Tag Archive | "Southampton Hospital"

Southampton Hospital Forms Alliance with Stony Brook

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Southampton Hospital forged an alliance on Friday that will bring to the small South Fork hospital many of the services of one of the most respected medical facilities between here and New York City. The agreement with Stony Brook University Hospital completes a series of recommendations from the state-mandated Beger  Report which, among other things, called for greater relationships between medical facilities to provide more comprehensive and cost-effective heath care for the residents of Long Island. In June, Southampton Hospital also fulfilled another one of the report’s recommendations, forming an alliance with the other two East End hospitals, Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, creating the East End Health Alliance, an organization that gives the three institutions greater buying and negotiating power. That arrangement also allowed each of the three to develop specialties that would complement the specialties in the other hospitals. Southampton is the third of the local hospitals to form a relationship with Stony Brook.

This newest alliance with Stony Brook will bring yet more strength when it comes time to negotiate contracts such as insurance reimbursement, and provide greater scales of economy in purchasing supplies.

“During a hospital stay, a patient needs to be guaranteed good health care,” said Shirley Strum Kenny, president of Stony Brook University, during Friday morning’s signing ceremony at the Parrish Memorial Hall at Southampton Hospital. “To do that we have to ensure the health of our hospitals.”

But aside from the economic factors, officials say the alliance will bring easier access to a deeper well of health care options to residents of the East End.

“During the summer cocktail parties here, I always hear people say you have to travel to New York City to get good health care,” said Southampton Hospital President and CEO Robert S. Chaloner. “That’s not true. Our mission is to convince all our communities that they don’t have to travel; that good health care exists here.”

The alliance, said Chaloner, will provide several opportunities for the local hospital and its patients, including access to academic and professional capabilities Southampton currently does not have, and expertise in areas such as heart disease and stroke.

The agreement provides for a one-call hotline for transfer patients, and in the emerging field of Hospitalist services, Southampton and Stony Brook will share ideas and management practices with the goal of improving patient care, according to a release provided by the hospital. The two hospitals will participate in joint continuing medical education (CME) activities and explore the development of an overarching academic affiliation for Southampton with Stony Brook University’s Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, Social Welfare and Health Technology and Management. In addition, Stony Brook will provide an integration of quality monitoring and reporting as well as electronic patient record systems that will allow for enhancement of patient services. Finally, Stony Brook will sponsor Southampton Hospital as an Associate member of the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), providing access to a group purchasing program.

“Stony Brook will help us recruit doctors in a time when there is a physician shortage and it is difficult for them to survive here,” said Chaloner, “and will give us access to educational and training opportunities for our doctors.”

The alliance will also benefit Stony Brook, said Dr. Steven Strongwater, CEO of Stony Brook University Medical Center. His hospital has an expanding medical school class size and Southampton will provide an excellent opportunity for placing interns and students.

“Southampton Hospital has a great tradition in this community dating back to 1908 when it first opened, and we have great respect for the mission and traditions here,” said Dr. Strongwater. “We recognize the need to support that mission and find ways to get advanced services to those who need it—not to duplicate, but augment with training, education and recruitment. Southampton and Stony Brook are a perfect match for that.”

Stony Brook University Medical Center is the only academic medical center on Long Island. It comprises Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Stony Brook University Hospital, which is the only tertiary care hospital and Level 1 trauma center in Suffolk County. With 540 beds and 5,100 employees, it is the largest hospital in Suffolk County.            

“When the Berger Commission came in we were far ahead of what Berger wanted us to do,” said Senator Kenneth  P.  LaValle who sponsored the “Flexibility” legislation authorizing the East End alliance. “This alliance came together thanks to critical people with the right personalities and the right backgrounds to pull it together.  Building people, building strengths leads to one thing – better patient care.”

 

In photo above (l to r) Senator Kenneth P. La Valle, Shirley Strum Kenny, President Stony Brook University; Robert S. Chaloner, President and CEO Southampton Hospital; (back l to r) Martin L. Stone, MD., Southampton Hospital Board;   Steven L. Strongwater, M.D., CEO, Stony Brook University Medical Center; Reverend Peter M. Larsen, Southampton Hospital Board Chairman and Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, D.O., Commissioner, Health Services for Suffolk County

 

 

East End Digest – November 20

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75 Christmas Boxes & Counting

Thursday night’s “Wrap a Box of Kindness” event, sponsored by the Bridgehampton Parent Teacher Organization, brought many Bridgehampton families out to decorate and pack gifts into shoeboxes. These boxes will be delivered to needy children all over the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a project designed and operated by Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse. It began in 1993 and has grown each year into a worldwide endeavor. All the boxes collected from around the United States are brought to over 130 countries and hand-delivered into the arms of a child – who may have never received a gift before.

Sag Harbor ARB: Vets Get Fence

Ralph Ficorelli, commander of the Sag Harbor VFW Chelberg & Battle Post 388, approached the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board on Thursday, November 13 to request a fence at the VFW in order to ensure the building’s parking lot is reserved for members of the post, rather than the general population, which has been parking there.

Ficorelli, accompanied by a number Sag Harbor veterans, requested a four-foot high, 261-foot long chain link fence, covered in green vinyl for the south and west sides of the VFW.

“The main reason we are doing this is because it is being used as a public parking lot and members down there, we have trouble finding places to park our cars,” explained Ficorelli.

The board had no quandary with the fence, but was concerned about residents on Rysam Street having to look at a green, vinyl chain link fence – which would generally not be approved in a residential neighborhood in the historic district of Sag Harbor.

Ficorelli argued that the green coating would help blend in the fence to the surrounding area and that the VFW intended to plant shrubbery around the fence to help shield it.

The board agreed to approve the fence with the caveat that the fence be shielded with shrubbery and the entry gate on Rysam be made partially of wood in keeping with the residential character of the neighborhood.

In other ARB news, Howard Kanovitz was approved to replace a historic column and repaint the historic residence at 27 Suffolk Street. Kanovitz also has sought to replace the windows, although the board has asked he look into restoration. Sean Murphy was approved to replace French doors at 27 Garden Street, Harbor Heights Gas Station was approved for new signs at their Hampton Street business, Anastasia Cole was approved for a picket fence at 3 Bay Street, Michael Butler was approved for building alterations at 37 Eastville Avenue and Blair and Cheryl Effron were granted permission for the demolition of an existing house at 34 Long Point Road and for a new two-story residence at the same site.

Suffolk Community College: Thanksgiving For The Needy

Faculty and students at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center will be partnering with the Dominican Sisters Family Health Service located in Hampton Bays to prepare and individually package more than 150 dinners that will assist in feeding those in need for Thanksgiving.

Under the direction of chef/instructor Jerry Dececco, preparation for this event will take place at the Culinary Arts Center located at 20 East Main Street in Riverhead on Tuesday, November 25 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu will consist of roast turkey with giblet gravy, seasoned cranberry bread stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans Almondine, dinner rolls, apple pie and pumpkin pie.

New York State Assembly: Update On Fiscal Crisis

In accordance with a new law enacted last year to help increase fiscal accountability and transparency in state government, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., a member of the ways and means committee, joined Assembly minority leader James Tedisco and the Assembly Minority Conference last week to formally submit their assessment of New York’s current fiscal condition. The report outlines estimates of the conference’s disbursements for public assistance, Medicaid and school aid, along with estimates for tax receipts and lottery receipts.

“Our state is facing tough economic times ahead that will require us to tighten our belts and exercise true fiscal discipline to ensure New York can weather this fiscal storm,” said Thiele. “Our conference’s report is comprehensive and forecasts a continued decline in state revenues while emphasizing the need for fiscally sound proposals to close the budget deficit without doing so on the backs of taxpayers.”

