Larry’s Story: Ten Years Later and Still Grateful 

It’s been nearly a decade since Larry Palant had emergency cardiac catheterization at Good Samaritan Hospital. But his gratitude for the staff in our Emergency Department, the Active International Cardiovascular Institute and others at the hospital remains deep.

Larry came to the ED with crushing chest pain. A cardiac evaluation showed that his troponin levels were high, indicating a heart attack. Larry was brought to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab where he received two stents. 

Then, age 62, the Suffern resident had no prior heart issues and no known family history of cardiac disease. 

Larry was discharged for follow up care with Metropolitan Cardiology in Suffern. He required a third stent later that year. Since then, he continues to feel great.

“The quality of care at Good Sam is terrific,” Larry said. “We are fortunate to have this hospital here in Rockland County! Good Samaritan has grown over the years from a local resource that you once relied on mostly for emergencies to a state-of-the-art facility with many advanced capabilities, including an impressive roster of doctors who are part of Bon Secours Medical Group.” 

Larry is thankful that he is healthy and active. Retired from his property management company, he now focuses on Suffern Rotary Club activities. He also is the former Rotary district governor, where he oversaw 55 Rotary Clubs in the Lower Hudson Valley.  Larry loves his time with his wife, children and grandchildren and enjoys cooking and baking for family and friends. 

“Knowing that we have such quality care, literally around the corner from my home, is extremely reassuring,” Larry said. “Local hospitals, like Good Samaritan, rely on community support, both financially and through the continued use of its practitioners. Over the course of the last few years, my wife and I have switched to many Bon Secours Medical Group practices because it provides a single point of reference that makes our continuity and coordination of care very easy. And when warranted, we recommend them to friends.”

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Clifford’s Story: Thoughtful Donor, Grateful Patient, Champion of Miracles and Five and One-Half Years Cancer Free

When Clifford Nyman learned that he had prostate cancer, he chose Dr. Fraiman at Good Samaritan Hospital. Even though he lives in Eastchester, a little less than an hour from Suffern, he said that the car rides were worth every minute.

“Dr. Fraiman came highly recommended. I was assured that he is an authority on prostate cancer and that he is extremely compassionate,” Cliff said. “I also was told that at Good Samaritan Hospital, I would receive personalized, attentive care. The recommendations were spot on. Everyone on staff, from Dr. Fraiman to the radiology techs and nurses made it clear that they were there to help me, and that meant the world to me.”

Cliff emphasized that his experiences confirmed that Good Samaritan is big enough to provide a broad range of advanced services, but small enough to treat patients like family.

“My Christian faith gave me tremendous strength. The whole experience of beating cancer has been a miracle,” Cliff said.

“I am so grateful to be five and one-half years cancer free!”

As a donor, Cliff said that charitable gifts help Good Samaritan Hospital continually offer state-of-the-art care. “I make it a point to contribute regularly. I also appreciate everyone else who gives what they can because it is true: every donation makes a difference.”

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Rabbi Robert’s Story: Celebrating Life, Family and Gratitude

“I want to keep saying, ‘Thank You,‘ over and over again,” said Rabbi Robert Lam. “I am alive and healthy because I got the care I needed at the right time and the right place, and for that my gratitude is overwhelming!”

The 65-year-old Pomona resident recalled that his wife wasted no time in calling for an ambulance when he told her that he felt intense pressure on his chest. He said, “The EMTs from Hatzoloh EMS of Rockland brought me to Good Samaritan’s Emergency Department. That is when it was confirmed that I was having a heart attack and needed a stent right away.”

Rabbi Lam said that he has recovered nicely and feels well. He expressed deep appreciation for every person who did what was necessary to help him. “I am so fortunate that Good Samaritan’s doctors were able to save my life. I also am thankful to all the other staff at the hospital who took such good care of me and made my experience there as pleasant as possible.” 

Knowing that philanthropy helps the hospital continue to invest in patient care, Rabbi Lam reflected on the importance of tzedakah, the Hebrew word used to signify charity. “Community support for the hospital benefits all of us,” he said. “Good Samaritan goes beyond saving the life of the patient. When you save one person, you save a whole family and a community.”

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Donna’s Story: An Exceptional Experience

“I had an exceptional experience at Good Samaritan! 

“The orthopedic program staff make everything easy, from pre-surgery testing to post-surgery follow up. Their surgeons use state-of-the-art techniques to ensure great outcomes. I can now walk pain free. I can go to affairs and dance pain free. Before I could only watch.” — Donna Gorman Silberman, Rockland County Clerk and Grateful Patient

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Randy’s Story: Ten Years Later and Still Grateful 

For more than 30 years, Randy Klipstein has made annual donations to Good Samaritan Hospital. He says that he does it to remember his friends. 

