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July 23, 2020 Letter to families

July 23, 2020

Dear Extended Cobble Hill Family,

As discussed in our last letter, we are eager to welcome you back for family visitation and are deep into our planning to accomplish that in a safe and comfortable way. There are many Department of Health requirements of nursing homes in order to reopen. One is that we must be 28 days free of any new covid positive cases amongst residents and staff. As things stand now, we hope to resume visitation early August. We will let you know a more precise date as we get closer. 

Once visitation does resume, there are some very specific rules that will be required of visitors. Some of them include- visitation will be by appointment only and outside in our backyard, social distancing must be observed between visitors and residents, visitors must provide certain information for tracing purposes, visitors will have to be screened for sickness, only 2 visitors per resident will be permitted at one time, and visits will be limited to half an hour. 

A fact sheet detailing all of the visitation requirements will be distributed once the plan is completed. Although we will have to follow many rules during visitation, we will do our best to make the visits really enjoyable for you and our residents.  We know how important these visits are and we are excited to resume them.  

In the meantime, if you would like to schedule a visit, please call either of the following two individuals to do so:

Christina Santos (Director of Therapeutic Recreation) – (718) 855-6789 ext. 138

Elain Gay (Assistant Director of Therapeutic Recreation) – (718) 855-6789 ext. 139

Warmest regards,

Donny Tuchman


July 10, 2020 Letter to families

July 10, 2020

Dear Extended Cobble Hill Family,

Just moments ago, the Department of Health issued guidance on when and how family visitation can resume.  We have been eagerly awaiting this information so we can begin planning on how to safely welcome you back into our facility.  While we are super excited to get to work on our plan, and know how much you and your loved ones would like to be reunited, we must do this in a very cautious and thoughtful way.  The last thing we or you should want is a new outbreak putting your loved ones’ lives at risk.  We will be in touch again as soon as we have more information to share with you about our plan.

In the meantime, please know that we are working hard to keep all of our residents’ spirits up with phenomenal (socially distanced) activities.  We’ve been able to adapt many of our formerly in-person activities to remote ones that our residents are enjoying very much.  While we miss the in-person activities and look forward to resuming them in the future, it’s very important that quality of life doesn’t in any way diminish here during these difficult times.

One of my personal favorites, was our recent ice cream social where every resident and staff received an individually wrapped ice cream treat accompanied by festive music and dancing performed by our amazing recreation team.  What a great time we all had!!

I’m also super happy to let you know that we just had our second infection control survey conducted by the Department of Health and for the second time received a perfect score!  Infection control is complicated and has been top of mind for us here.  I’m grateful to my team who take infection control very seriously and work so hard to maintain best in class practices.

As always, please reach out to us with any questions or concerns via our COVID hotline (718-247-1153) or email ( You can always check our website for updates too.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

Donny Tuchman


Daily COVID-19 Statistics

May 3, 2020

11 patients tested positive for Covid-19
0 passed away from Covid-19

Cobble Hill Statement on COVID-19

April 17, 2020


Cobble Hill Health Center has been aggressive in our efforts to protect our residents and staff from Covid 19.  We’re incredibly proud of our staff and how they’ve responded to this unprecedented worldwide emergency.  Our resident population is, by definition, fragile and vulnerable and almost all have significant underlying health issues.

Although we’ve had an increase in deaths during the past few weeks, we have not been able to confirm that the deaths are specifically related to Covid-19.  Any deaths we’ve reported have been based on the possibility of Covid-19 being a factor.  Because Covid-19 testing in skilled nursing facilities has been extremely difficult to obtain, there is no uniform measure to determine conclusively whether Covid-19 was a contributing factor in a resident’s death.

Published lists of deaths in skilled nursing facilities are inaccurate and based on subjective criteria.  It is our belief that there is widespread underreporting of deaths related to Covid-19.

We’ve been in frequent and direct communication with the NYS Department of Health, OEM and our elected officials from the very beginning to ensure that we were doing everything possible to mitigate the dangerous effects of Covid-19 in our facility.  Skilled nursing facilities have been the last to receive desperately needed resources to help us fight Covid-19, with the overwhelming majority of supplies and staff being diverted to acute care.

We love our residents, have endless respect for our staff and are grateful for the trust that our residents’ families have placed in us to care for their most cherished loved ones.

