Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Names Former Patients as Youth Ambassadors

Ambassadors to Represent Hospitalized Children, and Lead Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Walk and Family Fun Day

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital ambassadors (L-R) Chase Pultz, Jack Boyle and Camryn Kellam with WMCHealth’s Elissa Chessari

VALHALLA, N.Y. (July 17, 2023) – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital has named three former patients as its newest youth ambassadors. The children — all of whom underwent successful treatment for severe illnesses at WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital — will represent the thousands of seriously ill and injured children served annually by the hospital’s advanced pediatric services.

A signature duty of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital ambassadors will be to lead the hundreds-strong procession for the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Walk and Family Fun Day, which will step-off September 24. The event is the largest fundraiser for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and all donations made through the Walk and Family Fun Day will support the hospital’s advanced care services.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital appointed Camryn Kellam of Fishkill, Chase Pultz of Beacon, and Jack Boyle of Pearl River as hospital ambassadors during a special sashing ceremony at Clover Field in Pomona, NY, prior to a New York Boulders Frontier League baseball game.  WMCHealth’s Elissa Chessari, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of WMCHealth’s Northern Region, led the appointment event.

This year’s ambassadors are:

Camryn Kellam – Sickle Cell Disease – Fishkill
Doctors diagnosed 10-year-old Camryn of Fishkill with Sickle Cell Disease three weeks after birth. She has been a subject in one of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s many groundbreaking clinical trials and today, Camryn is doing great with little-to-no signs of Sickle Cell Disease symptoms. She is one of eight children chosen from all over the United States to represent Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for 2023.

Chase Pultz – Infectious Disease and Neurosurgery – Beacon
Chase, 9, of Beacon was admitted to WMCHealth’s MidHudson Regional Hospital with a severe sinus infection. Within three days, the infection had traveled to Chase’s brain, and he was transferred to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for advanced care. Neurosurgery and other procedures ensued, requiring Chase to spend the next 30 days recovering at the hospital. Today, Chase is thriving.

Jack Boyle – Neurosurgery – Pearl River
15-year-old Jack of Pearl River was playing basketball with his brother when he developed a headache and collapsed. An ambulance rushed him to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, where pediatric care experts discovered a tangle of ruptured blood vessels. Jack needed multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, but today Jack is doing great! He is an honor roll student, an avid outdoor sportsman and member of the cross county, winter track and golf teams.

For more information about the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, visit

WMCHealth Announces the Launch of Its Center for Women’s Health Equity

VALHALLA, N.Y.  – Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) has announced the launch of its Center for Women’s Health Equity, a new care program that will address the social, economic, cultural and racial determinants of health that can result in increased maternal morbidity and mortality among women across the Hudson Valley. Supported by a $750,000 New York State grant secured by New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and with the support of New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the members of the New York State Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul, the WMCHealth Center for Women’s Health Equity has locations at Westchester Medical Center in Westchester County and another at HealthAlliance Hospital in Ulster County. 

The Center for Women’s Health Equity will be the first program of its kind based in New York State’s Hudson Valley region, and will have an initial aim of reducing the leading causes of death among pregnant women by integrating specialists in maternal-fetal medicine, whose expertise is the care of complex medical problems affecting pregnant women, with its heart and vascular program clinicians to take a more proactive and holistic view of elevated risk factors among women, particularly those of color. 

“WMCHealth’s vital mission is to provide the highest-quality care for all residents of the Hudson Valley, and we expect the Center for Women’s Health Equity to help improve outcomes for the women WMCHealth serves,” said Michael D. Israel, President and CEO, WMCHealth.  “We expect the Center for Women’s Health Equity to be a model for other health networks across the country to follow, and would like to thank our New York State representatives for having the foresight to make such a significant investment in this important program.”

“We are addressing one of the greatest challenges that exists in public health today – the socioeconomic and racial determinants of health that results in the premature death of women of color across the Hudson Valley” said Sean Tedjarati, MD, MPH, MBA, Director of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Westchester Medical Center. “By bringing together and integrating all of these necessary services, we aim to eliminate clinical silos and bridge the gaps that will help empower patients and community partners while improving care and saving lives.”

A New York State Health Emergency
Addressing maternal mortality is an urgent health risk particularly in the United States, where in 2021 the mortality rate was 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births*, more than 10 times the estimated rates of some other high-income countries**, driven largely by significant disparities in health outcomes experienced by minority women. The situation is especially dire in New York State, where Black, non-Hispanic women are up to five times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than White non-Hispanic women. 

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: “I’m proud to support WMCHealth’s Center for Women’s Health Equity in its mission to reduce health disparities among women in our region. It is crucial that we address the socioeconomic and racial impacts on healthcare that contribute disproportionately to the premature deaths of pregnant women of color. This Center will have a major impact on women’s healthcare disparities in the Hudson Valley as it works to improve outcomes, save lives, and create a more equitable healthcare system. With the $750,000 State grant, New York is taking a significant step towards closing these gaps, underscoring our unwavering commitment to high quality healthcare for all women.”

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Health
“As the new Health Chair of the New York State Assembly one of my top priorities is addressing maternal mortality.  I commend Westchester Medical Center on the launch of its new Center for Women’s Health Equity, and am very pleased to have secured the initial funding. Implementing innovative programs which directly address the issues expectant mothers face, including socio-economic determinants, is critical to improving maternal birth and overall health outcomes. I look forward to the future success of the new Center for Women’s Health and appreciate its important focus on this critical public health emergency. Women shouldn’t have to worry about dying when they get pregnant.”

In the coming year, the WMCHealth Center for Women’s Health Equity will expand to include preventative oncological support to address increased risk of breast and gynecological cancers with an emphasis on cervical cancer, which still imposes a high burden on Black and Hispanic populations.

The program is accessible today in Westchester County at 19 Bradhurst Avenue in Hawthorne or by calling 914.493.2080 and in Ulster County at 373 Broadway Avenue in Kingston or by calling 845.303.1132. For additional information, visit

Gene’s Story: My First Choice

“I support Good Sam – and I hope you will too. Their healthcare teams deliver professional, excellent, compassionate care, and the hospital is well equipped to safely provide the services our community needs.” 

Good Samaritan was Gene Cortes’ first choice when he needed surgery. Even though COVID-19 was in news headlines, he said that our staff took every possible precaution to reduce virus transmission, and he felt completely safe here. Gene believes that high-quality local healthcare is more important than ever, and he is grateful to have Good Samaritan close to home. 

Before relocating to Florida, Gene Cortes was a former member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, owner of International Collision and New City resident.

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