Donor Stories RSS Feed
“I am alive today because of Valley”
1/13/2020

Paul Haskell and Dr. Ryan Murphy, Medical Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services for Valley Medical Group and The Valley Hospital

Before his tragic fall, Paul Haskell was a fit 80-year-old Woodcliff Lake man running a 9.5-minute mile about three times a week. He enjoyed going to the auto racetrack on weekends with his son and revving up the engine of their 1974 Porsche 914 LE Bumblebee. During one excruciatingly hot day at the track in September 2018, he passed out from heat exhaustion and smacked the ground – hard. 

Over the next eight months, Valley intensively treated a gamut of complications, from heart issues to brain surgery, following up each major hurdle with thorough rehab, home care and even speech therapy.

His complications were so many in such a short time span that Paul remembers little of this period. “I was a turnip,” he says. His wife Valerie, however, remembers each day vividly, and is grateful to the clinicians for saving Paul’s life no less than three times.

When he returned from the hospital in November the first time, Valley Home Care’s physical therapist Varda Neuhaus oversaw Paul’s slow but steady progress to walking again. Then, during one session, Varda’s clinical perception told her something was very wrong. “I just don’t like the way he looks,” she explained to Valerie, and insisted that Paul go to the hospital immediately.

“Thank God Varda trusted her instinct, because she was right.” Paul had three blocked arteries, which could have meant monumental consequences such as heart attack, stroke or death.

After life-saving triple bypass surgery, Paul had trouble recovering. He did not regain his speech, cognitive skills or physical mobility, and spent the next three months in a rehabilitation facility. He was sent home March 1st having made little progress.

At home some time later Paul fell hard again. Fortunately, two of Tri-Boro Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ finest EMTs, Patrick Reynolds and Christopher Saraceno, arrived straightaway to find Paul unresponsive. With Patrick and Christopher providing critical care en route, Woodcliff Lake Sgt. Craig DeGeorge safely drove the ambulance to Valley’s Emergency Department in 12 minutes flat.

Paul was triaged, stabilized and ultimately landed in the expert care of Dr. Ryan Murphy, Medical Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services for Valley Medical Group and The Valley Hospital. Dr. Murphy’s persistence, in concert with the neuroscience team, found the root cause of Paul’s ailments: fluid on Paul’s brain. He needed brain surgery immediately.

The operation to relieve pressure and remove excess fluid was a success. Having spent months barely able to move, Paul was back to walking the hospital hallways within a few days.

Today, Paul is recovering remarkably and continues his long journey back to good health, attending therapy and training classes to restore more of his cognitive functioning and physical strength. He gains more movement and flexibility with each session, and is extremely thankful for the multiple doses of care he received from Valley staff whose expertise saved the day again and again.

“I am alive today because of Valley,” he sighs.

“Women Influencing Sharp’s Evolution” Supports Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care
12/30/2019

Sharp Electronics Corporation is a global leader in cutting-edge technologies – and locally, its Montvale employees are conscientious community citizens. This past October, their collective fundraising efforts resulted in a $5,000 gift to The Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care’s Breast Cancer program. 

Women Influencing Sharp’s Evolution, or WISE, is an initiative established in in early 2019 by women Sharp employees working together across departments for their professional and personal development. Each week in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, WISE hosted fun activities, such as a bake sale and basketball hoop contest. They also organized a 2-mile walk and obstacle course challenge around their Montvale facility while a band of talented Sharp employees, “The Be Sharps” provided the musical entertainment.

In addition to the generous monetary donation, Sharp also contributed several WISE comfort bags to Valley’s patients battling breast cancer. Included in the bags were blankets, tissues, socks and hats, lip balm, adult coloring books and colored pencils, a game book, hard candies, a magnet, headband, tea, toothbrushes and an inspirational quote book.  

“WISE and the members of the events committee thought it was important to find a local organization where our contributions would make the most impact and be relatable to employees who were making the donations,” said WISE chairperson Debbie Tyler, Deputy General Counsel & Associate Vice President, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “Based on Sharp’s history working with The Valley Hospital and the good works of The Valley Hospital Foundation, we knew that it would be a meaningful cause.”

“Valley is very grateful for these gifts, which help us in our mission of providing the very best healthcare to the community,” said David Bohan, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The Valley Hospital Foundation. “It’s great to witness a company based in our area coming together to support others within our community.”

 

Valley's Expert Breast Cancer Treatment Inspires $50,000 Gift
12/23/2019

Because so many families in River Vale have been personally effected by breast cancer, the tight-knit community organized a fundraiser during breast cancer awareness month – The Mayor’s Cup. On that October afternoon, more than 100 players were at the first annual golf outing at River Vale Country Club, and even more people attended the dinner that followed. The successful inaugural event raised a $50,000 donation to The Valley Hospital Breast Center.

Dr. Laura A. Klein, Medical Director of The Valley Hospital Breast Center, has treated many of River Vale breast cancer survivors, along with Valley’s multidisciplinary team of experienced physicians and support professionals.  This was the catalyst for having designated the funds to Valley.

“Dr. Klein provides the highest level of compassion with each of her patients when they need it most. They are treated as individuals and never rushed. Everyone I have spoken with always emphasizes the supportive way they were treated by Dr. Klein and her staff,” said Mayor Glen Jasionowski. “No one ever forgets how Dr. Klein and her staff made them feel. I just hope we can do our small part to help Dr. Klein continue her great work.”

Thanks to gifts like these, Valley continues to enhance its award winning oncology program, and cares for each patients’ full spectrum of needs from diagnostics to cancer treatments, integrating state-of-the-art technology and physician expertise with a comprehensive, tumor-specific, evidence-based treatment plan.

Paramus Police Department Donates to Valley-Mount Sinai Breast Cancer Program
12/17/2019

This past October, the Paramus Police Department raised $3,000 for Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care’s Breast Cancer program! To accomplish this, Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg and the Paramus PBA expanded upon their standard “No Shave Movember” fundraiser typically held in November to the months of October and December. Police officers donated $100 each to grow their beards for October. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, they decided to donate the funds raised during that month to Valley-Mount Sinai’s Breast Cancer Program.  

“Since The Valley Hospital already has a cancer treatment center in Paramus, we could not think of a better place to give our donation,” said Steven Nepola, police officer at the Paramus Police Department and President of Paramus PBA 186. “We want to continue to build our relationship with The New Valley Hospital being built in Paramus.”

 

Bringing a Smile to Hundreds of Faces
12/17/2019

Alice Nagy, RN, OCN; Sandy Balentine, MSN, RN, OCN, Director of Clinical Oncology at The Valley Hospital, Meg McCluskey, Kaelin McCluskey and Ellie McCluskey.

This past October, Meg McCluskey ran her most successful “Chemo Care Pouch” fundraising campaign yet with a generous 212 donations.  For the past four years, Meg has been encouraging friends and family to donate towards the purchase of one chic Stella & Dot toiletry bag.  In turn, Meg directs 100% of her commission towards converting them into bags for patients undergoing treatment at the Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care at The Luckow Pavilion in Paramus. 

Once again, Character’s Restaurant in Sloatsburg hosted the “stuffing party”. With the help of Meg’s family and friends, they filled the bags with socks, lip balm, mints, lotions, and lavender and peppermint oils. The children in attendance make the bags even more personal and inspiring by including hand-written notes with thoughtful messages of hope and encouragement.  

Each year, her daughters Kaelin and Ellie become more and more involved in this community giving project, and appreciate their mom’s infectious kindness. This year they helped deliver the carful of donations to Valley, and witnessed first-hand the effect this project has on the people who receive them. “It was nice to see how these bags brought a smile to their faces.” Kaelin continues, “It feels really good to know we made a difference.” 

Asked about the messages she writes on the notes, third grader Ellie says “I try to say positive things like ‘You got this!’ And ‘Keep Fighting’.”

Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care — a partnership with the Valley Hospital and The Mount Sinai Health System — is grateful for these generous donations.

