Queens Gazette

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UNG ON HALLOWEEN TRAGEDY IN S. KOREA: Council Member Sandra Ung released the following statement on the tragedy in South Korea: “My heart breaks for the people who lost their lives in South Korea, as well as those injured. My thoughts are with them and their loved ones as they begin the process of recovering from this senseless tragedy.”

MENG, BUTTIGIEG ROUNDTABLE ON TRANSIT CRIME: U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced on Oct. 25 that she partnered with United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in holding a roundtable conversation in New York City about combating crime on New York’s public transit system. Also taking part in the discussion was Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez, MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber and several local organizations.

“Reports of attacks on New York City’s trains and buses, and high-profile incidents such as the tragic death of Michelle Go and the mass shooting at a Brooklyn subway station, have rattled New Yorkers – including many Queens residents – and continues to leave them fearful as they navigate our transit system,” said Rep. Meng. “This violence is completely unacceptable, and it is particularly damaging in our public transit spaces. All New Yorkers deserve to have peace of mind when using public transportation to go to work, school, or when traveling to see family and friends. Combating these crimes must continue to be a top priority at all levels of government. We will not tolerate or accept these threats to public safety. As I have said, we must never take a backseat to safety, and do all we can to keep people out of harm’s way. I thank Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Fernandez for coming to New York City to address this urgent concern, and I thank MTA Chairman and CEO Lieber for taking part in this crucial discussion.”

The roundtable, which featured discussion on the problem and efforts to combat it, was held at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New York City office. It included leaders from Asian American advocacy organizations who highlighted the ongoing hate and violence that the Asian American community has been forced to endure on mass transit in New York City.

IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS HOSTS ROUNDTABLE: The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and the Civic Engagement Commission (CEC) hosted an in-person Community and Ethnic Media Roundtable to discuss the upcoming series of “The People’s Money” borough-wide idea generation sessions. The five borough-based idea generation sessions hosted by the CEC and local partners will invite residents to represent their neighborhood in the participatory budgeting process.

“The People’s Money” is New York City’s first-ever citywide participatory budgeting process, where New Yorkers decide what projects should get funded. All New Yorkers as young as 11 years old and regardless of immigration status will be able to decide how to spend $5 million funding from the Mayor’s Office to address local community needs citywide.

Visit on.nyc.gov/PBinYourBorough to register and attend Borough-wide Idea Generation Sessions listed below. To learn more about “The People’s Money” visit participate.nyc.gov.

Queens: Thursday, November 10 at 5:00 PM at Queens Borough Hall – Helen Marshall Cultural Center (120-55 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11424).

MALONEY BILL FOR NAT’L ABORTION ACCESS: On Oct. 27, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced her plans to introduce the Abortion Care Awareness Act of 2022 to establish a national public health, education, awareness, and outreach campaign to provide accurate information about where and how to obtain abortion care, in order to enhance access to these services. The legislation follows the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and a staff analysis released by the Committee showing that since 2021, congressional Republicans have introduced more than 50 bills to ban or restrict abortion nationwide.

“Every person in the United States, no matter their zip code, should be able to access accurate information on where and how to obtain abortion care,” said Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “Since the fall of Roe, Republican-led states have rushed to impose draconian bans that are forcing women to travel long distances to seek abortion care and leading to the spread of abortion misinformation intended to deceive patients. Republican politicians have made clear they are not satisfied with state bans—they have introduced a nationwide abortion ban that would put doctors and nurses in prison and take away reproductive freedom from millions of women. The Abortion Care Awareness Act will help ensure that every American can access accurate, comprehensive information to make decisions about the health and economic security of themselves and their families.”

The Abortion Care Awareness Act of 2022 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to carry out a coordinated, national public health education, awareness, and outreach campaign to provide information regarding where and how people can access abortion and related health services, the right to travel across state lines to access abortion care, how to identify misinformation about abortion, and more.

The public awareness campaign would be established in consultation with health care professionals, reproductive rights and justice organizations, state and local health departments, and other experts.

