Howard Cohen, a former hospital administrator at NYC Health + Hospitals and America’s Essential Hospitals board chair in 1995, died Sept. 24 of kidney failure at age 80.

“Howard’s kind heart and caring ways made a lasting impact on the people he worked with and the patients whose lives he touched,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “His passion for ensuring that all patients — especially the most vulnerable — receive the care and attention they need will live on through the many people who he trained and worked with.”

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Cohen served at NYC Health + Hospitals for several decades, in roles including senior vice president of its Southern Manhattan Network and acting vice president of finance. For 15 years, he served as executive director of Coney Island Hospital. In that role, he worked to unify diverse sections of the community. He also held positions at Bellevue Hospital Center and North Central Bronx Hospital.

Cohen’s dedication to serving vulnerable populations extended overseas through his involvement with the American International Alliance. In the early ’90s, he traveled to Ukraine to help establish clinics in underserved areas.

Cohen retired in 1997, but remained active in the health care community after moving to Maryland. He served as chief administrative officer of People’s Community Health Center and as a health care consultant for Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.