In its report, the Assembly Minority Ways and Means Committee estimated the public assistance rolls will closeout the current fiscal year with 501,096 cases, that total expenditures for public assistance in the state will be $2.158 billion and that the state share of those expenditures will be $828.8 million. The conference also estimated that public assistance caseload for the 2009-10 fiscal year will be 512,683, with total expenditures of $2.212 billion at a state share of $848.6 million. The 2009-10 estimates represent a 3.2 increase in caseload and a 2.3 percent increase in costs to the state.

According to Thiele, the conference has also estimated the Medicaid rolls will increase by 2.8 percent in the current fiscal year – resulting in a total enrollment of 3.6 million individuals. The ways and means committee expects the state share for the current fiscal year to be $17.7 billion. They also estimate that enrollment for the 2009-10 fiscal year will rise 4.8 percent, for a total of 3.8 million individuals with a state share of $19.4 billion and a local cap of $965 million.

Additionally, the committee forecast state school aid to increase by en estimated $1.9 billion for the 2009-10 school year. The increase would bring total funding for annual state school aid to $23 billion. The estimate is based upon May data provided by the state education department.

The state division of the budget’s mid-year update projects that New York State is facing a $1.5 billion budget gap this year and a $12.5 billion budget gap next year. The minority conference fiscal analysis suggests the gap is likely to be $1.2 billion this year and $11.6 billion next year.

Nature Conservancy: Clam Population Recovering

The Nature Conservancy and Suffolk County today announced study results that show early signs of a recovery for the bay’s hard clam population.

Four years ago, The Nature Conservancy, backed by a wide range of public and private supporters, took a chance – embarking on a shellfish restoration to “make the Great South bay Great Again” by restoring its hard clam population.

Hard clams play a vital role in the bay, helping maintain water quality by filtering debris and plankton out of the water as they feed. At the start of this effort the Bay’s clam population was so low that in much of the bay they were no longer reproducing successfully.  To help boost natural reproduction, the Conservancy-led partnership added over three million adult clams to the Bay in the last four years, creating a network of over 50 sites, or sanctuaries, where adult clams could grow and reproduce without disturbance.

Carl LoBue, senior marine scientist for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island said, “Our summer survey of the bay bottom revealed over 250 million juvenile clams which we believe to be offspring of the adult clams that we have been stocking in the Bay. That represents a 4,000 percent increase in the clam population of the central part of the bay since 2006. This is a very positive sign that we are on track towards meeting our restoration objectives. However recurring episodes of brown tide and natural predators are a continued threat. We must continue working with our partners to do what we can to ensure the continued success of this exciting restoration project.” 

Hard clams once were so abundant that Great South Bay supplied over 50 percent of the entire nation’s hard clams. Today the reported commercial harvest is down by more than 99 percent. Not only does the decline of shellfish have economic impacts, but water quality is also affected.  Chronic algal blooms (such as brown tide), which negatively impact marine life in the Great South Bay, have been linked to declining clam populations. Clams filter water and help keep the algae in control.

Inspired by its initial success, The Nature Conservancy will continue to work with partners on the Bluepoints Bottomlands Council on additional restoration activities, with the goal of eventually stepping back as nature takes over and the clams become self-sustaining.

Southampton Hospital: Recruits Genetic Counselor

Southampton Hospital is proud to announce the recruitment of the first Genetic Counselor to the East End of Long Island. Emily Smith, MS has joined Southampton Hospital this month to develop cancer counseling through genetic testing for ovarian and breast cancer (BRCA 1 & BRCA 2). She will serve as a resource for local physicians to explain the science of genetics, walk people through the decision of having a test and make recommendations on a case-by-case basis.

In the process of genetic counseling, family history and medical records are evaluated. At the patients request genetic tests are ordered and the results are assessed.  Counseling and psychological support are provided to enable the patient to reach a decision to learn more. 

Genetic counseling gives people an opportunity to sit down with a trained health professional to discuss their risk for a genetic disease and to help people learn more about the causes of genetic conditions and how they may be affected.

Previously, patients had to travel to Stony Brook Medical Center or Good Samaritan Hospital for genetic testing.

“I am anxious to provide this service to this great community, a service that many other parts of the country have had for more than 10 years,” said Smith.  She adds that the test results generally take approximately three-to-four weeks with a 99 percent level of accuracy.

“We plan to provide the state-of-the-art care that everyone deserves,” said Smith. 

Ms. Smith, a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, is a graduate of Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and has varied clinical experience in the Genetic Counseling field.  According to Frederic Weinbaum, MD, Chief Medical Officer, “Offering this new service to the community is indicative of Southampton Hospital’s direction.  We are striving to provide the most advanced medical care available and will continue in this direction with the communities support.”

Smith was hired to be working specifically within the Breast Health Center providing genetic counseling for ovarian and breast cancer but she hopes that the department will expand into other aspects of genetic counseling.  She also plans to hold an informational seminar on genetic counseling during the upcoming Health Insights lecture series this winter.

Additional information is available on the Hospital website at www.southamptonhospital.org or contact Emily Smith to schedule an appointment at 377-3477.

 

 

 

 

East End Digest – November 20

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Pierson Takes The Challenge

(Left to right) Pierson academic advisor Frank Atkinson-Barnes, with students Andrew Mitchell, Amanda Holder, “The Challenge” host Scott Feldman, students Zachary Fischman, Celia Gianis and Devan Stachecki during a break while filming Cablevision’s “The Challenge,” which will air at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 16 on News 12.

All-star student scholars from Pierson High School will challenge Cold Spring Harbor High School in the first round of the 12th season of Cablevision’s “The Challenge,” an academic quiz show designed to test students’ knowledge in a Jeopardy-style format. Hosted by News 12 Long Island anchor Scott Feldman, the show can be viewed on Sunday November 12 or anytime via video on demand (VOD) through News 12 Interactive, located on iO TV channel 612.

In its 12th season, “The Challenge” includes students from the Bronx and Brooklyn, Long Island, the Westchester/Hudson Valley region, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than 900 students representing 184 tri-state area high schools are participating this season.

As this season of “The Challenge” progresses, schools will vie each week to continue on in the competition, which ultimately results in the best teams from each region facing off against each other next spring. Regional champions will then compete for the ultimate title, Tri-State Challenge Champion. The winning team in each region will receive $2,500 and go on to compete for $10,000 in the Tri-State Championship. Each student participating in the championship match will receive $500.

Southampton Town: Completing An LWRP

Southampton supervisor Linda Kabot announced today that the Town of Southampton has been named the recipient of a $100,000 New York State grant to finance a number of plans to stimulate community projects relating to economic, environmental, and recreational improvements.

As part of that process, town staff will prepare a Harbor Management Plan and Intermunicipal Waterbody Management Plan, while consultants integrate them into a full Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).

“Whether it has been fishermen seeking abundance, beachgoers looking for an unspoiled ribbon of paradise, or someone looking to build a dream house, the waterfront has been the center of our economic and cultural life,” said Kabot. New York’s waterfronts extend more than 5,000 miles, including the Town of Southampton’s 320 miles of bay and ocean coastline.

According to the office of New York State Governor David Paterson, the grant will be part of a $23.3 million funding package from the State Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. In total, it will include funding for 88 undertakings across New York State, and cover a variety of planning, design, and construction projects. The grants are awarded on a 50-50 matching basis, and administered by the Department of State’s Division of Coastal Resources.

To date, 76 local governments in New York have completed Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs designed to protect and enhance these valuable resources, added Governor Paterson. Working with the state, they will “plan and develop projects that provide public waterfront access, protect and develop coastal resources, and improve quality of life,” he concluded.

