In the Face of Bigotry and Hate – Let’s Reaffirm Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

June 12, 2020
NEW YORK, NY – At Children of Bellevue, we are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the numerous other racially targeted attacks on the Black community that have occurred around the country, including here in New York City. We not only stand in solidarity with those who acknowledge that racial inequality and injustice are real and need to be addressed on many different levels, but also reaffirm our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion including within our own organization. We commit to continuing to support Bellevue’s children and families, and to effectuate change in order to address the systemic racism that exists within our society today across all races.
We are in full agreement with the following statement made by Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.
Chair of the Board of Directors on behalf of Children of Bellevue
I’ve been deeply disturbed by the brutality in Minneapolis, and stand in solidarity with our fellow New Yorkers, and so many members of our NYC Heath + Hospitals workforce, who are feeling the pain and injustice that’s affecting people of color in our communities.
We are still facing the very real and disproportionate impact that COVID-19 had on neighborhoods of color in New York City – and this is a time when we should be doing everything possible to raise up
others, to give them strength and sustenance.
I am proud of how NYC Health + Hospitals has stood up to care for all New Yorkers during this pandemic, and equally proud of how many New Yorkers have protested peacefully, wearing face coverings, to say that injustice is and always will be wrong.
In the face of bigotry and hate, we must reaffirm our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Let’s send a clear message to our fellow New Yorkers, friends and neighbors that NYC Health + Hospitals is ready to work for real change that serves everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, immigration status or language spoken.
We must also stand firm to say that there is no place for intolerance or bigotry of any kind within our workplaces in our health care system. Our mission is clear- to provide quality health care in an atmosphere of dignity and respect to all, without exception, regardless of any personal characteristics, including a person’s race, ethnic background, religion, gender identity, or ability to pay.
We must never allow discriminatory behavior that undermines our core values, and we must remain vigilant in caring for our colleagues, our patients and fellow New Yorkers with honor and dignity.
Our greatest asset and key to our success depends on a united workforce that embraces diversity, celebrates our rich cultures and backgrounds, and lifts barriers to help us all speak the same language of love and respect.
– Mitch

Help Front Line Staff Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is urgent. At NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, we are fighting on the front lines to protect all of us during the COVID-19 Coronavirus global pandemic. This public health crisis needs to be met with a once-in-a-lifetime response to support our hospital, our staff, and our patients. And we need your help.
You know that at Bellevue Hospital, we care for all regardless of ability to pay or immigration status, and we provide children at-risk with the resources that they need. In this COVID-19 crisis, our dedicated, compassionate, brave program staff members are needed more than ever before. They are on the front lines caring for our youngest New Yorkers in Pediatric Emergency Rooms, Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry services, Child Protection center, and more. They are the Essential Workers and Health Care Heroes fighting this epidemic head-on.

The Pediatric Trauma Team at Bellevue Hospital, pictured here, and all of our pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, child life staff, child development staff, and other healthcare workers need your support to help our patients.
Every unrestricted donation, big or small, can help us provide these services, help hospitalized children feel like kids again, and support our staff on the front line. Your donation today can help provide:

We are grateful to our health care heroes at Bellevue Hospital and NYC Health + Hospitals who are caring for New Yorkers before, during, and after this crisis. Thank you to every individual, family, firm, foundation, and organization for your support. We need you now more than ever.

For more information and resources about the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness, please go to the websites of NYC Health + Hospitals, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization.
For donations of goods, services, and supplies to NYC Health + Hospitals, please contact Linh Dang at

Spirit of Children Brings Funds and Fun to Kids at New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue

Spirit of Children Brings Funds and Fun to Kids at New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Through Partnership With Children of Bellevue, Inc.

Spirit of Children’s $10M national fundraising goal helps support local Child Life departments – 100% of local donations stay local

Spirit of Children Halloween parties and grants make hospitalization less scary for pediatric patients and their families

For more information, contact:
Sara Saastamoinen, Director of Development, Children of Bellevue, Inc.
212-562-4130 option 5 or   

 Erin Springer, Public Relations Manager, Spirit Halloween
609-645-5619 or

  WHO: ·      Spirit of Children, Children of Bellevue, and patients and families at New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue

·      Volunteers from local Spirit Halloween stores, the largest Halloween specialty retailer in North America

  WHAT: Spirit Halloween is hosting a Halloween party for pediatric patients and their families at New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, complete with costumes, games, music and crafts, through a partnership with Children of Bellevue, Inc., an auxiliary to Bellevue Hospital.

Through the Spirit of Children program, Spirit Halloween hosts nearly 100 Halloween parties at partner hospitals across North America so children, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in Halloween celebrations, can enjoy the scary fun of the season despite being in the hospital.

To-date, the Spirit of Children Program has raised more than $412,231 for Children of Bellevue which helps fund the Child Life and Developmental Services Department at New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

  WHEN: 1:00pm


  WHERE: New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue

462 First Avenue, New York, NY,  10016

  WHY: 100% of money collected for Spirit of Children will benefit Children of Bellevue, Inc. to fund New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Child Life and Developmental Services Department, which helps make the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for young patients and their families by providing all non-medical treatment and healing through play.

