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Episcopal Health Services welcomes NYS DOH Commissioner James V. McDonald M.D., M.P.H., on his first visit to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, in Far Rockaway.

Far Rockaway, New York, December 5, 2023 — Episcopal Health Services (EHS) welcomed New York State Commissioner James V. McDonald M.D, M.P.H. to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital on his first visit.

A formal meeting kicked off the first stop upon his arrival at the hospital where Dr. McDonald was greeted by Gerard Walsh, CEO, Donald Morrish, MD, Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer, Renee Hastick-Motes, Senior Vice President, Chief External Affairs Officer, Steven Guido, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sharika Gordon, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Karen Paige, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer. Also in attendance were Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson, Renee Taylor, Chief of staff to Councilmember Selveena Brooks-Powers, Sam Miller, Associate Commissioner External Affairs NYSDOH, Kathleen Gaine, Regional Hospital Program Director, NYSDOH, and Aaron Ambrose, Queens Regional Representative from the NYS Governor’s office.

Dr. McDonald’s visit included a tour of several locations within the hospital giving him a view of amenities and the areas where the hospital is re-building. First on the tour was the hospital’s 11th floor, which was badly affected by a fire in September of 2021. From there he visited the Emergency Department, the newly opened Clinical Learning Center and soon to be opened Ambulatory Pavillion.

“EHS is grateful to Dr. McDonald and his team for taking time out of their busy schedules to tour St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and other Episcopal Health Services facilities, “said Gerard Walsh, CEO at EHS. We are always thankful for our local elected officials’ support and look forward to a greater partnership with the NY State Department of Health.”

Dr. McDonald is leading the department as healthcare remains in flux: Some hospitals and healthcare networks have struggled financially in the aftermath of the pandemic while the state is also dealing with an acute healthcare worker shortage.

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.