Today’s news:

Schneider’s name changed for new donors of $50M

Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park has been renamed after a foundation run by a Connecticut couple that pledged $50 million for pediatric care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital, the North Shore-LIJ Health System said last week.

The hospital is now known as the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York after the Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation’s donation became one of the largest single gifts given to the health system.

The hospital was renamed after the Schneider family, whose name has been on the building since 1983, asked the health system to remove its name from the facility because it wanted to focus on Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel.

“Unique in Israel and the Middle East and beyond, SCMCI demands undivided attention to maintain its excellence and mission as a bridge to peace,” the family said in a statement posted on North Shore-LIJ’s Web site. “To that end, at this time, the Schneider family has made a choice to preserve its commitment and name for Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel alone.”

North Shore-LIJ said the $50 million will help the medical system complex go ahead with plans to build a 100,000-square-foot pavilion in front of the children’s hospital in New Hyde Park.

The health system said the pavilion project had been on hold since December 2008 because of the economic downturn. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring and be completed in 2013.

Steven and Alexandra Cohen of Greenwich, Conn., have had a 14-year-relationship with the health system and their foundation previously donated $7 million to build a new ambulatory pediatric chemotherapy unit and to establish the Philip Lanzkowsky Professorship in Pediatrics, an endowment named after the previous chief of staff of the children’s hospital.

“Pediatric health care is an issue that is near and dear to our hearts and one that we have supported for many years,” the Cohens said in a statement. “The hospital is one of America’s top children’s hospitals and impacts the lives of countless children and families. We hope that our gift will enable the hospital to continue its important work.”

North Shore-LIJ Chairman Saul Katz said the Schneider family made a more than 25-year commitment to the hospital that bore their names and said he looked forward to deepening the health system’s existing relationship with the Cohens.

“We’re delighted by the Cohens’ extraordinary devotion to furthering our mission of providing the highest quality pediatric care to our patients,” he said. “Their donation is a major development and represents one of the largest gifts ever made for pediatric care in the United States.”

Dr. Arthur Klein, executive director and chief of staff of the children’s hospital, said the Cohens’ donation will enhance care at the hospital.

“The new construction made possible by this gift will enable us to develop what will truly be a world-class children’s hospital unmatched in the New York area,” he said.

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

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