BY JAMES HARNEY
In September and October at Coney Island Hospital, they don’t call the middle day of the week Wednesday — they call it “Pink Wednesday.”
That’s because on Wednesdays, the NYC Health and Hospitals facility’s Ocean Avenue lobby becomes awash in pink — the symbolic color of the battle against breast-cancer awareness — and is turned into a fund-raising emporium to raise money to boost the American Cancer Society’s ongoing fight to defeat the disease, according to a hospital executive.
“Here at Coney Island, on the six Wednesdays leading up to the American Cancer Society’s annual Breast Cancer Walk, which will happen this year on Oct. 21, we have what we call Pink Wednesdays,” said Pat Roman, the hospital’s Senior Associate Director of Patient Relations. “Staff members bring in baked goods and we set up tables for bake sales, and we have raffles.”
Some of the prizes raffled off, Roman said, include a dinner for two — worth $100 — at Coney Island’s famed Gargiulo’s Restaurant; flat-screen televisions; $500 Apple gift cards, a basket of Victoria’s Secret lingerie, and a $1,000 Cannondale road bicycle, donated by Roy’s Sheepshead Cycle shop in Sheepshead Bay.
“We separate our [hospital] departments into teams, and they compete with each other to see which team can raise the most money that week,” she said. “And we encourage patients to participate in the raffles. Anyone can participate. The goal is to get as many donations and raise as much money as we can to give to the American Cancer Society.”
And that encouragement has paid off — so far, she said, the hospital has raised “over $10,000” toward a goal of $15,000.
Coney Island Hospital competes annually with Brooklyn’s two other major municipal hospitals — Kings County Hospital and Woodhull Hospital — to see which can raise the most funding to boost the war against breast cancer, according to its chief executive, but the three facilities will be united behind the same NYC Health and Hospitals banner as they participate in the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Brooklyn edition, on the Riegelmann Boardwalk at 10 am this Sunday, he said.
“We each have a role to play in helping eliminate breast cancer. Each year our hospital departments come together to participate in efforts that bring awareness to the importance of breast cancer screening and to raise critical funds for treatment,” said William A. Brown, chief-executive officer at Coney Island Hospital. “Early detection is crucial in the fight against breast cancer, and we are fortunate that our hospital has the latest state-of-the-art screening technologies available.”
The newest of those technologies are in the hospital’s Outpatient Diagnostic Center Women’s Health Imaging Suite, opened in August, which serves as the hospital’s main ambulatory-imaging and diagnostic center, and is available to all patients in need of service.
The new unit is the result of a $9.5-million investment in construction and new technologies — funding provided through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to mitigate damage experienced in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy.
That funding was hailed by local pols including Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Marine Park), Coney Island Councilman Mark Treyger, and Brighton Beach Councilman Chaim Deutsch — who contributed $130,000 from his discretionary funding towards 3D women’s health imaging technology.
In addition to the GE 3D Senographe Pristina mammography unit, which allows radiologists to see breast-tissue details more clearly, and uncover breast cancer that may have otherwise been hidden by overlying breast tissue, the imaging suite is also equipped with:
• A hologic bone densitometry (DEXA) and osteoporosis scanning unit, which uses an enhanced form of X-ray technology used to measure bone loss. In addition to detecting early stages of osteoporosis and improving identification of hard-to-capture vertebral and femoral fractures, the unit features IVA-HD technology, which enables clinicians to visualize abdominal aortic calcifications, a significant predictor of cardiovascular disease.
• A Henry Schein panorex unit, a machine that takes jawbone and dental X-rays by moving around the head, rather than requiring the patient to accommodate the technology. The unit offers digital radiography, which offers reduced X-ray exposure compared to traditional X-ray-processing techniques.
• A Philips ultrasound unit, through which high-frequency sound waves capture images for a range of health-care purposes, including ultrasound-guided biopsies.
NYC Health + Hospitals’s Coney Island Hospital is a 371-bed facility, one of the public health system’s 11 acute-care hospitals that offers general and acute medical care to adults and children. The hospital offers inpatient services for primary and acute care in general medicine, adult medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, medical and surgical sub-specialties, coronary care, intensive care, obstetrics and gynecology, midwifery, neonatology, critical care, rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry, and behavioral health services to a primary service area of approximately 900,000 residents of Southern Brooklyn. The hospital has designations as a SAFE Center of Excellence under the Sexual Assault Reform Act, Designated AIDS Center (DACs), Level 2 Perinatal Center, and a New York State-designated Stroke Center.