CB11 Meeting Tomorrow at 6 PM

Please register for CB11’s Health and Human Services meeting on Monday, March 7th here:


The committee will be discussing Community Board 11’s resolution requesting a moratorium on the siting of any new drug rehabilitation, chemical dependency, or treatment centers within Community District 11 that they crafted last year, and proposing an extension before this moratorium expires.

This is a very important meeting and you are urged to join and note how the oversaturation in our community leads to poor outcomes for the existing programs when patients need to run gauntlets of dealers who tempt patients to reengage with street drugs.  

Oversaturating is directly responsible for the surge in overdose deaths we’ve seen over the last few years in our community.  We need this.

Thank Black Women


The oldest minority/women-owned professional design and construction firm in the United States – McKissack – has just completed the amazing renovations to LaGuardia and is moving on to work on JFK.

This family-owned business for more than 115 years, has worked in planning, design, and construction of more than 6,000 projects nationwide, but locally may be best known for their work on Harlem Hospital and the preservation of the amazing Harlem Renaissance murals.

McKissack provided construction management services in support of the Patient Pavilion project, which was part of Harlem Hospital’s Major Modernization Program that added 150,000 sq. ft. and the new Emergency Department, state-of-the-art critical care and diagnostic units, and operating rooms.

The historic murals created during the Harlem Renaissance in the WPA-era 1930s at Harlem Hospital were preserved and permanently reinstalled into the patient pavilion.

Now moving on to work on JFK, McKissack has a major role in the 7 billion dollar project.

Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District Gets New Signage

Nick Garber at Patch.com is reporting that the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District is getting new street signs to inform passersby that they are walking through a historic district.

The six markers have been installed on street poles around the district, which runs along both sides of Frederick Douglass Boulevard between West 135th and 140th streets, bounded by St. Nicholas Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.

Harlem Hospital Nursing Yearbook 1959

The Harlem Hospital School of Nursing closed in 1977 and the site is about to become a new public health lab:


A 1959 yearbook of the nursing school is currently for sale:


and is described as:

Yearbook commemorating the graduation year for the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing’s Class of 1959. This copy was owned by graduating nursing student Joan A. Ryan, with her name stamped in gilt on the front cover. The initials in the cover title stand for Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. The annual is profusely illustrated with photographs and photo-collages of the nurses- in-training, including separate group shots of classes, instructors, supervisors, the yearbook committee, the head nurses, the Glee Club, and more. The main section of individual senior class photographs is arranged in alphabetical order. There are also sections commensurate with yearbooks, such as remembrances, sorority photos, the Bible Club, cartoons drawn by the students, prophecies of future success for each student, and more. The last section, about sixteen pages, is devoted to well-wishes from friends and local advertisements, providing information on businesses for the area around Harlem Hospital during this time

Some of the earlier sections of the yearbook are annotated in blue ink by the original owner, Joan Ryan, identifying staff members and fellow students. In the section of graduation photographs, she comments on the marital and parental status of her fellow graduates. For instance, under Ida M. Jackman’s name Ryan writes: “Engaged Married 1 Child.” She evidently kept track of her fellow graduates over the course of time. She does not write anything below her own picture, which has a printed quote from Shakespeare beneath it.

A wonderful memento of the medical education of African-American women in Harlem in the early years of the Civil Rights movement, owned and annotated by one of the graduates.

A New York Times article from the 50’s noted the struggle Black nurses had against racism when studying to become trained nurses:

“When we appeared on the ward, the white nurses walked off,” said Rachel H. Bridge, who was in the first, 20‐member group to enter the school. “It was terrible. We broke into a white set up.”

The integration of Harlem Hospital was bitter. Some of the early graduates remember doctors who vowed they would not work alongside black nurses. “We were forced to eat by ourselves,” Mrs. Bridge said.

See: https://www.nytimes.com/1973/06/08/archives/harlem-nursing-alumnae-recall-early-racial-snubs.html

To read a history of the nursing school, see:

Student Art on East 129th Street

Artwork on plywood, from children of the Storefront Academy.

