Grateful Patients Shine a Light on ELIH

Posted on 1/3/2017


Peter and Erica Harold from the CLC Kramer Foundation and the David J. and Bobbie Marks Family Fund awarded Eastern Long Island Hospital with a total of $950,000 to the ELIH Foundation in the past year.

As a result of these gifts, a Storm Hardening Project and a Breast Health Program are now in progress at Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH).  These innovative projects expand the hospital’s reach and put the ELIH Foundation at the forefront of Long Island philanthropy.

 When a fractured wrist brought Erica to ELIH for orthopedic surgery, she was so grateful for the care she received that she wanted to do more. After learning about the need for a storm hardening plan and later a 3 D mammography breast tomosynthesis system for more comprehensive breast cancer screening exams, the Harolds’ decided to help their community hospital.      

Erica and Peter who have been year-round residents of Cutchogue since 2011, are the newest members of the ELIH Foundation Board of Directors.  Together they are sharing their enthusiasm for ELIH.

“Both Erica and I are honored to be part of the ELIH Foundation Board.  All board members work very hard in terms of promoting and fundraising for ELIH. Working with dedicated individuals who have such diverse backgrounds is both encouraging and rewarding,” states Peter. 

Erica and Peter have a great deal of expertise and knowledge to contribute to the ELIH Foundation Board.  Before they arrived on the North Fork, they were both instrumental in helping other medical organizations and hospitals further west on Long Island including St. Francis Hospital and North Shore-LIJ Health System for children’s developmental services and general medical care.  Their family foundation has provided funding for the arts, healthcare, research and education.   

“It is clear that grateful patients make grateful donors,” states Scott V. Bennett, Chairman of the ELIH Foundation. “What makes the Harolds’ involvement especially unique is their deep understanding of the daily operations of a community hospital and its needs.”  

 Thanks to the Harolds’ and their family foundation, the David J. and Bobbie Marks Family Fund, ELIH recently completed the construction of a cement sea wall around the hospital’s perimeter.  “Now that the wall is complete, ELIH can move forward with engineering recommendations to purchase and house a redundant emergency generator and install a water extraction system,” states Paul J. Connor III, President/CEO.  “All of these reinforcements are part of the hospital’s emergency preparedness plan to keep ELIH safe from flooding during extreme weather conditions such as nor’easters, storms and hurricanes,” he adds.

“These contributions from the Harolds’ on behalf of both family foundations reinforce our mission to provide the best care possible at a community hospital,” states Linda S. Sweeney, Executive Director Foundation/Community Relations.  “Peter and Erica put a great deal of value on the type of care ELIH delivers and support the availability of leading edge medical expertise on the East End.”

Established in 2006, the ELIH Foundation raises funds for capital projects and manages the hospital’s resources to keep pace with technological advancements and infrastructure preservation.  Since its inception, over          $9 million has been raised to ensure Eastern Long Island Hospital’s presence as a first-class medical facility.  As ELIH moves forward with its affiliation with Stony Brook University Hospital, the ELIH Foundation will continue to raise funds to improve the Eastern Long Island campus. All of the funds raised stay at ELIH.  With a growing patient population in need of more innovative services, Eastern Long Island Hospital expects to break ground for a major operating room expansion in 2017.  With $3.5 million raised toward this $5.2 million reconstruction project, ELIH can begin Phase I of the project.  Once completed, operating room space will be available at Eastern Long Island Hospital for Stony Brook Medicine physicians to perform a multitude of advanced surgeries locally.