|Philip Cooke, Senior Associate Director, External Affairs, Marketing and Advertising at Queens Hospital Center
Philip D. Cooke, Senior Associate Director, External Affairs, Marketing and Advertising at Queens Hospital Center was influenced by the life of the late Reginald F. Lewis, a Wall Street financier, lawyer and philanthropist who rose to head the nation's largest black-owned business.
"He died from cancer at age 50. After his death, at the book release of the paperback edition of his autobiography Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun, his wife gave out a small black rock in the shape of a mountain. The rock had a quote inscribed on it from Lewis that said 'Keep going no matter what,'" Cooke said. "I look at that symbolic mountain quite often."
Lewis would certainly be proud of Cooke, who was chosen as a dynamic achiever by The Network Journal. Each year, the magazine chooses 40 up-and-coming business and professional leaders from the African-American community whose careers and individual achievements both inspire and motivate. The winners will be featured in the June issue of the magazine and will be honored at the 40 Under Forty Achievement Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Cooke works with elected officials, community advisory boards, community and faith-based organizations and does outreach to the press as well as marketing campaigns to ensure that the diverse community of southeastern and central Queens are aware of the hospital’s services. On any given week, he can be working on raising awareness about the redesigned neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that recently opened (See related story, "As Gentle As Mom"), the new state of the art Cancer Center, the hospital’s dentistry programs or its Diabetes Center of Excellence to better serve the increased number of patients it is attracting.
The word must be getting out. Queens Hospital continues to grow. In fact, the Berger Commission, which made recommendations on hospital industry restructuring and downsizing, listed Queens Hospital as the only New York City hospital that should be permitted to add beds.
"It is a great honor for me and all of us who work in the public sector to have the opportunity to make the lives of our community a bit better," Cooke said. "My colleagues and I have been charged with making Queens Hospital Center the hospital of choice for Queens’ residents. This is a great challenge as we do not have the level of funding that some private hospitals do; however, we have the most committed and visionary staff imaginable."
The son of a retired registered nurse, Cooke, who has been at HHC since 2000, has an impressive background in public service. He was Assistant Chief of Operations for Public Advocate Mark Green and prior to that worked in the press office of Mayor David Dinkins.
As a high school student, Cooke attended a program for gifted students in Amherst, MA and then went on to get his Bachelor of Arts degree at Vassar College. He is a jazz aficionado and would like to form a jazz institute to get people interested in jazz music and attract new listeners.
"Ultimately, our mission at HHC is to improve the health of our community. In the process, we can learn from the extraordinary cultural diversity of our patients. "said Cooke. "We must never lose sight of the truth that for all of our technological advances, healthcare is still about people caring for other people… it’s about our common humanity."