It’s an early happy birthday to this hospital!
Leaders of Fort Greene’s Brooklyn Hospital Center began the celebrations for its upcoming 175th anniversary with an awards ceremony recognizing local do-gooders and organizations for their service to the community over the last century.
The Kings County medical center, which opened in 1845, doesn’t actually turn 175 until next year, but hospital leaders are marking the milestone by bestowing 175 individuals and institutions with awards for their contributions to the borough at events over the next three years, the first of which they hosted on Thursday, according to a bigwig at the hospital.
“We’re leading up to the actual anniversary with a year of programming and awards to generate excitement, also to point out the synergies between other great institutions and individuals who have helped to make Brooklyn the most dynamic borough in the world,” said Debbie Niederhoffer, the chief development officer of the hospital’s fund-raising arm, the Brooklyn Hospital Foundation.
The first three award recipients included Fort Greene Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo; Fort Greene Park Conservancy Associate Director Julian Macrone, who advocates and helps raise cash for the neighborhood’s eponymous green space; and civic guru Brad Vogel, a board member of the Walt Whitman Initiative, which promotes the legacy of the late Bard of Brooklyn, including his local literary career and stint as an editor of the old Brooklyn Daily Eagle — which bears no relationship to the current periodical of the same name — as well as his time as a nurse-in-training at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, according to Vogel.
“Walt Whitman remains in these ample hills. We can look for him under our boot soles,” the honoree said.
The first award ceremony was a smashing success, helping to build momentum as medical-center staff continue with the multi-year anniversary bash, Niederhoffer said.
“It was great excitement, was really palpable,” she said. “As we go forward in our celebration we’re going to be uncovering a lot of tremendous synergy.”