Phelps Hospital to Receive Rockefeller Award for Service from Family Y at Masquerade Ball

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by Kimberly Gaudin de Gonzalez –

Phelps President and CEO Daniel J. Blum

As the Family YMCA at Tarrytown board members weighed nominees for this year’s Laurance S. Rockefeller award for service, the synergies it shares with Phelps Hospital in enhancing local health and wellness kept coming up in discussions.

Consensus was swiftly reached, and on Friday, September 28, at the Tarrytown House, Phelps Hospital will be honored for outstanding and innovative service at the 10th Annual Family Y at Tarrytown Masquerade Ball.  Daniel J. Blum, Phelps President and CEO, will accept the award for the hospital.

It was a growing chorus of praise heard around the community that led Y executives and board members to focus on the local impact of the hospital’s invigorated commitment to offering high quality, easy-to-access health care in a gracious, patient-centered environment.

“Here at the Y, we put a lot of value on community service, outreach, and enhancing health and wellness to everyone we serve, regardless of their ability to pay.  Phelps shares this approach, as a nonprofit hospital,” said Barbara Turk, VP of Marketing & Community Development at the Y.

“I am very impressed with how Phelps, through Daniel Blum’s leadership and dedication, is redefining how a community hospital can change the health of its community.  In today’s age of finite, multi-hospital health systems, it’s wonderful to see how Phelps still keeps healthcare “local” while leveraging the benefits of being part of the larger Northwell Health organization,” said Kiran Batheja, a Y board member and local resident.  He added, “I have witnessed tremendous growth and change at both Phelps and the YMCA over time and have personally needed to use Phelps during times of sadness and amazing joy.  It is very rewarding to see two strong and vibrant local organizations, who share a similar mission and vision, collaborate for this well-deserved recognition.”

“Not surprising for a guy who began his career in healthcare as a paramedic, Daniel Blum is proud of the level of care patients receive at the Phelps emergency department.  There are over 25,000 patients treated every year in one of the most updated emergency departments in the metropolitan area. There are 35 private rooms; 27 are dedicated to patient evaluations. Plus, there is some of the most advanced medical technology available including a 24-hour radiology suite with digital x-ray technology and a 64-slice scanner with cardiac capabilities.  In addition, there is a very sophisticated Decontamination Center equipped to handle biological, chemical and radiological contamination,” said Dr. Emil Nigro, Medical Staff President.

Sleepy Hollow resident Michele Gonzalez calls the Phelps ER a “port in the storm for my family” over the years, and recounts how one of her earliest experiences with Phelps happened the night before her housewarming party. Her mother-in-law, visiting from Brooklyn, suffered a heart attack and was quickly shuttled by ambulance over to Phelps and treated in a timely manner that saved her life.

“We were so grateful to Phelps for ensuring that she got to see our children born, and be part of their lives,” said Gonzalez.

The easy and gracious access to the hospital is intentional.  “We want to curate the experience here,” said Blum. “That includes lots of little amenities that make it comfortable for our patients. It also includes hiring people with a heart and soul who truly care for our patients.”

But the care at Phelps goes beyond hotel-like amenities. The hospital recently invested over $12 million in cutting edge technology including 3D Mammography, a 128 Slice CT scanner, and a 3T MRI.  Just this past winter, Phelps introduced a state-of-the-art interventional radiology suite on the first floor. “This allows for minimally invasive, image-guided treatment of medical conditions that once required open surgery. By harnessing the power of advanced imaging, interventional radiologists can treat complex conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer less invasively, and with unprecedented precision,” said Mr. Blum.

Dr. Anthony Febles, a board certified diagnostic radiologist and vascular/interventional radiologist at Phelps, called the equipment a game changer. “It means that we can provide a high level of care right here in Westchester.  Previously patients would have to travel into Manhattan.”

Rose Mary Frycek, a Sleepy Hollow resident who works as a hospitality representative at Phelps, said  Blum’s soft-spoken demeanor instills confidence in his staff and makes them proud to be a part of Phelps.  “He greets everyone he sees with enthusiasm and knows most of us by name.  He makes us all feel important,” said Frycek.

Blum also emphasized getting his medical and administrative staff out in the community. There’s a Phelps presence at TaSH Farmer’s Market, which serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Phelps is not only a sponsor of Y Healthy Kids Day and Rotary Duck Derby, Phelps staff are there to answer questions posed by the families who attend the event. Concerned about affordable housing for Phelps employees, Blum recently met with local officials to brainstorm affordable housing solutions as part of local development plans.

Gerry Riera, CEO of the Y, anticipates a long future of working in concert with Phelps. “Like Phelps the Y serves every segment of the community from the youngest of children to seniors. Like Phelps the Y provides selective services 24/7 to meet the needs of our neighbors. I think by working together and focusing on preventative measures, we can improve the long-term health and wellness of local residents.”

The Family Y at Tarrytown 10th Annual Masquerade Ball kicks off the Halloween season in the river towns and features silent and live auctions, gourmet food and drink, and the best dance band in the NY metro area.  For more information, to sponsor the event or take a journal ad to congratulate Phelps and Daniel J. Blum on receiving the Laurance S Rockefeller award for service, please contact Barbara Turk at barbarat@ymcatarrytown.org.

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