WMCHealth’s Gala 2022 to Honor Community Champions & Present Lifetime Achievement to Children’s Hospital Physician-in-Chief

Proceeds from the evening at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts June 4 to Support New Critical Care Tower at Westchester Medical Center

VALHALLA, N.Y. (May 27, 2022) – Westchester Medical Center Health Network’s (WMCHealth) 2022 Gala to be held at the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts in Katonah June 4th will salute 10 local organizations for their support of the Network during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, WMCHealth will recognize Michael Gewitz, MD, Executive Director, and William Russell McCurdy Physician-in-Chief of WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for his decades-long accomplishments in pediatric cardiology and in children’s healthcare in general.

Community Champions Honored

From developing protective face shields during the tense and uncertain early days of the pandemic, to recruiting and organizing volunteers for WMCHealth’s New York State vaccination efforts, and supplying meals to WMCHealth workforce members, WMCHealth’s Community Champions – Chesed 24/7, Great Performances, Ladle of Love, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center, Inc., O Mandarin, Scarsdale Chinese Association, Tracer Imaging LLC, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Volunteer New York!, and Westchester County Youth Bureau –will be recognized as representatives of the hundreds of organizations that collaborated with WMCHealth during the pandemic.

Recognizing a Champion for Children’s Health and Wellness

WMCHealth will also honor a physician whose contributions to pediatrics and to the growth and development of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital over the past 39 years are noteworthy.

The Network will present Dr. Michael Gewitz with the John F. Heimerdinger Lifetime of Service Award.  A pediatric cardiologist that has cared for hundreds of children, Dr. Gewitz has been Executive Director and Physician-in-Chief for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital since the hospital first opened in 2004. Dr. Gewitz was instrumental in the development of advanced pediatric services at Westchester Medical Center, and the planning, construction, and expansion of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, as well as the current expansion of pediatric services at MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

Supporting a Critical Project

All donations stemming from Gala 2022 will benefit the Campaign for the new Critical Care Tower at Westchester Medical Center. The proposed five-story tower will have 96 private, intensive care unit-capable beds that will enable Westchester Medical Center to care for more critically ill patients and provide surge capacity flexibility. For information on registration for the event, sponsorships opportunities and a complete list of sponsors, visit the WMCHealth 2022 Gala page.

Corporate sponsors of this year’s event include Boston Children’s Health Physicians; Compass One Healthcare; Garfunkel Wild, P.C.; Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP; Martin, Clearwater & Bell, LLP; New York Medical College; The Premier Collection; ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.; TD Bank; Tompkins Mahopac Bank; Unitex Textile Rental Services; Vigorito, Barker, Patterson; Nichols & Porter, LLP; Vizient, Inc.; Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

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.

Gala 2022 WMCHealth Community Champions

Chesed 24/7 — Spring Valley’s Chesed 24/7 supplies extensive and innovative services to the sick, the elderly, the developmentally disabled, and any individual or family facing a life challenge. A partner with WMCHealth, Chesed 24/7 provided “Shabbos Boxes” with food for patients, as well as meals during the pandemic. Among its many services are senior outreach, hospital shuttles, meals, and a milk bank.

Great Performances — A progressive hospitality and catering company founded as a server staffing agency with the goal of offering a flexible source of income for women in the arts, Great Performances not only prepares delicious, healthful foods using sustainable ingredients from its organic farm, but works to combat food insecurity. During the COVID-19 pandemic Great Performances along with The Sylvia Center raised more than $600,000 to fund a meal program to provide fresh and healthy meals to healthcare workers including those at WMCHealth, only one of its many philanthropic endeavors including feeding the homebound elderly.

Ladle of Love — Founded in 2003 as the first consciously sourced take-out food shop in Westchester specializing in small batch production, Ladle of Love has spread its healthful eating and food repurposing philosophy through work with community partners across the Hudson Valley. More than a catering company, Ladle of Love, which runs the food service at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Mount Kisco, has donated thousands of hours to provide education on healthful eating and to combat food insecurity. It also donated thousands of meals during the COVID-19 pandemic to WMCHealth and others.

Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center, Inc. — A longtime healthcare partner of WMCHealth, the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center Inc. runs eight federally-qualified health centers including satellites in Mount Vernon, Yonkers and Greenburgh and a mobile health van. It acts as a healthcare home to thousands of residents and families in lower-Westchester County and the Bronx, providing a range of services from primary, dental, behavioral, and supportive services including COVID-19. MVNHC served on WMCHealth’s Health Equity Task Force to help ensure all residents had access to information, education, and resources related to its COVID-19 vaccination efforts as coordinator for the Hudson Valley Region Hub of New York State’s Regional Vaccine Network.

O’Mandarin — Serving authentic, award-winning Chinese cuisine in Hartsdale, O’Mandarin  stepped forward to assist those less fortunate during the COVID-19 pandemic, including donating meals to local hospitals and community organizations including WMCHealth and providing masks and protective gear early on in the pandemic.

Scarsdale Chinese Association — The Scarsdale Chinese Association (SCA) is a non-profit, non-political organization, committed to serving the community of Scarsdale by promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture and heritage, and by enhancing the cross-cultural exchange and understanding. The organization helped WMCHealth by providing protective gear during the pandemic as well as other resources.

Tracer Imaging LLC — Tracer Imaging LLC, founded in 2004 with headquarters in Ossining at the former Brooklyn Botanical Gardens research center, is now a leading provider of consumer photoproducts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracer produced and donated tens of thousands of face shields to Westchester based hospitals including WMCHealth, medical offices, and police departments.

United Way of Westchester and Putnam — Through its 2-1-1 helpline, which serves thousands in the Hudson Valley and beyond, The United Way of Westchester and Putnam aided WMCHealth by being a key source for vaccination and COVID-19 information, supplying communication to the public and feedback to WMCHealth. The United Way helps residents become self-sufficient and thrive through grants, education, and community partnerships.

Volunteer New York! — The organization is a one-stop resource devoted to increasing volunteerism in Westchester County and the surrounding communities. Between January 12, 2021, and June 30, 2021, Volunteer New York! mobilized mass vaccination site volunteers for a total of 30,587 hours served. Last year they inspired over 35,000 people to volunteer approximately 399,000 hours at a value of over $12.7 million to our community. 

Westchester County Youth Bureau — Working to promote positive youth development and encourage healthy lifestyles, the youth bureau supplies financial support, monitors and supports nonprofit agencies and organizations that provide programs and services to youth. It funds more than 115 programs annually through nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and government agencies, and served on WMCHealth’s Health Equity Task Force to help educate communities on vaccination and COVID-19.