Bridgehampton: Wrap a Box of Kindness

Today, Thursday, November 13, the Bridgehampton Parent Teacher Organization will hold its first annual “Wrap a Box of Kindness” event. This event is in conjunction with Operation Christmas Child’s campaign where shoeboxes are filled with items for children.  Items range from pencils, pads, small toys and novelty items to washcloths and toothbrushes. Children and adults are encouraged to come together to donate items, money and time. Participants are also urged to bring a shoebox already decorated and stuffed to the Bridgehampton School for drop off if they are unable to attend. The PTO is asking that liquids not be included in the boxes.

As a part of the event, this year an estimated eight million shoeboxes will be hand-delivered to children in over 100 countries. The kids-helping-kids project has collected more than 61 million shoebox gifts and hand-delivered them to needy children in 130 countries since 1993. Every United States President since Ronald Reagan has packed an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.

Community and schools members alike are invited to the school for the event at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium.

Peconic Land Trust: Bridge Gardens Donated

John v.H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust, announced the donation of Bridge Gardens, a five-acre garden on Mitchell’s Lane in Bridgehampton, by founders Jim Kilpatric and Harry Neyens. Kilpatric and Neyens founded Bridge Gardens over 20 years ago, and the donation represents a generous gift by them to the Trust as well as to residents and visitors of the East End.

“We believe the stewardship of the Peconic Land Trust will significantly guide Bridge Gardens into the future,” Kilpatric said.

“Gardens are living creations and must undergo change over time; to survive, they must change,” Neyens added.

In accepting the donation Halsey said, “Bridge Gardens is truly a wonderful sanctuary here on the East End, and we are very honored that Jim and Harry have put their trust in us to steward this property. We intend to keep Jim and Harry engaged with us as the garden evolves and we work to expand public access to this hidden treasure. We expect to introduce more educational programming related to gardening and conservation in general. Bridge Gardens is a refuge for people to meet and experience the handiwork that Jim and Harry have created over the years.”

The garden, which has been open to the public from Memorial Day weekend through September, will reopen again in the spring under the auspices of the trust. The trust has appointed Rick Bogusch, master gardener and landscape architect, as Garden Manager.  He will be responsible for managing and maintaining the garden and residence/education center. Prior to joining the trust, Bogusch held landscape design and gardening positions with Rockland Farm in Canaan, The Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, and Cornell University where he also received his Masters in Landscape Architecture. 

Bogusch will work with members of the trust staff to coordinate educational programs and tours at the Gardens, as well as special events and related fundraising activities. An advisory committee has also been established – including members of the trust board, staff, garden experts and local residents – to work with Bogusch on future evolution of the garden.

Bridge Gardens was established in 1988 by Neyens and Kilpatric, who designed and installed the gardens over the ensuing 10 years. In 1997, Bridge Gardens Trust was created as a charitable corporation to maintain and preserve the gardens.

Bridge Gardens will be open to the public from Memorial Day weekend through September. Days, hours and other information regarding visiting the Gardens will be announced in early spring, including membership options.

Southampton Hospital: Diabetes Awareness

Southampton, Hospital will present a free panel discussion “Diabetes: Awareness and Treatment” with a seven person panel of experts in the field that including George Keckeisen, MD, Medical Director of the hospital’s wound care center, Alan Goldenberg, MD, endocrinologist; Joshua Feiner, MD, endocrinologist, Judy O’Connell, Nurse Practioner (NP), certified diabetes educator, Pat Vonatski, registered dietician and certified diabetes educator and Peggy Kraus, MA registered clinical exercise physiologist.

Diabetes affects over 24 million children and adults in the United States, contributes to the deaths of over 220,000 Americans each year and costs our nation more than $174 billion annually. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although genetics and environmental factors such as diet, obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. 

This comprehensive program is designed for people who already have diabetes, those whose family history puts them at risk and those who have a diabetic spouse, partner, relative or friend. It is free and open to the public and will take place on Thursday, November 20 at 5 p.m. in Parrish Memorial Hall, corner of Lewis Street and Herrick Road. In addition, Southampton Hospital offers expert counseling services with a board certified diabetes nurse educator and diabetes support group that meets every month.

The program will provide an in-depth view of diabetes prevention, management and treatment in an informative, interactive panel discussion. Dr. Keckeisen will report on the huge success the hospital’s Center for Advanced Wound Healing, the only location on the East End offering the latest innovations for healing chronic wounds that frequently afflicts diabetics; much of this success is accomplished by using the Center’s state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers which infuse chronic wounds with oxygen for faster, better results.  Patients, who have suffered from wounds for months, even years, are routinely restored to health in less time ever thought possible. Dr. Goldenberg, who is board certified in endocrinology and diabetes, along with his new partner, Dr. Joshua Feiner, also an endocrinologist, will review and evaluate the latest advances in medications to control diabetes.  Ms. O’Connell, creator and director of the hospital’s program, “Diabetes: Basics and Beyond” will discuss steps to avoid prevent diabetes as well as comprehensive treatment plans for those with diabetes.  Ms. Vonatski will outline nutritional plans for maximum health, both as a prevention and treatment. Ms. Kraus will make recommendations for glucose monitoring and exercise for diabetics. The panel will conclude with a question-and-answer session, there will be a raffle and giveaways for those attending.

This free program is very popular and space fill up quickly. Call 726-8700, extension 8 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to register or email dcraven@southamptonhospital.org. 

East End Digest – October 30

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Southampton Hospital Honors Hughes

Evelyn Hughes, a lead housekeeper in the Environmental Services Department has been chosen as the hospital’s Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2008. Hughes’ selection was celebrated at a luncheon in her honor, where Human Resources Vice President, Paul Davin, presented her with a trophy recognizing her achievement. A resident of Riverhead, Hughes has been an employee of the hospital for nearly 38 years.

Suffolk County: Cavett Property Purchase

The Suffolk Legislature last week approved the county’s $6 million share in the $18 million purchase of 76.8 acres of oceanfront land in Montauk owned by television personality Dick Cavett. The state and the Town of East Hampton will complete the purchase.

Although the final tally of the Suffolk Legislature was robust —12 to 6 — there was a close vote on having the vote.

William Lindsay of Holbrook, presiding officer of the legislature, sought to table a vote on the resolution citing the Wall Street financial crisis and what he said would be its impact on the interest rates that might be charged for money to finance the purchase.

His motion came two votes away from being passed.

The stand at a legislative meeting October 14 came against the backdrop of a critical study of Suffolk County’s open space program done by the Long Island Economic and Social Policy Institute at Dowling College in Oakdale financed by a group of real estate and pro-development groups. Lindsay and Alden attended the unveiling of the report at Dowling on October 10, four days before the legislative action on the Cavett property. The report was titled “Long Island Government Land Acquisition: Can Long Island Taxpayers and the Regional Economy Still Afford It?”

The report issued at Dowling College criticized the cost of open space acquisitions by Suffolk County. It concluded that “There has to be a serious discussion of whether we are buying too much land, with the economic impact on the regional economy factored into any decision made regarding purchasing more open space …. Inescapable is that the more land that’s preserved, the less that is available for affordable housing and the less land that is available to contribute to the tax burden of government.  Furthermore, the more open space that is purchased removes from the tax rolls a vital stream of government revenue that will ultimately have to be subsidized by the remaining taxpayers.”

The $20,000 cost of the report was paid for by a recently formed coalition called Long Island Real Estate Organizations.

