Widgets Magazine

Linda Sweeney, Executive Director of ELIH’s Foundation, on the Hospital and Its Community Roots.

Sweeney is center at this 'Grateful Gathering' at Sparkling Pointe earlier this year. Q: What does the ELIH foundation do?

A: The mission of Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH) Foundation is to support the Eastern Long Island Hospital’s healthcare mission and goals. Specifically, we raise funds for capital improvements and new technologies for Eastern Long Island Hospital and its medical staff.  Contributions to the ELIH Foundation preserve the on-going success of Eastern Long Island Hospital by funding expansion projects, medical equipment, and programs essential for today’s care and a healthier community.

The ELIH Foundation was established in 2006 and has been partnering with Eastern Long Island Hospital to improve the quality of life for our North Fork and Shelter Island friends and residents.

ELIH looks to the community to support the hospital through an annual appeal, a golf classic, a summer gala, and our newest event is Denim & Dice in December at the Peconic Bay Yacht club. The auxiliary does several events on their own, such as the Dream Green raffle at the Maritime Festival.

Q: Denim & Dice in December at Peconic Bay Yacht Club—what’s that?

A:  On Saturday, December 3 we’ll offer a night of food, music, ‘gambling’ and fabulous prizes at the gorgeous Peconic Bay Yacht Club. The dress code is casual: jeans and jackets for men, and bedazzled denim for ladies. The casino games will include a Texas Holdem’ Table, and the dinner buffet will be created by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs. Tickets can be purchased at $125 per person.  For event information, you can visit our website at ELIH.org.

Peconic Bay Yacht Club has been so generous in helping us start this event. We’re excited to have a new opportunity to raise money for the hospital and raise awareness of how much we do.

Q: Sounds like a lot of fun. When are your other annual events? Do all funds raised go to ELIH?

A: Our annual golf outing is on Flag Day June 14th, 2017 honoring long time supporters and friends of the hospital Donald and Patricia Brennan of Cutchogue. The event features 18 holes of golf at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, Shelter Island.

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Ryck and Al Koke receive proclamations from Suffolk County Legislator Albert J. Krupski, Jr. at the 24th Annual Golf Classic for Eastern Long Island Hospital.

August 12, 2017 will be our annual gala, at the Lomangino/Mattituck Environmental residence in Cutchogue, which is a spectacular waterfront property. They graciously hosted last summer, and we’re so grateful they’ve agreed to do it again.

All funds raised here, stay here to benefit our hospital. Attend an ELIH event to learn more about our mission.

Donations to the ELIH Foundation directly impact the lives of all our neighbors and friends by helping us obtain greater levels of excellence.

Q: Speaking of where the money goes, who does the hospital serve?

A: We serve North Fork and Shelter Island; over 25,000 residents, summer visitors and second home owners each year.  Emergency room visits total 10,000+ annually and ambulatory surgery visits reach 6,000+.  We also provide a place for doctors to see their patients on an outpatient basis.

With a high volume of seniors in our area, greater than the state average, seniors in Southold access healthcare more often and have a tendency to be hospitalized due to complications from chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Our residents rely on the expertise of a professional care team for all their healthcare needs, from diagnostics, to urgent or emergent care.  Affliating with Stony Brook enhances these services by bringing in new specialists for our residents.

We are committed to delivering vital health care that ensures excellence, compassion, education and helps to improve the health of this community.

Q: What capital projects are you raising money for right now?

A: Right now we are embarking upon an extensive expansion, renovation, demolition and addition project for our Operating Room  It’s the landscape needed to secure our future. Because medical technology is advancing so rapidly, we need to update and modernize our Operating Room Suites.

We’re also bringing in specialists from Stony Brook, adding to the range of surgeries and services we can offer.  Bringing  this advanced medical care close to home requires ELIH to raise additional funds.

In response to patient concerns about breast health, our latest initiative is a state of the art imaging system providing 3 D Mammography, also known as tomosynthesis. Now we can offer superior  screening to fight breast cancer. Funds raised will help build a comprehensive Breast Health Center of Excellence.

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Erica and Peter Harold of Cutchogue present a check for $50,000 from the CLC Kramer Foundation, Inc. for the new Breast Health Tomosynthesis/3 D Mammography System at Eastern Long Island Hospital.

We have new ambassadors to our hospital—a family foundation has donated funding for a storm hardening grant to help build a wall to protect ELIH  from extreme weather conditions that pose a threat each year. This donor was a grateful patient; as a result of the fine care received, ELIH will benefit from this generous gift.

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2016 - Storm Hardening Project – Funded by David J. and Bobbie Marks Family Fund/Peter and Erica Harold Due to our beautiful waterfront location, ELIH is susceptible to storm damage and is now undergoing preventative reinforcements to our infrastructure thanks to the generosity of grateful patients.  With a redundant emergency generator, the building of a reinforced cement curb/sea wall and the installation of a water extraction system, ELIH will be well-protected during extreme weather conditions. 

Q: When was the hospital founded?

A: ELIH has been around since 1905, started by two sisters—the Wood sisters—who were volunteers. We’ve been supported by local farmers and fisherman throughout our history, from bushels and crops to direct financial contributions. We are truly a community organization.

Q: How did you get connected to the hospital?

A: I have been summering out in the North Fork since I was one—for decades now—and I worked at Winthrop University Hospital raising money for pediatrics, raising money for children with chronic diseases. And now I can raise money for an entire community.  I’ve been doing this role for 10 months.

Q: What do you want people to know about the hospital? And, since you’re still new at this job, was there anything surprising about it?

A: ELIH is a spectacular, dedicated hospital. It really gears its medical care towards its patients.  Everybody at the hospital has been a beacon of light for me.  Their enthusiasm and guidance has provided me with the tools necessary to help this community hospital.