 

Play for P.I.N.K. Pickelball
11/26/2019

Patty Corn; David Bohan, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The Valley Hospital Foundation; Barbara Norton; Kathleen Azzara

A four and a half hour nonstop pickelball tournament, “Play for P.I.N.K.”, took place on October 19th, and the fundraiser lobbed a generous donation towards The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center. 

Representatives from Premier Pickelball, LLC. including Barbara Norton, Kathleen Azzara, and Patty Corn, organized the event.  They directed the $2,454 gift to Valley because “we have seen firsthand how vital the programs are to the oncology patients and the excellent care given by the doctors and staff. We wish to support their mission of excellence.”

Pickelball is an indoor and outdoor paddleball sport that combines the elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.  

Young Ridgewood Philanthropists Host Lemonade Stand
11/25/2019

Dana Giammarella & Emma Cronk

Eight-year-olds Emma Cronk & Dana Giammarella hosted a lemonade stand on a hot afternoon in early September, and donated the profits to Valley. The young philanthropists not only sold home-made fresh lemonade, but also iced tea, cookies, snacks and bracelets.Everything sold for one dollar.

"We talked a lot about where to give the money," Dana explains. "Emma was born at Valley, and we live in Ridgewood, so we decided to help out the kids who came into Valley."

Through their efforts, along with the help of their little brothers Robbie and Lukas whose loud calls caught the attention of the cars driving by, they raised $128 for The Valley Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department.

Emma reflects, “Some people don’t have what we have so they need it.”

The Valley Hospital Foundation is grateful for this generous donation.

Indian Hills Girls Basketball 7th Annual Slam Dunk for The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center
11/25/2019


For the seventh consecutive year, the coaches and team members of Indian Hills Girls Basketball dedicated the month of October towards fundraising for The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center. Through this annual t-shirt drive, these dedicated “Brave” team members have collectively donated more than $2900 to The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center.

This year, led by coaches Julie Haledjian, Lindsay Rock and Kelly McCourt, members of the Varsity and Junior Varsity “Braves” sold more than 300 short and long sleeve “Be Brave” t-shirts to raise this year’s generous $550 donation.

“My entire basketball program looks forward to this fundraiser every year and we are so glad we can support the cause.” Julie Haledjian, Varsity head coach explains. “With October being breast cancer awareness month, and since many of our friends and family members have fought breast cancer at Valley, we choose to designate the funds towards The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, about 271,270 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women, and approximately 8,340 of those new cases will be in New Jersey.  The Valley Hospital Breast Center, which has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, is the hospital of choice for many of these newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.  Valley’s multidisciplinary team of experienced physicians, radiologists, cytopathologists, nurses, researchers and coordinators collaborate regarding all aspects of a woman’s breast care in a patient-focused comprehensive breast care program.   

The Valley Hospital Foundation is grateful for this generous donation directed towards the Breast Cancer Fund from Indian Hills High School Girls Basketball team.

Life-Saving Care Inspires Bequest from a Grateful Saddle River Couple
10/24/2019

Even though the emergency coronary artery bypass surgery took place over 3 years ago, Margery and Steve Honig recall that day vividly because Valley saved Steve's life. That's why they are remembering The Valley Hospital Foundation in their estate planning.

Back in June of 2016, Steve was a real estate and trial attorney from Saddle River, New Jersey, who rushed into Valley’s Emergency Room complaining of chest pains. Within minutes, he was being wheeled into the operating room for emergency surgery.

“Being at The Valley Hospital was an amazing experience,” Steve says, recalling the attentive nursing staff, reassuring cardiologists, expert surgeons, and the individualized treatment he received. “I felt so connected to these human beings, and hugged them. I told them ‘Thank you!  You saved my life!’” 

Steve is retired now, and he and Marjorie are spending most of their time relaxing in San Miguel, Mexico.  To demonstrate their enduring appreciation for the life-saving care Valley provided, they recently named Valley in their estate planning.

For more information on making a bequest, visit this page.

Grateful for Valley’s Exceptional Care
10/24/2019

When Patricia Langdale heard that Audrey Meyers, President and CEO of Valley Health System, was being honored as the “Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce 2019 Humanitarian of the Year” in September, she made a point to make it there and voice her appreciation. 

“I just wanted Audrey to know how wonderful the staff at Valley treated me, and express my gratitude!” explains the 59-year old Warwick resident.  As a businesswoman in charge of many employees herself – Patricia is the Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Blue Foundry Bank in Mahwah – she recognizes the importance of hearing this kind of unsolicited feedback.

“Valley’s care is second to none!” Patricia acknowledged.

In the spring of 2018, Patricia was diagnosed with carcinosarcoma, a rare form of uterine cancer. Her treatment journey guided her through 2 surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, and today, there is no longer evidence of disease.  She has been back to work since last December, and is calling each day a blessing.

Because she had to, Patricia learned to accept help from others, sometimes complete strangers. She has taken advantage of many of Valley’s cancer survivorship programs, engaging with social workers and navigators to access the myriad of services available, including massage, survivorship events, and nutrition classes. 

Patricia shared how happy she is with the care she received through the medical staff at Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care.  “Everyone I came into contact with during my treatment was so kind and compassionate.  Valley is exceptional!”

 

Philanthropy Helps Valley’s Down Syndrome Program Expand and Thrive
10/24/2019

For the past two years, an anonymous donor has been generously supporting The Joey Center for Down Syndrome Services at The Valley Hospital’s Kireker Center for Child Development. These donations have made it possible for Valley’s Director of Developmental Pediatrics Lisa Nalven M.D., M.A., F.A.A.P., and her team of subspecialists to expand the program significantly.  The Joey Center now provides more support with behavioral management, development, education, and transitions in care.  In addition, the Center is hosting more support groups, and developing and distributing informative educational materials.

 

“Philanthropy has made this all possible! Because of the funding we received, we have been able to enhance the Saturday program and it’s improving the whole experience,” says Dr. Nalven. “Now, while the parents meet for the support group, their young children with Down syndrome, as well as their siblings, are engaged in preplanned, developmentally appropriate, recreational activities with two licensed clinicians. The feedback from families regarding the program upgrade has been very positive.”

 

The demand for this specialized program continues to grow, and its success has led to the establishment of ‘Joey’s Friends’, which is a navigator program helping parents address their children’s complex health care needs.

 To learn more about the Joey center, please click here.

 

8th Annual "Scramble Fore the NICU" Golf Outing
9/30/2019

Scramble Fore the NICU Golfers Kevin Dillon, Brian Casey, Andrew Chalhoub, and Michael Chalhoub

On Tuesday, September 17th, more than 80 golfers gathered at Crystal Springs Country Club in Hamburg for the 8th Annual Scramble Fore the NICU golf outing.  Once again, the event was organized by Joe Perkins, who experienced the extraordinary care provided by Valley’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff years ago. 

“This ongoing event is a testament to the impact Valley’s NICU staff has on the parents, children and their families,” said Sandy Carapezza, Executive Director of Development for The Valley Hospital Foundation. “For the past eight Septembers, parents have been coming together on the green to raise funds for Valley’s NICU.  Their generosity helps us in our mission of providing high-quality, compassionate care to our NICU families.” 

To date, this event has raised over $147,000 which includes this most recent outing having generated over $14,000 for Valley’s NICU.  The tournament sponsor was Ernst & Young, the lunch sponsor was Mercedes Benz of Paramus, and Eagle Sponsors were HTS, Paramus PBA Local 186, Nyack Seaport/Two Spear Street and The Chalet at Spook Rock Golf Course.

The Valley Hospital’s 15-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Ridgewood, NJ has been designated by the State of New Jersey as a Level III nursery, a designation given to neonatal units able to provide the highest level of care for the highest-risk mothers and acutely ill newborns. Comprehensive medical care is provided by board-certified neonatologists, who are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

“It is such an exciting time to be involved with The New Valley Hospital project now underway, and we are proud to support it!”
8/29/2019

Two valued Valley supporters, Nancy and Les Weiss, recently made a $40,000 commitment toward Valley’s plans to build The New Valley Hospital in Paramus.

“It is such an exciting time to be involved with The New Valley Hospital project now underway, and we are proud to support it!” Nancy beamed. “With this gift, we are investing in the future of our community and in the health services all of us will need down the road.”