“This acquisition will not increase county indebtedness by one penny since it [the funding] comes from the self-contained quarter-cent sales tax [for open space preservation] which was overwhelmingly approved by the electorate,” countered Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. “Defeating the measure would not have changed our financial picture in any way. As for the worthiness of the acquisition, the Cavett property was one of the first parcels to be included in my comprehensive inventory of environmentally sensitive lands.”                                              Reporting by karl grossman

Southampton Hospital: Blood Drive

Southampton Hospital is sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday, November 6, to help boost blood supplies on Long Island. Donations can be made from 7 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. in the teaching center, located on the hospital’s third floor. Anyone between the ages of 17 and 76, in good health and weighing at least 110 pounds is eligible to donate.

According to Hospital organizer Gerry Minerva, “More blood donors are always needed. Right now, only about four people out of 100 who are able to donate blood do so, but blood supplies need to be replenished constantly.”

She also stressed that it is absolutely safe to donate blood as many as six times per year.

As an incentive to attract donors, the hospital will provide a voucher for a free lunch in the hospital cafeteria as well as a ‘pint for a pint’ certificate to the Southampton Publick House to all successful donors.

Walk-ins are welcome. It only takes approximately 10 to 12 minutes to donate, but participants should allow one hour to complete the sign-in and donation process. An ID with a signature and a social security number will be requested of each donor.

For those who would prefer to make an appointment, please contact Gerry Minerva at 726-8336.

East Hampton: Moran House Gifted

Guild Hall of East Hampton, Inc. has donated the Moran House property to The Thomas Moran Trust. Guild Hall presented the Deed of Gift to the Moran House which is appraised at $4 million to the trust and also delivered to the trust the full $500,000 Community Preservation Fund payment for the historic preservation easement purchased by the town and village of East Hampton and restricted for use toward the restoration of the property.

 “This is a successful and happy event and represents a win, win, win for the community, the Thomas Moran Trust, and Guild Hall,” said Mickey Straus, Chairman, Guild Hall Board of Trustees.

The Moran House is the East Hampton historical residence and art studio of the 19th century world-renowned landscape artist, Thomas Moran. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Thomas Moran spent each summer from 1884 until 1926 in this home and did much of his painting in its spacious two-story studio. Architecturally, the house is a significant example of a Queen Anne artist’s studio, which is rare design.

“Obtaining ownership and the generous Community Preservation Funds are the first steps among many the Thomas Moran Trust  will be taking to restore  the Moran House and assure its place as a significant part of the nation’s and the east end’s cultural heritage.” said Peter Wolf, Chairman of the Thomas Moran Trust. “Many dedicated individuals and organizations both inside and outside of local government have worked tirelessly for several years to bring this to fruition.”

“This gift represents the joint efforts of Guild Hall and the Moran House Trust to allow the preservation and restoration of this important National Historic Landmark” said Bill McGintee, East Hampton Town Supervisor.”

In 1990, Elizabeth and David  Lamb gave The Moran House to Guild Hall, reserving a life estate, which expired upon Mrs. Lamb’s death in 2004. In the two years following, Guild Hall’s trustees formed the Moran House Committee. Moving forward, in collaboration with the village and town of East Hampton, Guild Hall, and many other civic organizations and individuals, the Thomas Moran Trust will initiate the studies, the capital campaign, and the subsequent work necessary, in order to revive this property of significant national and local importance, which, overlooking Town Pond, is the gateway to the historic district of East Hampton.

League of Women Voters: Riverhead Resorts Forum

To enable the public to learn more about Riverhead Resorts, the 755-acre multi-resort and hotel/convention facility planned for the former Grumman site in Calverton, the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons is hosting “A Public Forum on the Riverhead Resorts Plan in Calverton” on Monday, November 10 at 7 p.m.

All points of view will be presented by the panel which includes: Phil Cardinale, Supervisor of the Town of Riverhead; Robert DeLuca, President of the Group for the East End; Patricia Manzi, Pine Barrens site director for The Nature Conservancy; Mitch Pally, attorney representing Riverhead Resorts; and Brenda Prusinowski, Deputy Commissioner of Planning for the Town of Brookhaven.

The panelists will make opening and closing statements and answer questions from the audience. Maps will be available, showing the eight planned theme parks that feature a fitness/aquatics facility, a wilderness resort, equine area, spa facility, indoor ski mountain, heritage/entertainment area, water adventure resort, and a conference center, all surrounding a 90-acre lake. Details have been posted by the planners at www.riverheadresorts.com.

The forum takes place at the Southampton Town Senior Center in Hampton Bays, 25 Ponquogue Avenue, across from the Hampton Bays Post Office.

For further information, call the League’s Natural Resources committee at 283-2638. To join the League, call 324-8662.

Southampton Town: Sag Student Honored

At the beginning of each day since 1988, pupils at Sag Harbor Elementary School have gathered in the gymnasium for the “Morning Sing.” A session begins with the Pledge of Allegiance, a rousing hymn of salute to the American Flag, and continues with a number of other songs. However, today brought a celebration of citizenship and community, as well as a Southampton Town Councilman.

Speaking before children and teachers from grades Kindergarten through fifth, Councilman Dan Russo sang the praises of Noyac’s Gabriel Martaron for his “dedicated civic involvement” that led to the installation of additional signs on Whitney Road and Crescent Street.

“The Town Council decides the rules for Southampton, but your parents and grandparents get to decide on us,” Russo began. “You may not be old enough to vote, but there are a lot of other ways to get involved.”

 Martaron, who is a third grader in Mrs. Deyermond’s class, circulated a petition to the area’s residents with the help of his neighbors. The signatures were then presented to the councilman. At Russo’s urging, on September 17, the Town’s Highway Department placed “Children at Play” and “Dead End Signs” along the requested roads.

 “Gabriel wanted something changed, he got involved, and made a difference in his community,” said Russo.

Local Doctors Rally To Aid Zambian Girl

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Nine year-old Merris has the kind of smile that lights up a room, a smile that gives no indication that she has been living with a life-altering injury in her rural village on the distant outskirts of Kitwe, Zambia.

Next week, a group of doctors with the support of a local ministry group will attempt to perform surgery on her disfigured arm, effectively saving her hand, and changing Merris’s life for the better.

Merris’s injury is a severely contracted hand — the result of a snakebite — that without surgery would end with the loss of her left hand. A local ministry group had hoped to bring Merris to the United States on Tuesday, October 14, with the goal of having pre-surgical testing completed by Wednesday, and the surgery, performed by Dr. James Brady at Southampton Hospital, on Thursday. Unfortunately, a delay in the Zambia passport office early this week will likely push the surgery back.

Regardless of the delay, the mission to save Merris’s arm will move forward next week, and is not the first, and certainly not the last, time a band of local doctors and the RaphaEl Ministries will attempt to better the lives of others — the heart of their operation.

RaphaEl Ministries is overseen by the Community Bible Church in Noyac and was founded by Dr. Scott Silverberg, the chief of anesthesia at Southampton Hospital. Silverberg moved to the East End 12 years ago, finding a home with the Community Bible Church after being drawn to the congregation not just by their dedication to God, but also their coffee house, where Silverberg, a musician, could be found playing his drums.

“But really what we are about is we just want to glorify God in everything we do,” he said.

In May, RaphaEl Ministries took its inaugural medical mission to Kitwe, Zambia with 17 local doctors and nurses making the trip on their own vacation time to provide medical care and supplies to an area where even the most basic supplies can be scarce. Southampton Hospital donated numerous supplies, which the mission brought over — obstetric equipment including a sonogram machine and incubator that the hospital was no longer in need of after upgrading their facilities.

