ShopRite Raises $92,000 for WMCHealth during Winter Fundraiser

Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is grateful for the support of longtime partner and sponsor ShopRite.

During its winter fundraiser, ShopRite collected more than $92,000 in donations from shoppers at its 27 area locations. The money will go to support programs and services throughout the WMCHealth network.

WMCHealth’s Girls Night Out Honors Heart Disease Survivors and Raises Awareness about Women’s Heart Health

Fundraiser draws more than 400 and honors Elizabeth Bracken Thompson as Community Champion

VALHALLA, NY (March 14, 2024) – Girls’ Night Out, a heartwarming evening featuring tributes to heart disease survivors and their caregivers, was held Feb. 15 at The Sleepy Hollow Hotel in Tarrytown. WCBS-TV news anchor Mary Calvi emceed the event with proceeds benefiting the Westchester Medical Center Health Network’s (WMCHealth) Heart & Vascular Institute, which offers comprehensive cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery services, as well as WMCHealth’s new five-story Critical Care Tower now under construction. A sellout crowd of over 400 attended.

Girls’ Night Out Emcee WCBS-TV Anchor Mary Calvi and Honoree Elizabeth Bracken Thompson with patients and healthcare providers featured in the event’s fashion show.

Foundation Board member Elizabeth Bracken Thompson received the WMCHealth Foundation’s 1st Community Champion Award. Bracken-Thompson is a partner with the award-winning public relations firm of Thompson & Bender in Briarcliff Manor and a long time WMCHealth supporter. The evening also included dining, dancing and a videotaped fashion show featuring healthcare providers and patients modeling fashions from fashion designer Beverley Olivacce, the event’s exclusive fashion partner. Other sponsors included Macy’s; Cross County Shopping Center and M&T Bank.

Heart disease is still the number one killer of women in the United States, causing 1 in 3 deaths or approximately one every minute.

Gabbie Fried, RN, Vice President of Cardiovascular Services with WMCHealth’s Heart & Vascular Institute said that 80 percent of heart diseases and strokes are preventable.

“Through education and screening and by developing a personalized plan to reduce risk factors and encourage exercise and healthy eating, our Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program works to head off potential heart problems. The program has seen successful results, and we are seeing more patients than last year,’’ she said.

This year’s fashion show featured patients that included Jake Amoroso, a New York Police Department officer, whose successful surgery allowed him to become a member of the force, 15-year-old Mia Santana who came here from the Dominican Republic with her mother to undergo lifechanging heart repair, and young siblings Gabriel (8) and Rei (4), who received treatment for congenital heart issues.

Read about their stories and see the fashion show video here.

Donations to support WMCHealth can still be made 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 WMCHealth.org or follow WMCHealth on Facebook.com/WMCHealth or Instagram.com/WMCHealth.

Girls Night Out Celebrates Heart Health Awareness Month

Girls’ Night Out, an annual fundraiser for the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) Heart and Vascular Institute, will be held on Feb. 15, 2024 at The Sleepy Hollow Hotel in Tarrytown. 

The event will celebrate the triumphs of heart patients and recognize the physicians and healthcare professionals whose compassion and skill save lives. February is Heart Health Awareness Month. Heart disease remains the number one killer of women in the United States, causing 1 in 3 deaths or approximately one every minute. 

Girls’ Night Out will be emceed by award-winning, WCBS-TV news anchor Mary Calvi. Proceeds from the event will benefit the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute, which offers a wide range of cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery services — including heart failure and heart transplantation, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and more — to Hudson Valley residents. 

To learn more about sponsorships for the event or to purchase tickets or make a donation here.

Surviving Farmingdale Bus Crash Students & Families Thank Medical Staff at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

Farmingdale school Superintendent, Paul Defendini, will bring cards made by school students and their families to thank the doctors, nurses and staff who helped save the lives of students involved in a deadly bus crash in September.

What: The bus was transporting Farmingdale High School’s marching band from Long Island to a camp in Pennsylvania when it crashed on a New York highway. Two teachers died and dozens of children were injured. Survivors were treated at Westchester Medical Center.

Representatives from the Farmingdale School District, including district superintendent Paul DeFendi recently returned to WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to thank doctors, nurses and support staff members for their work caring for young victims of the September bus crash involving Farmingdale High School students.

District representatives met with clinical and support staff members and presented thank you notes written/drawn by students in the district’s elementary schools. A total of 15 boxes filled with cards were presented.

WMCHealth’s Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y., and St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, N.Y., also cared for bus crash victims and representatives from both hospitals were on hand and received boxes of thank you notes to bring back to their respective hospitals. Victims cared for at these hospitals were either treated and released or transferred to WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Westchester Medical Center for care. At one point, 12 bus crash victims were at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital/Westchester Medical Center.

