Hank Carter grew up in the Queensbridge Projects, Long Island City, New York. He was educated in the public school system and attended Baruch College. He served in Vietnam, and was awarded the Army’s Good Conduct Medal, a Bronze Star, and other military honors. He returned and began a successful career in the banking industry.
Nearly 40 years ago, Mr. Carter visited a friend at Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island who had been paralyzed by a gun shot. At the facility, he was touched by the special needs of the patients and residents, and inspired by their perseverance in the face of extraordinary challenges. To help alleviate suffering and provide independence and hope, Mr. Carter created Wheelchair Charities, Inc.
Through Wheelchair Charities, Hank Carter has donated more than $25 million to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) for a variety of equipment and programs for patients and residents with profound disabilities, including thousands of manual and motorized wheelchairs, specially equipped buses, modified beds, therapeutic equipment, and state-of-the-art computers that feature voice recognition, zoom-text, and a pointer device to facilitate use by quadriplegic individuals. His gifts included thousands of devices which are now computer-interfaced and can be operated by the movement of a patient’s eye.
In recognition of Hank Carter’s constancy and devotion to New Yorkers with disabilities, HHC has named the Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility in his honor.