Jefferson Park Opens – 1905

The New York Times reports on the opening of Jefferson Park in East Harlem, displaying a casual racism directed towards both Italian and Jewish New Yorkers:

Jefferson Park Opens

Six years later, the park included an agricultural series of plots for children to learn how to grow food.

A “farm garden”, with over a thousand plots for children, was added in May 1911. The farm gardens, taking up 2 acres (0.81 ha), were used to teach children horticultural skills

The land for the park was acquired starting in 1897 but the pool and bathhouse were built later – during a Works Progress Administration project in 1935–1936.

The Thomas Jefferson Play Center was designated a city landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2007.

Metropolitan Hospital’s Executive Director Highlighted

Cristina Contreras, CEO of Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem, has overcome remarkable adversity by becoming one of only 27% of women CEOs in the healthcare industry. Coming from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. at 15, she faced language barriers and the challenges of adapting to a new culture.

Contreras’s path to success was marked by additional hardship, including family dysfunction that left her and her brother nearly homeless and struggling for sustenance and becoming a teen mother at 18. Despite the impediments, Contreras pursued her education and worked her way up the ranks within the NYC Health and Hospitals system. Transitioning from frontline work to administration, Contreras discovered the power of enacting systemic change to benefit broader communities.

Woman makes her mark as East Harlem’s Metropolitan Hospital CEO, trailblazer in Dominican community

Cristina Contreras represents roughly 27% of women CEOs in health systems across the country, according the the National Institutes of Health.

As CEO, Contreras has implemented initiatives to enhance job accessibility, such as launching a paid internship program, and has championed efforts to improve access to bilingual healthcare. Her deep connection to her Dominican heritage permeates her work, shaping her commitment to serving marginalized communities. Beyond her hospital duties, Contreras chairs the National Dominican Day Parade, striving to inspire the next generation by providing educational scholarships and fostering a sense of possibility. Through her journey, Contreras aims to instill hope in others, encouraging them to recognize their potential for achievement despite facing significant challenges.