Federal Leaders Secure $1.25M to Support St. John’s University

March 14, 2022

St. John’s University was one of only 10 community project funding requests in New York’s Fifth Congressional District awarded federal funds through the efforts of Representative Gregory W. Meeks in the US House of Representatives and Senator Charles E. Schumer in the US Senate.

After months of federal budget negotiations, all 10 of the requests prioritized by Rep. Meeks were included in the bill totaling $15.1 million in new federal funds directed to the district that houses the Queens, NY, campus of St. John’s.

Included in the massive $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill is the appropriation of $1.25 million to St. John’s University for facilities and equipment to support the Skills and Simulation Center in the new Health Sciences Center. True to the founding and enduring mission of St. John’s, the University focused its sole funding request on a project committed to service and the health sciences. The center will focus on teaching, research, and interprofessional education that prepares competent, compassionate, professional health-care providers to meet the needs of the local and global community.

“The Skills and Simulation Center is a major component of the construction of our new Health Sciences Center,” stated Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of St. John’s. “This critical funding helps to provide state-of-the-art facilities where students can learn and benefit from simulation training opportunities before their required experiential education and clinical rotations.”

The community-based organizations that Congressman Meeks secured funding for include area hospitals, community centers, and institutions of higher education. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, and CUNY-York College are some of the local recipients.

“As a senior leader in the House, Rep. Meeks does a most effective job of representing the needs of his constituents and supporting major service providers and organizations in the community,” observed Brian Browne, Executive Director for University Relations and Assistant Vice President for Government Relations, who—along with Rep. Meeks’ staff—worked to navigate the highly competitive and circuitous federal appropriations process.

The federal spending bill to appropriate funds for the government until September 30 passed the Senate on March 10 in a bipartisan vote of 68 to 31. It previously cleared the US House of Representatives in a similarly bipartisan manner, and President Joe Biden quickly signed the continuing resolution stopgap funding into law the next day.

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks released the following statement after Congress passed the 2022 fiscal spending bill: “I am proud to have secured funding that will make our community healthier, safer, stronger, and even more resilient. In addition to funding critical priorities at home and abroad, this bill includes meaningful investments throughout Queens and Nassau County that will provide our community leaders with the resources they need to rebuild following COVID-19’s disruption.”