2010-07-21 / Features

Elmhurst Hospital Center Opens Greenmarket

(L. to r.): Former City Councilmember Helen Sears; Elmhurst Hospital Center Chief Operating Officer Chris Constantino; Greenmarket Executive Director Michael Hurwitz; Congressmember Joseph Crowley and Councilmember Danny Dromm participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opening the Greenmarket at Elmhurst Hospital Center July 13. (L. to r.): Former City Councilmember Helen Sears; Elmhurst Hospital Center Chief Operating Officer Chris Constantino; Greenmarket Executive Director Michael Hurwitz; Congressmember Joseph Crowley and Councilmember Danny Dromm participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opening the Greenmarket at Elmhurst Hospital Center July 13. On July 13, Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the grand opening of a farmers’ market on hospital grounds. The Elmhurst Hospital Center Greenmarket, which is run by the non-profit GrowNYC and features a variety of fresh, regionally grown produce, is located on 41st Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets outside the EH Community Medical Center building and operates every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ceremony was attended by hospital administrators and employees as well as local elected officials, including Congressmember Joseph Crowley and City Councilmember Danny Dromm.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley inspects fresh produce at the Greenmarket at Elmhurst Hospital Center. Congressmember Joseph Crowley inspects fresh produce at the Greenmarket at Elmhurst Hospital Center. “We are on the front lines of fighting diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses linked to diet, so we are thrilled to have the market here to provide reasonably priced, healthier options for our patients and employees,” Elmhurst Hospital Center Executive Director Chris Constantino said.

“There is no question that fresh fruits and vegetables are crucial to a healthy diet, but all too often, those living in urban areas have limited access to fresh produce,” Crowley said. “I’m pleased that local neighborhood residents will now not only have access to fresh produce through the Greenmarket, but also the opportunity to learn how to integrate healthy foods into their overall lifestyle.”

Crowley has been a strong advocate of programs that provide access and resources to encourage healthy eating and living, including the seniors and Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, which allow urban residents, particularly seniors, to purchase fresh, regional produce. Congress is expected to soon consider improvements to many federal nutrition programs, including the school breakfast and lunch programs and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

“At a time when so many of our children are suffering from diabetes and other obesity-related diseases, healthy eating is more important than ever,” Crowley said. “It is critical that we educate young people and their families to make smart, informed decisions about the meals they create, and having a market and education center so close to Elmhurst Hospital is a big step forward for the overall health of our community.”

“The Greenmarket is a fantastic addition to this community,” Dromm, who represents Jackson Heights and who, along with EHC’s Community Advisory Board, lobbied strongly for arrival of the hospitalbased market, said. “Just walking up the street on the way over here I could smell the fresh vegetables and I think that’s wonderful.”

In addition to produce, Greenmarket vendors also sell flowers, fresh cuts of meat and baked goods. Cash, credit cards, debit cards, EBT, WIC, and Senior FMNP checks are all accepted. For more information about the Elmhurst Hospital Center Greenmarket, visit www.grownyc.org. For general information about Elmhurst Hospital Center, visit nyc.gov/elhursthospital.

Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) is the major tertiary care provider in the borough of Queens. The hospital is comprised of 545 beds and is a Level I Trauma Center, an Emergency Heart Care Station and a 911 Receiving Hospital. It is the premiere healthcare organization for key areas such as surgery, cardiology, women’s health, pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine, renal and mental health services.

Elmhurst Hospital Center serves an area of approximately one million people. This community is recognized as the most ethnically diverse in the world. Last year, EHC received 693,600 ambulatory care visits as well as receiving 130,042 Emergency Room visits, making it one of the busiest ERs in New York City. More than 4,200 babies were delivered at Elmhurst last year alone–the most in this region. Ensuring accessible health care is the hospital’s priority.

GrowNYC’s Greenmarket is the largest and most successful open-air farmers’ market program in the country. Greenmarket connects local farmers with city residents by delivering high quality produce to all five boroughs. By directly linking farmers and producers to New Yorkers, Greenmarket supports family farms, preserves farmland, and delivers fresh produce to those who need it most. For more information about GrowNYC, visit www.grownyc.org.

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