Assemblywoman Nily Rozic Announces Major State Investment For New York City Health + Hospitals/Queens

New York City Health + Hospitals/Queens to receive $1 million for its new HUGS Infant Protection System

Queens, NY Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D, WF-Fresh Meadows) is announcing major funding for the New York City Health + Hospitals/Queens. Rozic is allocating a $1 million state investment for the purchase of a new HUGS infant protection system which will help protect against infant abduction and mother/infant mismatches. This funding marks the biggest investment in hospital-wide protection for infants and pediatric patients in Queens. 

“The period immediately following childbirth can be one of the most stressful, vulnerable times for any new mother and accompanying family. Minimizing the risk of newborn abduction and infant mismatching is a critical component of ensuring peak patient safety, wellbeing, and peace of mind,” said Assemblywoman Rozic. 

“I am extremely grateful for the generosity of New York State Assemblymember Nily Rozic in granting Queens Hospital $1 million in funding for the HUGS Security System, which will provide increased protection for newborns against the threat of abduction,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens Chief Executive Officer Neil J. Moore, MBA, MPA, FACHE.“These funds will continue to allow for a safer hospital environment whereby our newborns will be monitored round-the-clock via electronic tags, preventing any unauthorized individual from removing a baby from our premises. By upgrading our HUGS System, we will now be in a better position of protecting our most vulnerable patients and their families.”

“The happiest day of a parent’s life should never be ruined by someone with bad intentions,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “This new security system will give new parents in New York City Health + Hospitals/Queens peace of mind as they enjoy the next chapter in their lives. Assemblymember Rozic is dedicated to ensuring her constituents and the institutions that serve them have the resources and support they need to thrive. Together with her and our Assembly Majority colleagues, we will continue to invest in our community’s health and well-being and work to protect our most vulnerable patient populations.”

"The last thing new families should need to worry about during the already stressful time of childbirth is the possibility of their newborn being abducted or mixed up with another infant,” said Senator John Liu. “This funding will help protect families during their most vulnerable time and provide them with peace of mind so that they may focus on what’s truly important, which is building a new life with their child. Thank you to Assembly Member Rozic for prioritizing this funding and ensuring the well-being of our families in Queens."

"Security in our hospitals must always be an absolute priority,” said Councilmember James Gennaro. “New technologies that protect patients should and must be invested in. Newborns are especially vulnerable to intentional or unintentional harm. I applaud Assemblywoman Rozic for her steadfast advocacy in obtaining this critical allocation for the Queens Hospital Center. This allocation is consistent with Nily's lifelong commitment to the health and safety of all New Yorkers."

“I want to extend gratitude to Assemblywoman Rozic for her incredible commitment to the health and well-being of New Yorkers, especially our children,” said Nassau County Assemblywoman Taylor Darling. “HUGS security tags are a great investment in the fight to keep our children safe. In a world full of uncertainties these devices help bring an extra layer of protection and peace of mind to families of newborn babies. This is a great step in the State’s commitment to protect the well-being of our communities.”

This investment follows this year’s state budget that included an additional $500 million for distressed and safety-net hospitals. Safety net hospitals, including H+H/Queens, serve predominantly low-income patients, many of whom are either uninsured or rely on Medicaid.

New York City Health + Hospitals is the nation’s largest municipal health care delivery system in the United States. The healthcare system services all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.