2012 News Stories

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Nancy’s Friends Fill the Hallways at LIJ Medical Center
Monday, December 03, 2012

From left: Mary Curran, director, Patient Care Services; Julie Denninger, RN; Sandra Basile, assistant nursing manager; Stacy; Branson Sparks; and Chantal Weinhold, executive director, LIJ Medical Center.

NEW HYDE PARK (November 30, 2012) – LIJ Medical Center recently launched Nancy’s Friends volunteer program, which recruits and trains volunteers to provide companionship and supportive care to cancer inpatients.

Among the patients is Branson Sparks, a medical student at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. About six months ago, Branson had trouble breathing and sought treatment with internal medicine specialist Jennifer Diane Verbsky, MD. Initially put on antibiotics, he wound up in the Emergency Room at LIJ Medical Center when his condition worsened prior to his follow-up appointment. Doctors there noticed fluid around his lungs but also spotted a mass under his breast bone. A biopsy determined it was cancer.

Currently on 9 South at LIJ Medical Center for chemotherapy treatments, Branson spoke of the excitement for the Nancy’s Friends program. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for oncology patients. It can get lonely and having Nancy’s Friends on the unit can ultimately improve the quality of patients’ lives,” he said. Branson also relies on the support system he receives from his fellow students at Hofstra, administrators, faculty and staff. Following the discovery of three brain lesions, he is taking a year off from his studies to undergo a bone marrow transplant at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute performed by oncologist Ruthee-Lu Bayer, MD. He maintains a positive attitude, which will now be aided by the presence of Nancy’s Friends.

The Nancy Klauber Forest Foundation was established in memory of Nancy Klauber Forest, whose dignity during her difficult illness with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, as well as her kindness to her caregivers inspired the Foundation’s mission. Chantal Weinhold, executive director at LIJ stated, “Having Nancy’s Friends in our hallways will build upon the strength of our current volunteer services here at LIJ. Based on studies, we know that dedicated support of this kind has a positive impact on treatment.” Funded through a variety of charity events, Nancy’s Friends provides organized activities, such as crafts and performances around the holidays for inpatients at LIJ Medical Center. Most recently, the Foundation funded video game therapy equipment for 9 South.

2nd Annual Physicians’ Celebration Raises Scholarship Money to Benefit Medical Students
Friday, September 28, 2012

From left: Stacey Rosen, MD, VP of Clinical Services for the Katz Institute for Women’s Health; Ruth Slade, co-chair of Partners Council for Women’s Health; Robert Verdi, master of ceremonies; Dayle Katz, co-chair of Partners Council; and Jennifer Mieres,

OLD WESTBURY (September 22, 2012) – Over 800 guests were in attendance at the 2nd Annual Physicians’ Celebration, held at Old Westbury Gardens on September 22, 2012. The “Endless Summer Night” themed event brought together faculty and friends for an exciting evening of dinner, dancing and live entertainment by the Broadway Summer Stage from John W. Engeman Theatre at Northport.

With over 9,000 physicians, the event aims to bridge the miles between our physicians and build camaraderie across the health system. Following the success of last year’s Physicians' Celebration, the evening raised money for the Physician’s Scholarship Fund. These scholarships benefit the medical students at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. All students were invited, representing both the first and second classes of the medical school giving them a chance to mingle and network with their new colleagues, professors and peers.

The nation's third-largest, non-profit, secular healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ is home to more than 9,000 physicians. Our dedicated physicians care for over 1 million patients each year with compassion and sensitivity. They are committed to providing the highest quality of care throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island and beyond.

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Over 700 Gather in Celebration of Pediatric Cancer Survivors Day
Monday, September 24, 2012

Pediatric Cancer Survivors Day

Donors Ruth and Harold Nelkin honor the memory of their son Les through their support of this wonderful event for all cancer survivors.

EAST MEADOW, NY (September 23, 2012)—Eisenhower Park was filled with the laughter of over 700 pediatric cancer survivors and family members for the inaugural Les Nelkin Pediatric Cancer Survivors Day organized by Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York (CCMC). Music carried across the large tent, where guests mingled, enjoyed an array of food and participated in a variety of carnival-like activities, from climbing the inflatable rockwall and making sand art to meeting Mr. Met and the NY Islanders Sparky. Most importantly, the day focused on celebrating the hundreds of children who survived cancer.

Former child cancer patients of all ages were present, including Tracy Vicere who is celebrating 22 years of survivorship. Diagnosed at age 16 with two different types of cancer, Hodgkin’s disease stage 3A and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 1A, CCMC became her home away from home. Despite the difficulties of treatment, she had the support of her family and made many great friends with the hospital staff and her team of doctors. She says, “I felt I was saved for a reason and am thankful to give back to Cohen’s through my foundation, Friends and Angels: The Tracy Vicere Foundation.” The foundation hosts fundraisers to benefit the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at CCMC.

