Helen Hayes Celebrates over 100 years of healing

After navigating a challenging few years brought on by the pandemic, Chief Administrative Officer, Yvonne Evans is proud to
report that Helen Hayes Hospital “is back on our feet 100%”.

A national leader in physical rehabilitation, providing a comprehensive range of inpatient, outpatient, and specialty services to individuals recovering from brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, and stroke, Helen Hayes is the best option in the tri state area for patients seeking to overcome physical trauma.The facilities staff remains dedicated to their mission of“helping patients regain and keep their independence” according to CAO Evans and have maintained a number of programs that allow patients to resume normal lives.

Whether that means providing them with in house, custom built prosthetics, offering specialty services including adaptive skiing, cycling and bowling, or even teaching  patients  to operate a vehicle without the use of one of their hands, Helen Hayes is always there to help people help themselves.

Nowhere was that more evident then during the hospitals 123rd annual Honors Assembly, a ceremony that recognized the extraordinary achievements of patients who have made great progress in their rehabilitation over the past year, inspiring others along the way.

The 2023 honorees included patients who have overcome extraordinary challenges due to brain injury, spinal cord injury, chronic illness, and other debilitating conditions.

Medal of Independence winner Cristal Polanco feared she would never walk again after she experienced a disabling femoral fracture caused by her lifelong bat- tle with congenital rickets.

She expressed her deep gratitude to the staff who helped her get back on her feet. “You were my best ally during the darkest year of my life,” she said. “You held my hand until the end, when you saw I was ready to fly
without fear.”

The youngest honoree, 16-year-old Michael McPike, made an inspirational recovery after being struck by a motor vehicle, which initially left him in a coma, quadriplegic, and with multiple other inju ries. Michael, who can now stand and who even passed his regents exams while still an inpatient, was honored with the Helen Hayes MacArthur Rose Award for his extraordinary progress and for the way he supported his fellow patients throughout his 9-month stay. Michael thanked his care team stat-
ing in remarks read by his mother, stating “Without the care from Helen Hayes Hospital and the support of my family, I’m not sure if I could have made it this far. You are all my biggest fans, and I will never forget my time here.”

Founded in 1900, the hospital is operated by the New York State Department of Health and is affiliated with
the New York- Presbyterian Healthcare System. There work with patients as well as there community outreach efforts are a boon to Rockland County.

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