St. Mary’s Holds Historic Groundbreaking Ceremony to Commemorate Expansion of Hospital and Launch Capital Campaign

Festive Theme, “Dreams Come True in New York” Brings the Big Apple to St. Mary’s

Building Hope, Restoring Lives Campaign Paves the Way for a Brighter Future for New York’s Critically Ill and Injured Children

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On Wednesday, October 6th, over 600 supporters, friends, politicians, patient families, and staff joined St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children for a most historic and auspicious groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the long-awaited expansion of St. Mary’s Hospital, and the launch of the capital campaign, “Building Hope, Restoring Lives,” a campaign to pave a brighter future for New York City’s children and families with special needs.

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children is New York City’s first children’s hospital and the flagship facility of New York’s largest provider of post-acute care for children with special needs and life-limiting conditions. The building project consists of the modernization of St. Mary’s existing 1950’s era building and construction of a new state-of-the-art patient pavilion to provide much needed additional space for rehabilitation, patient care, education, and family visitation.

St. Mary’s 97-bed inpatient facility in Bayside, NY, provides intensive rehabilitation, specialized medical care, and education to children challenged with catastrophic illness, severe injury, and ongoing complications of premature birth. The modernization project will not add patient beds, but rather will bring St. Mary’s further in line with today’s standards for pediatric care by adding more space for the everyday care St. Mary’s provides to over 4,000 children and their families.

The groundbreaking celebration followed a jovial and festive New York theme entitled “Dreams Come True in New York” complete with New York City authentic food vendors, sidewalk entertainers such as the Victory Steel Orchestra Steel Band, dancers from St. John’s University, a petting zoo, Mr. Met, graffiti art, carpet bowling, and the unveiling of the “Dreams Come True” video produced by Jennifer Maharajh.

Hosted by CBS news anchor Chris Wragge, the ceremony featured resounding trumpeters leading the children’s procession followed by reverberating performances by the Half Hollow Hills High School East Choir, recording artist Jill Gioia and a special performance by St. Mary’s kids who sang, “You are my Sunshine,” dedicated to their caretakers, the compassionate staff of St. Mary’s.

Honorable politicians were in attendance including Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall, former Queens Borough President, Claire Shulman, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, and Councilmembers, Dan Halloran and Mark Weprin, whom all shared their words of support and inspiration for the St. Mary’s family.

“We are thrilled that our dream of bringing a new state-of-the-art pavilion to our region’s most remarkable children will soon become a reality,” said Jeffrey Frerichs, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. “At St. Mary’s we are committed to improving the health and quality of life for children with special needs and their families. Our modernization project will transform the lives of the children we serve for generations to come. We are grateful to all of our supporters who have helped us get to this historic point.”


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