This North Haledon couple became more closely affiliated with Valley in 2014 following the unfortunate passing of Nancy’s 93-year-old father. Nancy was inspired to join Valley’s volunteers because she was so moved by the professionalism and empathy demonstrated by Valley’s staff during that difficult time. Today, Nancy is one of Valley’s most active volunteers, serving as Treasurer of The Valley Hospital Auxiliary and is an enthusiastic member of Women For Health.

With the generous support of Nancy and Les and many others, Valley is building a state-of-the-art hospital that will serve as the center of a comprehensive health and wellness destination for this region for generations to come. 

Valley’s Hospice Team Deliver Compassionate Care to Loving Couple
7/23/2019

A school boy’s crush became a love story for the ages.

Friends from the age of 12, Brian Thornton and Susan Marie Connolly spent most of their lives together. Married in 1967, they settled in the peaceful borough of River Edge, where they raised their only son.

After almost 50 years of marriage, they received tragic news: Susan had pancreatic cancer. It was a devastating diagnosis, but Brian’s devoted care and Susan’s strong faith never wavered.

As the disease progressed and Susan’s needs grew, the couple turned to Valley Home Care’s hospice team for help. The compassionate staff brought welcome relief—caring for Susan’s complex medical needs, tending to her personal care, investing in both her and Brian’s comfort and interests, at all hours of the day and night.

Because of Valley Hospice’s care and support, the couple was able to treasure their final months as they faced life’s most difficult transition together. And Brian’s memories of their last moments remain sweet:

“Because of Valley’s nurses, I was not surprised when the time came. I was holding her hand. She looked at me, and I kept telling her how much I love her.I could see all the pain leave her body… She had such a beautiful look on her face.”

Valley Home Care’s hospice care was a gift to Brian and Susan. It was compassion that transformed their most challenging time into cherished memories.

Valley Home Care, Inc. brings quality care to the home, offering interdisciplinary services to meet a wide range of medical needs for thousands in our community. Valley Hospice is one of those services. As a not-for-profit program, our hospice care counts on your continued support.

Philanthropy makes a difference. From our in-home medical care to our therapeutic children’s programs to our community-wide bereavement support—personal donations fund every area of our care.

Brian is still adjusting to life without his loving wife. But he finds continued support and comfort through Valley Home Care’s bereavement support program, which is offered to all members of the family.

“It’s good to go to these sessions. You can talk about your spouse and remember them, and it helps you understand it all and learn how to be happy again.”

Valley Home Care works passionately, day after day, to help others live well—in illness, through recovery, during the final stages of life, and beyond loss.

Knee Surgery Success – “I am not immobilized anymore!”
7/22/2019

Ed Lavorgna hiking in Hawaii within months of his second knee replacement surgery.

Knee troubles had already forced Ed Lavorgna to stop golfing, hiking, and doing the things he enjoyed most. But when a simple climb of the stairs became too painful, he knew something had to change. Ed was tired of the discomfort; he was ready to get back to his active lifestyle again. Dr. Anthony Delfico, Director of Orthopedic Surgery, and the team at Valley’s Total Joint Replacement Center gave him the answer he needed.

“Before I had both knees replaced, the pain was like a jabbing knife in my knees with every step,” Ed explains.

Valley’s Total Joint Replacement Center is a patient- and family-centered program designed to meet an individual’s needs from the moment surgery is considered through the procedure and post-operative recovery. The Joint Replacement team helps patients prepare for surgery with plenty of support and education, which can lead to more successful recovery periods. Dr. Delfico and his staff treated Ed with the latest technology and ample support to guide him every step of the way.

Patients needing partial knee, total knee and hip replacement can benefit from the effects of the new Mako® Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgical System. Dr. Delfico and other Valley orthopedic surgeons are excited to offer patients this innovative, individualized option as it may also result in less pain and a shorter recovery time.

 “The Mako System is transforming joint replacement surgery by allowing us to tailor our surgical procedures to each patient’s individual needs and anatomy,” said Dr. Delfico. “We are proud to be the first hospital in Bergen County to offer this highly advanced robotic technology.”

Within months of his final replacement surgery, Ed was back out on the golf course again. Recently, he even visited his daughter in Hawaii where they hiked the rough Hawaiian terrain together. Ed got his life back, and retirement has never felt so good.

“Now, I am not immobilized anymore!” Ed beams. “The care I received at Valley – all the little extra things, the personal attention, the staff that truly care – they made a big difference to me.”

The Zisblatts of Fair Lawn Leave a Lasting Legacy
7/21/2019

Joel and Lois Zimmer, close friends of Legacy donors Florence and Jerome Zisplatt, stand in The North Garden of the Friendship Garden recently named in their late friends’ memory. 

In recognition of the exceptional cardiovascular care received at Valley, Florence and Jerome Zisblatt from Fair Lawn established a generous estate gift towards Valley’s Heart & Vascular Institute.  Last month, to commemorate their extraordinary gift, the North Garden of the Friendship Garden was dedicated in the Zisblatt’s memory. 

“Florence and Jerome were always grateful for the medical care and professional, positive attention they received from Valley’s entire staff,” said Lois Zimmer, a close friend of the generous couple. “This is the reason they decided to leave Valley in their estate plans.”

 

Donor Advised Funds Make Charitable Giving Easy
7/21/2019

Julie and Eric Epstein use their Donor Advised Fund (DAF) to support Valley’s mission. The generosity of thoughtful donors like the Epsteins makes Valley’s enduring success possible.

“We established the Eric and Julie Epstein Charitable Foundation DAF because we were drawn to the unique benefits,” explains Julie. “In addition to the immediate tax deduction upon funding our DAF, Eric and I appreciate the convenience of establishing recurring gifts to The Valley Hospital Foundation.”

According to a 2018 study by National Philanthropic Trust, DAFs are the fastest-growing form of philanthropy today because they offer ease and convenience.  In fact, within Valley’s own donor community, they are becoming one of the most preferred vehicles for effective charitable giving.  After consultation with their financial advisor, a donor typically creates an account with a sponsoring organization and makes a contribution of cash, stock or other assets like real estate and can take an immediate tax deduction for the gift.   

The recent increase in the standard deduction combined with the elimination of many other itemized deductions means that many more tax returns will take the standard deduction. By using the standard or reducing deduction many taxpayers are limited in their incremental deductions for their charitable donations.  Grants from DAFs allow donors to continue to make consistent annual gifts in support of Valley.

Whether it is providing annual support or planning to leave a personal legacy, recommended grants distributions from DAFs allow thoughtful donors like the Epsteins to help fund new technologies, equipment, programs and services throughout Valley Health System.

“We found that the DAF was the most tax-efficient way to demonstrate our appreciation to Valley for the exceptional care our family continues to receive”, says Eric. “We also enjoy the privacy, simplicity and convenience of a professionally managed fund without all the administrative duties.”

 

Contact us today for more information about how you can make a gift through your DAF. 

Bettina M. Daly
Executive Director
Gift Planning and Major Gifts
Office: 201-291-6193
Bdaly2@valleyhospitalfoundation.org

 

“Perfect Philanthropy” Donation Extends Valley Home Care Music Therapy to Hospice Patients
7/16/2019

From left to right: Jennifer Knittel, Music Therapist; Tom and Lucy Ott; Bonnie Schneider, LCSW, 
Manager of Social Services at Valley Home Care/Valley Hospice

October 30, 2018 Ridgewood, New Jersey  “Perfect Philanthropy” is when a donor’s vision is precisely – or “perfectly” –matched with the vision of the organization to satisfy the needs of both. That’s exactly what took place when Lucy and Tom Ott learned about Valley Home Care’s need for a music therapy program.

Having lost their son David after a 17-year battle with encephalitis two decades ago, Tom and Lucy founded David's Fund, an endowment devoted to supporting and advancement of the field of music therapy. Music always played an important part in their son's life and they quickly realized the benefit of music therapy on the whole family.

