Jean Torell Hughes, Long Time LICH Director of Business & Community Health and Member of Many Health Boards, Passed Away at 73


Jean Torell Hughes, former Director of Business and Community Health for Long Island College Hospital (LICH) and an executive in its Nursing Department for over 40 years passed away March 25, 2018 after a long illness. Near the end of her LICH career, the Brooklyn Heights resident’s many accomplishments were chronicled in a two-part series published in the Brooklyn Heights Press.

 For twenty-five years, Jean served as LICH’s Director of Business and Community Health. She developed many programs that actively promoted health and wellness for Brooklyn Heights residents as well as the larger community including employees of New York State courts in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York City municipal agencies, workers at Metrotech-based companies SIAC, Bear Stearns, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Keyspan, and even at the ABC News headquarters in Manhattan. Jean was also in charge of the LICH health services outpost at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.

 Much in demand, Jean ambitiously expanded the scope of her programs to include free health lectures by LICH physicians, free cancer screenings performed by LICH specialists in breast, prostate, skin, colorectal, head and neck, and vision screenings for children and adults.  She initiated Senior Health and Fitness Day, Asthma Alert Day, and Diabetes Awareness Day events before these were common. Jean also administered flu shots, performed blood pressure screenings at health fairs, and distributed health information at NY State courts and in the offices of both Assemblywoman Joan Millman and the late Assemblywoman Eileen Dugan. Her screenings became so popular and over-subscribed that Jean could often be found completing screening forms or processing PSA tests hours after the last person had left.

The daughter of an NYPD Detective 1st grade, Jean shared his feeling of responsibility for the communities they served. She had a warmth and love of people that contributed to her popularity. Perhaps one of her most appreciated roles was that of an ad hoc personal health advisor - helping explain what type of medical specialist to see or whether a visit to the Emergency Department was required. If a friend or colleague was headed to the LICH ER, Jean was often the one called. She would either meet the person at the Triage Desk or alert the ER staff when a patient was on route. She extended this VIP treatment to everyone - judges and housekeepers alike - and was credited with playing a major role in Brooklyn residents choosing LICH for their medical care.

Jean began her career at the LICH School of Nursing, graduating in 1964. She went on to work at LICH for over 40 years, serving as a staff nurse, assistant head nurse, head nurse and assistant Director of Nursing before being named Director of Business and Community Health. After her retirement, Jean continued to serve as Vice President of the LICH Guild, a fundraising board. She presented a gift of $80,000 from the LICH Guild to the School of Nursing in 2013 at what turned out to be the school’s final graduation.

Long Island College Hospital even played a role in Jean’s personal life. She met her devoted husband, Michael Hughes, in 1967 when he was a Brooklyn Law student visiting a patient. Years later, she gave birth to their son, Andrew, at LICH.

Jean served on the boards of many non-profit health organizations, sharing her medical expertise and counsel as a 20-year member of the American Lung Association of New York, the Brooklyn Arthritis Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and was a special advisor on children’s health for the former Brooklyn Heights YMCA at Joralemon Street.

A longtime resident of Brooklyn Heights, Jean is survived by Michael, her beloved husband of 45 years, adored son, Andrew, her wonderful daughter-in-law, Sarah, her much loved grandson, Andrew James, her brother, Arthur, sisters, Alexandra, Marie, and Patricia, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her family, Jean felt fortunate to have assistance and support during her illness from Dr. Daniel Ricciardi and his team, Michael’s extended family, and members of the Assumption Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary especially Father Joel, Mary Macchiarola and Annette Anglisano.

A memorial mass to honor Jean’s life will be held at Assumption Church at 55 Cranberry Street between Hicks and Henry Streets in Brooklyn Heights on Friday, April 27th at 12:00 pm. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Arthritis Foundation ( and/or the Scleroderma Foundation (

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