The Abortion Care Awareness Act of 2022 is endorsed by more than 35 reproductive rights, reproductive justice, medical, and legal advocacy organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Center for Reproductive Rights, Power to Decide, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Women’s Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.

ARRAIGNED ON THIRD KIDNAPPING, ASSAULT – FACE 75 YRS: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that defendants Destiny Lebron and Gil Iphael have been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on kidnapping, assault and other charges for an August attack in Richmond Hill. The defendants, who have two other pending cases, face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on this case.

District Attorney Katz said, “These defendants, who are thankfully off the streets, are accused of a spree of assault, kidnapping and robbery charges for their own financial benefit. Both defendants are in custody and will be held accountable.”

Lebron, 19, of North Portland, Brooklyn, and Iphael, 22, of Copaigue Street, Valley Stream, were re-arrested and arraigned on Oct. 27 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone on an 14-count indictment charging them with kidnapping in the second degree, robbery in the first degree and two-counts of robbery in the second degree, assault in the second degree and third degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree and second degree, two-counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and petit larceny. Justice Vallone ordered the defendants to return to court on November 17. If convicted on all three indictments, both defendants face a total of up to 75 years in prison.

According to the charges, on August 14, the victim, a 23-year-old male, went to 91-42 108th Street in response to an online prostitution advertisement. As the victim entered the location, he was directed to wait inside a bedroom. Defendant Lebron entered the room and removed the victim’s shoes and socks. At that time, defendant Iphael entered the room, threatened the victim and repeatedly punched the victim in the face, head and body. The defendants then applied a numbing agent to the victims’ toe, demanded money from the victim and attempted to make transfers from his CASH APP account. When the victim refused, defendant Iphael used a tool and began to cut the victim’s toe and threatened to cut it off if the victim did not comply. The victim eventually complied.

Furthermore, defendant Iphael took the victim’s car keys and gave them to defendant Lebron who removed the victims’ wallet from the car. From the wallet, the defendants took the victim’s identification and several licenses along with his debit and credit cards. They demanded that the victim give them his PIN number or face further harm. After receiving the victim’s PIN, defendant Iphael left the room and went to a nearby deli and made a withdrawal from a cash machine. When he returned, he gave the card and PIN to defendant Lebron who also made a cash withdrawal. The defendants then forced the victim to make a recording stating that he was at the location to engage in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and then threatened to post the video on the internet if he reported the incident to the police. Before defendant Iphael released the victim, he returned some of his items and further threatened to harm his family if he reported the incident to the police.

The victim went to a nearby urgent care facility where he received eight stitches to his toe and he immediately called the police.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz asks that if anyone has any information relevant to this investigation, they report it to the New York City Police Department’s Human Trafficking Squad at (212) 694-3031.

ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES FOR SUBWAY SHOVE; FACES 25: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Oct. 25 that Lamale McRae was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on charges of attempted murder and other crimes for allegedly shoving onto the train tracks at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue subway station a man waiting on a train and an eight-year-old bystander.

District Attorney Katz said: “As alleged, this defendant suddenly tackled a subway rider onto the train tracks and pushed aside a young boy as he fled accountability for his vicious, unprovoked attack. This defendant is now charged with attempted murder and other charges for this shocking incident. Every New Yorker deserves to know they can safely travel to work, to school and around this City with safety. We will not give up this sense of security in Queens. We will not surrender our streets to fear.”

McRae, 41, of Moffat Street in Brooklyn was arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Diego Friere on a complaint charging him with attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the third degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Freire ordered the defendant to return to Court on November 14, 2022. If convicted, McRae faces 25 years in prison.

According to the charges, on Friday, October 21, at approximately 2:45 p.m., victim David Martin, 32, and the eight-year-old child of an eyewitness were standing on the northbound “L” train platform at the Myrtle-Wycoff Avenue subway station when defendant McRae allegedly slammed into Mr. Martin pushing him off the train platform onto the railway tracks. The defendant allegedly pushed the eight-year-old boy to the ground as he ran away. The victim was able to climb back to safety using the platform stairs.

