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South Nassau Board Chairman Joseph Fennessy & Mount Sinai Health Network President Arthur Klein, MD, Named Co-Honorees of 2018 Soirée Under the Stars

Leading Cardiologist Dr. Jason Freeman & 30-year Transporter Willie Wright Also to Be Honored Sept. 29th

Posted: Sep. 6, 2018

In honor of their leadership and vision that led to the affiliation between South Nassau Communities Hospital and the Mount Sinai Health System, Joseph J. Fennessy, chair of South Nassau’s board of directors, and Arthur Klein, MD, president of the Mount Sinai Health Network, have been named co-honorees of South Nassau’s ‘Soirée Under the Stars’ gala.

The hospital also will honor Jason Freeman, MD, director of interventional cardiology, and Willie Wright, transporter, who will be presented with the hospital’s Mary Pearson and the Cupola awards, respectively on September 29th at the Seawane Club in Hewlett, NY.

The Mount Sinai Health System and Mr. Fennessy made significant gifts to South Nassau and will serve as co-lead Soirée sponsors. Other major sponsors include Terri & Steven Gold, the Feil Family Foundation, HOK Architects, Neurological Surgery, P.C., and South Nassau’s Medical Staff.

Funds raised at the Soirée will support the hospital’s five-year, $10-million capital campaign to nearly double the size of the Oceanside Emergency Department. The renovation and expansion – which is already underway – will accommodate in excess of 80,000 patient visits each year and establish dedicated treatment areas in the Emergency Department for pediatric and behavioral health patients.

“Both Joe Fennessy and Dr. Klein were instrumental in helping to forge the affiliation between South Nassau and Mount Sinai, one of the world’s leading medical institutions. This move will benefit patients on the South Shore and across Long Island for decades to come,” said South Nassau’s President & CEO, Richard J. Murphy. “Joe helped steer a year-long search process by our board that led us to Mount Sinai and Dr. Klein continues to help ensure that the affiliation goes smoothly as we coordinate clinical and other operations to improve the availability of advanced care on Long Island. This honor is well deserved for both men.”

Final regulatory approval of the Mount Sinai-South Nassau affiliation is pending and a closing on the deal is expected this fall.

“The Mount Sinai affiliation is the culmination of a long process that was designed to steer South Nassau into the future,” said Fennessy. “My work at South Nassau has been a labor of love. I care deeply about the institution, which provides such tremendous care for patients who often are in desperate need. I am humbled and honored to be recognized, along with Dr. Klein who is a visionary leader and who has been a great partner during the affiliation process.”

A major contributor to the hospital’s expansion campaign, Mr. Fennessy has served on South Nassau’s board of directors since September of 2003 and was elected chairman in June 2012. He is a retired former partner and chief operating officer of the Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Northeast region.  Mr. Fennessy has applied his wealth of experience in public accounting and healthcare finance and planning to provide key insight and strategy that has been essential to South Nassau’s ambitious strategic growth plan that will improve medical services for the entire South Shore of Long Island.

Numerous organizations have recognized Mr. Fennessy for his service and contributions, including St. Bernards’ Roman Catholic Parish and their CYO who inducted him into their Hall of Honor for his distinguished service as the volunteer head coach of his daughter’s CYO basketball team. Additionally, Mr. Fennessy has been named the Brooklyn United Methodist Home Man of The Year; St. John’s University Bets Alpha Psi Accountant of The Year; Epilepsy Foundation Distinguished Long Islander; and Suffolk Community Council Distinguished Business Leader.

“I am proud to be honored by South Nassau Communities Hospital and to represent the Mount Sinai Health System at this important event,” says Dr. Klein. “It is a demonstration of our shared commitment to the health and well-being of Long Island residents today and in the years to come.”

A recognized leader and visionary in health care delivery innovation and management, Dr. Klein has served as president of the Mount Sinai Health Network since February of 2013. A newly created role at the time of his appointment, Dr. Klein has spearheaded the growth of the Health System’s network of more than 150 clinical relationships, including 18 affiliated hospitals, five nursing homes, 23 employed physician practices and 9 additional large group practice affiliations throughout New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.

Dr. Klein’s management and leadership responsibilities also include national and international initiatives for Mount Sinai and he is Executive Vice President of The Mount Sinai Hospital and Executive Vice President of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

A further example of his vision for the efficient and effective delivery of health care, Dr. Klein’s collaboration with Mount Sinai Care, LLC (Mount Sinai’s Accountable Care Organization) has developed a mature framework to seamlessly integrate and implement “best practices” that improve coordinated patient care throughout the organization.

Dr. Klein is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology. He also serves, or has served, on a number of committees and boards, including the Board of Trustees of the Sackler School of Medicine/Tel Aviv University and the Board of Directors of the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. He was the previous Chair of the Committee on Health Professions of the American Hospital Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Voluntary Hospital Association of America.

As a result of the generosity of South Nassau’s supporters, more than $9 million has been raised toward the Emergency Department expansion campaign. The first phase of the Emergency Department expansion was completed in late 2017 with the opening of a $4.5 million, 10-bed annex that features a design specifically to facilitate communication between patients, visitors and emergency department staff. Nurses and doctors’ stations face semi-private treatment bays with open floor space to allow for clear lines of sight. The treatment bays are equipped with monitored beds, cardiac monitors and bedside laboratory testing capability and furnished with individual high-definition, flat-screen TVs. Additional features of the annex include a dedicated waiting area for families and loved ones and access to free Wi-Fi.

