Local News

Monday, July 9, 2018

Phelps Hospital has put newly arrived Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to work sterilizing the inpatient units and SurgiCenter, offering a higher standard of environmental cleanliness. Used by the cleaning staff, the robot can disinfect 30-62 hospital rooms per day.


Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot

Tony Acosta, Assistant Director of Environmental Services, reports that the robots are very “user-friendly.” Unlike vacuum cleaners, they do not pick up visible dirt. All areas to be sterilized must receive a normal cleaning first. The robot is then remotely guided through the cleaned space for the sterilization of the surfaces in the room.

Germ killing is achieved by a feature in the robot called “pulsed xenon light technology.” The technique uses a xenon gas bulb to produce pulsed germicidal UV light. The UV light causes changes in the DNA of microorganisms, which leads to their deactivation. A reflector system within the robot enables the UV light to be focused for the sterilization of high-touch surfaces.

The purchase of the robots was made possible by contributions made at last year’s Champagne Ball, where the robots were the focus of the Fund-A-Cause portion of the annual benefit.


White Plains Hospital once again received CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, marking the fourth consecutive year it has received the recognition.

The accreditation notes the Hospital’s extraordinary commitment to the health of its employees and their families by providing ample opportunity to reduce cancer risk and by offering broad support following a cancer diagnosis.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded by former President George H.W. Bush as a nonprofit organization of CEOs to develop and administer the Gold Standard, an employee wellness program based on taking concrete actions in five key areas to address cancer in the workplace. These include policies and programs that promote risk-reduction behaviors and evidence-based screenings, enhance access to quality cancer treatment and clinical trials, and support caregivers. White Plains Hospital is among a select group of approximately 200 private, nonprofit and government employers in diverse industries throughout the nation that have earned Gold Standard accreditation. This includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training, as well as a number of NCI-designated cancer centers.


Smiles and smoothies were plentiful at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York, for the kickoff of the inaugural Dine Out For Blythedale fundraiser. Celebrity chef, restaurateur and event chair Waldy Malouf welcomed patients from the Hospital’s Inpatient and Day Hospital units, as well as parents and staff, to the event. Donning a purple “Dine Out” apron, Chef Malouf flipped the fun switch and showcased his skills to create blended beverages with healthy fruits and vegetables during a cooking demonstration.


Dine Out For Blythedale fundraiser

The money raised will support the care and treatment of Blythedale’s medically complex children — specifically, the Tiny Miracles Program, which serves the Hospital’s smallest and most fragile babies.


More than 100 people attended a Parent Housing Forum on May 30 at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) in Valhalla. The program provided information for parents about how to secure housing support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism through the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.


Ken Jenkins, Naomi Brickel, Susan Fox, Tara Klein, Evan Letainer and Maksym Lider

The program was created in response to overwhelming concerns from the parents and individuals supported by WIHD. The next session was held June 13. It focused on opportunities presented through self-direction, a more person-centered funding mechanism for services, and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and autism. The session also included another opportunity for stakeholder Q&A, during which some of the questions and themes that emerged on May 30 were addressed.


When Lynn Rosen’s husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a loving wife instantly became a caregiver. In her new role, Rosen researched how to find help while tending to her husband’s healthcare needs. She will now use her experience to serve others, as a volunteer at the new Marsal Caregiver Center at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, the first caregiver center at a rehabilitation hospital in the United States.


Opening of the new Marsal Caregiver Center at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital

Most family members are not prepared for the intense physical, mental and emotional responsibilities associated with being a full-time caregiver. Up to 70 percent of caregivers have symptoms of depression. Studies have also found that caregivers have diminished immune responses, due to stress-related disorders.

Carla Assenza, LCSW, will be the Director of the new Caregiver Center. Assenza will be joined by a team of highly trained volunteers — Rosen included — who will undergo training that will focus on active listening and rapport building.


Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) has expanded its telemedicine program to include a teletrauma service at the network’s Kingston and Margaretville hospitals, bringing the immediate care that traumatic injuries require to communities where access to Level I trauma care is limited.

The teletrauma program connects providers at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus in Kingston and Margaretville Hospital in Margaretville, both members of WMCHealth, with the advanced care trauma expertise of specialists at WMCHealth’s flagship Westchester Medical Center and member Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. Both Valhalla hospitals are home to Level I trauma centers verified by the American College of Surgeons. A Level I trauma center provides the highest level of care to trauma patients.

Through the teletrauma program, an emergency department physician or other acute care clinician in Kingston or Margaretville can initiate a video connection with the trauma team in Valhalla, allowing the specialist there to see the patient and discuss the patient’s immediate needs with the bedside team. The remote trauma team can advise on the severity of the patient’s condition and determine with the local team whether the patient would best be treated where they are or transferred to Westchester Medical Center or Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.


Westmed Medical Group has announced the acquisition of a new nuclear medicine camera — the GE Discovery NM630 — to benefit patients, physicians and clinicians.


The GE Discovery NM630 nuclear medicine camera

The camera is SPECT-optimized, which means the images are processed with the use of a computer like a CT scan. A nuclear camera is used in a diagnostic imaging study that uses a radioactive tracer to produce images of the heart muscle. When combined with stress either through exercise or injection of a drug, the nuclear scan helps determine if the heart muscle is getting the blood supply it needs. This imaging test allows the physician to compare the amount of blood flowing through the heart muscle during stress and at rest.

The new nuclear camera at 210 Westchester Ave. is accredited by the American College of Radiology’s Committee on Nuclear Medicine.


Calvary Hospital hosted a joyous celebration to dedicate a new mantle cover for a sacred Torah scroll. This 135-year-old scroll — dating from the 1880s — is originally from the town of Taus-Domazlice in what is now known as the Czech Republic. Since 1988, it has been on permanent loan to Calvary from the Memorial Scrolls Trust (MST) in London. Of the more than 1,400 MST scrolls currently on permanent loan around the world, Calvary’s scroll, No. 515, is one of only 20 in the greater New York area today and one of just a handful that have gone to non-Jewish recipients.


Rabbi Rachmiel Rothberger, Rabbi Jeffrey J. Sirkman, Michael J. Brescia, MD, and Rabbi Shmuel Zuckerman

During World War II, the Nazis confiscated Jewish ritual items and sacred Torah scrolls from Jewish communities of Bohemia and Moravia, then known as Czechoslovakia. In 1964, the Westminster Synagogue in London received 1,564 Torah scrolls from Prague and established the MST to restore the scrolls and distribute them to communities throughout the world.

Thanks to the significant support from the Charles R. & Winifred R. Weber Foundation, Calvary launched the restoration in November 2015. By the time this project was completed in November 2016, more than 200 donors had made gifts that amounted to more than $111,000.

Once all restoration expenses were covered, the remaining funds benefited all patients and families under Calvary’s care.