Continuing, said DA Katz, the victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries including a broken collar bone, a sprained shoulder, multiple lacerations and abrasions and significant pain to his face, shoulder, arms and back. The child suffered knee abrasions.

DELUDED BUS HIJACKER CHARGED: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Oct. 29 that Dwayne Gaddy has been charged with grand larceny, robbery, reckless endangerment and other crimes for allegedly hijacking a crowded MTA bus in Cambria Heights on the morning of Oct. 27 with what appeared to be a handgun. All of the approximate 30 passengers were able to escape from the bus and the driver escaped through a window before the defendant crashed the vehicle into a utility pole. The defendant is currently being held on $500,000 cash bail.

District Attorney Katz said, “The alleged actions taken by this defendant not only endangered dozens of commuters, they have also further undermined our sense of safety when using public transit. This brazen lawlessness will not go unanswered in Queens County. Thankfully, the incident did not escalate further, thanks to the efforts of the MTA bus driver. The defendant has been charged appropriately and faces justice in our courts.”

Gaddy, 44, of 201st Place in St. Albans, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Eugene Guarino on a 10-count complaint charging him with grand larceny in the second and fourth degree, three counts of robbery in the second degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Guarino ordered the defendant to return to court on November 1. If convicted, Gaddy faces up to 15 years in prison.

According to the charges, on October 27, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the defendant ran in front of an eastbound Q4 MTA on Linden Boulevard while carrying a black bag and blocked the path of the vehicle. The defendant allegedly demanded to be let on board stating, “Let me on the bus, they are trying to kill me!”

Continuing, DA Katz said when the operator refused to let him on the bus, the defendant then produced what appeared to be a firearm and pointed it at the vehicle. The bus operator opened the door, allowing the defendant to board, at which point Gaddy allegedly walked up and down the center aisle while holding the weapon. According to video surveillance later retrieved from inside the vehicle, the bus driver is seen opening the doors so that approximately 30 passengers could safely disembark, likely preventing further harm, as the defendant stood next to the driver with the weapon.

Furthermore, DA Katz said the defendant allegedly demanded the driver continue driving the empty bus and stated, “Please help me, they are trying to kill me. Just drive. No, I do not want to go to Francis Lewis. They are all over Francis Lewis, they are trying to kill me over this girl.” While under duress, the bus driver continued turning down several streets at the defendant’s direction to avoid individuals the defendant claimed were trying to kill him. At some point, the defendant allegedly requested the police.

According to the complaint, as the bus driver continued driving the bus, the defendant claimed that an elderly pedestrian walking on the sidewalk is threatening him with a gun. The bus operator tried to reason with the defendant while opening the driver’s side window. After driving several more blocks, the driver was able to jump out of the vehicle, leaving the defendant alone on the bus near the intersection of 231st Street and Linden Boulevard. As alleged, the defendant immediately attempted to take the steering wheel and lost control of the bus, careening into a utility pole between 223rd and 234th Streets.

Police apprehended the defendant across the street from the collision and he was taken to a local hospital. The recovered weapon used during the course of the incident was determined to be an air-soft pistol.

The MTA bus operator was transported to a local Queens hospital where he was treated for bruising to his elbow and hip, lacerations and abrasions to his arm and finger and substantial pain.

CITY TO RECEIVE OVER $8M FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT: On October 27, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), New York’s senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, applauded the Department of Justice’s announcement of nearly $140 million for law enforcement hirings to help advance community policing. The grant, which the Congresswoman helped secure, will provide funding for police departments across the nation, and will provide the New York City Police Department (NYPD) with over $8 million.

“As New York’s senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am responsible for helping fund and helping conduct oversight of federal agencies that assist with policing cities across the nation,” said Congresswoman Meng. “These include agencies like the Department of Justice, helping to provide the resources our communities need to keep people safe. That is why I’m pleased about the Justice Department’s announcement of a $140 million grant for police departments including $8 million specifically to the NYPD. Protecting Queens residents and all New Yorkers has to be a top priority. I thank the Department of Justice for helping provide the resources to help address crime, and look forward to continuing to help funnel federal dollars to our borough and city.”

