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Residents Rally For Hospital

A crowd of about 500 people gathered at the second rally to save the Glen Cove Hospital on Saturday, Aug. 31, a more organized and informative event than the first. Residents waved signs urging the North Shore Health System to “Save

Our Hospital” while local politicians, hospital employees and residents with personal stories to share took to the microphone.

 

Speaking on a stage set up behind the Glen Cove Public Library, Mayor Ralph Suozzi opened the rally with an explanation of intent.

 

“This gives us a chance to come together as a community,” he said. “The uncertainty has caused a lot of fear and anger.”

 

He said he has had a lot of communication with hospital administrators and that he plans on having a one-on-one meeting with Michael Dowling to “figure out” how to make sure the health system remains strong in Glen Cove. 

 

Noting that the petitions have received a total of 18,000 signatures to date, he urged residents to sign in order to get the attention of  Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Nirav Shah from the state department of health.

 

He noted further that “no application for change has been filed to date” which means there is still time to potentially discuss any changes that will happen down the line.

 

“We want to make sure that any changes can be brought before the public for review,” Suozzi said.

 

Hospital donor Frank Feinberg said, at 90 years old, he has “never seen anything as amateur and wrong” as what he has witnessed in the past couple of months. “The actions of management are indescribable...losing the hospital will undoubtedly kill Glen Cove.” He asked residents to “do whatever you can to support the movement.”

 

Mayor Suozzi said that the talks seemed to be making a difference so far.

 

“We are in the room because of your voices and your signatures,” Suozzi said.

 

While a lot of residents have expressed emotional ties to the hospital, Suozzi stressed that in order to really make an impact, detailing cases of how much the area needs this hospital will likely have a greater impact on any final decisions.

 

The Hosey family of Glen Cove shared a story about their son, Sean, who is now 14. When he was 8 years old, he slipped and fell through a glass door at their home. Sean’s mother, Melinda, said they arrived at Glen Cove Hospital

“within minutes” and Sean, being “desperately in need of blood” underwent 10 hours of surgery. 

 

“We had a short window of time...things could have been very different.”

 

Dr. Gerard Vitale said, “Sean is living proof of why we need this hospital...it is not just the doctors, the nurses, the ancillary staff, but the community needs it as well.”

 

Dr. Eric Hochberg, who said he has been at Glen Cove Hospital for 30 years and started the same year the NS-LIJ health system began, noted that the health system began in Glen Cove and said that the hospital is financially doing well.

He expressed concern at the distance between Glen Cove and other hospitals and speculated that down the road, they may even decide the ER is not worth the cost.

 

“If the ER closes, who will be there to save the next Sean Hosey?”

 

“We want a public process as this goes forward,” said Tom Suozzi, former Nassau County Executive and current candidate. “It’s important that we stay involved.”

 

“Nothing yet has been decided by New York State,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine. He noted, “We are not going to war with the North Shore Health System” but did stress the importance the hospital has on the community from a financial stand point. He commented on the strength of community and said it is “remarkable” to have such a strong turnout on a hot, muggy holiday weekend.

 

Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said a big reason she bought her home in Glen Cove  was because of its proximity to the hospital, since one of her daughters is diabetic. 

 

Hospital pharmacist Joseph Simoneschi said, “The changes made in the past always made sense. The current transition does not make sense.” He said he has patients from surrounding communities that travel to Glen Cove. “The patient comes first...continue to rally.”

 

Stressing the impact traveling to hospitals in Syosset, Manhasset or elsewhere would have on patients and their relatives, Myrta Adamczak said, “What about the environment and gas consumption? The baby boomers are being attacked because our parents need us. The elderly are being attacked...what good is a hospital if we can’t get to it?”

 

“We are having ongoing discussions with Mayor Suozzi and other elected officials,  community leaders and local physicians to get their input on ambulatory care and home-based services needed in the community,” said Terry Lynam, a spokesman for the NS-LIJ system. “Those conversations will continue in the weeks and months ahead. The most important thing people need to understand is that Glen Cove Hospital is not closing — it’s just evolving to meet community needs.”

News

If Heather Lehrman is not yet a familiar face to local pet owners, her name is likely to soon become a household name to dog lovers and families with young children, as her children’s book, Bullied at the Dog Park, was released this week. The book is based on a real-life incident with her own dog, Herbie, and fans will have a chance to meet her and Herbie at a book signing at Petco in Glen Cove on Saturday, Oct. 25.

 

“I wanted to help get the message out in my own way about the effects of bullying,” says Lehrman, a resident of Great Neck. “This book teaches children valuable lessons about treating all dogs (and people) with respect, and the importance of simple kindness.”

It was Dec. 31, 1999, the last day of the 20th century, and Florence Dolling was preparing an elaborate Thai dinner for a New Year’s Eve celebration in her home in Glen Cove when the phone rang.  It was her doctor reporting that, “Yes, it was breast cancer.” She kept on cooking, attempting to retain as much normalcy as she could muster, knowing that, with the new millennium, there would certainly come change.

 

“I wore a red strapless bustier for the party because I thought I was saying goodbye to the ‘girls’,” she says. “My husband, my sense of humor, and my friends, helped me get through that night,” she recalls.


Sports

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Glen Cove Finley Middle School opened their football season with a home game against Thompson Middle School. The game opened with the Glen Cove offense going on a nice drive, which saw quarterback Mike Vaughan score on a 30-yard touchdown run. 

Six North Shore High School athletes competed in the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games and led the New York Delegation to victory, winning gold. The students included Jacob Abramowitz, Brett Bennett, Drew Jacklin, Ben Lerner, Josh Mandell, and Ben Saltzman. The Maccabi Games is a week-long Olympic tournament for Jewish teenage athletes, ages 14-16 years old. It is held in numerous venues across the United States. 

 

Bennett proudly said, “Competing in the Maccabi Games was a unique and thrilling experience for me. It not only was a highly competitive basketball tournament, but it also emphasized the importance of building strong values such as good sportsmanship, leadership, team unity, compassion and respect.

This, for me, was an experience of a lifetime!” 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 15

Live Music - October 16

Wine Tasting - October 17


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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