When a dear friend was in The Valley Hospital earlier this year, her family told Tom and Lucy of the calming effect a volunteer harpist’s chords had on the somber room’s atmosphere. So, when she was home, spending her final days on hospice, the Ott’s arranged to have their friend visited by a harpist again. Although this was not yet a service provided by Valley, the musician agreed.

Inspired, Lucy and Tom combined their vision with Valley Home Care to share the wonder and comfort of music therapy with hospice patients. Thanks to a generous donation from David’s Fund, Valley will be able to send music therapists to the homes of patients who are on hospice for the next three years.

“I am just so glad we discovered each other,” Lucy Ott smilingly told Valley Home Care’s Bonnie Schneider, LCSW, Manager of Social Services.

Music can have very powerful effects on a person because it engages the brain in a complex way. Music therapy has been proven effective in addressing patients’ and caregivers’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. In hospice, music therapists can decrease feelings of isolation and provide a sense of familiarity and comfort, while evoking feelings of reminiscence and life review.

“I have witnessed music therapy work like medicine for many of Valley Home Care’s hospice patients. This gift is making an extraordinary impact on the care we are able to provide them,” said Bonnie.

Now, with this generous donation from David’s Fund, Valley Home Care is able to offer the aid of music therapy to hospice patients and their families for years to come. Valley Home Care’s music therapy program looks forward to playing out this perfect pairing of philanthropy and care.

The Cuddle Cot Gives Grieving Parents the Gift of Time
7/16/2019

October 31, 2018 Ridgewood, New Jersey.  Saying goodbye to a stillborn baby is the first step in a long and difficult grieving process, one that lasts a lifetime. Once the child’s body is taken away, many parents describe a deep longing to hold and cuddle their baby again, or regret at not having enough time to make memories with their baby.

This was how an Old Tappan couple, Matthew Stamatopoulos and Dr. Pascale Nadeau, felt after delivering their stillborn son, Kyle Nicholas, at The Valley Hospital last year. Suffering this great loss was excruciating, to say the least, and left them dedicated to making this experience less painful for other families down the road. So, after much research and quiet contemplation, the Stamatopoulos family decided to make a unique contribution. In memory of their late son, they donated a “Cuddle Cot” to The Mother Baby Unit within The Valley Hospital to help other parents suffering infant loss.

For those who choose this, the Cuddle Cot provides parents of stillborn babies or babies who die shortly after birth with the gift of time before saying a final farewell. The cooling blanket preserves the infant’s body so that he or she can remain in a hospital room longer, greatly extending the time a family can spend with their baby, if they so desire.

“The limited amount of time spent with a stillborn baby is the only chance that a family has to make memories.  The gift of extra time together is invaluable,” Pascale said.

Having a proper goodbye is crucial to a healthy grieving process. Losing a newborn brings on a particularly complex grief because it is so unexpected, sudden and drastic. Valley’s staff is committed to providing quality care to these parents, and the availability of the new Cuddle Cot aims to make that journey a little easier.

The Stamatopoulos family remains connected to the Mother Baby unit at The Valley Hospital – the family welcomed a daughter in August of 2018. She is thriving and the entire family remains grateful for all of the outstanding care they have received at Valley.

Mindray North America Makes Donation To Valley’s NICU
7/16/2019

January 21, 2019 Ridgewood, NJ — In December of 2018, Mindray North America, a medical device manufacturer based in Mahwah, New Jersey made a $2,000 donation to The Valley Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“We are very grateful for the donation we received from Mindray,” says Christiana Farkouh-Karoleski, M.D., Associate Director of the NICU. “Having a baby in the NICU can be an overwhelming experience for a parent, and Valley’s staff is committed to providing the highest quality medical care possible to newborns and their families. Through philanthropy, we can enhance our services and further improve the patient experience.”

Each year, approximately 1 in 10 newborns is admitted to a NICU in the United States. Valley’s 15-bed NICU has been designated by the State of New Jersey as a Level III nursery, a designation given to neonatal units able to provide the care for high-risk mothers and acutely ill newborns. The highest quality of specialized comprehensive medical care is provided by board-certified neonatologists, who are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Valley’s neonatology team also includes highly skilled neonatal nurses, dedicated respiratory therapists, pediatric pharmacists, pediatric occupational, physical and feeding therapists, social workers, lactation consultants and family support specialists.

The Valley Hospital Foundation Hosts Annual Legacy Luncheon
7/16/2019

Dr. Suneet Mittal; Lifetime Benefactors and Legacy Society members Heidi and Robert Fink; Dr. Himanshu Gupta; Legacy Society member Dr. Rashid J. Baddoura.  

May 31, 2019 Ridgewood, New Jersey Valley recently hosted an event at The Ridgewood Country Club to thank the members of the Legacy Society who have included The Valley Hospital Foundation in their estate plans, and provide an update on the progress being made with The “New” Valley Hospital.

David Bohan, Vice President & Chief Development Officer of The Valley Hospital Foundation, welcomed more than 60 guests and warmly thanked them for their loyal support.

Attendees viewed an educational presentation by physicians from The Valley Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Himanshu Gupta, Director of Cardiovascular Imaging, highlighted Valley’s recently established Cardiovascular Imaging program. Dr. Suneet Mittal, Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory and Associate Chief of Cardiology, reviewed the newest technologies being used to reduce infection following pacemaker and defibrillator implant surgery.

The Valley Hospital Foundation is the grateful beneficiary of legacy gifts. Legacy donors are a special group of individuals who, through wills, charitable trusts, and gift annuities, support the diverse programs and services of Valley Health System. These legacy gifts help sustain our growth. The Foundation recognizes their generosity at the luncheon each spring.

If you are interested in learning more about how to make a planned gift to Valley, please contact Bettina Daly at 201-291-6193 or bdaly2@valleyhospitalfoundation.org.

Valley’s Pediatric Playroom Gets Mural Makeover
7/8/2019

The Buono Family in Valley's Pediatric Playroom with Aquatic Mural

Ridgewood, New Jersey September 26, 2018 A visit to Valley’s pediatric playroom located on the second floor of The Valley Hospital feels more like a visit to an aquarium than a children’s play space within a hospital’s pediatric unit. Thanks to a generous in-kind donation from Michael and Betty Ann Buono, Valley’s Pediatric Playroom just got an aquatic mural makeover.

Life-sized dolphins, sea turtles, whales, seals, an octopus, and various tropical fish make up the elaborate scene. The vibrant blue mural of underwater sea creatures was painted by local artist Gina Miccinilli to produce a child-friendly environment.

“Children like to visit the pediatric playroom for entertainment and activity,” says Susan Apple, RN, Manager of NICU, Pediatrics, PICU. “The new mural seems to be having a calming effect on many of our young patients because it distracts them from the reason they are here. It’s a fun and beautiful space.”

A gift like this enhances Valley’s ability to improve the patient experience. Valley is very grateful to the Buono family for this generous contribution.

The Buono Family with staff members of Valley's Pediatric Unit

Pfeifers Provide $1 Million Lead Gift for New Hospital
7/8/2019

Ridgewood, New Jersey, July 27, 2018 - Joseph and Lya Pfeifer have recently made a $1 million gift commitment to support Valley’s plans to build a new state-of-the-art hospital in Paramus.

“The New Valley Hospital will be a vital addition to the community. Lya and I are thrilled to commit our early support, and hope that it will inspire others to give,” Joe explains. “By directing our donation to this important project, we feel we can make a signifi cant impact on the quality of healthcare provided to our family, friends, and neighbors. 

In addition to their generous personal philanthropy, Joe and Lya have volunteered their services to support the mission of Valley. Joe has been a trustee of The Valley Hospital Foundation for 9 years and Lya is a member of Women for Health. 

Thank you Joe and Lya! We sincerely appreciate all you do for Valley.

Donor Stories
“I am alive today because of Valley”

Paul Haskell and Dr. Ryan Murphy, Medical Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services for Valley Medical Group and The Valley Hospital

Before his tragic fall, Paul Haskell was a fit 80-year-old Woodcliff Lake man running a 9.5-minute mile about three times a week. He enjoyed going to the auto racetrack on weekends with his son and revving up the engine of their 1974 Porsche 914 LE Bumblebee. During one excruciatingly hot day at the track in September 2018, he passed out from heat exhaustion and smacked the ground – hard. 