In addition, Meng helped secure the following funding earlier this year in the fiscal year 2023 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill:

  • $716.9 million for Byrne Justice Assistance grants which would be the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to states and local government.
  • $543.9 million for COPS program grants, helping provide community policing policies and experts.
  • $175 million for STOP school Violence Act grants which seek to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, and supports school violence prevention efforts.
  • $150 million for community-based violence intervention and prevention initiatives.
  • $110 million to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.
  • Promoting justice and racial equality by providing $25 million for a new public defender improvement program and $125 million in grants for the Second Chance Act.

A spokesperson noted that Meng also helped secure an additional $300 million in a bipartisan effort to help further bolster the National Night Out program across the country which includes many events in Queens each year. National Night Out aims to build and strengthen relationships with community members and police departments, with the goal of increasing crime and drug prevention awareness. Additionally, last year the Congresswoman voted for the House-passed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which aims to address police brutality and racial injustice by banning all chokeholds, banning no-knock warrants in drug cases, and strengthening data collection efforts on body cameras and dashboard cameras.

QEDC SEED FUNDING: Queens Economic Development Corporation is helping small business owners apply for the NY State Seed Funding Program. “Are you a small business owner who did not qualify for the NYS COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program? Have you been in business for at least six months? Are you looking for grants/ financial assistance to pay your payroll, mortgage payments, and/or other business expenses?

“You may qualify for the NY State Seed Funding Program. Recently launched, this program is intended to be more flexible with its requirements and intends to serve those who were unable to get assistance with the NYS COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. The QEDC will host the same webinar twice to help business owners who are unable to make one of those timings.

In this one-hour webinar, you will:

  • Learn if you qualify for the grant program
  • Verify the documents you will need
  • See how to fill in the application with a chance for you to follow and fill out on your own!
  • Get a chance to ask questions about any concerns you may have

You have the opportunity to catch this webinar at two times:

  1. November 9th at Noon. To register, click here
  2. November 16th at 8:00 pm. To register, click here

COUNCIL PASSES ‘SUPPORT SURVIVORS’ BILL: On Oct. 27, the Council passed bills to increase support for survivors of domestic violence, reduce the City’s problem with rats, and to advance planning for the expansion of public bathrooms and greenways. The legislative package increasing services and providing resources for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, known as the “Support Survivors” package, comes during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It would require city agencies to establish a housing stability program for survivors and create an online portal and resource guide for survivors.

Introduction 153-A, sponsored by Council Member Tiffany Cabán, would require the Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV), in consultation with the Department of Social Services (DSS) and community-based organizations, to establish a program to provide survivors of domestic and gender-based violence with a low-barrier grant and supportive services that would help survivors with expenses related to maintaining housing. The bill would also require ENDGBV to report on the program on an annual basis.

Introduction 154-A, sponsored by Council Member Tiffany Cabán, would require ENDGBV to establish an online portal and a written resource guide of available services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence in New York City. The portal and guide would be available in the designated citywide languages. The guide would also be available in Braille. The portal would also include a clear and conspicuous link to any other relevant City-run websites and portals that provide information on survivor services located within the city, and a description of the types of such resources. The bill would also require ENDGBV to conduct outreach on the portal and guide and ensure the portal is secure and confidential to protect the privacy of survivors.

Resolution 111, sponsored by Council Member Tiffany Cabán, would call upon New York State to pass legislation that would provide domestic violence survivors and their families with job-protected, paid leave, similar to that of New York State’s Paid Family Leave law, to be used for any activities relating to their actual or perceived status as a domestic violence survivor or family member of a domestic violence survivor.

“It’s time we did right by survivors,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “Along with my colleagues, I am committed to removing the barriers to accessing services that the Committee on Women and Gender Equity has found survivors face, as well as proactively establishing the programs that survivors say they need. The ‘Support Survivors’ legislative package is a bold step toward a city where survivors of violence can find healing, growth, and safety. For too long, this city has cynically used survivors’ trauma and pain merely as a pretext to ramp up policing, prosecution, and incarceration, leaving the actual survivors without access to the services and protections they need. No more.”

