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Tietz Center renovation receives praise from pols

Elected officials, rabbis and staff of the Margaret Tietz Nursing & Rehabilitation Center cut the ribbon on the facility's newly renovated space. Photo by Howard Koplowitz
TimesLedger Newspapers

After two years, The Margaret Tietz Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Hills held the grand opening Friday for its newly renovated facility on Chapin Parkway with the help of elected officials.

“This is the culmination of a large and arduous construction project,” said Joseph Seminaro, executive director at Margaret Tietz, which has been in the community since 1971. “As you can see, it’s quite an accomplishment.”

The $16 million project, which includes 200 newly renovated, semi-private beds, was built in phases that allowed the center to keep the number of beds the same during the construction by placing temporary beds in lounge areas.

“The building is really brand new,” said Linda Spiegel, director of public affairs for Tietz. “We never closed down a bed.”

The hourlong event included tours of the new car units and expanded rehabilitation gym and a buffet-style luncheon prepared by Chef Yossi Mizrahi, senior chef of the facility’s kosher kitchen.

“Margaret Tietz is such an important institution in this community,” said state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), whose mother stayed at the facility. “Margaret Tietz is a valuable resource and something that makes this district special. We’ve seen it grow. We’ve seen the rooms. We’ve seen it expand.”

Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) said she had a grandparent who was cared for at Tietz.

“The sensitivity and the compassion shown by the leadership and staff at Margaret Tietz was touching,” she said.

Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, whose mother was in Tietz for two years before her death, said one of the first calls he got while working for then-Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn was a constituent looking to get a relative into the facility.

“The caring and level of caring and that goes on here is tremendous,” he said. “It’s a special place in the middle of Queens.”

When the facility opened in 1971, it operated as a home for Holocaust survivors.

Since then the population at the center has become more diverse.

“A lot of Asian people know about Margaret Tietz,” said City Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing). “Our community is really lucky to have Margaret Tietz. Asians come here for medical treatment or nursing.”

Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) said his stepfather stayed at Tietz and praised the facility for hosting concerts and other programs for those who do not live in the nursing home.

“Margaret Tietz [staff] are also great corporate citizens because they hold events for the community,” he said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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