• Printer Friendly Version

Fashion Celebrity Diane Gilman to be Honored at South Nassau Gala to Support Establishment of Women’s Center for the South Shore

Posted: Nov. 17, 2015

‘Denim & Diamonds’ Event to Feature ‘Jean Queen’ of Home Shopping Network Fame. Oceanside, NY – For eight years, Diane Gilman, the top-selling fashion designer known as the “The Queen of Jeans” on television’s HSN and QVC home shopping networks, suffered with a demoralizing condition known as a pelvic floor disorder.

Since her surgery in April at South Nassau, life is back to normal. “My mission is to get pelvic floor disorders out in the open,” says Gilman. “Years ago, breast cancer was hush-hush, but now it’s socially acceptable to talk about it; we need to be honest and open about pelvic floor disorders, too.”

That’s why Gilman, a top selling fashion tele-retailing personality, has agreed to support South Nassau’s effort to raise funds for a free- standing Women’s Center that would serve the entire South Shore. Gilman also is determined to become a national spokesperson and role model for women who have pelvic floor disorders.

Ms. Gilman will team up with her South Nassau surgeon, Dr. Alan Garely, the hospital’s chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Urogynecology, to serve as the honoree of the first annual Denim & Diamonds South Nassau Winter Gala on Thursday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. at The Garden City Hotel. Funds raised by the gala will benefit the development of a full-service, comprehensive healthcare center designed for the unique health and wellness needs of women.

Gilman doesn’t want other women to suffer as she did when she was first diagnosed with the condition. She had consulted a “top” Manhattan urogynecologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the pelvic floor, which includes the deep abdominal muscles that support the female reproductive organs, bladder and rectum. He explained that her cervix had dropped into her vaginal canal due to a weakened pelvic floor caused by aging, and that implanting a surgical mesh to support her pelvic organs — a procedure that had spawned a rash of lawsuits — could result in serious complications. “He told me I would have to live this way,” recalls Gilman, “and that life as I knew it was over.”

It became increasingly difficult for Gilman to cope, especially with the pressures of her demanding career, which included 16-hour days, standing long hours under hot studio lights, back-to-back business meetings and nonstop international travel.

Instead of suffering in silence, she began researching urogynecologists online and found Dr. Garely, MD, at South Nassau. Pelvic floor disorders affect an estimated one in four women in the United States. Some patients may leak urine or stool, have a frequent need to urinate, or have unexplained pain in the pelvic or genital area due to aging or childbirth or both. Although Dr. Garely and his team did not use transvaginal mesh to fix pelvic disorders, many doctors did. This was a procedure that sometimes resulted in serious complications and scared many women enough to avoid treatment. Urogynecologists at South Nassau, however, permanently and safely fix pelvic floor disorders with an abdominal approach, utilizing small incisions. “The transabdominal surgery is the gold standard in repairing pelvic organ prolapse,” says Dr. Garely. “The success rate is between 95 and 99 percent.”

“Before, everything in my life revolved around my condition,” Gilman recalled. “Now, I have my life back. I have to thank Dr. Garely and South Nassau for giving me back to me.”

"I feel totally re-energized, 20 years younger and healthier than I can remember,” Gilman said. “The results were better than I dared to dream! So my mission is to get Pelvic Floor Disorders talked about, out of the shadows and into open discussion.

“Diane is an example to all women who are not willing to simply settle with a condition like pelvic floor disorders. She had the inner courage and strength to take back her life, to seek the right medical advice. It can be very confusing for women and we want them to know that there is help available for this and other debilitating health conditions and diseases that afflict them,” says Dr. Garely. “Our mission is to establish a women’s health center that offers the convenience and specialized healthcare services women deserve, in an environment that is patterned after Diane’s devotion to women’s wellness, vitality and beauty.”

Dr. Garely says the center will reduce the amount of time women spend searching for the specialized healthcare services they need, while making it more convenient for them to schedule vital healthcare or wellness appointments. Featuring a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of women’s health specialists, the center will offer services gynecological services, urogynecology, colorectal surgery, urology, and pelvic floor therapy.

“I have chosen to raise funds for a South Nassau free standing Women's Center that can serve women everywhere in the New York area with not only the best of personalized female health care but also information & education about the condition and a wide choice of options. “I don’t want other women to go through the fear, isolation , discomfort and shame I coped with for 8 years before my surgery. I want women to realize they have choices and top of the line surgeons like Dr. Garely at their disposal to put their lives back on track.”

To purchase tickets or sponsor the Winter Gala, call Christine Chocko, chair of the volunteer gala committee, (516) 516-473-6064, or South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Development Office, 516-377-5360.

Named to the Becker's Hospital Review listing of "100 Hospitals with Great Women's Health Programs" in the United States for two consecutive years and counting, South Nassau offers a comprehensive scope of women's healthcare services, including breast health, obstetrics and gynecology, women's imaging, and gynecologic oncology.

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,000 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program.

In addition, the hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care; and disease-specific care for hip and joint replacement, wound care and end-stage renal disease. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.