SLCH NICU 19th Birthday Party

SLCH NICU 19th Birthday Party


NEWBURGH, NY (August 1, 2016) – Nearly 250 guests, including former patients, families and staff, celebrated the work done by St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital's (SLCH) Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the 19th Annual NICU Graduate Birthday Party held on July 23 at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.

Notable attendees included Zach Siper, a NICU graduate who was the Newburgh Free Academy Class of 2016 valedictorian and will be attending Cornell University in the fall. Also in attendance was recently turned one-year-old Tamaya Berry. Tamaya was born at SLCH at 25 weeks, weighing just nine ounces at birth.

"This is one of the highlights of our year," Dr. Prabhakaer Kocherlakota (Dr. KP), who has worked in the Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit since it opened. "Our top priority is providing the highest quality care for our newest patients and their families during a very stressful time. It is such a joy to see these healthy and happy former patients and their families. It is an honor to celebrate with them and share their success stories."

Since its inception in 1997, the NICU has cared for premature infants and term newborns with infections, birth defects, breathing difficulties and growth restriction. Named after the late Elaine Kaplan, a local philanthropist who, along with her family, identified the need for enhanced health care for infants in this community, the Level II Unit provides a transport service for critically ill babies born at hospitals without neonatal expertise.

The event was co-chaired by Jill Cappa and Christine Cahill, members of the St. Luke's Cornwall Auxiliary. The attendees were treated to a fun-filled atmosphere that included a balloon artist, a bouncy house, games and food.

"Watching these families celebrate fills our hearts with such happiness," Cappa said. "Each family has a unique and touching story, and the health and happiness of these children are a tribute to the efforts of Dr. KP and his staff."

The food, venue and entertainment were all donated by local businesses and community members.

About St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY. The hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the Hudson Valley and has achieved excellence in the delivery of compassionate and comprehensive health care services. The Joint Commission noted SLCH for excellence in Key Quality Measures in management of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Stroke and Surgical Care. SLCH is also recognized as an industry leader in using information technology to improve patient care, by winning the Most Wired Award for the second year in a row. In January 2016, SLCH officially partnered with Montefiore Health System to strengthen the delivery of health care locally and enhance access to exceptional specialty care for Hudson Valley residents.