Neonatal Intensive Care Unit holds 21st annual celebration

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  • Families reunite with Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota (Photo provided)

  • Two SLCH Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Graduates help to cut the cake at the hospital’s annual celebration. (Photo provided)

Former patients, families and staff gathered to celebrate St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital’s Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the annual NICU Graduate Birthday Party on Saturday, July 28 at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.

This year’s event marked the 21st anniversary of the hospital’s Level II NICU.

“This is one of the most special days of the year to all of us at SLCH,” said Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota, who has worked in the Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit since it opened, “Our connection to these families doesn’t end when their little one is able to leave our care, and it is always rewarding to see the healthy and happy lives they are leading. We remain dedicated to making sure our newest patients and their families receive the highest-quality care.”

The event was co-chaired by Jill Cappa of the St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation Board of Directors, and the SLCH Auxiliary and Christine Cahill, also a member of the Hospital’s Auxiliary Board.

“It is a sincere joy to have the chance to celebrate with so many families in this community,” Cappa said. “The work Dr. (Kocherlakota) and his staff do never ceases to amaze me. Their hard work and commitment to these children directly impact their health, happiness and success.”

The food, venue and entertainment were donated by local businesses and community members including, Adams Fairacre Farms, Arctic Glacier, Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Cappa Podiatry, Cosimo’s on Union Freihofer’s, Pete’s Hot Dogs, Pete Belford Provisions, Pepsi Cola of the Hudson Valley, and Target of Newburgh and DJ Echo, who happens to be a NICU parent, and many more.

“We would like to thank Mr. William Kaplan and the Newburgh Armory Unity Center for hosting this event for the fourth consecutive year,” said Anne Marie Schoonhoven, Executive Director of the St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation.

Since its inception in 1997, the NICU has cared for premature infants and term newborns with infections, birth defects, breathing difficulties and multiple problems.

Named after the late Elaine Kaplan, a local philanthropist who, along with her family, identified the need for enhanced health care for infants in this community, the Level II Unit provides a transport service for critically ill babies born at hospitals without neonatal expertise.

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY.

The hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the Hudson Valley and has achieved excellence in the delivery of compassionate and comprehensive health care services.

The Joint Commission noted SLCH for excellence in Key Quality Measures in the management of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Stroke and Surgical Care. SLCH is also recognized as an industry leader in using information technology to improve patient care, by winning the Most Wired Award for the fourth year in a row.

In January, SLCH officially became part of the Montefiore Health System to strengthen the delivery of health care locally and enhance access to exceptional specialty care for Hudson Valley residents.

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