Over the next eight months, Valley intensively treated a gamut of complications, from heart issues to brain surgery, following up each major hurdle with thorough rehab, home care and even speech therapy.

His complications were so many in such a short time span that Paul remembers little of this period. “I was a turnip,” he says. His wife Valerie, however, remembers each day vividly, and is grateful to the clinicians for saving Paul’s life no less than three times.

When he returned from the hospital in November the first time, Valley Home Care’s physical therapist Varda Neuhaus oversaw Paul’s slow but steady progress to walking again. Then, during one session, Varda’s clinical perception told her something was very wrong. “I just don’t like the way he looks,” she explained to Valerie, and insisted that Paul go to the hospital immediately.

“Thank God Varda trusted her instinct, because she was right.” Paul had three blocked arteries, which could have meant monumental consequences such as heart attack, stroke or death.

After life-saving triple bypass surgery, Paul had trouble recovering. He did not regain his speech, cognitive skills or physical mobility, and spent the next three months in a rehabilitation facility. He was sent home March 1st having made little progress.

At home some time later Paul fell hard again. Fortunately, two of Tri-Boro Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ finest EMTs, Patrick Reynolds and Christopher Saraceno, arrived straightaway to find Paul unresponsive. With Patrick and Christopher providing critical care en route, Woodcliff Lake Sgt. Craig DeGeorge safely drove the ambulance to Valley’s Emergency Department in 12 minutes flat.

Paul was triaged, stabilized and ultimately landed in the expert care of Dr. Ryan Murphy, Medical Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services for Valley Medical Group and The Valley Hospital. Dr. Murphy’s persistence, in concert with the neuroscience team, found the root cause of Paul’s ailments: fluid on Paul’s brain. He needed brain surgery immediately.

The operation to relieve pressure and remove excess fluid was a success. Having spent months barely able to move, Paul was back to walking the hospital hallways within a few days.

Today, Paul is recovering remarkably and continues his long journey back to good health, attending therapy and training classes to restore more of his cognitive functioning and physical strength. He gains more movement and flexibility with each session, and is extremely thankful for the multiple doses of care he received from Valley staff whose expertise saved the day again and again.

“I am alive today because of Valley,” he sighs.


Monday, January 13, 2020 4:03:00 PM

“Women Influencing Sharp’s Evolution” Supports Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care

Sharp Electronics Corporation is a global leader in cutting-edge technologies – and locally, its Montvale employees are conscientious community citizens. This past October, their collective fundraising efforts resulted in a $5,000 gift to The Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care’s Breast Cancer program. 

Women Influencing Sharp’s Evolution, or WISE, is an initiative established in in early 2019 by women Sharp employees working together across departments for their professional and personal development. Each week in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, WISE hosted fun activities, such as a bake sale and basketball hoop contest. They also organized a 2-mile walk and obstacle course challenge around their Montvale facility while a band of talented Sharp employees, “The Be Sharps” provided the musical entertainment.

In addition to the generous monetary donation, Sharp also contributed several WISE comfort bags to Valley’s patients battling breast cancer. Included in the bags were blankets, tissues, socks and hats, lip balm, adult coloring books and colored pencils, a game book, hard candies, a magnet, headband, tea, toothbrushes and an inspirational quote book.  

“WISE and the members of the events committee thought it was important to find a local organization where our contributions would make the most impact and be relatable to employees who were making the donations,” said WISE chairperson Debbie Tyler, Deputy General Counsel & Associate Vice President, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “Based on Sharp’s history working with The Valley Hospital and the good works of The Valley Hospital Foundation, we knew that it would be a meaningful cause.”

“Valley is very grateful for these gifts, which help us in our mission of providing the very best healthcare to the community,” said David Bohan, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The Valley Hospital Foundation. “It’s great to witness a company based in our area coming together to support others within our community.”

 


Monday, December 30, 2019 10:59:00 AM

Valley's Expert Breast Cancer Treatment Inspires $50,000 Gift

Because so many families in River Vale have been personally effected by breast cancer, the tight-knit community organized a fundraiser during breast cancer awareness month – The Mayor’s Cup. On that October afternoon, more than 100 players were at the first annual golf outing at River Vale Country Club, and even more people attended the dinner that followed. The successful inaugural event raised a $50,000 donation to The Valley Hospital Breast Center.

Dr. Laura A. Klein, Medical Director of The Valley Hospital Breast Center, has treated many of River Vale breast cancer survivors, along with Valley’s multidisciplinary team of experienced physicians and support professionals.  This was the catalyst for having designated the funds to Valley.

“Dr. Klein provides the highest level of compassion with each of her patients when they need it most. They are treated as individuals and never rushed. Everyone I have spoken with always emphasizes the supportive way they were treated by Dr. Klein and her staff,” said Mayor Glen Jasionowski. “No one ever forgets how Dr. Klein and her staff made them feel. I just hope we can do our small part to help Dr. Klein continue her great work.”

Thanks to gifts like these, Valley continues to enhance its award winning oncology program, and cares for each patients’ full spectrum of needs from diagnostics to cancer treatments, integrating state-of-the-art technology and physician expertise with a comprehensive, tumor-specific, evidence-based treatment plan.


Monday, December 23, 2019 2:26:00 PM

Paramus Police Department Donates to Valley-Mount Sinai Breast Cancer Program

This past October, the Paramus Police Department raised $3,000 for Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care’s Breast Cancer program! To accomplish this, Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg and the Paramus PBA expanded upon their standard “No Shave Movember” fundraiser typically held in November to the months of October and December. Police officers donated $100 each to grow their beards for October. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, they decided to donate the funds raised during that month to Valley-Mount Sinai’s Breast Cancer Program.  

“Since The Valley Hospital already has a cancer treatment center in Paramus, we could not think of a better place to give our donation,” said Steven Nepola, police officer at the Paramus Police Department and President of Paramus PBA 186. “We want to continue to build our relationship with The New Valley Hospital being built in Paramus.”

 


Tuesday, December 17, 2019 10:02:00 AM

Bringing a Smile to Hundreds of Faces

Alice Nagy, RN, OCN; Sandy Balentine, MSN, RN, OCN, Director of Clinical Oncology at The Valley Hospital, Meg McCluskey, Kaelin McCluskey and Ellie McCluskey.

This past October, Meg McCluskey ran her most successful “Chemo Care Pouch” fundraising campaign yet with a generous 212 donations.  For the past four years, Meg has been encouraging friends and family to donate towards the purchase of one chic Stella & Dot toiletry bag.  In turn, Meg directs 100% of her commission towards converting them into bags for patients undergoing treatment at the Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care at The Luckow Pavilion in Paramus. 

Once again, Character’s Restaurant in Sloatsburg hosted the “stuffing party”. With the help of Meg’s family and friends, they filled the bags with socks, lip balm, mints, lotions, and lavender and peppermint oils. The children in attendance make the bags even more personal and inspiring by including hand-written notes with thoughtful messages of hope and encouragement.  

Each year, her daughters Kaelin and Ellie become more and more involved in this community giving project, and appreciate their mom’s infectious kindness. This year they helped deliver the carful of donations to Valley, and witnessed first-hand the effect this project has on the people who receive them. “It was nice to see how these bags brought a smile to their faces.” Kaelin continues, “It feels really good to know we made a difference.” 

Asked about the messages she writes on the notes, third grader Ellie says “I try to say positive things like ‘You got this!’ And ‘Keep Fighting’.”

Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care — a partnership with the Valley Hospital and The Mount Sinai Health System — is grateful for these generous donations.

 


Tuesday, December 17, 2019 9:48:00 AM

Play for P.I.N.K. Pickelball

Patty Corn; David Bohan, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The Valley Hospital Foundation; Barbara Norton; Kathleen Azzara

A four and a half hour nonstop pickelball tournament, “Play for P.I.N.K.”, took place on October 19th, and the fundraiser lobbed a generous donation towards The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center. 

