NYC Health + Hospitals/ Coney Island gets 1st Russian-speaking CEO

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The new CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/ Coney Island is a Brooklyn-native with deep ties to the neighborhood.

Svetlana Lipyanskaya spent over a decade of her life in Bensonhurst, with her childhood balcony facing the Belt Parkway.

"I walk these streets and I'm like, ‘I know all these places,’ and it's incredible for me to know that I am back here at home running a hospital that provides such critical care for our community,” says Lipyanskaya.

She moved to Brooklyn from Ukraine in 1989 when she was 9 years old, escaping the oppression of the Soviet Union like millions of other immigrants in the borough.

"As every good little girl, I was supposed to be a physician, but when I was in college I really decided that there was a different way to help,” says Lipyanskaya.

Lipyanskaya told News 12 about her experience in health care management and the challenges and victories that came along with it.

Now she has a new challenge ahead, a role she was recently appointed to on Jan. 2. 

"We're building a new critical services building, and we are just taking care of our community; and it's so special for me to take care of my community and the people I grew up with,” says Lipyanskaya.

She's the first Russian-speaking CEO in this post, in a community with one of the largest Russian-speaking immigrant populations in the country.

"It's an incredibly warm and welcoming place, and it's a place that's of this community and that's important to me because I feel like I am of this community,” says Lipyanskaya.

She tells News 12 her parents gave up their home country for the American dream. A dream she's living now.

"They say ‘we left Ukraine for a better life for you and here you are running Coney Island Hospital.’ They keep on telling me every day how incredibly proud they are and honestly it's special, it really is,” says Lipyanskaya.

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