South Nassau Soirée honors community leaders


In honor of their leadership and vision that led to the affiliation between South Nassau Communities Hospital and the Mount Sinai Health System, Joseph Fennessy, chairman of South Nassau’s board of directors, and Dr. Arthur Klein president of the Mount Sinai Health Network, have been named co-honorees of South Nassau’s Soirée Under the Stars gala.

The hospital also will honor Dr. Jason Freeman director of interventional cardiology, and Willie Wright, transporter, who will be presented with the hospital’s Mary Pearson and the Cupola awards, respectively on Sept. 29 at the Seawane Club in Hewlett.

The Mount Sinai Health System and Fennessy will serve as co-lead Soirée sponsors. Other major sponsors include Terri & Steven Gold, the Feil Family Foundation, HOK Architects, Neurological Surgery, P.C., and South Nassau’s medical staff.

Funds raised at the Soirée will support the hospital’s five-year, $10 million capital campaign to expand its Emergency Department. The renovation and expansion will nearly double the Department’s capacity.

“Both Joe Fennessy and Dr. Klein were instrumental in helping to forge the affiliation between South Nassau and Mount Sinai, one of the world’s leading medical institutions. This move will benefit patients on the South Shore and across Long Island for decades to come,” said South Nassau president chief executive officer, Richard J. Murphy. “ … This honor is well deserved for both men.”

Final regulatory approval of the Mount Sinai-South Nassau affiliation is pending and a closing on the deal is expected this fall.

“The Mount Sinai affiliation is the culmination of a long process that was designed to steer South Nassau into the future,” said Fennessy. “My work at South Nassau has been a labor of love … I am humbled and honored to be recognized, along with Dr. Klein who is a visionary leader and who has been a great partner during the affiliation process.”

A major contributor to the hospital’s expansion campaign, Fennessy has served on South Nassau’s board of directors since September of 2003 and was elected chairman in June 2012. He is a retired former partner and chief operating officer of the Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Northeast region. Fennessy has been essential to South Nassau’s strategic growth plan that will improve medical services for the entire South Shore of Long Island.

“I am proud to be honored by South Nassau Communities Hospital and to represent the Mount Sinai Health System at this important event,” Klein said. “It’s a demonstration of our shared commitment to the health and well-being of Long Island residents today and in the years to come.”

A recognized leader in health care delivery innovation and management, Klein has served as president of the Mount Sinai Health Network since February, 2013. A newly created role at the time of his appointment, Klein has spearheaded the growth of the health system’s network of more than 150 clinical relationships, including 18 affiliated hospitals, five nursing homes, 23 employed physician practices and 9 additional large group practice affiliations throughout New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.

Dr. Klein’s management and leadership responsibilities also include national and international initiatives for Mount Sinai and he is executive vice president of The Mount Sinai Hospital and executive vice president of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

As a result of the generosity of South Nassau’s supporters, more than $9 million has been raised toward the Emergency Department expansion campaign. The first phase of the Emergency Department expansion was completed in late 2017 with the opening of a $4.5 million, 10-bed annex that features a design specifically to facilitate communication between patients, visitors and emergency department staff.

South Nassau’s Mary Pearson Award, named in honor of the hospital’s founding administrator, is presented annually to an individual for extraordinary effort and individual contributions that significantly advance South Nassau’s mission of service. Since joining South Nassau in 2006 as director of interventional cardiology, Freeman has forged a reputation for leadership and medical innovation in the specialty of interventional cardiology.

Freeman was recruited to South Nassau soon after it was selected by the New York State Department of Health in July 2006 to participate in a statewide pilot program that allowed selected hospitals without open-heart surgical programs to perform elective angioplasty.

Since then, under Freeman’s leadership, the interventional cardiology program at South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health has successfully performed thousands of angioplasties and grown to offer a wide range of specialized elective coronary and peripheral interventional procedures.

“Dr. Freeman is an outstanding physician whose devotion to his patients and to the mission and vision of the hospital is exemplary,” said Dr. Adhi Sharma, South Nassau’s executive vice president for clinical and professional affairs and chief medical officer.

South Nassau established the Cupola Award in 2015, presented to a deserving hospital employee who goes above and beyond their duties, and lives by the hospital mission to promote excellence in healthcare. Wright, the 2018 Cupola Award recipient, has worked at South Nassau for 30 years, joining the hospital in 1988 as a nursing transporter. Known and beloved throughout the hospital as ‘Willie,’ Wright has a passion to be at the patient’s side as they are transported in and out of the hospital, reassuring them and making them feel at home.

The Soirée is South Nassau’s most successful annual fundraising effort. This year’s format will feature a two-hour, outdoor reception starting at 6:30 p.m. that will be highlighted by an unlimited top-shelf open bar, passed hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and a variety of savory food stations, followed by a Broadway revue performed by award-winning actors.