COUNCIL PASSES RAT ACTION PLAN: The Council also passed the Rat Action Plan on Oct. 27, which requires the City to double down on combating rats by increasing rat mitigation efforts. New York City is currently experiencing a severe rat infestation problem. The increased number of rodents results in more property damage, food contamination and disease transmission as well as in an overall reduction in residents’ quality of life. These bills would address the everyday problems New Yorkers face when encountering rodents.

Introduction 414-A, sponsored by Council Member Chi Ossé, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to issue an annual report on rat mitigation efforts in rat mitigation zones, submit the report to the Speaker of the Council and the Mayor, and make the report publicly available online. The report would describe the metrics DOHMH uses to measure the efficacy of rat mitigation in each zone as well as outreach efforts.

Introduction 442-A, sponsored by Council Member Erik Bottcher, would require that before a permit authorizing certain construction work that is subject to rodent extermination is issued, the applicant certify that a licensed exterminator was retained to effectively treat the premises for rodent extermination.

Introduction 459-A, sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu, would require that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene designate by rule rat mitigation zones throughout the City. This bill would also provide that the Department of Sanitation may determine by rule the times during which buildings must set out their garbage and recycling for collection.

Introduction 460-A, sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu, would require that buildings that receive two or more rodent-specific housing maintenance code or two or more rodent-specific health code violations place their refuse in rodent-proof containers for at least two years. The bill would provide that the Department of Sanitation may waive this container requirement where it would cause an undue hardship or public safety hazard.

The Council also passed the following:

Introduction 258-A, sponsored by Council Member Rita Joseph, would require that the Mayor designate an agency or office to, in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Department of Parks and Recreation, report on feasible locations for public bathroom facilities across the City. This bill would also require that the agencies or offices responsible for such report incorporate public and community board input regarding locations suitable for public bathrooms.

Introduction 291-A, sponsored by Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers and Council Member Carlina Rivera, would require the Department of Transportation and the Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a citywide greenway master plan, with the goal of achieving a comprehensive network of greenways. Under the legislation, these agencies would create a working group tasked with identifying locations feasible for development into greenways, establishing greenway design guidelines and identifying opportunities for integrating green infrastructure, and creating a list of early action greenway projects. The bill would also require that these agencies report annually on the implementation of the greenway plan, and engage with community boards on all proposals.

QUEENS CIVIC CONGRESS LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Queens Civic Congress Legislative Reception will take place on Sunday, December 4th, starting at 1:00pm at the historic Douglaston Club.

The QCC Legislative Reception is a unique gathering where attendees meet one-on-one with Federal, State, and City elected officials. It is unlike any other get-together.

At this year’s Legislative Reception, the QCC will honor our nation’s military veterans with special recognition of World War II veteran, Sey Schwartz.

“QCC looks forward to seeing you at the Douglaston Club on December 4th. We will provide additional information as the date gets closer.”

Visit qcc.nyc for more info.

NEW LAW – INSURANCE FOR POST-MASTECTOMY: Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) had her historic and first of its kind bill signed into law, providing women with insurance coverage for aesthetic flat closure. A.8537, a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and Senator Toby Ann Stavisky amends the insurance law to ensure that women can have either reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, or choose to go with a flat chest after a mastectomy – granting women the right to choose how they want their post-mastectomy body to look.

“In New York we do not just want women with breast cancer to survive, we want them to thrive. Women deserve autonomy over how their bodies will look, especially after a mastectomy. Part of this bill is about allowing women to love their bodies. I’m so thankful to the advocates who had the strength to show me how their chests had been mangled and were left unhappy with their bodies after a mastectomy when they chose to stay flat. It is from their courage that Senator Stavisky and I successfully worked to give women a choice on how their post-mastectomy bodies will look – and that is what this law does,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato.