What brought RaphaEl Ministries to Kitwe Hospital, and ultimately to Merris, was Zambian reverend Lubuto Nsofu, who Dr. Silverberg met at the Church of the Sound while he was in his residency in Stony Brook. Reverend Nsofu was training at Christ for The Nations College, which used to be at Stony Brook, when the two connected, forging a bond that continues to this day — a bond that made Dr. Silverberg decide Zambia should be the site of RaphaEl Ministries’ first medical ministry.

“I had moved out here and had him come to some of our churches,” recalled Dr. Silverberg. “That was when we connected. And I said to my friend, James Brady, let’s go on a medical mission together.”

For Dr. Silverberg, using his training in mission work is a part of a life long desire – a desire only temporarily put on hold while he paid off his school debts.

“Being a Christian, the desire has always been in my heart,” he said. “I think God put it in me, to help those less fortunate. These things, God arranges them, and it developed over time where I was finally able to go.”

During the trip Dr. Silverberg, along with Dr. Brady, Southampton Hospital attending obstetrician Florence Rolston, and a number of others provided both free surgeries and medical care at Kitwe Hospital, as well as service to clinics in the African bush.

The surgical team completed approximately 40 procedures and the medical team cared for between 300 and 500 patients over the course of three days, in what Dr. Silverberg described as a morning to night schedule. Conditions in Zambia were far from what one would expect to find in a hospital stateside, with exposed wiring in some operating rooms, and no screens lending to surgical areas compromised by flies and mosquitoes.

And it was at Kitwe that Dr. Silverberg met Merris.

Immediately, he said, they knew caring for Merris in Zambia was not possible due to the extent of her injury. It was Dr. Brady who Dr. Silverberg said made the decision that Merris’s care could not happen in Kitwe. 

“She needs extensive surgery,” said Dr. Silverberg, adding almost immediately the group began to strategize on how, and when, they could bring Merris to the United States for her operation.

In addition to extensive surgery, Merris will need a full week of recovery at Southampton Hospital, followed by two months of rehabilitation on the East End.

“So we said to ourselves, there is a way, and we started developing our plan, discussing it with the hospital, which has been very supportive of our ministry,” said Dr. Silverberg.

Merris, once issues have been settled with the Zambian passport agency, will travel to the United States with her mother, as well as a Zambian nurse who speaks English and will be given western medical training at Southampton Hospital during their stay.

RaphaEl Ministries has already expended some $7,000 just flying Merris, her mother and the nurse to the United States, and will also be responsible for helping provide clothing, supplies and transportation for the family during their stay.

All the doctors involved in the case have agreed to donate their time, said Dr. Silverberg, adding the hospital itself has been a great help.

In order to support RaphaEl Ministries work — Merris’s surgery, as well as the planned surgery of a 20-year old man from Zambia who suffered severe burns to his head, neck and upper body in February, and a second medical mission to Kitwe Hospital in April — the organization will begin fundraising in the community shortly, according to Paula Krzyzewski, a member of the Community Bible Church and RaphaEl Ministries.

Before the last venture to Africa, Dr. Rolston and another nurse affiliated with St. Johns Episcopal Church in Southampton, along with Cindy Willis spearheaded a fundraising movement for the mission.

“I can do medicine, I can’t do fundraising,” acknowledged Dr. Silverberg.

Overall $50,000 was raised, enough to cover team expenses on the last mission and send over a container of donated equipment from the hospital, as well as baby blankets, children’s books and clothing to Kitwe, which will be distributed by Victory Ministries and Victory Bible Church. According to Krzyzewski, the container should be arriving in the next two weeks.

 “It’s completely outside my realm to sit around this table of doctors and nurses,” said Krzyzewski. “What they are doing is so inspiring and so selfless.”

 

 

 

 

Maria Theodoulou

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A Conversation With Dr. Maria Theodoulou, associate attending physician on breast cancer medical service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Dr. Theodoulou will be the keynote speaker at the Cancer Care of the East End sponsored forum “Conversations about Breast Cancer: Update on Medical Treatment, Side Effects, and Psychosocial Issues” at the Bridgehampton Union Free School District auditorium on Saturday, October 18.

How did your career find its focus in oncology and specifically, breast cancer care?

It’s actually a pretty straightforward story. First off, I was older when I started my formal education. I had always been interested in natural sciences and biology and I was actually sent by one of my professors at Fordham University to volunteer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering to see if I was comfortable with oncology services … It was interesting because I got to meet women with breast cancer, some who were dying, although this was all the way back in 1981.

What I found was that breast cancer is a disease with a title, but also is a disease with a number of psychological and social issues attached to it … With breast cancer, there is a constant reminder left behind no matter how pristine the surgery. Also, the sexual connotations were so huge during a time where people did not really talk about the disease.

Two weeks before medical school I actually would up needing a biopsy myself … I didn’t know what would happen, although fortunately it was benign. But at the time you didn’t know if you went into an appointment whether you would come out without your breast. I told my daughter the night before I was going to the hospital that I might come home without a breast, and only a six-year-old could say this, but she said, “Don’t worry mom. No one will really notice.”

So that is when it really began to cement with me … [In school] I was assigned to a medical oncologist, without anyone knowing the whole field of oncology and breast cancer had become fascinating to me. And on my first day, I went in to meet a patient and it was fascinating because it was a woman in her 70s coming in for a seven-year follow up appointment.

The same afternoon, I met a 32-year-old … we were addressing end of life with her. That was it for me. I kept thinking breast cancer is not one disease. My patients really do teach me every day.

How did you get involved with Cancer Care of the East End and this Saturday’s event?

Well, actually, the director of Cancer Care [Theodora Ziongas] is someone I know personally. She was a social worker and a prominent figure in caring, from a psychological perspective, with supportive measures for many of the patients who came to Memorial [Sloan-Kettering] … I have watched her career just grow and grow over the years and she has been doing just great work with Cancer Care. We got together to talk about the event, and before she even asked, I said yes. I try to do a lot of advocacy, teaching and presenting, not only in October [Breast Cancer Awareness Month], but also year round.

How has the prognosis changed for women who are diagnosed today as opposed to 10 years go?

Number one, we are diagnosing early on and less women are dying from it. In the first 15 years of my practice I can honestly say I was going to a lot of funerals. Now I go to one every few years. What has happened is the disease is now out of the closet, people are talking, we are having events like the one this Saturday, advocacy movements are just exploding, celebrities are sharing their stories … Women are more empowered and proactive and have become smarter in understanding breast cancer is not just one disease.

We also have much smarter people than I doing very important lab work developing treatments so we are able to treat women in early and advanced settings. Women are living longer now, even when the cancer has become metastatic. Even if the disease does not go away, now, using the art of medicine, not just the science, and understanding the host – their strengths, their weaknesses, their physical, emotional and psychological state, we can usually treat patients with targeted therapies that are much more effective.

You have a particular interest in the psychological and emotional impact on patients and their families. What advancement have you seen in your career in the support systems available for those battling breast cancer, or their loved ones?

Number one, and I think the most important thing, is women are talking about it; which creates a global support system. And a dialogue has developed that has really reached across the world.

Knowing you are not alone, not singled out, and being able to share information and questions is vitally important. For me this is the biggest thing … Clearly the psychological impact can be huge. Successful plastic surgery has made outstanding changes, but the patient always knows when it is a reconstructed breast, whether it is a little scar only they can see in the shower or decreased sensation in an area, there is always a reminder.

We really focus on individual patients and their strengths, whether it be home nesting – cooking, caring for families – or blue collar, white collar work environment. Regardless of who they are, covering the whole gamut of individuals out there, we work on developing those strengths to make sure those women are still those women after their diagnosis and treatment … and we are really finding ways to address the sexual issues that arise, whether it be how one views themselves, or from their partners’ perspective.

