With the help of a $1.75 million donation from the Louis Feil Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, South Nassau Communities Hospital will relocate its cancer program to a centralized comprehensive cancer facility on its main campus in Oceanside.
Last week, South Nassau officials announced the donation, which was given in December and was the largest single gift the hospital received in 2018. The Feil family, of Rockville Centre, has given nearly $8.5 million to South Nassau in the past several years.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the Feil family,” said Joe Calderone, South Nassau’s vice president of corporate communications and development. “We’re very gratified that they’ve showed support to South Nassau for many years and displayed the confidence that we’d be good stewards for their generosity.”
Jeffrey J. Feil and his parents, the late Gertrude and Louis, were lifelong residents of Rockville Centre and have provided donations to South Nassau for many years. Jeffrey Feil serves as president and chief executive officer of the Feil Organization, a family-owned real estate investment, development and management company based in Manhattan. He said his organization was happy to help South Nassau expand its cancer program efforts.
“It is very gratifying for my family and me to see the gifts made by our family’s trust invested for the sole benefit of the patients that turn to South Nassau for the care they need to fight a cancer diagnosis,” he said in a statement. “South Nassau is my hospital, and it is my honor to support their mission.”
In addition to the $1.75 million donation late last year, the Feil Organization provided South Nassau with $3 million in 2011 to support the expansion of the Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center, one of the premiere cancer facilities in the state. It also donated $1.5 million to benefit the cancer program consolidation plan in 2017, which is expected for completion in three to five years, Calderone said.
In a statement, Richard J. Murphy, the president and chief executive officer for South Nassau, thanked the Feil Organization for its “generosity and steadfast commitment to help us improve cancer care for residents of the South Shore.”
The cancer center, in Valley Stream, is the hub for South Nassau’s cancer program, but a range of other services, including imaging, diagnostic support, counseling, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, are housed in Oceanside and at various hospital satellite facilities along the South Shore. The donation will enable South Nassau to consolidate everything under one roof.
“Our goal is to have everything in one place at the campus in Oceanside at South Nassau,” explained Dr. Rajiv Datta, the chair for the Department of Surgery and the director of the cancer center. “Currently, if a patient is seen for cancer treatment, they have to travel between Oceanside and Valley Stream, but in three to five years, everything will be here at the main campus.”
Datta said he believed that housing all the services in Oceanside would increase the cancer survival rate and help doctors collaborate easier when formulating treatment plans.
South Nassau will work with Mount Sinai Health System to expand the hospital’s cancer programs, Calderone said. South Nassau’s partnership with Mount Sinai was announced at a news conference in December.
Last year, the cancer program added services for liver cancer and expanded its staff of medical oncologists. An infusion center was also opened at the Oceanside hospital’s main campus, and through South Nassau’s partnership with Mount Sinai, the cancer center is now aligned with the Tisch Cancer Institute, which is
one of only 70 National Cancer Institute-designated centers in the country. The upgrade enabled patients to have access to cutting-edge clinical trials and leading physicians.
Treating about 1,500 patients annually, South Nassau’s cancer program has received the prestigious American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award three times since 2009. The national mark of excellence is awarded to eligible ACS accredited cancer programs every three years and reflects clinical process performance and patient outcomes.
In addition to the Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center, South Nassau incorporates specialty cancer care services, including the centers for prostate, breast and lung health, the radiation and surgical oncology departments and the Complete Women’s Imaging Center.
The cancer program consolidation is just one of many expansion projects in the works for South Nassau, including plans for a new, four-story southwest addition in Oceanside with an expanded Emergency Department, intensive-care beds and surgical suites. The expansion is part of a $400 million capital program, which is set to add enhancements at South Nassau, including a three-story parking structure, and a new central utility plant and electrical emergency facility on the hospital’s main campus and a medical arts pavilion at its Long Beach campus.
Datta said he was excited for the expansion of South Nassau’s cancer program. “This would be one of the first kind on the island because there are a lot of cancer programs, but everyone has services distributed across various towns,” he said, “so we would be one of the first ones to bring everything under one roof.”