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky remarked “We believe women deserve autonomy over their own bodies. If a woman undergoes a mastectomy to combat breast cancer, they have the right to choose from all post-surgery options. If a woman chooses to undergo chest wall reconstruction it should be covered by insurance, in the same manner as breast reconstruction.”

The bill passed in both houses of the State Legislature with 100% unanimous bi-partisan support. With this new law, New York has become the first State in the country to provide this type of insurance coverage, allowing flat closure procedures to be covered by insurance just like reconstructive surgery. If you or someone you love is interested in speaking with someone on flat closure, please reach out to the experts from Not Putting On A Shirt at info@notputtingonashirt.org.

TRAINING IN AT-HOME DIALYSIS: NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens announced plans to open a 1700-square-foot dialysis treatment center to train patients with end-stage liver disease or kidney failure to safely and confidently do at-home peritoneal dialysis.

U.S. Representative Grace Meng provided $1 million to support the construction of the new center on the hospital’s campus, which will expand access to this life-saving treatment to a diverse, underserved population in the borough of Queens. The center will be able to serve approximately 2,400 chronic kidney disease patients annually and will be the first dialysis training program for patients in the NYC Health + Hospitals system. The hospital is awaiting regulatory approvals to finalize cost, design and timeline for construction. The project is expected to take a few years to complete.

“We are extremely grateful to U.S. Representative Meng for this essential funding on our behalf, which will enable us to provide a state-of-the-art outpatient dialysis center right in the heart of Queens for members of our patient family,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens CEO Neil J. Moore, MBA, MPA, FACHE. “Many of these patients rely on our hospital for their primary care as well as prefer to receive the services they need right here in their own borough. As we continue to shift our focus toward prevention and chronic disease management, establishing this new center will demonstrate cutting-edge clinical interventions leading to improved clinical outcomes.”

“This project will renovate an old swimming pool room and convert it into a modern dialysis center, and once complete, it will serve a critical medical need in the community,” said Congresswoman Meng. “It will help ensure better access to crucial dialysis services so that patients can receive the quality and cutting-edge care they need and deserve. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must make sure that we build back better, stronger, more equitably, and with greater resiliency than ever before, and this project underscores how we are doing that here in Queens. I am excited to see the dialysis center when it opens, and look forward to it serving patients for many years to come.”

“The demand for a new outpatient dialysis center remains strong and specifically focused on the disparate and underserved patient population at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens Deputy Medical Director Dave Holson, MD, who added that “…having the hospital as the primary site of care affords our patients the benefits of having emergency response services always close at hand.”

Peritoneal dialysis is a way to remove waste products from the blood when kidneys can no longer adequately perform that job. Unlike the more common procedure called hemodialysis which removes blood from the body to filter it and return it into the body, this treatment uses the lining of the stomach as the filter to remove excess fluid, correct electrolyte problems, and remove toxins. It can easily be done at home, at school, at work, and while traveling. The treatment increases the patients’ quality of life as it allows them more independence and lifestyle flexibility. It is also known to help patients retain kidney function longer than through hemodialysis.

Depending on patient confidence, training may range from 4 to 12 weeks and include instruction ranging from caring for catheter sites, through dialyzing and troubleshooting issues that may arise.

The new dialysis training center will be staffed with a team of trained professionals who specialize in dialysis, including a nephrologist, nephrology nurses, nephrology technician, dietician, social worker and an available general surgeon. It will have handicap parking access and will be easily accessible from street level.

For more information about NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, visit our website www.nychealthandhospitals.org/queens, or call 1-844-NYC-4NYC for an appointment.

BP RICHARDS’ UPCOMING EVENTS: Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. is holding the following upcoming events (to RSVP for the following events, visit queensbp.org/RSVP/):

Veterans Day Observance Ceremony – Tuesday, November 15 at 11:30am, at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.

Transgender Day of Remembrance Ceremony – Thursday, November 17 at 6pm, at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.

Keeping Each Other Safe: Self-Defense Workshop 3 – Monday, November 21 at 6pm, at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.

—With contributions by Annette Hanze Alberts

This column was originated by John A. Toscano


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