Representatives from Premier Pickelball, LLC. including Barbara Norton, Kathleen Azzara, and Patty Corn, organized the event.  They directed the $2,454 gift to Valley because “we have seen firsthand how vital the programs are to the oncology patients and the excellent care given by the doctors and staff. We wish to support their mission of excellence.”

Pickelball is an indoor and outdoor paddleball sport that combines the elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.  


Tuesday, November 26, 2019 3:51:00 PM

Young Ridgewood Philanthropists Host Lemonade Stand

Dana Giammarella & Emma Cronk

Eight-year-olds Emma Cronk & Dana Giammarella hosted a lemonade stand on a hot afternoon in early September, and donated the profits to Valley. The young philanthropists not only sold home-made fresh lemonade, but also iced tea, cookies, snacks and bracelets.Everything sold for one dollar.

"We talked a lot about where to give the money," Dana explains. "Emma was born at Valley, and we live in Ridgewood, so we decided to help out the kids who came into Valley."

Through their efforts, along with the help of their little brothers Robbie and Lukas whose loud calls caught the attention of the cars driving by, they raised $128 for The Valley Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department.

Emma reflects, “Some people don’t have what we have so they need it.”

The Valley Hospital Foundation is grateful for this generous donation.


Monday, November 25, 2019 12:48:00 PM

Indian Hills Girls Basketball 7th Annual Slam Dunk for The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center


For the seventh consecutive year, the coaches and team members of Indian Hills Girls Basketball dedicated the month of October towards fundraising for The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center. Through this annual t-shirt drive, these dedicated “Brave” team members have collectively donated more than $2900 to The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center.

This year, led by coaches Julie Haledjian, Lindsay Rock and Kelly McCourt, members of the Varsity and Junior Varsity “Braves” sold more than 300 short and long sleeve “Be Brave” t-shirts to raise this year’s generous $550 donation.

“My entire basketball program looks forward to this fundraiser every year and we are so glad we can support the cause.” Julie Haledjian, Varsity head coach explains. “With October being breast cancer awareness month, and since many of our friends and family members have fought breast cancer at Valley, we choose to designate the funds towards The Valley Hospital’s Breast Center.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, about 271,270 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women, and approximately 8,340 of those new cases will be in New Jersey.  The Valley Hospital Breast Center, which has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, is the hospital of choice for many of these newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.  Valley’s multidisciplinary team of experienced physicians, radiologists, cytopathologists, nurses, researchers and coordinators collaborate regarding all aspects of a woman’s breast care in a patient-focused comprehensive breast care program.   

The Valley Hospital Foundation is grateful for this generous donation directed towards the Breast Cancer Fund from Indian Hills High School Girls Basketball team.


Monday, November 25, 2019 12:44:00 PM

Life-Saving Care Inspires Bequest from a Grateful Saddle River Couple

Even though the emergency coronary artery bypass surgery took place over 3 years ago, Margery and Steve Honig recall that day vividly because Valley saved Steve's life. That's why they are remembering The Valley Hospital Foundation in their estate planning.

Back in June of 2016, Steve was a real estate and trial attorney from Saddle River, New Jersey, who rushed into Valley’s Emergency Room complaining of chest pains. Within minutes, he was being wheeled into the operating room for emergency surgery.

“Being at The Valley Hospital was an amazing experience,” Steve says, recalling the attentive nursing staff, reassuring cardiologists, expert surgeons, and the individualized treatment he received. “I felt so connected to these human beings, and hugged them. I told them ‘Thank you!  You saved my life!’” 

Steve is retired now, and he and Marjorie are spending most of their time relaxing in San Miguel, Mexico.  To demonstrate their enduring appreciation for the life-saving care Valley provided, they recently named Valley in their estate planning.

For more information on making a bequest, visit this page.


Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:53:00 PM

Grateful for Valley’s Exceptional Care

When Patricia Langdale heard that Audrey Meyers, President and CEO of Valley Health System, was being honored as the “Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce 2019 Humanitarian of the Year” in September, she made a point to make it there and voice her appreciation. 

“I just wanted Audrey to know how wonderful the staff at Valley treated me, and express my gratitude!” explains the 59-year old Warwick resident.  As a businesswoman in charge of many employees herself – Patricia is the Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Blue Foundry Bank in Mahwah – she recognizes the importance of hearing this kind of unsolicited feedback.

“Valley’s care is second to none!” Patricia acknowledged.

In the spring of 2018, Patricia was diagnosed with carcinosarcoma, a rare form of uterine cancer. Her treatment journey guided her through 2 surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, and today, there is no longer evidence of disease.  She has been back to work since last December, and is calling each day a blessing.

Because she had to, Patricia learned to accept help from others, sometimes complete strangers. She has taken advantage of many of Valley’s cancer survivorship programs, engaging with social workers and navigators to access the myriad of services available, including massage, survivorship events, and nutrition classes. 

Patricia shared how happy she is with the care she received through the medical staff at Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care.  “Everyone I came into contact with during my treatment was so kind and compassionate.  Valley is exceptional!”

 


Thursday, October 24, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Philanthropy Helps Valley’s Down Syndrome Program Expand and Thrive

For the past two years, an anonymous donor has been generously supporting The Joey Center for Down Syndrome Services at The Valley Hospital’s Kireker Center for Child Development. These donations have made it possible for Valley’s Director of Developmental Pediatrics Lisa Nalven M.D., M.A., F.A.A.P., and her team of subspecialists to expand the program significantly.  The Joey Center now provides more support with behavioral management, development, education, and transitions in care.  In addition, the Center is hosting more support groups, and developing and distributing informative educational materials.

 

“Philanthropy has made this all possible! Because of the funding we received, we have been able to enhance the Saturday program and it’s improving the whole experience,” says Dr. Nalven. “Now, while the parents meet for the support group, their young children with Down syndrome, as well as their siblings, are engaged in preplanned, developmentally appropriate, recreational activities with two licensed clinicians. The feedback from families regarding the program upgrade has been very positive.”

 

The demand for this specialized program continues to grow, and its success has led to the establishment of ‘Joey’s Friends’, which is a navigator program helping parents address their children’s complex health care needs.

 To learn more about the Joey center, please click here.

 


Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:00:00 AM

8th Annual "Scramble Fore the NICU" Golf Outing

Scramble Fore the NICU Golfers Kevin Dillon, Brian Casey, Andrew Chalhoub, and Michael Chalhoub

On Tuesday, September 17th, more than 80 golfers gathered at Crystal Springs Country Club in Hamburg for the 8th Annual Scramble Fore the NICU golf outing.  Once again, the event was organized by Joe Perkins, who experienced the extraordinary care provided by Valley’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff years ago. 

“This ongoing event is a testament to the impact Valley’s NICU staff has on the parents, children and their families,” said Sandy Carapezza, Executive Director of Development for The Valley Hospital Foundation. “For the past eight Septembers, parents have been coming together on the green to raise funds for Valley’s NICU.  Their generosity helps us in our mission of providing high-quality, compassionate care to our NICU families.” 

To date, this event has raised over $147,000 which includes this most recent outing having generated over $14,000 for Valley’s NICU.  The tournament sponsor was Ernst & Young, the lunch sponsor was Mercedes Benz of Paramus, and Eagle Sponsors were HTS, Paramus PBA Local 186, Nyack Seaport/Two Spear Street and The Chalet at Spook Rock Golf Course.

The Valley Hospital’s 15-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Ridgewood, NJ has been designated by the State of New Jersey as a Level III nursery, a designation given to neonatal units able to provide the highest level of care for the highest-risk mothers and acutely ill newborns. Comprehensive medical care is provided by board-certified neonatologists, who are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.


Monday, September 30, 2019 11:36:00 AM

“It is such an exciting time to be involved with The New Valley Hospital project now underway, and we are proud to support it!”

Two valued Valley supporters, Nancy and Les Weiss, recently made a $40,000 commitment toward Valley’s plans to build The New Valley Hospital in Paramus.

