HealthAlliance Hospital Gala 2023 Supports Cancer Infusion Center and Oncology Support Program

Esteemed physicians Elias Lader, MD, Somsak Bhitiyaku, MD and O+ Festival honored May 5 at Diamond Mills in Saugerties

KINGSTON, N.Y. (May 10, 2023) – The HealthAlliance Hospital Gala was held on Friday, May 5th at Diamond Mills in Saugerties, successfully providing support for the hospital’s cancer infusion center and  oncology support program.

More than 250 people were in attendance, including many of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network’s (WMCHealth) esteemed physicians, founder of the O+ Festival, and members of the greater Kingston community. The gala also featured a number of moving speakers, some recounting powerful personal stories of how HealthAlliance Hospital’s infusion provided them with life saving care.

Additionally, the hospital presented awards recognizing a number of community leaders and medical professionals who have made a positive impact on the Kingston region. A full list of honorees and gala sponsors can be found below.

Exceptional Honorees
2023 HealthAlliance Hospital Gala honorees:

  • Ellis Lader, MD – Dr. Lader has had a long and distinguished career serving the Kingston community, where he began practicing in the 1980s. He is currently Director, Division of Cardiology, HealthAlliance Hospital.
  • Somsak Bhitiyaku, MD – Dr. Bhitiyakul practiced internal medicine and nephrology for over 50 years. Dr. Bhitiyakul founded the first dialysis unit in Ulster County in 1977 and served as its Medical Director for 34 years. He also served as President of the Medical Staff at the former Kingston Hospital as well as Chief of Medicine there and the former Benedictine Hospital, as well as President of the Mid-Hudson Society of Internal Medicine.
  • Joe Concra/O+ Festival – The O+ Festival was established in 2010 in Kingston by a small group of artist-activists. The effort helps to provide healthcare to creative professionals. Joe Concra is an O+ Festival co-founder.

HealthAlliance Hospital Gala Sponsors

  • Leadership Sponsors: Dr. and Mrs. Somsak Bhitiyakul.; HealthAlliance Medical Staff and Medical Associates HV.
  • Honoree Sponsors: Bruderhof Communities and Ulster Savings Bank.
  • Patron Sponsors: Darlene Bover, Gateway Hudson Valley, The Rothlein Family, Sholes & Miller, PLLC, SVN Deegan-Collins Commercial Realty and Ulster Federal Credit Union.
  • Event Underwriters: Hudson Valley Hospice, Rondout Savings Bank and Turner Construction Company.

New HealthAlliance Hospital
In December, the newly reimagined HealthAlliance Hospital opened after a $113M expansion and enhancement project that included a new, two-story, 79,000-square-foot building adjoining the hospital’s legacy structure and a full renovation of 48,000 square feet of the previous hospital environment.

View photos from the gala here.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with nine hospitals on seven campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 13,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I (adult and pediatric), Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, home-care services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated health care in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit or follow WMCHealth on or

Good Samaritan Hospital Honors Hatzoloh EMS of Rockland County at its 36th Annual Spring Ball

Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, honored Hatzoloh EMS of Rockland County at its 36th Annual Spring Ball on April 23. Hatzoloh was presented with the Good Samaritan Hospital Medal of Honor. This distinguished award is given once a year to an individual or organization that demonstrates exceptional commitment to the wellbeing of the community.

At the gala, $410,000 was raised to support Good Samaritan’s Surgical Services Department. CEO of Hatzoloh of Rockland, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Golding said, “On behalf of our more than 200 Hatzoloh volunteer EMTs and paramedics, I would like to thank Good Samaritan Hospital for selecting us to receive this award. It is an honor to be recognized for our service to our neighbors throughout the county.”

Also at the Spring Ball, Michael L. Schwartz, MD, Chief of Surgical Services at Good Samaritan Hospital, received the hospital’s Medical Excellence Award. A new community service award, given posthumously to Harold J. Peterson, was introduced. Peterson was Chair of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation from 2015 to 2022. The Spring Ball was hosted by The Good Samaritan Hospital’s philanthropic arm. To support advances in healthcare at Good Samaritan Hospital, please click here or call 845.368.5151.

Helping WMCHealth and Helping You with a Charitable Gift Annuity

What is a Gift Annuity?

A charitable gift annuity is an excellent way to support WMCHealth and receive lifetime income for you and/or loved ones. It is a contract between you and WMCHealth Foundation. After you transfer cash, marketable securities, or other assets, WMCHealth agrees to pay a guaranteed fixed income each year to one or two individuals for their lifetime. Once the annuitants have passed, any remaining funds will go to support a hospital and/or program of your choice.

Benefits of a Gift Annuity

There are many benefits for a gift annuity for you and loved ones.

  • The guaranteed payments are fixed and paid for the rest of the lives of you and/or others whom you name as the annuitant(s).
  • You receive a generous income tax deduction in the year your gift annuity is created.
  • The annuity is backed by WMCHealth Foundation’s entire assets, not just by the property contributed.
  • A portion of each payment is considered a tax-free return of the gift during the life expectancy of the annuitant(s). After that, the payments are considered entirely taxable income.
  • If you donate a capital gain asset such as stock to fund the annuity, a portion of your capital gain is ratably spread and paid over your life expectancy, if you are an annuitant.
  • The income from a gift annuity may begin immediately or may be deferred until a future year. Deferred annuities are often planned for children or grandchildren, and they leverage much higher rates of payment.
  • The residual of your gift annuity completely escapes probate and estate tax.
  • Most importantly, the residual of your gift annuity remains a legacy gift for WMCHealth and may be designated to support one or more WMCHealth programs and services.

Gift Annuities Attractive During High Inflation.

Since payments from a gift annuity are fixed and backed by the entire assets of WMCHealth, they offer security during uncertain economic times, including during a high inflationary period. The gift annuity payments do not rise or fall with stock market values.

New Opportunities for Gift Annuities.

As of January 1, 2023, two recent developments offer increased benefits for gift annuities.

First, the payout rates for gift annuites have increased. Please contact Irene Tsetsekos at 914-493-6304 or to explore your charitable gift annuity rate(s).

Second, a new law permits tax-free rollovers for those age 70.5 years and older from his or her IRA to fund a charitable gift annuity. This rollover is available for one year only, at your choice, and for a maximum of $50,000. The gift annuity created by this IRA rollover (also known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution or QCD) can only make payments to the IRA owner and/or his/her spouse. The QCD for a gift annuity will also count towards your annual required minimum distribution (RMD). While the QCD for a gift annuity does not permit an income tax charitable deduction, there will be no income tax owed on the rollover to fund the annuity.

Contact Us!

We are eager to answer your questions and offer personalized illustrations to you of the potential income and tax benefits with no obligation. Please contact Irene Tsetsekos at 914-493-6304 or for more information.

Please consider a charitable gift annuity as an outstanding way to help you and loved ones, and for leaving a legacy supporting the important mission of WMCHealth!