St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children honored Queens Borough President Helen Marshall for her extraordinary commitment to the children of Queens, and in particular, to the young children in St. Mary’s care, at a recently held ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony of the Early Education Center at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.
Located on the campus of St. Mary’s inpatient facility in Bayside, The Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center is the only preschool in New York City designed to serve the needs of children with the highest levels of medical complexity. The school serves over 50 students, most of whom come from New York City’s most underserved communities, and enables the children to receive treatment and rehabilitation for medical conditions while advancing educational, social-emotional, and general wellness goals.
At the official dedication ceremony, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, joined by special guests, the Honorable Claire Shulman, former Queens Borough President; Vincent Riso, Briarwood Organization and St. Mary’s leadership, toured the school and spent time interacting with the eager toddlers. Moments before the ribbon cutting, Marshall shared that she was extremely humbled to have the preschool named after her. “St. Mary’s is truly a unique institution. The childhood education center is the fulfillment of a dream I share with all of you,” she said.
The preschool program gives children with special needs from the community and St. Mary’s inpatient program the opportunity to interact, share ideas and learn with each other in a healing and educational environment. The school also has an integrated classroom that educates general education children alongside children with special needs.
“Educating our children is a critical part of the work we do here at St. Mary’s,” said Dr. Eddie Simpser, Interim President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. “We strive to provide for the holistic care of our children. Our preschool program is committed to helping children with complex medical and life-limiting conditions make incredible gains, while fostering development and growth.”
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall (standing r.) attended the official dedication ceremony Tuesday, October 8, for the Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside. Joining Marshall in the photo are Claire Shulman (center), former Queens Borough President and Honorary Director of the St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children; Dr. Edwin Simpser, MD (l.), Interim CEO of the St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children; Jean Steins (kneeling), director of the Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center, and five young patients at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, which treats kids with medically complex conditions. Marshall has contributed more than $600,000 in capital discretionary funding toward the hospital’s expansion and modernization project.