Howard C. Cohen, hospital administrator
Howard C. Cohen, a retired hospital administrator and Army veteran, died Saturday of kidney failure at Sinai Hospital. Hewas 80.
The son of Murray Cohen, a jeweler and jewelry store owner, and Sarah Kramer Cohen, a schoolteacher, Howard Charles Cohen was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated in 1954 from Tilden High School.
He attended New York University School of Commerce, and upon graduation enlisted in the Army, where he served as an artilleryman.
In 1961, Mr. Cohen married Sandra Schumsky, and the day they returned from their honeymoon he was recalled to active duty during the Berlin Wall crisis, family members said.
From 1966 to 1973, Mr. Cohen worked in disbursements for New York University Medical Center.
He then joined the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., also known as HHC. During his tenure there, he was senior vice president of its Southern Manhattan Network and acting vice president of finance.
He also held positions at several city hospitals, including Bellevue Hospital and Bronx Municipal Hospital Center.
For the last 15 years of his career, Mr. Cohen was executive director of Coney Island Hospital, where he was recognized by the Anti-Defamation League for his efforts in bringing together diverse sections of the community.
He was also cited by the Daily News in 1992 for establishing a dedicated space for weekly prayer services for Muslim employees. “I think that we’re got something to say to the rest of the city about getting along,” he told the newspaper at the time.
In 1992, Mr. Cohen received a State Department grant through the American Health Alliance and traveled to Ukraine to help that country’s health care system establish clinics in underserved areas. He retired in 1997. Mr. Cohen lived for years in Wheatley Heights, N.Y., and after retiring lived several years at Long Beach, N.Y., on Long Island’s South Shore.
Aquintessential NewYorker all of his life, Mr. Cohen never lost his trademark Brooklyn accent, even after moving to Pikesville in 2000.
He worked here as chief administrative officer for the nonprofit People’s Community Health Center, and was a health care consultant for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene until retiring a second time in 2013.
Mr. Cohen was chair of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems — now known as America’s Essential Hospitals.
He served on the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, and was a docent at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
While remaining loyal to the New York Mets and Jets, Mr. Cohen was also a Baltimore Ravens and Orioles fan. He enjoyed travel and was a Civil War buff. Services were private. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Steven Cohen of Washington; two daughters, Janis Schlerf of Baltimore and Terri Young of Atlanta; a brother, Gary Cohen of Howard Beach, N.Y.; and five grandchildren.