By Trone Dowd
A Jamaica Queens health facility has been named after one of the most active humanitarians in the state, former First Lady of New York, Matilda Raffa Cuomo.
Located at 105-04 Sutphin Blvd, the former Brightpoint Health facility was officially christened the Matilda Raffa Cuomo Health Center Friday morning. The facility’s rebranding coincidences with the health center’s $1.4 million renovation which is funded by a State Capital Restructuring Financing Program grant. Improvements to the building include a brand new facade and additional office space.
Cuomo, who was in attendance for the grand unveiling, said she was incredibly honored to be recognized on this scale.
“This means a lot to me,” she said. “I didn’t expect it. But I’m happy. I really think my mother and father would be ecstatic.”
The 83-year-old gave a shout out to Southeast Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica) who was also in attendance, crediting her with the election of her late husband, Gov. Mario Cuomo.
“She worked her heart out,” Cuomo said of Cook. “Chris Cuomo, who wasn’t even 10 at the time, told me ‘she worked her heart out mom, and you’ve got to do this.’ I can never forget it.”
Cook told the Queens Tribune that she’s happy to see Jamaica become the home for positivity.
“There are a lot of organizations here that are helping folks out,” she said. “Samaritan Village used to be housed here. We have [The Jamaica Performing Arts Center] down the road. The Matilda Raffa Cuomo Health Center is a welcome addition to the community.”