NEW YORK – On the occasion of the Grand relaunching of the DeWitt Upper East Side Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was presented with an “Outstanding Service Award” by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
The ribbon-cutting and dinner reception was a celebration for more than just the Center’s new owners. The neighborhood was in danger of losing the financially troubled 499-bed facility that opened in 1967 when it was purchased for $105.5 million by last year by “a partnership between Cassena Care principals Alex Solovey and Pasquale DeBenedictis and another nursing care executive, Leopold Friedman,” according to the Commercial Observer.
The building on prime Manhattan real estate could have been sold to developers, depriving the neighborhood of a very important facility but Solovey and his partners saved the day.
The event had a Greek-American dimension as community leader Loula Alafoyiannis, a grateful recipient of DeWitt’s rehabilitation services, was the one who introduced Maloney to the institution and was acknowledged by Maloney. A number of Greek physicians were present to show support for Alafoyiannis and DeWitt, including Dr. Stella Lymberis, who was accompanied by Hellenic Medical Society stalwart Roula Lambrakis.
During her acceptance speech she said of Alafoyiannis, “She is my number one instigator, bringing people together and making things happen for issues important to all New Yorkers” the Congresswoman said.
Jessica Walker, President of Chamber, who said of Maloney that “she defines tenacity,” presented the award to Maloney, “in recognition of your longstanding commitment to our district and our nation.”
Maloney declared, “I accept this on behalf of my wonderful staff,” whom she said would be fielding the many “phone calls that will be coming into my office and they will be asking ‘how in the world can we get into’” DeWitt.
“It’s so gorgeous” Maloney said, who congratulated its president, Alex Solovey, his wife and his business partners.
She the institution that literally helps people get back on their feet is “a very important investment in New York. “It gives people in the neighborhood support as they age and produces jobs for 550 people – a perfect combination: a state-of-the-art facility and much needed jobs.”
The beautiful and well-run facility was awarded a 5-Star Rating by U.S. News and World Report in 2014