Video: Patient Testimonial from Mary Padger

Video: Welcome from Donny Tuchman

Annual Holiday Luncheon a Joyous Success!

The holidays are always a joyous time of year at CHHC, thanks to the generosity of donors, volunteers and staff who contribute so much of themselves to ensure a festive season. The annual holiday luncheon, now in its fourth year, was held on Dec. 12 with every unit enjoying the event simultaneously.

It was all-hands-on-deck to serve this special holiday meal to this year’s 364 residents. The menu, which included shrimp cocktail, short rib, baked potatoes and more, was selected by residents at a menu planning meeting in preparation for the party.

There was live entertainment on all nine units – highlights included an Elvis impersonator, singers, a guitar player and more. It’s a real team effort with staff from every department and volunteers participating; serving food, singing, dancing and socializing with residents and families.

By all accounts it was a wonderful party. Here’s a snapshot of this year’s event…

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon Honored

LeadingAge New York and Cobble Hill Health Center were pleased to recognize Assembly member Jo Anne Simon with a 2018 Partners in Quality Award. Thank you, Assemblymember, for all you do to support Cobble Hill and the broader aging community!


BloomAgainBklyn and Lazard CSR Flower Workshop

Cobble Hill Health Center organized an amazing morning of flower visits with for the Lazard Corporate Service Responsibility volunteer workshop in partnership with BloomAgainBklyn. The Lazard group loved meeting so many of the residents and interacting with them over the flowers. They were really impressed with the care and the upbeat feeling they got from the residents and staff as well.

These photos capture the joy and fun of the day for both residents, Lazard and Bloom volunteers and CHHC staff!

Cobble Hill Health Center Offers Narrative Medicine Workshops for its Healthcare Providers Aiming to Make Care More Personalized

Staff Learn to Use the Patient’s Story to Improve Care

Cobble Hill Health Center (CHHC) is offering a progress program for its healthcare providers aimed at emphasizing human connections and making care more personalized. Known as “Narrative Medicine,” workshops teaching this emerging concept in healthcare are being offered to staff at CHHC by students from Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine masters of science degree program. The goal is to use the patient’s story to improve their care.

“At Cobble Hill Health Center, our goal is always to provide care that is individualized for each resident. Through narrative medicine, our hope is to enable staff be even more effective, compassionate and comprehensive in caring for both our short-term rehab patients and long-term residents,” says Donny Tuchman, administrator at CHHC.

Narrative medicine is an approach in medicine that incorporates patients’ narratives with evidence-based care. The intention is to help care providers treat a patient as a whole person, not simply an illness. According to Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine website “It (narrative medicine) addresses the need of patients and caregivers to voice their experience, to be heard and valued, and it acknowledges the power of narrative to change the way care is given and received.”

“In healthcare, we make assessments and we create care plans. By taking into account the person’s story, while we make our care plans, we believe we can make our delivery of care even more person-centered,” says Louise Dueño, director of Therapeutic Recreation at CHHC, who organized and is participating in the program at CHHC.

During the course of the six-session workshop series, staff at CHHC read selected texts such as poetry or short stories, or look at visual art, from a diverse range of subjects, and then write about it briefly, to develop close reading and representation skills, and shared experiences. The group is currently limited to 10 participants to keep it intimate and effective.

“We are learning to improve our interviewing skills and to ask questions to connect with the person and build relationships,” explains Dueño. “We read together, then talk about the reading. For example, what does it mean to us? We listen to each other and discover that people have different perspectives. We are developing empathetic listening skills and by doing this we can better understand how to connect with our residents,” she added.

This is the second annual narrative medicine workshop series that CHHC has offered for its team. Last year’s group included social workers and recreation therapists. This year, the program has been expanded to include any staff or volunteers who wish to participate. This year’s group also includes two long-term care residents (patients).

And as added benefit, it’s good for staff, says Dueño. “We are learning to listen to each other. We work together day in and day out. We can learn things from our co-workers that we didn’t know about one another.”

“Hopefully, with this we can see the individuality of people,” she noted. “Yes, our patients are sick. And, they are frequently elderly, but they are all individuals. In thinking about how best to care for them, we can listen to their story. Their story matters.”