South Nassau’s Mary Pearson Award, named in honor of the hospital’s founding administrator, is presented annually to an individual for extraordinary effort and individual contributions that significantly advance South Nassau’s commitment to the communities we serve and standard setting healthcare services. Since joining South Nassau in 2006 as director of Interventional Cardiology, Dr. Freeman has forged a reputation for leadership and medical innovation in the specialty of interventional cardiology.

Dr. Freeman was recruited to South Nassau soon after it was selected by the New York State Department of Health in July 2006 to participate in a statewide pilot program that allowed selected hospitals without open-heart surgical programs to perform elective angioplasty. At the conclusion of the pilot program, South Nassau was the first and only community hospital in Nassau County – and one of only five in New York State – to be permitted to perform angioplasty on an elective or non-emergency basis.

Since then, under Dr. Freeman’s leadership, the interventional cardiology program at South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health has successfully performed thousands of angioplasties and grown to offer a wide range of specialized elective coronary and peripheral interventional procedures. Dr. Freeman’s medical and organizational acumen have been essential to South Nassau’s exceptional response time when performing emergency angioplasty. In an emergency, when seconds count, the center averages a “door-to-balloon-time” of approximately 60 minutes, which is 30 minutes faster than the national standard door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes. (Door-to-balloon time is the time measured in minutes from the moment the patient walks in the door to the point at which the artery in the heart is re-opened with a stent.)

His keen insight on process and protocol in the delivery of cardiovascular healthcare has been vital to prestigious awards and accreditations that South Nassau has received, including Aetna Institute of Quality for interventional cardiology and rhythm disease diagnosis and treatment and the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s National Cardiology Data ACTION Registry, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s–Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award as well as its Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll.

“Dr. Freeman is an outstanding physician whose devotion to his patients and to the mission and vision of the hospital is exemplary,” said Adhi Sharma, MD, South Nassau’s Executive Vice President for Clinical and Professional Affairs and Chief Medical Officer.

South Nassau established the Cupola Award in 2015 as an annual award presented to a deserving hospital employee who goes above and beyond their duties, and lives by the hospital mission to promote excellence in healthcare. Mr. Wright, the 2018 Cupola Award recipient, has worked at South Nassau for 30 years, joining the hospital in 1988 as a nursing transporter. Known and beloved throughout the hospital as ‘Willie,’ Mr. Wright has a passion to be at the patient’s side as they are transported in and out of the hospital, reassuring them and making them feel at home.

The 2013 Employee of the Year, Mr. Wright is an omnipresent hospital staff member, having served seven years on its Dr. Martin Luther King Committee and presently serving on EMS council, Decontamination Team, Standards Committee, which assists efforts to improve customer service and employee engagement, Mobility Team, which ambulates patients who are critically ill.

The Soirée is South Nassau’s most successful annual fundraising effort. This year’s format will feature a two-hour, outdoor reception starting at 6:30 PM under the stars that will be highlighted by an unlimited top-shelf open bar, passed hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and a variety of savory food stations.

At 8:30 p.m., the party will move indoors for an hour of first-class, Broadway-quality entertainment followed by a dessert reception. The entertainment will feature performances by four Broadway performers:

  • Tony Award Winner Debbie Gravitte is one of Broadway's biggest personalities. After making her Broadway debut in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song, Debbie went on to appear in: Perfectly Frank (nominated for a Drama Desk Award), Blues in the Night, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Zorba, Chicago, and Les Miserables. She has also appeared in the Encore series productions of The Boys from Syracuse, Tenderloin, and Carnival at New York’s City Center;
  • Recognized as one of Broadway’s leading performers, Sean McDermott has starred as Chris in Miss Saigon, Whizzer in Falsettos, Rusty in Starlight Express and Danny Zuko in Grease. Other leading roles include Billy Flynn in Chicago, Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity, the title roles in Jekyll and Hyde and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Bigelow in Carouse, and Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat. On television, he starred in the long running CBS daytime drama Guiding Light as Hart Jessup.
  • A gifted vocalist, Bryonha Marie Parham has performed in the original production of Prince of Broadway 2017; the national revival of Porgy and Bess, playing Serena in the George Gershwin classic, and on the national tour, After Midnight, the Broadway production of City Center Encores' Cotton Club Parade celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians.
  • For his work in cabaret, Scott Coulter has received five MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs), five Bistro Awards and two Nightlife Awards for Outstanding Vocalist. He has performed at most of New York City’s top rooms, including Birdland, 54 Below, The Oak Room at the Algonquin, and Feinstein’s at The Regency, where he spent a record-setting eight months performing the revue 11 O’CLOCK NUMBERS AT 11 O’CLOCK, which he also co-created, directed and musically arranged.

To learn more about the Soirée, purchase tickets or support as a sponsor, visit www.southnassaulifesaver.org or call South Nassau’s Development office or Lynne Nordone at (516) 377-5360.