WMCHealth’s TCS New York City Marathon Team Raises nearly $75,000 to Support Hudson Valley Patients

Runners representing hospitals in the Westchester Medical Center Health Network run at the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5

A special group of Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) employees and families of patients raised $74,500 running in the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5 in support of WMCHealth facilities across the Hudson Valley.

The team’s 10 members ran in support of the life-changing and lifesaving care provided at each of WMCHealth’s 10 Hudson Valley hospitals. Family and colleagues of the runners gathered to cheer on the team.

Thanks to this year’s runners Stephen Baker, Irene Tsetsekos, Salima Choudrini, Anita Shah, Moira Mansfield, Adam Cox, Hillary Schneck, Fran Myrthil, Keri Decker and Mary Browne.

You can still continue to help our cause to give amazing care by making a donation today at 2023 NYC Marathon – Campaign (wmchealth.org)

Final patient from I84 Bus Crash Released from WMC

Hospital staff gathered last month to give a send-off to Aidan Sullivan. The 14-year-old Farmingdale High School student was the final student who was hospitalized for injuries sustained in the I-84 bus crash to be discharged from WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.  

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital celebrated Aidan’s discharge with a “clap out” ceremony attended by dozens of hospital representatives, many of whom were involved in the care of Aidan and his schoolmates. Aidan plays the sousaphone in the school marching band. His family were escorted home by members of the Nassau County Police Department.

More than 40 people were on the bus that crashed on the Interstate near Middletown, NY. Twelve passengers were under the care of WMCHealth’s Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.  All bus accident patients now have been treated and released.

WMCHealth’s Gala 2023 Honors Community Champions, Physician Exemplar and Lifetime Achievement Awardee

Proceeds from the evening at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts June 3 Support New Critical Care Tower at Westchester Medical Center

VALHALLA, N.Y.– Westchester Medical Center Health Network’s (WMCHealth) 2023 Gala saluted the dedicated nurses of WMCHealth’s Critical Care Teams in addition to honoring a community supporter and longtime healthcare providers for service to the hospital network and community. 

The evening, at the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts in Katonah on June 3th, also featured former patient Annabelle Liebert and her father Hugh who performed a duet for the crowd of more than 400 who attended. 

The event was in support of the hospital’s new Critical Care Tower. The five-story, 262,000 square-foot facility will provide 128 private, ICU-capable rooms that are more comfortable and will incorporate modern technologies. 

Honorees at the event included: 

Physician Exemplar Award

Muhammad Choudhury, MD, FACS, Director of Urology at Westchester Medical Center was presented with the Physician Exemplar Award.

Dr. Choudhury is also Chairman of the Department of Urology at New York Medical College. He has had a long and distinguished career at Westchester Medical Center and served as President of the Medical Staff from 2008-2012. Caring for patients for more than 40 years, Dr. Choudhury has been recognized as a Top Doctor by New York Magazine and Castle Connolly on many occasions throughout his career. He has received multiple teaching awards from New York Medical College. He served as secretary of the Board of Directors of the New York Section -American Urological Association from 2005 to 2007, as President-elect from 2007-2008 and as the President from 2008-2009.

He was first appointed in 1981 as an Attending and Section Chief of Urological Cancer in the Department of Urology at Westchester Medical Center. He was appointed Director of Urology Service in 1989.

He was Program Director of the Urology Residency from 2000 to 2009. Dr. Choudhury was the physician honoree of the 29th annual Westchester Medical Center Gala in 2008.

A graduate Sylhet Medical College in Bangladesh in 1972, he immigrated to the United States in 1975. He completed his residency in urology at New York Medical College affiliated hospitals in 1980 and a fellowship in urologic cancer at Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, New York in 1981. 

Dr. Choudhury is most proud of being involved in training over 100 residents and fellows throughout his career. He is an enthusiastic champion of the global initiatives of the American Urological Association and has worked for the past 20 years to improve the education and training of urologists in Bangladesh. On May 2, 2023 American Urological Association awarded Dr. Choudhury with the prestigious “Gold Headed Cane Award” for his outstanding contribution to the profession of urology and American Urological Association.