Doctors and Hospital Administrators from China Visit Cobble Hill Health Center

A group of physicians and administrators from China recently visited Cobble Hill Health Center (CHHC) to better understand modern delivery of long and short-term care in skilled nursing facilities and see best practices first hand. The group, which included 18 doctors and hospital administrators from hospitals throughout Hubei Province, China, spent half a day with CHHC’s CEO Tony Lewis and director of Social Work, Robert Herel, LCSW, and met members of the team throughout CHHC.

As part of the visit, the Chinese group was provided with a presentation on differences between hospital and nursing home care in the U.S., highlights of services provided at CHHC and how they are delivered, including medical care, nursing care, physical therapy and occupational therapy, geriatric psychiatry and psychology, and nutrition, and an overview of the reimbursement system. The team also discussed contemporary dialysis, dementia care, palliative care, hospice, as well as a how social work addresses post-discharge challenges, such as housing issues or family needs.

During the visit, the group toured CHHC’s inpatient rehabilitation facilities, therapeutic recreation program, long-term care facilities, and dementia unit. Throughout the day, CHHC’s philosophy of compassionate person-centered care was emphasized. The program concluded with an opportunity for the Chinese visitors to ask questions of the staff to obtain further information related to their individual specific areas of interest and take home new ideas for improving care. The visit was organized by the Gerontology Society of America.

Pictured after the tour are (back row left) Cobble Hill Health Center’s Robert Herel, LCSW, director of Social Work and Tony Lewis, CEO (center) and members of the visiting group.

Cobble Hill Health Center Annual Gala Dinner Dance 2017 Takes Place November 16th at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Honorees John Utendahl, Lenny Wilkens, Bob Doherty


Cobble Hill Health Center, Esteemed Not–For–Profit Care Facility, Will Honor Bank of America Executive John Utendahl, Basketball All–Star MVP Lenny Wilkens, and Bank of America Senior Vice President Bob Doherty at Annual Gala Dinner Dance

The Cobble Hill Health Center will hold its Annual Gala Dinner Dance for 2017 on Thursday, November 16th at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. For 40 years, the Cobble Hill Heath Center has been serving the Brooklyn community as an innovator in caring for the elderly and disabled at its highly regarded rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility.

This year’s dinner features three distinguished honorees: Guest of Honor is John Utendahl, Executive Vice Chairman, Bank of America; the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Lenny Wilkens, Brooklyn native and legendary basketball player, including Most Valuable Player (MVP) 1971 All–Star Game; and the Corporate Partnership Award will be awarded to Bob Doherty, Senior Vice President of Bank of America’s Specialized Industries Group.

Cobble Hill Health Center is a not-for-profit, non–sectarian, long and short-term care facility at the forefront of progressive treatment for the disabled and elderly. Located in a landmark building at 380 Henry Street in the historic Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, New York, Cobble Hill Health Center offers a complete range of medical, nursing and rehabilitation services and outstanding care respecting residents’ individuality and personal self–expression.

This year’s Gala Dinner Dance will raise funds for the Cobble Hill Health Center’s Life Enrichment Program–programs and initiatives, including its horticulture program, transportation for trips to the museum or park, additional resources for the Adopt–a–Grandparent program, and many other quality of life activities that give patients a reason to get up in the morning.

Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m., dinner 7:30 p.m.


Reserve Tickets Here.

About the honorees:

Guest of Honor John Utendahl

John Utendahl is the Executive Vice Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking for Bank of America. He was previously Vice Chairman at Deutsche Bank, Chairman of Utendahl Financial Organization, and began his career at Salomon Brothers. Mr. Utendahl has served as a Director on boards, including the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He was named one of the “Top 75 Blacks on Wall Street” by Black Enterprise Magazine, and is featured often in the media, including Crain’s New York Business, Forbes, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, and more.

Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Lenny Wilkens

Lenny Wilkens is a Brooklyn native who has attained worldwide renown for his 15–year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the 1971 All–Star Game. He has played for the St. Louis Hawks, Seattle Super Sonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Portland Trail Blazers. Mr. Wilkens is the only person to have three inductions into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, coach and assistant coach. Among other distinctions during his career, he was named as both one of the NBA’s Top Ten Coaches in league history as well as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.