Toy Drive

I hope all is well! I’m reaching out to share that Cayuga Centers will be hosting our first agency-wide holiday toy drive benefiting the youth in all our foster care programs. 
Supporters can participate by purchasing a gift from our Amazon Wishlists, donating monetary funds, or volunteering at our in-person event on December 11th. We will be accepting gifts until December 8th. Learn more at cayugacenters.org/holiday-toy-drive-2021/

Holiday Toy Drive In-Person Event
When: Dec 11th, 2021
Location: Cayuga Centers Recreational Space (24 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10454)

Volunteers will help set up a toy distribution store to create a personal shopper experience for foster parents to “shop” for gifts for the foster youth in their care. Volunteers can sign up here for shifts between 10am-7pm based on their availability. Food will be provided.

Thanks for your continued support!

Jasmine Lawrence I Media & Community Specialist

Cayuga Centers I 1916 Park Avenue NY, NY 10037

Office: 800-421-2031 Ext. 1704 I Cell: 646-740-1899

NYC Public Health Laboratory Coming to Harlem

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is proposing moving their existing facility from 455 1st Ave (btw 27th & 28th, across from Bellevue Hospital) to the Harlem Hospital Campus where they propose to construct a new 10-story approx. 234,742 gsf building to be used as the NYC Public Health Laboratory.
A community forum to discuss the Relocation will be held Thursday, April 29th, 2021 from 6pm-8pm.
Click link below to register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The location is on West 137th Street, between 5th and Lenox Avenues:

Here is the DOHMH Press Release:

New Public Health Laboratory on the Harlem Hospital Campus

About the Public Health Laboratory

The New York City Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory (PHL) was established in 1892 and performs critical testing to detect and respond to public health emergencies, helping to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy. For example, PHL tests and ensures the safety of our drinking and beach water. In recent years, the PHL has provided emergency response for H1N1, Ebola, hepatitis A, Legionnaires’ disease, Zika virus, measles and COVID-19.

The current PHL facility is located at 455 First Ave., across from Bellevue Hospital and in a residential neighborhood. The PHL is held to the strictest of standards and has never adversely impacted their neighbors or the community. The PHL’s current building is outdated, in poor condition and no longer suitable for the needs of a state of the art, modern and advanced laboratory. Renovation of the 455 1st Ave building to bring it up to current laboratory standards is not possible.

The Location of the Public Health Laboratory 

The new PHL facility will be on the Harlem Hospital campus, beside the Ronald Brown Ambulatory Care Center facing 137th Street.  While the PHL facility will be a new construction project, DOHMH has been a partner in the neighborhood for many years, with the DOHMH Sexual Health Clinic nearby at 2238 5th Avenue.  The 10 story PHL facility will have 5 lab floors and 5 floors primarily dedicated to administrative and back-of-house functions, as well as an auditorium, training lab and “Harlem Express” facility (discussed below).

How the New Public Health Laboratory Facility Will Benefit the Harlem Community

The new facility will include the “Harlem Express” on the main level, where New Yorkers can get screened for sexually transmitted infections with rapid results — one of a few such testing centers in the United States.  New Yorkers currently utilize the “Chelsea Express” in the Chelsea neighborhood, so it’s exciting to bring this advanced, rapid testing technology uptown.  The Harlem Express will also be able to pivot to provide testing and medicines needed during a public health emergency.  For example, the Chelsea Express and new labs built at other DOHMH clinics, including the Central Harlem clinic, are now providing COVID-19 testing in communities, with same day results. 

The PHL will provide training opportunities for students and plans to connect with neighborhood schools to encourage careers in laboratory science.  The DOHMH has a robust partnership with CUNY’s Medical Laboratory Sciences program at Hunter.  Many of those students begin with internships, then move onto full time careers at the PHL. 

The new facility will also include a 200-person auditorium for community use.  We envision the space to be used by the community for meetings, events and gatherings.  We want to be good neighbors and partners in the community.

