SIUH marks centennial at Prince’s Bay campus; E.C.H.O. Pediatric Emergency Unit opens with ribbon cutting ceremony
STATEN ISLAND, NY – To mark its centenary, Staten Island University Hospital hosted two festive events on their Prince’s Bay Campus: the 100th anniversary celebration and the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the new Emergency Children’s Help Organization (ECHO) Pediatric Emergency Unit.
ECHO, an organization founded by Sebastian Angelico in 2008, is raising money to promote the well-being of children whose future is bleak due to a serious emergency, medical or other condition. ECHO also provides financial assistance to ease the financial burden on the child’s family.
More than 100 benefactors attended the event, including medical professionals, board members and staff, a number of local dignitaries and politicians, and members of the ECHO Board of Directors.
Speakers included Dr. Brahim Ardolic, Executive Director, Staten Island University Hospital; Michael Caridi, Chairman, SIUH Regional Executive Council; attorney Philip Mancuso, president of the SIUH Foundation; City president James Oddo; Dr. Nicole Berwald, Chair of Emergency Medicine, Sebastian Angelico and Kevin Beiner, Regional Senior Vice President, Executive Director Western Region Northwell.
THE EARLY DAYS OF THE HOSPITAL
In the early 1920s, philanthropist Berta Dreyfus donated $ 100,000 to the former Richmond Memorial Hospital to construct a three-story, 64-bed brick building. The new care facility in Prince’s Bay would replace the hospital’s original wooden structure from 1919.
When the hospital was first opened on September 18, 1920, it had 25 beds, a staff of eight attending physicians, a general practitioner and 19 hospital employees.
The money came from the fortune of Mrs. Dreyfus’ husband, Louis, who developed a synthetic compound used by Wrigley’s to improve their popular Juicy Fruit, Spearmint and Doublemint stick gums.
The facility’s name changed when it merged with Staten Island Hospital in the 1980s.
Speaking about Staten Island University Hospital and its storied history, Dr. Ardolic commented, “This building has helped us tremendously through COVID and we should always remember the team that did that for all of us” and he would turn the string of elected officials into attendance and thank them for all their dedication and hard work on behalf of the hospital.
“I appreciate everything the hospital has done and would like to publicly thank Staten Island University Hospital for their work over the past year with COVID,” said Borough President James Oddo before praising Dr. Ardolic and his team.
Thank you Dr. Ardolic and your team and your nursing staff and assistants. I have to thank them for how they saved my dad’s life and thank you for what you’ve done on the front lines over the past year. You took care of them in their last moments. And you have my deepest respect. And I also want to acknowledge Sebastian Angelico. And a shout out to former city councilor Vincent Ignizio. We are here in part because of his efforts, ”he added.
Philip Mancuso, Chairman of the Staten Island Foundation commented: “On behalf of the Foundation, I would like to acknowledge two benefactors, ECHO, represented by Sebastian Angelico, whose project has been in the works for several years and the Richmond County Savings Foundation represented by Cesar Claro who helped grow and expand the hospital’s South Site to meet the South Shore community. “
And Dr. Berwald explained, “We have new programs here in our emergency department. Our staff are trained to care for patients of all ages. We are so lucky to have a partner in ECHO. As we move into better times, we are looking for more pediatric partners and I want to thank Sebastian Angelico. “
The crowd then turned the corner to witness the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the ECHO Pediatric Emergency Unit.
“It is a great pleasure to celebrate the ECHO Pediatric Emergency Unit today,” said Angelico. “This vision has now become reality. This Emergency Unit will serve literally thousands of children for years to come. I would like to thank SIUH Northwell Health, our board of directors, employees and donors for their dedicated support. “
Finally, Dr. Ardolic’s heartfelt words: ‘At this point, someone was looking forward to us. So thank you to Sebastian Angelico and ECHO And thank you all for being there. We will also be holding other ribbon cutting ceremonies at our North location in the future and we look forward to adding extra beds for patients in both hospitals. “