The crowd was full of other inspirational voices, including cancer survivor and New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich. At 21 years old, a MRI uncovered a rare form of bone cancer. Diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, he was told that he would not be able to play football again, and may never run again. “I decided that I wasn’t going to let cancer beat me,” Mark told the audience of survivors. His dream of playing football pushed him to not just be a survivor, but to “be a thriver.” A three-year cancer survivor, he encouraged everyone present to achieve their dreams even in the face of harsh obstacles.

Kevin McGeachy, executive director of CCMC, echoed Herzlich’s sentiment. He remarked, “Today, we celebrate the amazing things that are happening here.” The event happened largely thanks to the support of Ruth and Harold Nelkin as a way to honor the memory of their son Les, who succumbed to a form of pediatric cancer. As a leading center of pediatric oncology, CCMC sees approximately 200 new cases of childhood cancer every year. Thanks to improvements in chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, there are over 300,000 children, teens and young adults in the United States who are survivors of childhood cancer and require ongoing care. To help meet the complex needs of survivors, CCMC pediatric oncologist/hematologist Jonathan Fish, MD, created the Survivors Facing Forward Program (SURFF). Dr. Fish expressed, “though we cannot choose our challenges, Survivors Facing Forward will help survivors face the unique concerns ahead, and will advocate for your well-being and serve as a resource.” Survivors also know the importance of a positive attitude, a fact evident in the smiles of the hundreds present.

To make a donation to support the Division of Hematology/ Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, visit: http://bit.ly/CCMCsurvivors.

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20th Annual Partners Council Fall Luncheon & Fashion Show Raises $450,000 for Women’s Health
Thursday, September 20, 2012

From left: Stacey Rosen, MD, VP of Clinical Services for the Katz Institute for Women’s Health; Ruth Slade, co-chair of Partners Council for Women’s Health; Robert Verdi, master of ceremonies; Dayle Katz, co-chair of Partners Council; and Jennifer Mieres,

OLD WESTBURY, NY (September 19, 2012) The tent at Old Westbury Gardens was filled with 530 guests to preview the autumn and winter fashions from the luxury Italian designer Max Mara for the 20th Annual Partners Council for Women’s Health Fall Luncheon & Fashion Show. The event, sponsored by Americana Manhasset, raised more than $450,000 for the newly constructed Katz Women’s Hospitals at LIJ Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital and Katz Institute for Women’s Health (KIWH).

Hosted by leading lifestyle expert, celebrity stylist and television personality, Robert Verdi entertained the crowd before the models took to the stage. The runway showcased the neutral palette of rich caramel coats, winter white suits and classic black dresses. The Max Mara fashions were complemented by the effortless makeup and sleek hair provided by nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset. All guests were treated to gift bags courtesy of the Beauty Bar of nuBest and the latest issue of New York Cottages & Gardens, the New York metropolitan area’s newest home and design publication.

All funds raised help North Shore-LIJ in its continued effort to transform women’s health services throughout the region. The Katz Women’s Hospitals, along with the Katz Institute for Women’s Health, continue to grow and serve as a valuable resource for women and their families.

Partners Council for Women’s Health of the North Shore-LIJ Health System has raised more than $6.5 million over the last 20 years to help buy important equipment, fund critical research projects and build programs for the betterment of the women in and around our community.

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Teen cleans-up and helps Cohen Children’s Medical Center
Friday, September 14, 2012

MANHASSET, NY  Samantha is a bubbly, energetic 14-year old just beginning high school, trying out for the school’s volley ball team and excited about the year ahead. She knows how lucky she is. And that’s why, every year since she’s been 11, Samantha has made a decision to make a difference.

Living on a golf course, Samantha’s backyard has naturally become a repository for abandoned golf balls. So at the start of summer, for the past three years, Sam begins collecting the golf balls that were left in the yard behind her house. This summertime ritual involves her entire family.

Once collected, the golf balls are cleaned, organized according to type and placed in buckets outside her house for anyone to use. A small sign accompanies the buckets asking for a small donation that will be given to a children’s hospital at the end of the season. This year Samantha has chosen to give all money collected to Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

Sam knows how fortunate she is having witnessed firsthand the hospitalization of her younger brother who was successfully treated and released. “I love doing charity work because I know how fortunate I am to be healthy and living in a nice home with a good family,” says Sam.

From that point on, through the encouragement of her mother, Dawn, she decided that she could make a difference. Together the family collects, cleans, organizes and distributes the golf balls. This summertime ritual goes through the fall after which all the money collected, is donated to a children’s charity.

