The Brooklyn Hospital Center Launched 175th Anniversary with Laurie Cumbo, Fort Greene Park Conservancy and Walt WhitmanFebruary 7, 2019
Throughout 2019 to 2021, The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) will celebrate its 175th anniversary as Brooklyn’s first hospital, as well as recognize the organizations and icons that have shared the hospital’s time in history, contributing to the world’s most dynamic community. On January 31, an inaugural program launched these celebrations and specifically celebrated Brooklyn’s first voluntary hospital, Brooklyn’s first official park, and Brooklyn’s most famous poet. Gary G. Terrinoni, TBHC President & CEO, said the anniversary was a time to pause and celebrate the hospital and the borough’s achievements.
During the three years, The Brooklyn Hospital Foundation will recognize 175 individuals and institutions from the past and present that have made a unique contribution to the depth, breadth, individuality and well-being of Brooklyn. The first three of these were:
1) Lizanne Fontaine, Chair, TBHC Board of Trustees, bestowed a medal to Laurie Cumbo, NYC Council Majority Leader. Ms. Cumbo said, “We, too, will want the future to know we put our stamp on Brooklyn; that we worked for quality healthcare to welcome new neighbors while supporting those who toiled to make the neighborhood what it is today.”
2) Carlos P. Naudon, Immediate Past Chair, TBHC Board of Trustees, honored Julian Macrone, Fort Greene Park Conservancy. The park is next door to the hospital and features a monument to Revolutionary martyrs. The land was designated as a park in 1847 and designed by Olmsted and Vaux in 1867. Mr. Macrone noted that research shows that green spaces contribute to public health. “There is a beautiful unity in the idea of a hospital and park, side by side, both contributing to the health of the community,” he said.
3) Dozier Hasty, publisher and owner of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, gave an award to Brad Vogel of the Walt Whitman Initiative. Mr. Hasty noted that Whitman was an editor at the newspaper for two years, while Mr. Vogel explained that Whitman trained as a nurse at the hospital before serving as such in Washington, DC hospitals during the Civil War. Mr. Vogel reminded guests, “Walt Whitman remains in these ample hills. We can look for him under our boot soles.”
The event also displayed artifacts and photographs from the hospital’s rich history, as well as cut-outs of an antique TBHC ambulance, Walt Whitman, and an unknown nurse. Ms. Fontaine, herself a nurse, as well as an attorney, called attention to the nurse cutout in a nod of gratitude.