Rockland’s leading health officials, politicians, and law enforcement personnel were in attendance for the phase two opening of the FJ Borelli Family Emergency Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. The occasion was celebrated by a dedication ceremony, organized by Dr. Mark E. Geller, President and CEO of Nyack Hospital, on Tuesday. Dr. Geller was joined by Jamil F. Rizqalla, Associate Director of Emergency Medicine at Nyack Hospital, and local officials including County Executive Ed Day, NY State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Assemblyman Mike Lawler, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, Dr. Frances Pratt, and Clarkstown Councilman Frank Borelli, who was there to commemorate his family’s contributions.
The recently completed center features a pediatric division, specialized to assisting children who need physical, and behavioral treatment. The center contains several private rooms available to pediatric patients, as well as expanded technological resources and support staff. The division houses updated CAT Scan and X-Ray technology and a decontamination room, designed to treat those who experience chemical spills or radiation exposure. It will be a “safe space” for Rockland’s adolescents, according to Dr. Geller. The family emergency center will be decorated with selected artwork showcasing the talents of Rockland’s high school and middle school students.
Phase one was completed a year ago; however, plans surrounding the project started ten years prior, and construction began five years ago at Montefiore. Phase one completion consisted of the new behavioral health and trauma centers, as well as a medical surgical area. Frank Borelli and family fundraised the multi-million dollar project, which Dr. Geller credits as the reason why the hospital was allowed to apply for a grant to finance the venture.
“Frank Borelli is a source of counsel, inspiration, and friendship,” said Dr. Geller. “He not only served in a philanthropic way, but on the board as well. I am extremely grateful for his very generous contribution, as well as presence and leadership.”
Frank Borelli’s association with Nyack Hospital has been “long, but fun.” “The completion of this project is overwhelming,” expressed Borelli. “It is truly better than anything else.”
Councilman Borelli, the son of Frank Borelli and who is on the board, conveyed his gratitude. “The Borelli Family Emergency Center is meaningful to the community,” said Borelli to the Rockland County Times. “The premier level of physicians and nurses are the backbone of this hospital.”
“This is a very exciting time, and I am ready to call this center our home,” said Rizqalla. “This will be an atmosphere in which to thrive. It is a dream come true.” Rizqalla honored those who “worked so diligently” as well as the “ones who dedicate their lives to save lives.”
The ceremony was graced by the attending of Dr. Frances Pratt, retired Nyack NAACP President who worked 53 years as a nurse at Nyack Hospital from May 1959 until her retirement in 2012. She was the first black nurse to ever enter the hospital, as well as head the Nyack Emergency Room. Coming from the segregated South during the Jim Crow Era, Dr. Pratt held onto her unflagging disposition, as well as vigorous faith to serve at the hospital as well as ultimately witness the rise of Nyack Hospital. She views the phase two opening as the “completion of her work” from over 50 years ago. “This is the climax, the epitome of everything I worked for,” said Dr. Pratt to the Rockland County Times. The ceremony was emotional for her, as she is appreciative of what “Frank Borelli gave of himself.”
“Frank Borelli is part of a great audience,” said Dr. Pratt in reference to scripture. “All that we give to others, will come back to us and Frank Borelli will be repaid.”
The ceremony was followed by a ribbon cutting, light refreshments and guided tours.