Brooklyn Heights

Gift of inspiration, and medical masks unite two Brooklyn institutions: Arbeeny family and Cobble Hill Health Center

May 19, 2020 Editorial Staff

Norman Arbeeny, 89, was one of 12 siblings in a Syrian immigrant family who made Brooklyn home a century ago. When Norman was born at Long Island College Hospital, the family did not travel far to bring him home; they lived around the corner at 128 Amity Street, where the family still resides today.

Earlier this month, when Norman died at home after a long fight with COVID-19 and other ailments, the family focus again became an institution around the corner: the Cobble Hill Health Center on Henry Street, just off Amity, where Norman had received therapy.

Norman Arbeeny and his son Peter. Photos courtesy of Peter Arbeeny

“We know they did everything they could for our father,” said lifelong Cobble Hill resident Peter Arbeeny, “and we decided to do a second donation of 3M N95 medical masks to the residents and workers at Cobble Hill Health Center as a show of appreciation, and in memory of our father, Norman.”

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Peter and his brother Daniel organized a presentation ceremony to coincide with the inspiring daily 7 p.m. public salute to all frontline workers. The ceremony took place in front of Cobble Hill Health Center Wednesday, May 13.

Donny Tuchman, flanked by Peter (left) and Daniel Arbeeny, spoke outside Cobble Hill Health Center on Wednesday.

Peter Arbeeny, an entrepreneur who owns All HVAC Service Company, has been one of the most active philanthropic business leaders, having already donated masks and protective face shield equipment for the Nursing Club of St. Francis College, which worked in a collaborative Franciscan effort during the height of the pandemic to donate in early April to CHHC and the 76th Precinct. All HVAC made additional direct mask donations to Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Hospital and St. Nicholas Church.

 

All HVAC donated personal protective equipment for the Nursing Club of St. Francis College, which worked during the height of the pandemic to donate to CHHC and the 76th Precinct.

“There has been a huge outpouring of support from neighbors of Cobble Hill Health Center,” said Dan Arbeeny, Peter’s brother. “They were hit first and hardest by the death rate of vulnerable elderly patients.”

The Arbeenys noted that in the face of “such horrible losses, facing shortages of equipment, the staff at Cobble Hill Health Center redoubled their efforts.” It is through local contributions from neighbors, added Peter Arbeeny, that small health centers can endure and help their patients thrive.

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Supporters gathered outside Cobble Hill Health Center on Wednesday to show support for its frontline workers.

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