Corporate Partnership Award Honoree Bob Doherty

Bob Doherty has a dual role at Bank of America as Senior Vice President for Bank of America’s Specialized Industries Group, Northeast Region, as well as New Jersey State President. His responsibilities include working with hospitals, continuing care facilities and other not–for–profit entities, and providing community outreach and leadership in the New Jersey market. Mr. Doherty’s previous executive positions have included Fleet Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and Citibank. He is involved with a number of charitable organizations, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and the Newark Museum. In 2013 and 2014, NJ Biz Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential business leaders in New Jersey.

* * *

Cobble Hill Health Center is an affiliate of Cobble Hill LifeCare, a health care system providing services for older adults, the chronically ill, and those disabled or debilitated from disease or a hospital stay. Cobble Hill LifeCare represents a complete circle of care for people living in New York that fosters better health and quality of life.


Reserve Tickets Here.

Cobble Hill Health Center COO Donny Tuchman Spoke Recently at Compassionate Care Breakfast

Bikur Cholim Chesed Organization, a community organization that serves the elderly in Borough Park, Brooklyn, featured our very own Donny Tuchman, Chief Operating Officer of Cobble Hill Health Center, at a seminar for nursing home administrators recently. Donny presented with Ann Wyatt, manager palliative and residential care at CaringKind (formerly Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter), at a Compassionate Care Themed Breakfast on “Comfort Matters: Cost-Effective Quality Care for Residents with Advanced Dementia.” Donny shared the experiences from the work of the Comfort Cares program at Cobble Hill Health Centers. “Everything we learned from the training for Comfort Cares could be utilized for all our patients, not only those on hospice. In fact, we were trained in skills that are beneficial to any relationship.”

The focus of this annual gathering, was on special approaches for residents with cognitive impairment and Holocaust survivors. This piloted NYC initiative has resulted in greatly improved staff and family satisfaction, decreased resident hospitalizations, reduced use of psychotropic medication, and elimination of sundowning symptoms.

Compassionate Care Breakfast

Bikur Cholim Chesed Organization cordially invites NY and NJ nursing home administrators, assistant administrators and owners to a breakfast with a theme of compassionate person-centered care on Tuesday, July 25th from 9:00-11:00 am. Our own Donny Tuchman, COO of Cobble Hill LifeCare, and Ann Wyatt, manager palliative and residential care at CaringKind (formerly Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter) will speak on “Comfort Matters: Cost-Effective Quality Care for Residents with Advanced Dementia.” TO RSVP or for more information, please contact Elisa Stern, LCSW, at 718-438-2020 ext.7422.

2017 Essay Awards Ceremony

GlamourGals Alumni Event

Thanks to GlamourGals for partnering with us for a wonderful makeover event. Our seniors were feeling fabulous and were all smiles during their makeovers. Special thanks to GG alumna Julia K. Porter and GG board member Louis Valerio for joining us.

Community Essay Contest Awards Ceremony

Cobble Hill Health Center (CHHC), located at 380 Henry St., hosted an awards ceremony for the winners of a neighborhood-wide essay contest for local fourth and fifth graders. The students wrote about an “Older Person in Your Life who is Special and why.”  The essay winners were:

  • Hope Andros & Spiros Painesis – A.Fantis
  • Aaliyah Yates – PS 38
  • William Bradly – PS 58
  • Mei Ozawa – PS 29

The winners attended, along with their parents, teachers, PTA presidents, school administration and extended family. The CHHC executive team and board members, as well as the residents who judged the essay contest, attended the ceremony to witness the students accept their prizes. Each school winner was awarded a four pack of tickets to Cobble Hill Cinema with snacks and drinks from the concession stand.

This is the second year CHHC ran the contest for the local schools, as they continuously expand their programming to bring the community into the facility.

Congratulations to Our Raffle Winners!

Congratulations to our raffle winners Nedly Walters and Phyllis Hill! Enjoy your prizes!

Resident Trip

Residents with NY Cares volunteers enjoying the beautiful view and weather on the pier.

CBS Evening News Celebrates Music & Memory Program

We were proud to be featured on the CBS Evening News, which profiled our successful Music & Memory program. Music & Memory brings personalized music through digital technology to those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges.  The music helps them reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories, thus vastly improving their quality of life.  To view the clip, visit