“It is such an exciting time to be involved with The New Valley Hospital project now underway, and we are proud to support it!” Nancy beamed. “With this gift, we are investing in the future of our community and in the health services all of us will need down the road.”

This North Haledon couple became more closely affiliated with Valley in 2014 following the unfortunate passing of Nancy’s 93-year-old father. Nancy was inspired to join Valley’s volunteers because she was so moved by the professionalism and empathy demonstrated by Valley’s staff during that difficult time. Today, Nancy is one of Valley’s most active volunteers, serving as Treasurer of The Valley Hospital Auxiliary and is an enthusiastic member of Women For Health.

With the generous support of Nancy and Les and many others, Valley is building a state-of-the-art hospital that will serve as the center of a comprehensive health and wellness destination for this region for generations to come. 


Thursday, August 29, 2019 1:11:00 PM

Valley’s Hospice Team Deliver Compassionate Care to Loving Couple

A school boy’s crush became a love story for the ages.

Friends from the age of 12, Brian Thornton and Susan Marie Connolly spent most of their lives together. Married in 1967, they settled in the peaceful borough of River Edge, where they raised their only son.

After almost 50 years of marriage, they received tragic news: Susan had pancreatic cancer. It was a devastating diagnosis, but Brian’s devoted care and Susan’s strong faith never wavered.

As the disease progressed and Susan’s needs grew, the couple turned to Valley Home Care’s hospice team for help. The compassionate staff brought welcome relief—caring for Susan’s complex medical needs, tending to her personal care, investing in both her and Brian’s comfort and interests, at all hours of the day and night.

Because of Valley Hospice’s care and support, the couple was able to treasure their final months as they faced life’s most difficult transition together. And Brian’s memories of their last moments remain sweet:

“Because of Valley’s nurses, I was not surprised when the time came. I was holding her hand. She looked at me, and I kept telling her how much I love her.I could see all the pain leave her body… She had such a beautiful look on her face.”

Valley Home Care’s hospice care was a gift to Brian and Susan. It was compassion that transformed their most challenging time into cherished memories.

Valley Home Care, Inc. brings quality care to the home, offering interdisciplinary services to meet a wide range of medical needs for thousands in our community. Valley Hospice is one of those services. As a not-for-profit program, our hospice care counts on your continued support.

Philanthropy makes a difference. From our in-home medical care to our therapeutic children’s programs to our community-wide bereavement support—personal donations fund every area of our care.

Brian is still adjusting to life without his loving wife. But he finds continued support and comfort through Valley Home Care’s bereavement support program, which is offered to all members of the family.

“It’s good to go to these sessions. You can talk about your spouse and remember them, and it helps you understand it all and learn how to be happy again.”

Valley Home Care works passionately, day after day, to help others live well—in illness, through recovery, during the final stages of life, and beyond loss.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Knee Surgery Success – “I am not immobilized anymore!”

Ed Lavorgna hiking in Hawaii within months of his second knee replacement surgery.

Knee troubles had already forced Ed Lavorgna to stop golfing, hiking, and doing the things he enjoyed most. But when a simple climb of the stairs became too painful, he knew something had to change. Ed was tired of the discomfort; he was ready to get back to his active lifestyle again. Dr. Anthony Delfico, Director of Orthopedic Surgery, and the team at Valley’s Total Joint Replacement Center gave him the answer he needed.

“Before I had both knees replaced, the pain was like a jabbing knife in my knees with every step,” Ed explains.

Valley’s Total Joint Replacement Center is a patient- and family-centered program designed to meet an individual’s needs from the moment surgery is considered through the procedure and post-operative recovery. The Joint Replacement team helps patients prepare for surgery with plenty of support and education, which can lead to more successful recovery periods. Dr. Delfico and his staff treated Ed with the latest technology and ample support to guide him every step of the way.

Patients needing partial knee, total knee and hip replacement can benefit from the effects of the new Mako® Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgical System. Dr. Delfico and other Valley orthopedic surgeons are excited to offer patients this innovative, individualized option as it may also result in less pain and a shorter recovery time.

 “The Mako System is transforming joint replacement surgery by allowing us to tailor our surgical procedures to each patient’s individual needs and anatomy,” said Dr. Delfico. “We are proud to be the first hospital in Bergen County to offer this highly advanced robotic technology.”

Within months of his final replacement surgery, Ed was back out on the golf course again. Recently, he even visited his daughter in Hawaii where they hiked the rough Hawaiian terrain together. Ed got his life back, and retirement has never felt so good.

“Now, I am not immobilized anymore!” Ed beams. “The care I received at Valley – all the little extra things, the personal attention, the staff that truly care – they made a big difference to me.”


Monday, July 22, 2019 11:00:00 AM

The Zisblatts of Fair Lawn Leave a Lasting Legacy

Joel and Lois Zimmer, close friends of Legacy donors Florence and Jerome Zisplatt, stand in The North Garden of the Friendship Garden recently named in their late friends’ memory. 

In recognition of the exceptional cardiovascular care received at Valley, Florence and Jerome Zisblatt from Fair Lawn established a generous estate gift towards Valley’s Heart & Vascular Institute.  Last month, to commemorate their extraordinary gift, the North Garden of the Friendship Garden was dedicated in the Zisblatt’s memory. 

“Florence and Jerome were always grateful for the medical care and professional, positive attention they received from Valley’s entire staff,” said Lois Zimmer, a close friend of the generous couple. “This is the reason they decided to leave Valley in their estate plans.”

 


Sunday, July 21, 2019 12:08:00 PM

Donor Advised Funds Make Charitable Giving Easy

Julie and Eric Epstein use their Donor Advised Fund (DAF) to support Valley’s mission. The generosity of thoughtful donors like the Epsteins makes Valley’s enduring success possible.

“We established the Eric and Julie Epstein Charitable Foundation DAF because we were drawn to the unique benefits,” explains Julie. “In addition to the immediate tax deduction upon funding our DAF, Eric and I appreciate the convenience of establishing recurring gifts to The Valley Hospital Foundation.”

According to a 2018 study by National Philanthropic Trust, DAFs are the fastest-growing form of philanthropy today because they offer ease and convenience.  In fact, within Valley’s own donor community, they are becoming one of the most preferred vehicles for effective charitable giving.  After consultation with their financial advisor, a donor typically creates an account with a sponsoring organization and makes a contribution of cash, stock or other assets like real estate and can take an immediate tax deduction for the gift.   

The recent increase in the standard deduction combined with the elimination of many other itemized deductions means that many more tax returns will take the standard deduction. By using the standard or reducing deduction many taxpayers are limited in their incremental deductions for their charitable donations.  Grants from DAFs allow donors to continue to make consistent annual gifts in support of Valley.

Whether it is providing annual support or planning to leave a personal legacy, recommended grants distributions from DAFs allow thoughtful donors like the Epsteins to help fund new technologies, equipment, programs and services throughout Valley Health System.

“We found that the DAF was the most tax-efficient way to demonstrate our appreciation to Valley for the exceptional care our family continues to receive”, says Eric. “We also enjoy the privacy, simplicity and convenience of a professionally managed fund without all the administrative duties.”

 

Contact us today for more information about how you can make a gift through your DAF. 

Bettina M. Daly
Executive Director
Gift Planning and Major Gifts
Office: 201-291-6193
Bdaly2@valleyhospitalfoundation.org

 


Sunday, July 21, 2019 11:00:00 AM

“Perfect Philanthropy” Donation Extends Valley Home Care Music Therapy to Hospice Patients

From left to right: Jennifer Knittel, Music Therapist; Tom and Lucy Ott; Bonnie Schneider, LCSW, 
Manager of Social Services at Valley Home Care/Valley Hospice

October 30, 2018 Ridgewood, New Jersey  “Perfect Philanthropy” is when a donor’s vision is precisely – or “perfectly” –matched with the vision of the organization to satisfy the needs of both. That’s exactly what took place when Lucy and Tom Ott learned about Valley Home Care’s need for a music therapy program.

Having lost their son David after a 17-year battle with encephalitis two decades ago, Tom and Lucy founded David's Fund, an endowment devoted to supporting and advancement of the field of music therapy. Music always played an important part in their son's life and they quickly realized the benefit of music therapy on the whole family.

