. 16, 2020, at her Beechhurst home, at the age of 94.
She was the first of many women to be borough president. She was succeeded by Helen Marshall, who died in 2017. Melinda Katz and Sharon Lee, who was an acting borough president, have since followed.
Shulman endorsed Richards when he ran for borough president shortly before her death.
Richards said that Shulman was a fierce advocate for public hospitals, especially the Queens Hospital Center, where she began her career as a nurse.
“Her dedication and commitment was exhibited in her successful efforts to prevent the city from selling NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens in the mid-1990s,” Richards wrote. “Additionally, Borough President Shulman secured more than $150 million in capital funding for a major modernization project upgrading both Queens and Elmhurst Hospitals. In 2001, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Queens Cancer Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, which has greatly served as a vital service to the southeast Queens community.”
Richards wrote that NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens was always a special place for Shulman.
“A name change in her honor is not only appropriate but well-deserved,” Richards wrote. “I strongly support the renaming of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.”