In an evening of toasts, camaraderie and heartfelt reflections, the caregivers and staff of Northern Dutchess Hospital were recognized at its Starlight Ball on Saturday, June 11, at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.
“You are at the very heart of our community, and no truer words could be spoken: Nobody does it better than you,” said Hospital President Denise George, in reference to the James Bond-themed affair.
During the program, hospital leaders also announced plans for a $2.2 million Emergency Department expansion to ensure exceptional emergency services continue.
“Our Emergency Department was the pandemic gateway,” said Dr. Andrew Wilson, Northern Dutchess Hospital’s vice president of medical affairs and an emergency medicine physician. “Our staff, resources and capacity were pushed beyond their limits day in and day out. The pandemic and community needs have made it clear: We need to expand.”
About 300 people attended the 21st annual Starlight Ball, with 100 tickets donated to caregivers by generous sponsors from the community, medical staff and others. Organized by the hospital’s foundation, this year’s gala goal was for staff to attend at no cost and be recognized for helping the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our patients needed us,” Starlight Ball Co-Chair Dr. Wilson said. “Their families were trusting us, and we were called to act, adapt and help save as many of those precious lives we could.”
Starlight Ball Co-Chair Pamela Rhodes, hospital vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer, expressed “tremendous appreciation” for the doctors, nurses and support staff.
“You were working in unfamiliar areas with a common goal to care for and support critical patients during an unprecedented time. Through all the hardship, I witnessed your extraordinary collaboration.”
Some of the hospital’s accomplishments touted included:
- Bravery and perseverance despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus.
- The graduating residents of Nuvance Health’s inaugural family medicine residency based at Northern Dutchess Hospital.
- A record of more than 900 births last year at the Neurgarten Family Birth Center, bucking the trend of nationally declining birth rates.
- The establishment of the breast surgery program, which continues to grow in depth and scope.
- More than 400 cardiac catheterization procedures performed in the first year of the hospital’s state-of-the-art Cardiac Cath Lab opening.
“We have time and time again proven there is a light at the end of the hard times,” Dr. Wilson said. “We will continue to focus on working together to make this an exceptional facility poised and prepared for the future needs of our community.”