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Brookhaven Avenue Has Been Changed to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Way as a Tribute to the Hospital’s 118 Years of Dedicated Service to the Rockaway Community.

Far Rockaway, New York, August 7, 2023 — On July 26, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Rockaway held a street naming ceremony to honor its dedication to the community. Brookhaven Avenue was renamed St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Way in recognition of the hospital’s exceptional care over the past 118 years. The ceremony brought together hospital executives, team members, elected officials, and members of the Rockaway community. This momentous occasion highlighted the hospital’s commitment to serving the community’s needs, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Rockaway hard. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital has remained unwavering in its dedication to providing exceptional care, even during these challenging times.

The event was hosted by Council Member Selvena N. Brooks Powers who played a significant role in having the street renamed in honor of the hospital. She was joined by Gerard Walsh, CEO of Episcopal Health Services; Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, Chairman of Episcopal Health Services’ Board of Trustees; Renee Hastick-Motes, SVP & Chief External Affairs Officer and President of St. John’s ICARE Foundation, Assembly Member Stacey Phefer Amato, Valerie West, District Leader, community leaders, and hospital team members. Violinist Bri Blvck commemorated the occasion with an exceptional performance.

“Normally, we don’t name streets after institutions. We name them after individuals once they have passed,” said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “But with the role that St. John’s played in the midst of the pandemic, it was no question that this institution deserved to have a street named after it.”

This event was a momentous occasion for St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and a big occasion for CEO Gerard Walsh, who celebrated his eighth-year work anniversary at the hospital.

“We have certainly come a long way in eight years. We have shifted our organizational culture, rebuilt and forged new relationships with our community, elected officials, and most importantly, our patients and team members,” Walsh said. In the very near future, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital hopes to add a cancer program, which would be the first in the area in over a decade. “It is what the community needs and what they told us they wanted.”

Queens Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato was born in the hospital and raised in Far Rockaway. While she spoke in jest, she was also very passionate and displayed it in her comments to the community.

“I am a child of Far Rockaway. I was born in this hospital when it was St John’s…my mother lived across the street… If I knew I’d be standing here today to say that we were going to rename this block St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Way, I would be lying. This is an incredible celebration for our community today.” She added. “This is what we’ve asked for; Jerry Walsh and his team [have] taken this hospital to places that no one would believe,” Let me tell you, St John’s family, you do it well, and you do it top notch!

Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, Chairman of Episcopal Health Services’ Board of Trustees, opened the event with a heartfelt prayer that left a lasting impact.

“Thank you to the entire St. John’s Episcopal Hospital team for making this happen [and to] our elected officials who have cooperated in this effort. For almost 120 years, the religious communities have provided care for the people of Far Rockaway from this location.” Bishop Provenzano said, “The outward invisible expression of naming this street says everything about our commitment and ongoing work.”

About Episcopal Health Services

Episcopal Health Services Inc., (EHS) is a health system located on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York. The system provides emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved Rockaways and Five Towns populations. The system provides people of all faiths with comprehensive preventive, diagnostic treatment, and rehabilitative services, regardless of their ability to pay.