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New name for Schneider Children's Hospital

The former Schneider Children's Hospital will be renamed after a billionaire hedge-fund manager originally from Great Neck and his wife, whose family foundation gave $50 million to the hospital.

The New Hyde Park hospital will now be known as the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York.

North Shore-LIJ and the Schneider family parted earlier this month after the Schneiders requested their name be removed from the hospital, North Shore-LIJ spokesman Terry Lynam said. Lynam said the family said it wanted to focus on its children's hospital in Israel.

The Schneider family was unable to be reached for comment yesterday. But in a March 1 letter to the hospital, the Schneider family wrote it wanted to "preserve its commitment and name for Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel alone."

The Schneiders had supported Schneider Children's Hospital since it opened in 1983. Family patriarch Irving Schneider was a key player in the North Shore-LIJ system since the 1960s, at one point serving as chairman of the board. Schneider and one of his daughters, Lynn Schneider, resigned from the hospital's board of directors on March 1.

The Cohen family's donation will be used to expand the children's hospital, adding 50 beds to the pediatric intensive care and medical surgery units. Construction is set to begin in the spring.

The expansion was postponed in December 2008 after Syosset developers Edward and Susan Blumenfeld and their sons Brad and David, who planned a multimillion dollar donation, were hit hard by the Madoff scandal.

Lynam said the Cohens have been supporters of the children's hospital for more than a decade, giving $7 million to create an ambulatory chemotherapy unit and endow a professorship.

The Cohens, who live in Greenwich, Conn., are billionaires and have donated to various children's hospitals in the region. "Pediatric health care is an issue that is near and dear to our hearts," the Cohens said in a statement.

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