Kevin Dwyer, North Shore-LIJ Foundation’s Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President remarked, “Samantha is a very special young lady and we thank her for her energy and generosity and willingness to help others.” Mr. Dwyer continued,” To see young people being so entrepreneurial in nature is very encouraging and we look forward to meeting Sam at CCMC for a visit.”

For Samantha, this was a “drop in the bucket,” but to us, Samantha is a very special young lady. What a great example she is setting for her younger brother and all young people in the community.

Summer Concert Got to 'Dance All Night Long' with Lionel Richie, Raising $1.5 Million for The Feinstein Institute
Monday, July 16, 2012

MANHASSET, NY (July 12, 2012) – On July 11, 2012, the North Shore-LIJ Health System held the seventh annual summer benefit concert raising a record-setting $1.5 million for The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Held at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay, internationally-acclaimed Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter, Lionel Richie and his band took center stage and thrilled the nearly 1,000 attendees.

Emcee for the night’s event was ‘Today Show’ personality, Al Roker. Mr. Roker spoke to the audience before the concert, sharing the accomplishments of the Feinstein Institute scientists who are shedding light on what triggers rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases affecting millions of Americans.

Michael Dowling, North Shore-LIJ’s CEO and President offered his thoughts on the evening. “While it may not be evident yet, we are going to experience a sea of change in the delivery of healthcare like never before in the history of this country,” said Mr. Dowling. “We are being challenged to think about patient care differently and have aligned ourselves with innovative healthcare organizations such as the Institute for Healthcare Reform, the Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth University, Montefiore Medical Center and Hackensack University Medical Center to do just that.”

Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president of the Feinstein Institute, addressed the audience of the concert and said “I love this night because we are here to listen to music, celebrate science and the research that is conducted at the Feinstein Institute.” “Some of you might not be particularly worried about many of the diseases my colleagues are seeking to cure, while some unfortunately have been touched by illness and you are hoping for a breakthrough in science that will lead to cures. Your desire for these breakthroughs is the driving force that gives energy to the scientists at the Feinstein Institute – we are driven to deliver these cures to you.”

Some of the most recent breakthroughs and ground breaking research being conducted at the Feinstein Institute were showcased at the event, including the moving story of a young female teacher who suffered with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RPP), caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Controlling growth of these tumors typically involves invasive, painful throat surgery. Bettie Steinberg, PhD, chief scientific officer at the Feinstein Institute, and Allan Abramson, MD, chairman of otolaryngology at North Shore-LIJ, worked with the young patient and now she is in remission after living with RRP for 10 years.

Dr. Tracey presented the winner of the 2012 Fellowship Award. This award was named in honor of Maureen and Ralph Nappi, visionaries and long-time supporters of the Feinstein Institute. This year’s recipient was Dr. Yong-Rui Zou, assistant investigator in the Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Diseases, who is currently working on the role that chemokines play in lupus disease.

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Pro Golfer Jim Furyk Swings for Charity
Friday, July 13, 2012

MANHASSET, NY (July 12, 2012) – Professional golf player Jim Furyk took a break from the 2012 PGA Tour for the day to help raise funds for Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, Children’s Miracle Network local community hospital. Donors had the chance to play the course at Deepdale Golf Club with the 2010 FedEx Cup Champion and 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Jim is very involved with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, supporting children’s causes across the country. In 2011, Jim created Miracle Birdies, a campaign to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Supporters were able to make a donation to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every time Furyk hit a Birdie during the 2011 season, which raised over $69,000 to support children’s hospitals. Jim has teamed up with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals again for the 2012 season, making miracles for kids across North America every time he scores a birdie.

Present from North Shore-LIJ Health System were president and chief executive officer, Michael Dowling and senior vice president and chief development officer Kevin Dwyer. Both expressed their gratitude for Jim’s commitment to this cause that directly impacts child life and is critically important to our mission. Attendees enjoyed perfect weather on the course, followed by a luncheon with an opportunity for a question and answer panel with Jim.

The new online face of North Shore-LIJ Health System Foundation
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome to the new online face of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Foundation. We have moved things around to make it easier for you to donate, read our stories, attend our events and support the areas around the health system enabling us to bring exceptional patient care to all. Improvements include:

  • Streamlining navigation facilitating donation opportunities throughout the site
  • Mobile accessibility
  • The ability to read and watch the compelling stories of our champions in the health system
  • Being able to purchase and sponsor events
  • Downloading collateral material and our soon-to-be released Gratitude magazine
  • Communicating with us online through our Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Sharing photos taken at Foundation-sponsored events

But we want to know if you have any other suggestions, comments, feedback. Please tell us what you think by filling in the form below. All comments are confidential and we appreciate your feedback.

