Katy R. Chiang Founder, First Chief Executive Officer, and First Chairwoman of the Board of Directors
1957 - 2020
Katy Chiang was born in 1957 on the island country of Taiwan. She grew up with her many sisters but eventually moved to the United States in 1975. Eventually, her mother, Shuier, and her sisters Ri-ing, Julie, Amy, Linda, Nancy, and Twinny came to the United States to make a life here as well.
As a teenager, Katy had an insatiable appetite for travel, exploration, and the arts. She went on to attend University of Buffalo to study business—knowledge she would use later on in life. In 1982, she met her soon-to-be husband, Tung Cheng ,D.P.M., and the two were soon married. As Dr. Tung Cheng began his practice as a podiatrist, Katy would get her exposure and experience in the healthcare field managing his office. At the height of Dr. Cheng’s podiatry career, he operated three separate offices across Queens and Brooklyn—including one in Flushing—and Katy acted as his practice manager.
In 2002, Katy noticed a need for ambulatory surgery and founded Gramercy Park Surgery, an office-based surgical facility. In late 2006, Katy’s idea grew even grander and she formed Gramercy Surgery Center, an outpatient surgery center approved under New York State law, which would soon launch her healthcare career beyond anything she could imagine. In founding Gramercy Surgery Center, Katy became the first female to wholly own an ambulatory surgery center in New York State and created the first surgery center in the state that was wholly owned by a non-physician. She acted as the Chief Executive Officer at Gramercy from its founding until January 2020, when she passed the mantle on to her son, Austin Cheng. Katy devoted much time and resources to the company, which became a second home to many surgeons, residents, and staff—some of whom have been employed by the company since its inception and continue to work there today. Many express that their passion for healthcare—and the ambulatory surgery industry in particular—stem from Katy’s impact on their lives.
Besides being a trailblazer in the healthcare industry in New York State, Katy also operated other businesses including a healthcare information technology (IT) company, a real estate management company, and also began developing real estate in her later years as a result of expanding her surgery center business. In addition to her business pursuits, Katy also became active in the local Flushing community and, in particular, served in local political groups such as the Kissena Democratic Club, which has supported legislators and leaders across the New York City Council, New York State Assembly, New York State Senate, New York Governor’s Office, as well as the United States House of Representatives. She was also proud of her involvement in local business groups, such as the Flushing Chinese Business Association (FCBA), before stepping down as a result of her declining health. In addition to receiving various community service awards due to her activism, Katy also found joy in supporting a local Buddhism temple.
Katy is survived by her husband, Dr. Tung Cheng, as well as their son, Austin Franklin Cheng, and daughter, Denise Grace Cheng. Dr. Cheng continues their work in real estate and maintains relations with the local and business communities. In 2019, Austin returned back home from active duty service with the United States Army to care for his mother and run the company that she founded more than ten years ago—he currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Katy’s passing, Denise recently broke the news to a proud mother that she was selected for a production fellowship position at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Katy is also survived by her many sisters who grew up alongside her who currently reside in New York and California as well as the many nieces and nephews of her extended family.
Though she is gone, her loving memory will live on through her friends, family, and her many accomplishments.
May She Rest in Peace.