We certainly have now not just support systems, but integrated support systems where complimentary therapies or “look good, feel good,” address the physical issues moving forward. It’s amazing the wealth of support that there is available to be able to build up tools, but it is a matter of knowing who is there, what is available.

What is the future for the fight against breast cancer, in your professional opinion?

I am looking forward to being out of a job. That will be a great day – the day I no longer have work. I wake up every morning thinking, when will we come up with the cure? I know we are getting better and better, I know there are earlier diagnoses, less deaths, people are living longer. Will it happen in my lifetime? I don’t know, but I think we are getting there.

I am a great cook. I think I will open a great restaurant when I am finally out of a job.

“Conversations about Breast Cancer: Update on Medical Treatment, Side Effects, and Psychosocial Issues” will be held at the Bridgehampton Union Free School District auditorium on Saturday, October 18 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is free for members of the public. The event is sponsored by Cancer Care of the East End in cooperation with Southampton Hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

East End Digest – October 16, 2008

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Spooky Spirits in Southampton

The Southampton Historical Museums and Research Center will host “Spooky Spirits in the Barn” for children nine years old and under from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 25 at Rogers Mansion, 17 Meeting House Lane in Southampton, a property owned by the Southampton Historical Museums and Research Center. The event will follow Southampton Village Rag-A-Muffin parade.

Southampton Town: Noyac Preservation

With appraisals in, authorizing resolutions adopted, and negotiations concluded, Southampton Town has become the owner of nine acres of land located on Old Sag Harbor Road in Noyac.

The property is comprised of two vacant parcels designated in the Eastern GEIS area of the Town’s Community Preservation Project Plan, which identifies target properties, and is bordered by substantial tracts of already preserved land.

“This was an opportunity for the Town to add to its park, recreation, and open space holdings,” said supervisor Linda Kabot. “It links contiguous woodland properties and is in close proximity to a trail system.”

The property was purchased from the Texas Beverly Company, a 12-year old investment corporation owned by Morgan Brown and Catherine Nelson Brown, who are the daughter and ex-wife of famed developer Harry Joe “Coco” Brown Jr. Born to a prominent Hollywood family, the Beverly Hills native made his first major real estate score in buying 188 acres atop Beverly Hills, and building 115 houses there. In the mid-1990s, locals learned the name when Brown acquired 56 acres for his “Houses at Sagaponac” development and enlisted 34 leading architects to design each home.

A public hearing was held before the town board on April 8 as part of the Community Preservation Project Plan to determine if the town should acquire the Noyac parcels with Community Preservation Funds. The board then decided it to be “the best alternative for the protection of community character.” In adopting an authorizing resolution later that day, the town board allocated $1.9 million for the purchase.

New York State Assembly: CPA Requirement For Comptrollers

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced on Friday, October 10 that he will introduce legislation requiring any town comptroller in a first or second class town with a population of 15,000 to be a certified public accountant pursuant to New York State Education Law.

“Our towns have annual budgets that are in the tens of millions of dollars,” said Thiele. “The Community Preservation Fund alone generated over $90 million on the East End last year. Town budgets receive the bulk of their revenue from the property tax. Our taxpayers deserve to know that a true professional is handling and investing their money. The town comptroller’s position should not be just another patronage job.”

“At a time when the entire nation is in a financial crisis, every town is forced to make difficult decisions about their finances,” he continued. “Now, more than ever, we should ensure the town comptroller has the financial expertise needed to keep town finances operating smoothly.”

All towns on Long Island would be required to meet the requirements of the proposed law, with the exception of Shelter Island, according to Thiele. The bill will be formally introduced for the 2009 legislative session in January.

John Jermain Memorial Library: Architects Forum

The public workshop with architects Herbert S. Newman and Partners – the Connecticut-based firm selected by Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library to design the next phase of the library – will be held on Saturday October 25 from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Pierson High School cafeteria. This event will provide a forum for the community to participate in focused small-group discussions about library services, collections and programming, according to library director Cathy Creedon.

The information generated at the workshop will be used for future discussions about space, program division and location. 

“I am excited about this event, and can think of no better way to celebrate the building’s 98th birthday and no better way to guarantee the library’s centennial is all it can be,” said Creedon. The library building’s birthday was on Friday, October 10.

Southampton Hospital: Free Flu Clinic

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.

Southampton Hospital will be holding a free flu clinic for adults only on Wednesday, October 29 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The clinic will be held in Parrish Memorial Hall, which is located on the northeast corner of Lewis Street and Herrick Road in Southampton. For more information please call 726-8700.

East Hampton: Group for Wildlife

Responding to the East Hampton Town Board’s decision to expand hunting in seven town areas, the attorney for the East Hampton Group for Wildlife has sent the town a notice of dangerous condition. The notice says the expansion of hunting “may cause serious injuries to the general public” and includes risks such as the possible shooting of pets and deer/vehicle collisions resulting from “frightened animals running into the roadway.” The notice puts the town on warning, and it could be used in court in the event that a citizen suffers harm from the expansion of hunting and files a claim against the town.

The hunting decision was made at a town board meeting on August 5. The notice was mailed to the town on September 30.

“The decision to expand waterfowl hunting to a place such as Gerard Drive in Springs, with its numerous homes, creates unnecessary risks,” said William Crain, president of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

The notice adds that recent expansion of hunting areas “exacerbates risks created by the expansion of hunting to Jacob’s Farm and other areas in 2004,” as well as the town’s permission to hunt on lands that border residential areas or include hiking trails.

For more information, residents can call Crain at 668-3384 or e-mail billcrain@aol.com.

Bay Street Theatre: Election Night Coverage

Tired of watching the political debates at home by yourself? Wish you could share the ups and downs of the evening with your neighbors and friends but don’t have a big enough screen? Come to Bay Street. On Wednesday, October 15, as the presidential candidates gathered at Hofstra for the final debate, Bay Street hosted the community as the event as it unfolded on a feature-film size screen.

And, whether you are Republican, Democrat, Independent or undecided, cast your vote on November 4 and then join your friends again for Election night fun.

“These political evenings afford Bay Street the opportunity to be a gathering place for our community”, said general manager Tracy Mitchell.

 

East End Digest – October 9

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Bridgehampton Student Honored

On September 18, Bridgehampton School senior Pablo Londono was awarded the 2008 County Executive Achievement Award. This award recognizes students who have demonstrated growth and personal achievement, overcome adversity or met challenges successfully. The awards dinner was held in Holbrook at Village Lombardi’s where Louis Medina, director of the Suffolk County Youth Bureau, presented Londono with the honor.

Londono aspires to be a police officer and is currently enrolled in the law enforcement program at HB Ward Tech in Riverhead each school morning. Londono then spends afternoons at Bridgehampton School completing his twelfth grade course work. He is employed as a waiter at The American Hotel in Sag Harbor, and also works with the Sag Harbor Village Police Department as a traffic control officer.

Southampton Town: Preservation

The Town of Southampton has officially acquired two sought after parcels slated for preservation, according to details released from town hall on Tuesday, September 30.

The first, the Baird property, consists of 40.5 acres of vacant land on Red Creek Road and Old Squires Road in Hampton Bays at a purchase price of $4,000,000.

“We are very fortunate to be able to buy this property,” said town supervisor Linda Kabot. “If we hadn’t been able to act, this pristine land would be a 13 home subdivision.”

Kabot added that the Baird parcel is located in the Paumanok Path Trail area of the Community Preservation Project Plan. It is named after a hiking-trail project of regional importance that will ultimately extend 125 miles from Rocky Point to Montauk Point. It has been a municipal planning objective for more than 12 years.