Leave us a comment

30th Annual POPS Concert Raises $300,000 for Glen Cove Hospital
Sunday, June 17, 2012

OLD WESTBURY, NY (June 16, 2012) Hundreds gathered on the lawn at Old Westbury Gardens on June 16th for the 30th Annual Summer Picnic POPS Concert. The concert honored the past Chairmen of POPS and all funds raised went to benefit the new Traumatic Brain Injury Unit (TBIU) at Glen Cove Hospital. The TBIU will be the only New York State-designated, hospital-based adult brain injury rehabilitation center in Nassau County and will expand and enhance the continuum of care for brain injured patients within North Shore-LIJ Health System.

The Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra played a marvelous selection of music, with guest artist Bob Merrill. After putting the audience in a “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel’s famed song, special guest Grammy Award Winning Artist Jimmy Webb took to the stage. Known worldwide as a master of his trade as a songwriter, composer and singer, he performed some of his platinum selling classics including, “Up, Up, and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” and “Wichita Lineman.”

The benefit concert successfully raised $300,000 towards the construction TBIU, helping Glen Cove Hospital remain as the premier health care provider for the local community.

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Every Woman Matters Walk Attracts 5000+
Monday, May 21, 2012

WANTAGH, NY (May 21, 2012) — More than 5,000 attendees turned out last Sunday for the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s third annual Every Woman Matters Walk: A Walk for Women and Their Families at Jones Beach State Park. The event brought together family, friends and the whole community to celebrate women’s health and wellness, and support an incredible initiative that promises to transform women’s healthcare throughout the region: North Shore-LIJ’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health and Katz Women’s Hospitals.

Highlights of the day included demonstrations of the da Vinci robot, the state-of-the-art surgical instrument that allows surgeons to remotely perform minimally-invasive surgeries, a stage performance lead by Donna Martini, Commerce & Industry Council member and wellness advocate, which included yoga, zumba and kickboxing performance from the Moms Who Kick, The Katz Institute of Women’s Health showcase tent and giveaways from event sponsors. Many participants registered online, encouraged by the incentive of receiving two tickets to an upcoming New York Mets game, donated by Saul Katz, president of the Mets and long-time North Shore-LIJ trustee and former chairman.

Since the inception of the 5k walk in 2010, close to $1.5 million has been raised to support the Katz Women’s Hospitals. The Commerce & Industry Council helped to make this 3rd Annual Walk an incredible success. Fundraising for the Walk continues through June 8, 2012.

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Monster's Kids Second Annual Woodstick Alumni Event raises funds for Autism
Saturday, May 05, 2012

GARDEN CITY, NY (May 5, 2012) This past Saturday, Garden City High School hosted Monster's Kids Second Annual Woodstick Alumni Event to benefit Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York (CCMC). Lacrosse players from Garden City and Manhasset took to the field, with a final victory for Manhasset. All participants walked away winners, as the teams helped raised $39,650 for the Center for Autism at CCMC.

Tim Goettelmann noted, “After watching the game, I realized how lucky I am to be a part of this long standing tradition between two great towns. This event allowed many of us to catch up with old friends and make many new memories.”

Monster's Kids was an idea that Goettelmann came up with while reading Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak to his children. While reading, he thought about how fortunate he and his wife were to have healthy children. Inspired, he decided to start a charity that would help children in need of medical care. What excites Tim about Monster's Kids is that he was able to take two things that he is very passionate about, children and lacrosse, and combine them into a successful charity.

A player for the Long Island Lizards, Goettelmann decided to donate his entire salary to make the Monster’s Kids a reality in 2009. Additionally, the Long Island Lizards organization and Major League Lacrosse provided significant support to get the charity up and running. Over the last three years, Monster's Kids has raised nearly $125,000 for the NICU, Child Life and the Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Unit at CCMC.

This event was a tremendous success and kick starts the goal of raising $100,000 this year. Monster’s Kids next event will be a cocktail party on December 7th at Fresh Meadows Country Club in Lake Success. So mark your calendars now and get ready for another “MONSTER” event.

Charity Hockey Game Raises $6,000 for the Carleigh Mac Fund and the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at CCMC
Sunday, March 11, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY (March 10, 2012) — Nassau Coliseum saw participants from Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington, NY take to the ice for a charity hockey game that raised $6,000 for the Carleigh Mac Fund. Monies raised will be applied towards life-saving equipment for the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York (CCMC). March’s event was organized by long time friend and advocate, Sean McAuley, who rented the ice rink for the afternoon’s charity game. Over the past 10 years, nearly $2 million have been raised in name of the Carleigh Mac Fund.

The organization was created by Jim and Heather McCormack after they lost their infant daughter to a heart condition. Carleigh only had one ventricle in her heart, but was too frail for corrective surgery. Devastated by losing Carleigh only after a few days, the McCormacks continue to commit themselves to helping infants and children with heart conditions.



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