Additional Information About the New Public Health Laboratory Building

The new PHL facility will not permanently take away any spots for on street parking. Employees are encouraged to take mass transit. Six off-street parking spaces will be created as part of the PHL project to support the operation of the laboratory. An undeveloped lot will remain next to the new PHL facility, which may be developed by Harlem Hospital in the future.

Construction activities will be conducted according to the NYC Noise Control Code. The contractor will be required to develop a noise control plan, as well as a dust control plan, which will proactively address how to prevent dust from rising and spreading in the neighborhood. Noise and dust will be kept to a minimum.

Project timeline

  • Early 2020 – 2022: Preparation of the site to build the new PHL facility. 
  • 2022 – 2025: Construction of the new 10-story building will occur. 
  • End of 2025: The new Public Health Lab facility will open. 

Contact us at [email protected]if you have any questions.

East Harlem Residents on NY1 Noticias

Great coverage on NY1 Noticias about how the oversaturation of methadone clinics impacts the quality of life for East Harlem residents.


Harlem Hospital

While we are all familiar with the Harlem Hospital’s location at Malcolm X Blvd. and 135th. Street, the original Harlem Hospital was located at 120th Street and the East River in 1887 – currently the location of Public School 202. Initially, the hospital served as a holding area for patients to be transferred to Randalls and Wards Islands and Bellevue Hospital

By 1903, construction had begun on a new Harlem Hospital located on the east side of Lenox Avenue between 136th and 137th streets in central Harlem. 

The new building was required because of the rapid increase in the area’s population with the expansion of the subway under Lenox Ave.

In 1907 the new Harlem Hospital opened under the jurisdiction of Bellevue and Allied Hospitals, at that time it was the central authority for all municipal hospitals in New York.

The new building was both impressive and imposing but failed in the coming decades to fully acknowledge the racial change in the community around the hospital. It was particularly galling that in this epicenter of Black culture, learning, life, and politics, this public hospital (funded in part by the Black residents surrounding it) initially failed to employ Black doctors, nurses, and administrators. Menial jobs were the only positions open to the Black community.

In 1919, Dr. Louis T. Wright was not only the first African-American physician on staff at Harlem Hospital Center, but the first in any city hospital.  Dr. Wright originated the intradermal method for smallpox vaccination, and was the first physician to experiment with antibiotics Aureomycin and Terramycin. 

Harlem Hospital Center has also been in the forefront of training African American Nurses.  The Harlem Hospital School of Nursing School was opened in January 1923, because of the refusal of the City Hospitals to accept Black Nurses. The school continued to train nurses until its closing in June 1977.  Dr. John Cordice and Dr. Aubre Maynard, master heart surgeons, used the thoracic surgical procedure developed by Dr. Maynard, to save Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life in 1958, when the civil rights activist suffered a stab wound to the chest while visiting Harlem. 

Harlem Hospital is currently a 272-bed, public teaching hospital affiliated with Columbia University

Greater Harlem Coalition Meeting Tonight

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition meeting tonight to learn more about Mount Sinai’s plans for new security at its Park/125th Street methadone programs and its plans for their new facility being built on West 124th Street.

Register here for the 7:00 PM Harlem Town-Hall

The Crown

While I’m not watching The Crown on Netflix, the image comparisons that are making the rounds on social media are incredible.

What did interest me, however, was that Princess Diana visited Harlem Hospital in 1989.

As Untapped New York notes:

During her last day at New York, Diana went to the Harlem Hospital (filmed at the Reynold Building in Manchester) to pay a visit to babies who were struggling with AIDS and HIV, an issue the Princess cared about deeply. In 1987, she opened the first purpose-built ward for AIDS patients at Middlesex Hospital in London. At Harlem Hospital, “she picked up a little boy who has AIDS and hugged him,” Margaret Heagarty, Director of Pediatrics at Harlem Hospital, said in a news interview. “This community and this hospital has been delighted with this charming young woman who showed with great sensitivity and compassion and interest in concern for poor children.” Throughout her life, Diana’s compassion for the sick and less privileged helped reduce the stigma of those suffering from AIDS and other diseases.

And below, and image of the hospital entrance today.