April 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Elmhurst Hospital will get 100,000 KN95 masks from a private equity firm in order to help protect staff members treating coronavirus patients.
The hospital — which has been called ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City and the country — received 10,000 of the masks donated by Apollo Global Management and co-founder Josh Harris today.
It will get an additional 90,000 KN95 masks, which are a similar alternative to N95 masks, from the firm next week.
Council Member Francisco Moya, who was born at the hospital and now represents the neighborhood, facilitated the donations. Moya once worked at the hospital as the director of business development.
“Health care professionals are on the front line of this crisis. They didn’t sign up just for the good days or easy days,” Moya said. “They signed up to save lives and we need to make sure they’re able to suit up for that fight.”
Last week, Elmhurst Hospital CEO Israel Rocha reached out to Moya to request help with the facility’s shortage of personal protective equipment. The Council Member was able to facilitate the donation from Apollo Global Management directly to the hospital.
“The people at Apollo are true New Yorkers who have stepped up in a big way – led by Josh Harris – to support the courageous doctors, nurses and hospital staff,” he said. “Knowing that we haven’t even reached the apex of this fight, it’s imperative that together we make every effort, big and small, to get those on the frontline the armor they need to stay in the fight.”
Hospitals across the country are facing a national shortage of personal protective equipment such as medical gloves, gowns and masks in the face of the pandemic.
Apollo’s cofounder said he was inspired by the hospital workers at Elmhurst.
“All of us at Apollo have been inspired by the numerous acts of extraordinary heroism we’ve witnessed at Elmhurst Hospital in recent days and we will continue to do everything we can to be a meaningful part of the response to the global pandemic,” Harris said. “We deeply appreciate the crucial role that Council Member Moya played in arranging for us to provide this assistance and the bold and effective actions the entire Elmhurst Hospital team has taken to meet this unprecedented challenge.”
Rocha, Vice President of NYC Health + Hospitals and CEO of Elmhurst and Queens Hospitals, thanked Apollo Global Management and Council Member Moya.
“The outpouring of support we have received from community members and our elected officials has been truly inspiring and has warmed our hearts during an extremely difficult time,” he said. “The generosity of Apollo Global Management will directly arm our workers with the safety protection they need to continue fighting this disease and saving lives.”
The neighborhoods surrounding Elmhurst Hospital have been the hardest hit in the city. As of March 31, 947 residents of Corona, 831 residents of Elmhurst and 492 residents of Jackson Heights have contracted COVID-19, according to city data.
Overall, more Queen residents have been infected with the virus than any of the five boroughs. More than a third of all of New York City’s confirmed cases are in Queens. As of this morning, there are 17,832 COVID-19 cases in the World’s Borough and nearly 500 residents have died from the disease.