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Donated Care Packages Bring Relief and Joy to 1,700 Team Members at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital

Posted on May 6, 2020

(Far Rockaway, NY – May 5, 2020) Today, 1,700 staff members of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (SJEH) received individual care packages filled with essential items as they work long days and nights tending to COVID-19 patients. The care packages were generously donated by the Debra and Leon Black Family, Aramark, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Robin Hood, and American Red Cross, and include shelf-stable food, over the counter medicine, household cleaning essentials, and personal care products.


The care packages were distributed by American Red Cross volunteers as staff entered and exited the hospital’s campus.


“The selfless medical professionals and hospital staff combatting this public health crisis, especially those working tirelessly at the epicenter of the outbreak in New York City, need our support now more than ever. As lifelong and proud New Yorkers, we are honored to do our part to recognize, help and thank our healthcare heroes and their loved ones,” said Debra and Leon Black in a press release announcing the initiative of providing care packages to NYC’s 100,000+ hospital healthcare professionals.


“We are working tirelessly to provide the best care for our patients, and these care packages provide relief to our dedicated team members who may find it challenging to shop for many of life’s essential items at this time,” said Jerry Walsh, SJEH’s Chief Executive Officer. “Thank you to the Debra and Leon Black Family, Aramark, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Robin Hood, and American Red Cross, for thinking about our hospital and providing this much appreciated donation.”


SJEH—the only hospital located on the Rockaway Peninsulahas been at the forefront of battling the

COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the hospital has successfully discharged 449 COVID-19 patients, while continuing to serve patients who are in need of other medical services not related to the novel coronavirus.



About St. John’s Episcopal Hospital

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital providing emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved populations of the Rockaways and Five Towns in southern Queens County and southwestern Nassau County, New York. Celebrating over 110 years of community care, the 257-bed facility provides people of all faiths with comprehensive preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative services, regardless of ability to pay.



About Debra and Leon Black

Debra and Leon Black support numerous medical and other institutions in New York City and throughout the United States. Debra sits on the Board of Overseers at Weill Cornell Medicine, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rockefeller University, and she has spearheaded gifts for Melanoma and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (“OCD”) research. Leon is Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apollo Global Management. He also is the chairman of the Museum of Modern Art (“MoMA”) and serves as a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital, where his family launched The Black Family Stem Cell Institute in 2005.


In 2007, the Blacks co-founded the Melanoma Research Alliance (“MRA”), a nonprofit foundation that has become the largest private funder of Melanoma research worldwide, having committed over $150 million in funding to advance understanding of the disease. MRA has helped fund 12 drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) since its founding, which have been instrumental in launching the immunotherapy revolution, now helping to combat thirty different cancers.

In 2020, the Blacks co-founded The Foundation for OCD Research (FfOR) to fund research into and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.


The Blacks are also deeply committed to supporting veterans. In 2014, Leon launched the Apollo Veterans Initiative, where companies commit to hiring and retaining veterans, national guard, reserves, and military spouses and partners. The Debra and Leon Black family also funds a graduate student fellowship program for U.S. veterans and active duty military members, which covers the cost of attendance and supports comprehensive leadership development annually at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School.


About Aramark

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 280,000 team members deliver innovative experiences and services in food, facilities management and uniforms to millions of people every day. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees; empower healthy consumers; build local communities; source ethically, inclusively and responsibly; operate efficiently and reduce waste. Aramark is recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ+), Diversity Inc., Black Enterprise and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which supports public programs in areas including youth development, financial empowerment, health, environment, and the arts. The Mayor’s Fund invests private donations in innovation and emerging needs, while evaluating the effectiveness of the programs and feasibility of future funding. Working closely with the Center for Economic Opportunity, the Mayor’s Fund has supported CEO pilots including Opportunity NYC and the Financial Empowerment Center initiative.


About Robin Hood

Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests nearly $120 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at www.robinhood.org; and follow Robin Hood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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