John F. Heimerdinger Lifetime of Service Award 

Maureen F. Cooney, a Nurse Practitioner in Pain Management at Westchester Medical Center, was awarded the John F. Heimerdinger Lifetime of Service Award.  Cooney,  DNP, RN, FNP-BC, PMGT-BC, AP-PMN, ACHPN, is also an Associate Professor in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Pace University.  She received a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University and Master’s and Undergraduate degrees from Pace University. Dr. Cooney is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and also in Pain Management and Palliative Care. She is the Immediate Past President of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) and has served in various roles in that organization on a national and local level. Dr. Cooney has authored numerous pain management publications and has lectured extensively, locally, nationally and internationally, on a variety of pain related topics. In 2021, along with Dr. Ann Quinlan-Cowell, she was the co-author of a book entitled Assessment and Multimodal Management of Pain: An Integrative Approach

Dr. Cooney started her career as a surgical ICU nurse, first at Jacobi Medical Center, and then, in 1983, at Westchester Medical Center. She became an instructor of critical care nursing at WMC in 1987, and continued in that role until 2002 when she assumed her present role as Pain Management Nurse Practitioner.  She is the grateful recipient of the generous continuing education and tuition reimbursement benefits at WMC which have offered her great professional satisfaction and career advancement opportunities. She completed a Masters in Adult Nursing/Education, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies as Family Nurse Practitioner, and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice with the tuition support of WMC.  Dr. Cooney says that one of the best parts of her career at Westchester Medical Center has been the lasting friendships she has forged.

On a personal level, she is the mother of three adult children, Joseph, Meghan, and Patrick, and the grandmother of Olivia, 6-1/2, and Logan 4 months. Her hobbies include gardening, kayaking, hiking, biking, Irish music, and spending fun times with friends and family. 

Community Champion Award 

The Community Champion Award was presented to Alfred P. Vigorito, Esq., Senior Partner, Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nicholas & Porter LLP, specializing in medical malpractice defense. 

Mr. Vigorito spent the early part of his law career as a prosecutor, starting as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx District Attorney Mario Merola’s office where he was Supervisor of the Narcotics Bureau, Deputy Chief Public Corruption Unit. He tried more than 60 felony cases in NYS Supreme Court for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY. He served as a Special Assistant AUSA from 1986-88 and was part of a joint team with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office prosecuting political corruption and white collar crime with a 100 percent conviction rate.

He later went into private practice where he specialized in medical malpractice defense, starting with the firm of Bower & Gardner, the largest medical negligence defense firm in New York, from 1988-94, starting as an associate, then partner and principal partner. He later joined Bartlett, McDonough, Bastone & Monaghan, LLP in White Plains, N.Y.  where he served as equity partner, medical malpractice defense from 1994-2015 before starting the firm of Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nicholas & Porter LLP.

Mr. Vigorito graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1973 and earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University, Honors Program in 1975. He received his law degree from Pace University School of Law in 1980. He has been named by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 25 lawyers in Westchester County.

Mr. Vigorito has participated in Grand Rounds Lectures at WMC in Anesthesia, Neurology, Surgery, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and been on the WMC Invitational Golf Tournament Committee for 10 years. He is a board member of the Children’s Dream Foundation and a parishioner of Basilica of St. John, Stamford, CT. He is married to Sally Vigorito and has two children, Daniel Oliver Vigorito and Juliana Hope Vigorito. He was a Mount Kisco resident for 36 years and currently lives in Stamford, Ct.

Community Champion Honoree

The Critical Care Units Nursing Teams at Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital were presented with Community Champions award.

WMCHealth recognizes the life-saving work done by the nursing staff of the Intensive Care Units at Westchester Medical Center for this dedication and professionalism. Accepting the award on behalf of these units were:

Emily Mittelstadt; Karlene Henriques (Burn); Akosua Ofori; Meghan Scholl (Cardiac); Kathleen Dwy; Mary Chavez (Trauma); Courtney Lane; Sofy Abrahams (Surgical); Jean Lavin; Megan Johnson (Pediatric); Helen Fox and Froilyn Galdones (Neonatal).

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 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I, 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, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org.

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.

Sickle Cell Disease Survivor Pays It Forward

17-year-old Hanif Mouehla, who was born with Sickle Cell Disease, got a second chance at life with the help of Mitchell Cairo, MD, who is seeking a cure for the disease at Westchester Medical Center. After nearly dying at age 8, Hanif is cured thanks to a transplant of cells from his mom, and Dr. Hanif’s care. Hanif is now working as a research assistant at Westchester Medical Center under the guidance of Dr. Cairo and will attend Harvard in the fall where he will be a premed major.  See their amazing story »

Subaru White Plains Donates $106,841 to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

Subaru White Plains has generously donated $106,841 to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital as part of Subaru of America, Inc.‘s SharetheLove event. This donation will help Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of WMCHealth, provide life-changing treatments, world-class facilities, and innovative programs that make a real difference in the lives of our young patients.

Sean Coughlin, President and CEO The Premier Collection, said that this is the fifth year that the Subaru campaign has supported the hospital. “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to do business and Westchester County and it is our requirement to in our minds to give back and we are very, very pleased to do that again this year,’’ he said. View the video here.

Interested in partnering with Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to support the vital services to local children and their families? Learn more here: https://bit.ly/43UCMQU