Since its inception in 2007, Spirit of Children has raised more than $55 million for Child Life Departments across North America. This year, the program aims to raise a record $10 million more to support young patients and their families.

Recently, Spirit of Children grants have assisted in hiring additional Child Life staff, extending Child Life hours of operation, providing full-time Child Life specialists in the emergency department, purchasing sensory, educational and entertainment items used for distraction during procedures, and creating dedicated playrooms, teen lounges and separate family spaces for long hospital visits.

Donate to Spirit of Children to support Children of Bellevue and in turn New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Child Life department at a local Spirit Halloween store or Shoppers can spread the word about a donation using #MoreCowbell and ringing the iconic purple Spirit of Children cowbell in Spirit Halloween stores.



About Spirit of Children
At the heart of Spirit Halloween is Spirit of Children, a program which focuses on making hospitals less scary for kids and their families. Since its inception in 2007, Spirit of Children has raised more than $55 million for the Child Life department at hospitals across the United States and Canada. Donations to Spirit of Children stay within local communities, with 100% of funds going toward support for Child Life. For the 2019 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will be supporting more than 140 hospitals across the country, with a goal to raise a record $10 million. Spirit encourages customers to help make a difference in a child’s life this Halloween season by donating at their local Spirit Halloween or spreading awareness via Facebook and Instagram using #SpiritofChildren and #MoreCowbell in their photos. For more information, please visit:


About Spirit Halloween
Spirit Halloween ( is the largest Halloween specialty retailer in the country with over 1,360 locations in strip centers and malls across North America. Celebrating 36 years of business, Spirit is the premier destination for all things Halloween, offering one-stop shopping for everything from costumes to décor and party goods to accessories. In addition to being a fun and interactive event for shoppers, Spirit stores offer complete selections of costumes and accessories for infants/toddlers, children, ‘tweens, teens, and adults along with exclusive décor you won’t find anywhere else. For more information, please visit:


About Children of Bellevue, Inc.

Children of Bellevue, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1949 to initiate, fund, and develop special programs and act as an advocate for children and their families within New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Our programs improve the health, well-being, and development of more than 25,000 children and teens who visit Bellevue each year. We aim to strengthen the emotional, social, and developmental support of children who are receiving treatment by providing specialized and innovative support that the hospital would otherwise be unable to provide to its youngest patients and their families.

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Applauding NYC Care: Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Guarantee Health Care as a Right for All New Yorkers

NYC Care will serve 600,000 currently uninsured New Yorkers and provide access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ physicians, pharmacies, and mental health and substance abuse services for all

January 8, 2019

NEW YORK, NY – Every child and every family—regardless of their immigration status, their ability to pay, or any other aspect of their circumstance or identity—deserves access to health care and services.

We commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for launching a two-pronged approach to increase access to effective, affordable health care for all New Yorkers—for every toddler, teenager, and their families. With this new initiative, New York City will continue to set the standard for equitable, affordable, and comprehensive health care services by addressing both mental and physical issues together. Through the new NYC Care and NYC’s public health insurance option, MetroPlus, New Yorkers will have access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ mental health and trauma counseling along with primary care doctors, pharmacies and prescriptions, and speciality services.

“NYC Care will be the biggest and most comprehensive health coverage program in the country,” said Dr. Mitch Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the United States.

“Building on the great work of our doctors, nurses and staff, and working collaboratively with community partners, NYC Health +
Hospitals will help give all New Yorkers the quality care they deserve.”

Children of Bellevue will continue to support and fund the critical care and services provided by NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, the oldest public hospital still operating in the United States. Our stalwart commitment to providing more than medicine for all NYC children continues today, seven decades since our inception. ‘For all New Yorkers’ means for everyone —that includes undocumented New Yorkers who are an important part of our City and those in our communities who may otherwise have to choose between putting a roof over their child’s head or affording health care for their infant, teenager, or even themselves.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay.”

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law in 2010, eight million New Yorkers now have health insurance who did not have the protections insurance can provide before. As a result, the uninsured rate has dropped to nearly half of what it was in 2013. Even with these important strides, today more than 600,000 New Yorkers cannot enroll in health insurance today or do not because they cannot afford it. We second the sentiments tweeted by Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, Chief Population Health Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. With this landmark initiative,

“New York City takes a historic step to expand access to high-quality healthcare to all New Yorkers. Universal healthcare is about opportunity and human dignity.”

May 2017

Bike Helmets: Children of Bellevue provides bike helmets every Spring through the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic.

Bike-Helmet1-mod Bike-Helmet2-mod

Prom Dresses: Trinity School Change makers conducted a drive for donations and partnered with Children of Bellevue to host a popup Prom Dress Shop in the Medical Ballroom in the H Building at Bellevue Medical Center. Students consulted on style and also did makeup and manicures! Bellevue area youth were invited to ‘shop’ for prom dresses and accessories. Parents partook of office attire and festive wear for upcoming events.