Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation’s annual gala, which honored the hospital’s frontline heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, raised $765,063, the hospital announced.
The “Unmasking the Heroes” gala was held virtually Sept. 25 and included messages from the hospital’s leadership and clinicians about their pandemic experiences.
The funds raised from the gala will support the hospital’s emergency medicine and women’s health services. The fundraising effort benefits PBMC as part of Northwell Health’s $1 billion Outpacing the Impossible campaign, which supports capital projects, improves hospitals and clinical programs, advances research and funds endowment for teaching and research initatives.
“On behalf of the Peconic Bay Medical Center staff, I would like to thank everyone for their generous donations to our emergency medicine and women’s health services,” said Andrew Mitchell, PBMC’s president & CEO, in a press release. “Our community’s support fueled our frontline heroes throughout the peak of the pandemic and we are greatly appreciative of their continued goodwill toward our staff and hospital.”
The virtual gala opened with a “Brady Bunch” montage, showing Mr. Mitchell and other hospital leaders in their masks. The song concluded with: “That’s the way they became heroes in masks.”
Mr. Mitchell and Amy Loeb, the deputy executive director, served as the gala’s hosts.
The gala told the stories of some of the patients who were treated for COVID-19, such as Josh Wortman, 45, who initially fell ill with what he thought was the flu. He ended up on a ventilator at PBMC. While his situation was dire, he eventually turned a corner and became the hospital’s first patient discharged after being on a ventilator for COVID-19. He has since made a full recovery.
In a video message recorded in April, about a month after he was discharged, Mr. Wortman said: “I think of you guys every day. I’m so grateful for all the care I received.”
Another patient featured was Charlie Parker, who’s a member of PBMC’s environmental services department. He battled COVID-19 as a patient in the hospital for a month. He was the 110th COVID-19 patient to then be discharged and he eventually returned to work.
“I’ve got a long way to go, but thank you so much for everything that you’ve done,” he said in a video.
The gala video ended with music from Chris Norton band.
Northwell Health, which is the largest health care provider in New York with 23 hospitals, treated nearly 85,000 COVID-19 patients. That figure is more than any other health system in the United States, according to Northwell. There were 16,000 patients hospitalized between March and Labor Day in Northwell hospitals.