When a dear friend was in The Valley Hospital earlier this year, her family told Tom and Lucy of the calming effect a volunteer harpist’s chords had on the somber room’s atmosphere. So, when she was home, spending her final days on hospice, the Ott’s arranged to have their friend visited by a harpist again. Although this was not yet a service provided by Valley, the musician agreed.

Inspired, Lucy and Tom combined their vision with Valley Home Care to share the wonder and comfort of music therapy with hospice patients. Thanks to a generous donation from David’s Fund, Valley will be able to send music therapists to the homes of patients who are on hospice for the next three years.

“I am just so glad we discovered each other,” Lucy Ott smilingly told Valley Home Care’s Bonnie Schneider, LCSW, Manager of Social Services.

Music can have very powerful effects on a person because it engages the brain in a complex way. Music therapy has been proven effective in addressing patients’ and caregivers’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. In hospice, music therapists can decrease feelings of isolation and provide a sense of familiarity and comfort, while evoking feelings of reminiscence and life review.

“I have witnessed music therapy work like medicine for many of Valley Home Care’s hospice patients. This gift is making an extraordinary impact on the care we are able to provide them,” said Bonnie.

Now, with this generous donation from David’s Fund, Valley Home Care is able to offer the aid of music therapy to hospice patients and their families for years to come. Valley Home Care’s music therapy program looks forward to playing out this perfect pairing of philanthropy and care.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1:22:00 AM

The Cuddle Cot Gives Grieving Parents the Gift of Time

October 31, 2018 Ridgewood, New Jersey.  Saying goodbye to a stillborn baby is the first step in a long and difficult grieving process, one that lasts a lifetime. Once the child’s body is taken away, many parents describe a deep longing to hold and cuddle their baby again, or regret at not having enough time to make memories with their baby.

This was how an Old Tappan couple, Matthew Stamatopoulos and Dr. Pascale Nadeau, felt after delivering their stillborn son, Kyle Nicholas, at The Valley Hospital last year. Suffering this great loss was excruciating, to say the least, and left them dedicated to making this experience less painful for other families down the road. So, after much research and quiet contemplation, the Stamatopoulos family decided to make a unique contribution. In memory of their late son, they donated a “Cuddle Cot” to The Mother Baby Unit within The Valley Hospital to help other parents suffering infant loss.

For those who choose this, the Cuddle Cot provides parents of stillborn babies or babies who die shortly after birth with the gift of time before saying a final farewell. The cooling blanket preserves the infant’s body so that he or she can remain in a hospital room longer, greatly extending the time a family can spend with their baby, if they so desire.

“The limited amount of time spent with a stillborn baby is the only chance that a family has to make memories.  The gift of extra time together is invaluable,” Pascale said.

Having a proper goodbye is crucial to a healthy grieving process. Losing a newborn brings on a particularly complex grief because it is so unexpected, sudden and drastic. Valley’s staff is committed to providing quality care to these parents, and the availability of the new Cuddle Cot aims to make that journey a little easier.

The Stamatopoulos family remains connected to the Mother Baby unit at The Valley Hospital – the family welcomed a daughter in August of 2018. She is thriving and the entire family remains grateful for all of the outstanding care they have received at Valley.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1:20:00 AM

Mindray North America Makes Donation To Valley’s NICU

January 21, 2019 Ridgewood, NJ — In December of 2018, Mindray North America, a medical device manufacturer based in Mahwah, New Jersey made a $2,000 donation to The Valley Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“We are very grateful for the donation we received from Mindray,” says Christiana Farkouh-Karoleski, M.D., Associate Director of the NICU. “Having a baby in the NICU can be an overwhelming experience for a parent, and Valley’s staff is committed to providing the highest quality medical care possible to newborns and their families. Through philanthropy, we can enhance our services and further improve the patient experience.”

Each year, approximately 1 in 10 newborns is admitted to a NICU in the United States. Valley’s 15-bed NICU has been designated by the State of New Jersey as a Level III nursery, a designation given to neonatal units able to provide the care for high-risk mothers and acutely ill newborns. The highest quality of specialized comprehensive medical care is provided by board-certified neonatologists, who are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Valley’s neonatology team also includes highly skilled neonatal nurses, dedicated respiratory therapists, pediatric pharmacists, pediatric occupational, physical and feeding therapists, social workers, lactation consultants and family support specialists.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1:19:00 AM

The Valley Hospital Foundation Hosts Annual Legacy Luncheon

Dr. Suneet Mittal; Lifetime Benefactors and Legacy Society members Heidi and Robert Fink; Dr. Himanshu Gupta; Legacy Society member Dr. Rashid J. Baddoura.  

May 31, 2019 Ridgewood, New Jersey Valley recently hosted an event at The Ridgewood Country Club to thank the members of the Legacy Society who have included The Valley Hospital Foundation in their estate plans, and provide an update on the progress being made with The “New” Valley Hospital.

David Bohan, Vice President & Chief Development Officer of The Valley Hospital Foundation, welcomed more than 60 guests and warmly thanked them for their loyal support.

Attendees viewed an educational presentation by physicians from The Valley Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Himanshu Gupta, Director of Cardiovascular Imaging, highlighted Valley’s recently established Cardiovascular Imaging program. Dr. Suneet Mittal, Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory and Associate Chief of Cardiology, reviewed the newest technologies being used to reduce infection following pacemaker and defibrillator implant surgery.

The Valley Hospital Foundation is the grateful beneficiary of legacy gifts. Legacy donors are a special group of individuals who, through wills, charitable trusts, and gift annuities, support the diverse programs and services of Valley Health System. These legacy gifts help sustain our growth. The Foundation recognizes their generosity at the luncheon each spring.

If you are interested in learning more about how to make a planned gift to Valley, please contact Bettina Daly at 201-291-6193 or bdaly2@valleyhospitalfoundation.org.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1:17:00 AM

Valley’s Pediatric Playroom Gets Mural Makeover

The Buono Family in Valley's Pediatric Playroom with Aquatic Mural

Ridgewood, New Jersey September 26, 2018 A visit to Valley’s pediatric playroom located on the second floor of The Valley Hospital feels more like a visit to an aquarium than a children’s play space within a hospital’s pediatric unit. Thanks to a generous in-kind donation from Michael and Betty Ann Buono, Valley’s Pediatric Playroom just got an aquatic mural makeover.

Life-sized dolphins, sea turtles, whales, seals, an octopus, and various tropical fish make up the elaborate scene. The vibrant blue mural of underwater sea creatures was painted by local artist Gina Miccinilli to produce a child-friendly environment.

“Children like to visit the pediatric playroom for entertainment and activity,” says Susan Apple, RN, Manager of NICU, Pediatrics, PICU. “The new mural seems to be having a calming effect on many of our young patients because it distracts them from the reason they are here. It’s a fun and beautiful space.”

A gift like this enhances Valley’s ability to improve the patient experience. Valley is very grateful to the Buono family for this generous contribution.

The Buono Family with staff members of Valley's Pediatric Unit


Monday, July 08, 2019 2:14:00 PM

Pfeifers Provide $1 Million Lead Gift for New Hospital

Ridgewood, New Jersey, July 27, 2018 - Joseph and Lya Pfeifer have recently made a $1 million gift commitment to support Valley’s plans to build a new state-of-the-art hospital in Paramus.

“The New Valley Hospital will be a vital addition to the community. Lya and I are thrilled to commit our early support, and hope that it will inspire others to give,” Joe explains. “By directing our donation to this important project, we feel we can make a signifi cant impact on the quality of healthcare provided to our family, friends, and neighbors. 

In addition to their generous personal philanthropy, Joe and Lya have volunteered their services to support the mission of Valley. Joe has been a trustee of The Valley Hospital Foundation for 9 years and Lya is a member of Women for Health. 

Thank you Joe and Lya! We sincerely appreciate all you do for Valley.


Monday, July 08, 2019 2:09:00 PM

Supporters just like you help to make a difference every day.

Supporters just like you help to make a difference every day.