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Dina Wong takes over from Alex Hellinger as executive director of Lenox Health Greenwich Village

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Dina Wong has been named the new executive director of Lenox Health Greenwich Village. She will oversee the daily operations of the facility and spearhead further development of its programs and services.

Located on Seventh Avenue beween 12th and 13th Streets, L.H.G.V. is a division of Lenox Hill Hospital. A state-of-the art medical pavilion, it offers a full-service, 24-hour emergency department, a comprehensive diagnostic imaging suite, an ambulatory surgery center, a telepsychiatry hub and a range of physician practices.

Wong’s appointment is a promotion from her prior post as deputy executive director of Northwell’s Staten Island University Hospital.

At L.H.G.V. for just two months, Wong is busy acclimating to her demanding new job. But she recently found time in her packed schedule to briefly meet with The Village Sun.

Asked if SIUH was a bigger facility, she said, yes, much bigger. Yet, she said, Northwell feels the Greenwich Village health hub is very important and wants to get things right there. Hence Wong’s installment. She touched on an exciting plan Northwell has for the healthplex, but said she’s not ready to go public with it just yet. But it’s something Villagers will likely approve of.

“In this role, I’m excited to contribute to the further success of our organization by building new programs and services at L.H.G.V.,” she said. “I’m eager to learn and understand the needs of the community, and then help grow our services in the Lower Manhattan market.”

She says she really values the “family” aspect of L.H.G.V., noting that most its employees have been working together there since it opened seven years ago.

“The commitment and pride they have in the facility, its services and outcomes are truly inspiring,” she said.

Wong grew up in Bethlehem, which she refers to as “a little town,” in the Middle East and speaks three languages, English, Arabic and German. She is married, with three young children.

Projecting an efficient, no-nonsense attitude, Wong brings a wealth of broad experience to the job. At SIUH, she led efforts to enhance the quality of care and patient experience and drove the strategic growth of hospital and ambulatory services. She also oversaw the hospital’s capital planning, budget management and team member engagement.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wong helped steer SIUH’s response and recovery plans by assembling a multidisciplinary team to focus on strategic planning, operational needs assessments and communication strategy.

During her 20-year career at SIUH, she held various positions of increasing responsibility in all aspects of hospital operations. As SIUH’s associate executive director, she redesigned health information, plus bed-management and case-management services, resulting in a 30 percent reduction in 30-day readmission rates. Earlier in her career, she served as administrator of ambulatory oncology, radiation medicine, hospice, palliative care and physician practices.

Wong holds a master’s in health services administration (M.H.S.A.) from George Washington University. A biology major, she got her bachelor’s degree at Western Maryland College.

She takes over from Alex Hellinger, who served as L.H.G.V.’s executive director since it opened in 2014.

Hellinger has taken on a new role as senior vice president and regional executive director of Northwell’s Brooklyn region. He will be responsible for managing the health system’s affiliation with Maimonides Medical Center and alliance with Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. He will also oversee Northwell’s consulting relationship with One Brooklyn Health System, comprised of Brookdale, Interfaith and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Centers.

As executive director of L.H.G.V., Hellinger helped establish it in the West Village in 2014 as the borough’s first free-standing emergency center — meaning there are no hospital beds attached to it. He then directed its development and expansion into what has become an important medical facility for Downtown Manhattan.

L.H.G.V. currently includes a variety of critical health services for a community that had been without medical services since the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital in 2010.

In addition, Hellinger built strong ties and relationships with organizations vital to the West Village community, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center), the New York City AIDS Memorial and NYC Pridefest.

Earlier this year, L.H.G.V. was honored with The Center’s Community Award for its commitment to delivering equitable and compassionate care to the L.G.B.T.Q. community and for the heroic work of its staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also one of 27 Northwell facilities to be designated a leader in L.G.B.T.Q. healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

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