The Long Island City-based Floating Hospital, which provides primary health and dental care for families in rehabilitation centers and halfway homes throughout the five boroughs, will receive $1.3 million as part of the federal government’s economic stimulus package.
The money will not only help increase the hospital’s resources and create new jobs, but help the staff of the Floating Hospital expand their vision for the medical services provided by beginning to work with residents of Ravenswood and Queensbridge public houses.
The grant, which will provide $1.3 million to the Floating Hospital, will allow the facility to expand its services of providing primary health and dental care to families in halfway homes and recovery centers citywide. The expansion, which will include a larger staff and two new vans that will be used to transport patients to the clinic, will allow the staff to continue working with many of the same families who have transitioned from shelters into public housing.
“It will ensure the continuity of their treatment and help the city cut down on families using emergency rooms for primary care,” said Floating Hospital President Sean Granahan.
The expansion will be focused on the Ravenswood and Queensbridge housing complexes in Western Queens, with one of the hospital’s large transportation vans dedicated to each of the complexes that are in area considered to be one New York City’s largest neighborhoods still underserved by medical facilities.
“It can be hard to find a place to go for primary medical care in Long Island City,” said Granahan. “We need more health care.”
After the expansion is put into effect, the Floating Hospital expects that they will be able to treat an additional 10,000 patients per year, and help preserve and create more than 30 jobs in Long Island City.
“This will help create jobs for new medical practitioners, which will keep them in New York City,” added Granahan.
The money received by Floating Hospital is just a portion of the more than $7 million in federal money that will go to 10 other hospitals throughout the city as part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. The money will create more than 340 jobs and improve health care options at a time when fewer and fewer New Yorkers can afford health insurance.
Representative Carolyn Maloney, who played a large role in securing the funding for the Floating Hospital, was on hand at the hospital on Monday to announce the grant.
“This funding will help us dig our way out of the economic situation we are currently while improving health care in Queens,” she said. “The Floating Hospital has an incredible history of providing quality health care to those that need a helping hand.
“There is a desperate need for health care in Queens County,” said Councilman Eric Gioia. “We need to be expanding hospital services, not taking them away, and this funding will go a long way towards making sure people in our neighborhood live healthier, fuller lives.”