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First Comprehensive Women’s Health Center Opens in Rockaway, Queens During Women’s History Month Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Tour Held

Far Rockaway, New York, March 31, 2022 — Today, Episcopal Health Services Inc. (EHSToday, Episcopal Health Services Inc. (EHS)—the parent organization of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital—hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and facility tour in celebration of the opening of the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center located at 105-38 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Rockaway Park. It is the first comprehensive women’s health center located on the Rockaway, Queens Peninsula, and is named in honor of long-time volunteer and former member of Episcopal Health Service’s Board of Trustees, Margaret O. Carpenter.

The Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center will address the well-documented need for additional women’s health services in the Rockaways, and provides an opportunity for women to receive a multitude of medical services in one location. The Center is equipped with amenities that provide women with an inviting, spa-like environment in which women can relax while receiving medical treatment.

Services available at the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center include obstetrics, gynecology, maternal fetal medicine, urogynecology, gynecology oncology, breast surgery, nutrition, behavioral health, 3D mammography, bone density, and ultrasound.

The Center also features state-of-the-art medical equipment including:

  • A 3D mammography machine that allows clinicians to see breast tissue details more clearly to uncover breast cancer that may have otherwise been hidden by overlying breast tissue
  • A bone density machine to measure women’s bone density to diagnose for osteoporosis and provide a fracture risk assessment
  • An ultrasound machine that produces high resolution image quality

Funding for the construction, design, and equipment of the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center came from a grant awarded to Episcopal Health Services Inc. by the New York State Department of Health’s Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program II (SHCFTP) in the amount of $3,117,938. The St. John’s ICARE Foundation also raised significant funding that went toward the purchase of equipment.

“The Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center exemplifies our intentions to continue to invest in providing necessary medical services to the residents of the communities we serve,” said Jerry Walsh, Chief Executive Officer. “We are making it easier for women to have access to top-notch medical care close to home, without having to travel great distances outside of the Rockaway Peninsula.”

The need for the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center is evident in the fact that the Rockaways sees a higher rate of pregnant women who seek late or no prenatal care when compared to the overall New York City rate. Breast cancer is a top 3 leading cause of premature death in the Rockaways. The death rate for cancer in the Rockaways is higher than the overall cancer death rate in New York City, so it is extremely important for women to get the healthcare they need so that disease is identified in a timely fashion. Additionally, the Rockaways is considered a transportation dessert as the region is geographically isolated, and traveling to other parts of the city for medical care can take more than one hour on public transportation.

“I am so humbled and honored to be able to lead this initiative of providing care for women in this community,” said Rosemary Bonilla, Vice President of Physician Practices & Ambulatory Care. “We intend to help many people stay healthy, and we will save lives while we are at it.”

“How fitting it is that during Women’s History Month, we can announce the first-ever women’s health center in Rockaway will be named after Margaret O. Carpenter, a long-time Lawrence, NY resident, volunteer, and former member of Episcopal Health Service’s Board of Trustees,” said Senator James Sanders. “She knows the important role St. John’s plays in the lives of many people in the community.”

“This women’s health center is truly going to help the women of the Rockaways. Congratulations to Episcopal Health Services,” said Senator Joseph Addabbo.

“I’m so thrilled to be celebrating the opening of the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “These OB-GYN services will positively impact the health and wellness of thousands of women on the peninsula, where entire communities have historically suffered from decades of disinvestment. With Black Maternal Heath Week coming up in April, countless new or expecting mothers will finally have easier access to the critical care they need and deserve. My office is proud to support Episcopal Health Services in this mission, and our work is only beginning.”

“This women’s center is outstanding and will serve the entire Peninsula,” said Assembly Member Stacey Pfeffer Amato. “I want to congratulate Episcopal Health Services for creating this state-of-the-art facility. I’m very excited for this investment in our community.”

“The new Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center will have the sole distinction as Rockaway’s first ever comprehensive Women’s health center and will provide critically important healthcare services—including OBGYN, nutrition, mammograms, and behavioral health programs—all in one location. As a state elected official representing Southeast Queens, a region that has historically suffered from underinvestment and a destabilized healthcare infrastructure, I fully appreciate the game-changing prospects of this Women’s Health Center in offering preventive care, treatment, support, and recovery services. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Episcopal Health Services, my colleagues in government, and to the Carpenter family for helping to make this vision a reality,” said Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson.

“I applaud Episcopal Health Service for bringing healthcare into the community. If people can’t get to the hospital for care, the hospital came into the community to ensure that women are getting necessary healthcare services,” said Council Member Joann Ariola.

“The women of the Rockaways will be able to benefit from the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center for years to come,” said Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers. “It is so important that this Center is here so that women can get appropriate healthcare without having to travel outside of the Peninsula.”

“Since our inception, CHA has remained focused on filling the void for medical and healthcare services where they are needed most, and the opening of the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center will mark a new day for patients in the Rockaway Beach region,” said CHA’s Managing Partner William J. Colgan. “We are thrilled to stand alongside executives from St. John’s and all of the key stakeholders who made the completion of this project and opening of this facility a reality.”

To schedule an appointment at the Margaret O. Carpenter Women’s Health Center call (718) 869-7500.

About St. John’s Episcopal Hospital

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital providing emergency, inpatient, 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 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.