In conjunction with the second acquisition deal, the town became part owners with Suffolk County of a piece of the Topping family farm. The 7.54 ace parcel is located on Halsey Lane in Bridgehampton and also lies within the town’s farmland Preservation Target Area. The Southampton Town Board has considered the Topping Farm a “high priority” under the town’s Community Preservation Project Plan, and the $2,625,312 needed to fund 60 percent of the $4,375,520 purchase price will come from the Community Preservation Fund.

The recent closing marks the second time within the past year the two governments have partnered to keep the Topping land a farm forever. Last fall, the town paid $8,856,252 to acquire the development rights for 25 acres. Like the current 7.54 acre buy, the county contributed 40 percent of the purchased price.

East Hampton: Centarian Celebrated

On Thursday, October 2, East Hampton Senior Nutrition participants, close friends and family gathered at the East Hampton Senior Center to honor the milestone 100th birthday of Paul Miano. The day was also recognized by the East Hampton Town Board in a proclamation, presented to Miano by board member Brad Loewen.

Miano was born in Brooklyn on October 1, 1908. He worked as an accountant until his retirement at the age of 72, continuing on as a consultant until he was 80. Shortly thereafter, he joined the East Hampton Senior Nutrition Center, and has been a member for the last 20 years. Miano and his wife, Eileen, purchased property in East Hampton in 1969, moving into the residence full-time in 1980.

According to the nutrition center, Miano credits a daily, one-mile walk and his friendly nature for his longevity — never passing anyone without saying hello, making many friends along the way.

Bridgehampton: Cancer Conversations

On Saturday, October 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Southampton Hospital and Cancer Care of the East End will host a forum, “Conversations about Breast Cancer: Update on Medical Treatment, Side Effects, and Psychosocial Issues” at the Bridgehampton Union Free School District auditorium.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Maria Theodoulou, associate attending physician for breast cancer service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Care Center. The day will also feature a host of panel discussions, as well as break out sessions designed to tackle issues like stress reduction, intimacy and cancer, nutrition, and how to discuss the disease with children. Resource booths will be available throughout the day.

For more information, call (516) 364-8130 or visit Hamptonscancercare.org.

Stony Brook-Southampton: Open House

Stony Brook Southampton, the newest addition to the SUNY system, is holding two events for high school students who may be considering college in the near future.

On Saturday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., an Open House will be held in the Avram Theater on the Southampton campus. Then on Columbus Day, Monday, October 13, high school students are invited to sit in on real college classes with Stony Brook Southampton’s faculty from 12:50 to 3:40 p.m.

To reserve a spot for one or both events, call 632-5035 or e-mail joinsouthampton@stonybrook.edu.

Now in its second full year, Stony Brook Southampton continues to grow. Earlier this year, the New York State Department of Education had approved three new majors including Ecosystems and Human Impact, Environmental Design, Policy and Planning, and Sustainability Studies, which join SBS’s existing three majors in Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences and Marine Vertebrate Biology.

A “green” business major is also being introduced this fall. ??This year, the student body has almost doubled in size to over 300 full-time students and approximately 400 students overall while maintaining the same rigorous admissions standards as parent Stony Brook University. The number of classes offered, majors and professors has also increased. ??More residence halls are online with over 150 students living on campus now; again, almost double last year’s number. Residence Life has also added a community service element that will see more Southampton students going into the larger community to volunteer with not-for-profit, community and civic groups. This past spring, new state monies were announced for the Marine Center and the Student Center. ??

Long Island Farm Bureau: Scholarship

The Long Island Farm Bureau invites all Nassau and Suffolk County High School seniors to apply for a $1,000 scholarship from Long Island Farm Bureau. Students must be planning to continue their education in a career related to the agricultural industry, live or work on a farm involved in agriculture and be active members of the community.

In addition, the Long Island scholarship winner will have an opportunity to compete for additional scholarship funds – $1,500, $1,200 and $1,000 – at the 2008 New York Farm Bureau “Spring Break” Conference. The deadline for submission is November 21. For more information, call 727-3777.

Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association: Grants Available

The Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association is offering an opportunity for innovators to apply for grants. Applications will be accepted from nursery and landscape professionals, students, clubs or organizations, colleges, universities and schools, research facilities, botanical gardens or arboreta.

Awards may be presented for activities, projects, studies, programs, equipment development, courses, tours, trips or other endeavors that may qualify. Proposals must have some impact on the local nursery, landscape or retail horticulture industry. In reviewing applications from qualifying institutions, the innovative nature of the request as well as the effectiveness of the proposal in enhancing learning in the field of horticulture will be considered. Applications must be postmarked by November 1 and include the title of a proposed innovative activity, contact information, a summary of objectives, project outline, anticipated costs, how the grant would facilitate the project and explanation of local benefits. Applicants should also include a request for funds at a maximum of $2,500 and the date needed to start. For more information, call the Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. (516) 249-0545 or log on to linla@nysnla.com. 

Hospitals Successfully Negotiate With GHI/HIP

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Southampton Hospital — and the two other local medical facilities that are part of the East End Health Alliance — successfully negotiated an agreement with two insurance providers on Friday, September 19. The Alliance had issued a press release on Monday announcing that subscribers to both GHI and HIP — which are presently in the process of merging — would soon be out of network. Friday’s negotiation, however, narrowly made the deadline and prevented the change in protection.

On Wednesday, negotiators from the Alliance were in a telephone conference to try to meet a midnight Friday deadline with HIP, whose contract was set to expire with Southampton Hospital and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. If negotiations failed, then patients with HIP who normally receive care at those two hospitals would have needed to find other institutions if they hoped to be covered by their insurance. Patients already scheduled for procedures, as well as emergency cases,  would still have been covered.

Ilene Margolin, a spokesperson for both GHI and HIP,  declined to elaborate on the companies’ positions, saying “we don’t negotiate in the press.”

At issue, according to Paul J. Connor, spokesman for the Alliance, was the amount the hospitals are reimbursed from the insurance companies for care they give.

“It doesn’t cost any less to care for a patient here than it does at any other hospital on Long Island,” said Connor this week.

“It is critical to quality patient care at our East End hospitals that our insurance reimbursement rates keep pace with the costs of providing patient care,” Mr. Connor explained. “As with all hospitals, our costs including pharmaceutical, utility and labor expenses, continue to increase significantly.”

The negotiations also included GHI. Both HIP and GHI have the same parent company, Emblem Health. The out-of-network deadline for Peconic Bay Medical Center and Southampton Hospitals for GHI was October 5, 2008. Eastern Long Island Hospital’s out-of-network deadline for HIP and GHI was November 13.

The three hospitals in the Alliance — which formed earlier this summer after several years of fits and starts with another, failed, relationship — have been attempting to have their various contracts with insurance providers all on the same schedule with each other. Earlier this year they successfully negotiated new contracts, also fighting over more equitable reimbursements, with Empire Blue Cross, Oxford and United Health Care. The managed care agreement hammered out on Friday will for two years.

“This will be the last of the major insurers for this year,” said Connor. Blue Cross will come up again next year, he said, but it is the goal of the Alliance to have all of the contracts extended to two years each.

 

East End Digest – September 18

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Celebrating Local Ecology On The Greenbelt

On Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will mark the 10th Annual Long Pond Greenbelt Celebration Day. Trail hikes with botanists, birders, local historians and a snake expert will be on hand, as well as Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre, ready to provide children’s activities, and exhibits from local environmental organizations. There will also be updates on the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt’s own vineyard field restoration project. Confirmed exhibitors include South Fork Natural History Society, Southampton Town Community Preservation Fund, Southampton Town Environment Division, Southampton Town Trustees, The Nature Conservancy, Southampton Trails Preservation Society, East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, Group for the East End, Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference, Long Island Trail Lovers’ Conference and the John Jermain Library.

Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt is a non-profit membership organization formed in 1997 dedicated to the preservation, stewardship and public appreciation of the Long Pond Greenbelt — a unique expanse of over 600 protected acres of freshwater swamps, wetlands, and woodlands, stretching from Ligonee Creek in Sag Harbor to Sapaponack Pond in Sagaponack.

For more information on the celebration, call Sandra Ferguson at 537-3752.

Southampton Town: High-Tech Park At Gabreski

Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot and councilman Chris Nuzzi traveled to Hauppauge on Monday, September 8 to join Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy in announcing a county deal struck with a major development firm to build an industrial-commercial park at Gabreski Airport.

The choosing of Rechler Equity Partners of Melville marks a milestone in the long-awaited collaboration between Suffolk County and the Town of Southampton to re-develop 58.6 acres of industrial land into a homeland security-oriented “Hampton Business and Technology Park.”

The project is part of a larger effort to foster economic development in the region, and more specifically to generate revenue from the county-owned property. Both the county and the town of Southampton have had long-held plans to upgrade Gabreski’s facilities and transform the area into a long-term economic rejuvenator.

“We want attract businesses offering year-round, decent-paying, jobs for East End residents,” said Kabot. “The Town of Southampton is excited about the selection of Rechler Equity Partners to capitalize the necessary improvements and create a visually-pleasing business center. The initial concept plan includes a 145-room hotel and conference center, as well as technology-based industries.”

The redevelopment will be made possible through the Town’s designation of the area as an Airport Planned Development District (APDD), with an accompanying Master Plan to detail site requirements and the types of businesses allowed there. Long-standing issues over zoning and suitable uses slowed the project for years, but it was revived and brought to fruition through the cooperative efforts of County Executive Levy and the Southampton Town board led by former supervisor-turned county economic development commissioner, Patrick Heaney.

Under the APDD, Gabreski Airport will be converted into a hub of commercial activity that will permit a host of high-tech industrial, office, service, support, ancillary retail, transportation, lodging, and related uses. In making the changes, the objective is to lure businesses involved in homeland security, alternative energies, and “green” research and development. Particular attention will also be paid to courting producers of film, television, and digital media.

In addition, the New York State Department of Economic Development designated 48 acres within the proposed park as an “Empire Zone” in 2004 for enhanced incentives to stimulate private investment. They include lower business tax rates, reimbursement of local taxes, exemption from state sales tax, lower utility rates, and up to $3,000 in annual credits for each new employee hired. The Gabreski Airport PDD is one of five such areas in Suffolk County, and officials say the designation complements Suffolk’s effort to increase investment in commercial sewer capacity upgrades and the potential development of workforce housing.

Overall, according to the county, the area’s redevelopment is anticipated to generate more than $7 million in rental revenue to Suffolk County over the next 10 years, and more than $40 million over the life of the 40-year lease.

Supervisor Kabot credited Deputy County Executive Jim Morgo “for helping to build consensus among community stakeholders and environmental advocates to balance the need for economic development, cap the site’s build out capacity, and ensure the County’s commitment to not grow aviation uses at the airport.”

“This project is a great example of all levels of government and the community working together,” concluded Nuzzi. “It not only offers an essential component for our affordable housing initiatives, but promises the creation of economic development opportunities within the town.”

Stony Brook Southampton: Doubles Students

It’s back to school for Stony Brook Southampton. Now in its second full year, the campus continues to grow as planned.

The student body has almost doubled in size to over 300 full-time students and approximately 400 students overall while maintaining the same rigorous admissions standards as parent Stony Brook University. The number of classes offered, majors and professors has also increased.

“We are very pleased with the progress we have made here at Stony Brook Southampton with our curriculum and our infrastructure,” Interim Dean Martin Schoonen said. “Students really seem to be responding to our focus on the environment and sustainability, and that shows with their increased interest in our programs.”

Building continues on a new library while more space for student affairs and student services will open in early October in the renovated Atlantic Hall building. This follows the recent renovation of the Avram Theater and Gallery that saw the Sustainable Treasures vocal series and the Southampton Writers Conference doubles its offerings this past summer. This past spring, new state monies were announced for the Marine Center and the Student Center. The historic and symbolic Windmill on campus is also undergoing a facelift with new blades being installed later this fall.

More residence halls are online with over 150 students living on campus now; again, almost double last year’s number. Residence Life has also added a community service element that will see more Southampton students going into the larger community to volunteer with not-for-profit, community and civic groups.

Stony Brook Southampton, a model of sustainability that was featured in The New York Times this past summer and on “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” and “The Today Show” this past spring, also continues with its plans to build one of the nation’s truly green campuses. All new buildings will have LEED certification, while, already, lighting systems, a greenhouse and even vehicles on campus are energy efficient and use alternative forms of energy. The school café doesn’t use deep fryers and uses local produce, some of which is grown on campus, whenever possible.

Earlier this year, Dr. Schoonen announced that the New York State Department of Education had approved three cutting-edge, new majors for Southampton: Ecosystems and Human Impact; Environmental Design, Policy and Planning, and Sustainability Studies, which join SBS’s existing three majors in Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences and Marine Vertebrate Biology. A “green” Business major is also in the works for Fall 2009.

Southampton Hospital: Collecting Clothing

Southampton Hospital proudly announces a new fundraising system utilizing the collection of used clothing. This concept will help to raise additional funds towards the expansion of the Hospital’s Breast Health Center in 2009. The pink metal containers, which stand 5x5x6 in size, raise awareness of the Breast Health Center, while housing all unwanted used clothing. Although new to the Hospital, this program has proven fundraising success. The company administering this program, Earthrite Textile Recycling, is presently working with North Shore LIJ, Southside Hospital, Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Imaging Center, Breast Cancer Help Inc. and its Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center. For more information on this program, please contact Earthrite Textile Recycling at 580-7092.

Westhampton Beach: Restoring Environment

Sun Stream USA, The Renewable Energy Company, located in Southampton will take part in an upcoming CURE (Classmates United in Restoring the Environment) meeting at Westhampton Beach High School on Friday, September 19 at 2:30 p.m. to help kick-off the year’s CAUSE program at the school.

The CAUSE (CURE Alumni Undertaking for Solar Energy) program is made up of alumni and students of CURE, who work to raise awareness about environmental protection and conservation.

CAUSE was developed by Jok Kommer, the environmental and marine science teacher at Westhampton Beach High School and Brian Tymann, Director of Operations at Sun Stream USA.

This year’s CAUSE program will focus on developing and installing two renewable energy solutions at Westhampton Beach High School. One system will use solar power-to-power waterfall pumps in the school’s new courtyard, and the other solar solution will provide back-up power to the school’s science lab, which contains many living organism such as marine animals, reptiles, plants, and a working tidal salt marsh ecosystem.

Suffolk County: Text Ban Begins

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy was joined by County Legislator Jay Schneiderman at a press conference Tuesday afternoon to remind Suffolk drivers that effective next week the text message ban will be in place for drivers in the county.

Suffolk’s landmark legislation banning text messaging while driving — sponsored by Legislator Schneiderman and co-sponsored by Legislator Jon Cooper — passed in May, was signed into law in June of this year and will formally take effect September 21. Violations will carry a fine of $150.

“Drivers of any age, but most especially young drivers who have practically grown up with a cell phone in their hands, need to realize how distracting typing and reading text messages can be while behind the wheel of a car,” said Levy.

“This groundbreaking law continues the long tradition of Suffolk County taking the lead in adopting innovative and important legislation that sets an example for the rest of the nation,” said Schneiderman, noting that similar bans are under consideration in Nassau and in New York City.