Paddle raise

News and Events – June 2024

A most successful celebration

Some 240 guests joined The Floating Hospital at Guastavino’s for its Golden Legacies Gala on June 4 to help make it a glorious success.

Set in the arcade formed by the 59th Street Bridge’s piers, Guastavino’s tiled arches and vaults provided a dramatic backdrop for the evening, which offered delicious food, festive drinks and a high-energy auction of a week-long stay in a luxury Tuscan villa as well as a paddle raise conducted by Harry Santa-Olalla. Other highlights included the premiere of a new film that spotlights the patients The Floating Hospital serves and demonstrates how its programs address the crucial needs of New York City’s most impoverished families.

We were honored to have Simon Jones serve as MC. The actor from the HBO series The Gilded Age put guests in the mood for the themed celebration, evoking a time of enchanting fetes and vast outlays of philanthropic generosity.

The evening was our most profitable yet, accounting for a 130% increase from last year, with particular growth in sponsorship and paddle-raise revenue. We extend a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors, paddle-raise participants, donors, board members, gala committee, guests and staff whose generous support will help us continue to provide care and relief to those who need it the most.

LGBT Network in our testing kitchen

What’s cooking in the teaching kitchen

On the evening of May 21, the LGBT Network, in partnership with The Floating Hospital, took over the hospital’s teaching kitchen for one of its Spring Enrichment Series classes. The group operates community centers throughout Queens and Long Island to serve a broad group of LGBT people and their families.

For this event, which brought in a new group of people to the hospital who may not have been aware of its services, Michael Schwarz, a volunteer instructor for the group, taught 25 participants how to make eggs Benedict and scones. According to the organization, “more than 30,000 visits are made annually to access the LGBT Network’s expansive offerings of social, cultural, health, support and other programs.”

The network addresses challenges such as bullying in schools, discrimination, harassment, unsafe workplaces and the continuing threat of HIV, along with deficiencies in socialization, housing and services for older LGBT adults and community services that are LGBT-affirming and welcoming.

The Floating Hospital banner at the Queens Pride parade

And a parade to show pride

The LGBT Network also produced a joyous day of celebration, visibility and vibrant dance and music performances for the New Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival on June 2 in Jackson Heights. According to news reports, 135 marching groups and more than 60,000 spectators from all over the city and even as far away as Florida joined the event for its 32nd year.

The Floating Hospital was honored and delighted to participate. Declaring “everybody is welcome” in banners, paddles and tees, hospital staffers joined the marchers in the parade to show support for all of the community members where our main clinic is located. They also joined the vendors in the festival to share vital health information.

Meghan Miller and Linda You

Staff Heroes: Meghan Miller and Linda You

From Albany to East Hampton, Reach Out and Read of Greater New York provides free books to hospitals, clinics and pediatric medical practices that serve low-income patients to develop early literacy and avid lifelong readers among the children they serve. Parents are given free age-appropriate books to take home to read to their kids with suggested activities to foster a deeper connection with them. The Floating Hospital is one such clinic, and two of its employees have been honored this year by the organization.

On June 6, Linda You, the hospital’s clinical projects manager, and Dr. Meghan Miller, its director of education, were celebrated, at Rockefeller Plaza, along with several other representatives from its base of 232 regional healthcare providers. Linda and Meghan received the Reach Out and Read Advocate for Diverse Books award.

The group said the award recognized those who “consistently provide high-quality, diverse books that represent their community and introduce their community to people and ideas they might not be exposed to.” In addition, those receiving the honor are “actively anti-racist during well-child visits and talk about race and racism with their patients.”

“I love kids,” Linda said. “And anything that can promote health and literacy for children is a huge plus for me” She recalled when she saw patients regularly as a nurse practitioner and provided Reach Out and Read books to the families she treated. “It was important to give resources to the patients who really needed them.”

According to Reach Out and Read, there is currently one book for every 300 children who live in low-income communities. Based on a population of 250,000 children, it estimates that it provides 10 books per child. “During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests, preparing them to start school on target,” it said on its website.

The event was a smaller gathering ahead of the main awards event in October. The honorees were nominated by their peers and selected by Reach Out and Read for “going above and beyond to support the children and families you serve.”

Reach Out and Read certificate

This post is featured in our monthly newsletter from June 2024.

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The Floating Hospital provides high-quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, immigration or insurance status, or the ability to pay. By providing unrestricted medical care in tandem with health education and social support to vulnerable New York City families, The Floating Hospital aims to ensure those most in need have the ability to thrive, not just survive.

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