Randy’s memories of Good Samaritan go back to childhood in the 1970s when, over an extended period, his mother received care here for breast cancer. 

“On Sundays my family would bring The New York Times Crossword Puzzle to Mom at Good Sam,” Randy said. “When a top Good Samaritan administrator, who also loved crosswords, heard about ‘the patient who was a crossword whiz,’ she visited Mom weekly so they could work on the puzzles together. But that’s not what I remember most.”

Randy recalled that in 1973, the hospital gave each patient a corsage during a Christmas party. “By this time, my mother was too sick to wear her corsage. But my father kept that flower prominently displayed in his home for more than twenty years, for the rest of his life,” he said.  “I know that there was no possession that he cherished more.  When I asked him about it, he said that ‘he doesn’t forget his friends.’”

It’s been over forty-five years since Randy’s mother was given that gift. He has since moved away from Rockland County but continues to donate to Good Samaritan. “I remember my friends, too.”

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John’s Story: God Bless Good Samaritan Hospital!

“God Bless Good Samaritan Hospital! My family and I deeply appreciate Good Sam’s cardiac team for the excellent care they provided when I was there for quadruple bypass surgery,” said John Sovak. “Knowing that charitable gifts really do make a difference for the hospital, we are only too happy to support its Foundation.”

After experiencing cardiac symptoms, the Suffern resident learned that he needed coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Cary Passik, MD performed the surgery, which diverted blood around the narrowed and clogged parts of John’s major arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to his heart. 

“My clearest and most powerful memory of my time in the cardiovascular intensive care unit is how caring and kind the staff members were. They were responsive, thorough and authentically compassionate. It also was a big plus that I was able to have my surgery and follow up care close to home,” John said.

John emphasizes the value of philanthropy to Good Samaritan, “Donations from our Rockland County community help save lives for local residents like me.”

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John’s Story: Good Samaritan, Where You’re Treated Like Family

John Kroog and his wife Nancy say that when they walk into Good Samaritan Hospital, they have come to a place where the staff warmly welcomes them. He said, “Good Samaritan provides excellent care and they also treat you like family,” John has had several inpatient stays at Good Samaritan and though his memory of time in the hospital during the longest admissions is fuzzy, he does have clarity recalling how kind the nurses, personal care assistants and other staff were to him. 

Nancy’s memories of the care her husband received are crisp. Every person on our care team was skilled and professional and, equally important, caring and kind,” she said. “They took the time to communicate the details of John’s care and his progress with me and our children, and they patiently and clearly answered our questions.” 

When they consider the impact of charitable giving from local businesses and individuals on Good Samaritan’s ongoing investments in patient care, John’s message to donors is concise, “Your money is well spent. It helps make this is a great hospital.”

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Phyllis’s Story: Strong Connections Lead to Deep Gratitude

“If you’ve made charitable gifts to the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, we may have spoken over the phone. I volunteer to call donors and thank them for their gifts. At Good Samaritan, we want to share our gratitude for your support.

“I have strong emotional connections to Good Sam. Raising three sons and growing older with my husband here, it has always been our hospital. It’s part of our family history, from the birth of our youngest son to the life-saving surgery our middle son needed as an infant. When I drive by the building on Lafayette Avenue, I still see the window I looked out while waiting for him to wake up from surgery.

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, my emotional connections with the hospital were critical to my patient experiences, from diagnosis to surgery and from subsequent treatment to recovery.

“We are so fortunate to have Good Samaritan in our ‘backyard.’ The care we can receive here is, in part, in our hands — so let’s all do what we can, small or large, to help make sure Good Samaritan continues to provide the care we need.”

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Howard’s Story: Always Finding Ways to Give

“I wish I could personally thank every staff member who took care of me when I was a patient at Good Samaritan Hospital. So many wonderful people all came together to look after me,” said Nanuet resident Howard Krulik. 

Mr. Krulik shared his gratitude by making a financial gift to the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation. “I am not wealthy, but I always find ways to give to charities,” he said. “I support Good Samaritan because it’s important to support our community hospital.”

As the number of coronavirus patients began to increase at an alarming rate in March 2020, Mr. Krulik was treated for another health issue at our Intensive Care Unit. He recalls feeling safe throughout his time here. He said that he also was very impressed with how the nurses were able to stay calm and compassionate under stressful circumstances.

Mr. Krulik said, “I used to be afraid to go to the hospital, but I’m not afraid at Good Sam. I’ve needed to rely a lot on its staff, and they’ve become family to me.  I’ll always be grateful that our local hospital provides such great care!”

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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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