Our Stories

Be Treated, Well
Meaningful human connections are what good caregiving is all about.  At Greenwich Hospital, they’re happening all the time – with patients, clinicians, staff and volunteers on the units, in treatment areas, over coffee and in the hallways. Personal tales like these are the heartbeat of Greenwich Hospital. Take a moment to add your GH story, too! 

Caroline Lodato, MD, Hospitalist
“After my brother passed away at Greenwich hospital earlier this year, I promised myself that I would make sure to let you know about a pivotal moment in his life that was facilitated by Dr. Lodato. Patiently waiting for our family to be at his side, she had the heartbreaking task of telling him he only had a few days to live. When she introduced herself and pulled a chair up close to my brother, she was able to deliver the news in such a way that “you don’t learn in medical school” to quote my brother. Her ability to draw him and his wife out of denial was a blessing. … If not for Dr. Lodato, we would have not had an opportunity to lavish him with the love and companionship he deserved during the last days and moments of his life. We think very highly of Dr. Lodato. She has a gift, and Greenwich hospital and its patients are lucky to have her.”

Andrea Daur, RN, Pediatric Clinic
“Like most of us who go on vacation, Andrea tried not to think of work. That changed when she heard the pilot’s request that ‘any medical personnel please come to the front of the plane.’ Andrea did not hesitate for a minute. She left her husband and family sleeping in their seats and stepped forward. She found an unconscious elderly lady in first class with her daughter beside her crying and desperately trying to revive her. Andrea went into ‘auto pilot’ and began CPR together with a flight attendant. Andrea quickly inserted an intravenous line and after administering two shocks from a defibrillator, the woman was conscious and speaking. Accepting praise from the flight crew, she proudly mentioned her long career at Greenwich Hospital. When Andrea relayed this story to the clinic staff, she had nothing but praise for the flight crew, but also expressed gratitude for years of training here at the hospital. We were impressed, but not surprised, that she transferred her pediatric skills to the care of this elderly woman. For her heroics, Andrea was allowed to spend the rest of her flight in first class; but for all of us, she will forever remain a first-class pediatric nurse. Congratulations, Andrea!”

Mabel Scott, Respiratory Therapist
“Mabel was taking care of a patient in ICU with ALS. The patient was a young mother with a husband and a five-year-old daughter. The husband was extremely attentive and made the decision to have his wife, who was ventilator dependent, flown to Boston for some follow-up treatment. It took all afternoon to make the arrangements and unfortunately, shortly after they were finalized, the flight was cancelled due to the weather. An ambulance transfer was then arranged. The ambulance company needed to take the hospital’s ventilator with the patient, but because of liability and training issues, they didn’t have the personnel to manage it. Nearing the end of a 12-hour shift, Mabel volunteered to accompany the patient in the ambulance to Boston – an 8-hour round trip. She stayed with the patient throughout the trip, assuring that the ventilator was adequately supporting her. Mabel returned to Greenwich at 3 am the following morning. She went way beyond doing a wonderful job. She went the extra mile – or in this case, the extra 400 miles – for the exceptional care of a patient. Thank you.”

Caitriona Perna, RN, Gastroenterology
While attending a meeting at her daughter’s school, Caitriona jumped up to assist a woman who had suddenly slumped over her table. The woman started to convulse and lose her pulse. With the help of two others, Caitriona eased the woman to the floor and started CPR until the defibrillator/AED was brought in. Caitriona placed the defibrillator pads on the woman and followed the protocol for defibrillation. “Little did Caitriona know, but the woman was the mother of a child in her daughter’s class. If it hadn’t been for Caitriona’s quick thinking and skills, together with the realization of the importance of timely intervention with an AED, the woman may not have recovered. The woman, who had no cardiac history, had suffered a sudden ventricular arrhythmia and was rushed to surgery for a pacemaker. She is fine today and called to personally thank Caitriona. The training we receive at Greenwich Hospital allows us to help those in our care here and also in the community. Congratulations, Caitriona, on an extraordinary, lifesaving effort.”

Evan Fieldale, Plant Maintenance
“Coming to the hospital for a procedure can be nerve wracking enough for a patient, but coupling that with a seemingly small mishap, was almost more than one elderly woman could manage. On a recent morning, this patient arrived for a procedure and accidentally struck a fire control box on the wall of the visitor garage. Her rear side window shattered and glass was everywhere. The patient was visibly upset and worried. Evan was called and arrived immediately … prepared! He vacuumed her car, removing every last shard of glass, and secured a plastic sheet over the window. The patient was extremely grateful and relieved and was able to proceed to have her procedure. Thank you, Evan, for a great job!”
 Matthew Lubin, MD, Hospitalist Department
“Dr. Lubin was in Florida taking care of an ailing family member when he received a call from a former patient’s son. This was a patient he had taken care of over a year ago at Greenwich Hospital and with whom he had shared his cell phone number at that time. Listening to the son’s account of the patient’s symptoms, Dr. Lubin assessed that he should go immediately to the Emergency Department. He then phoned a physician, the covering hospitalist, and the Emergency Department informing them of this incoming patient’s medical situation. As a result, the patient received timely care, including an MRI followed by emergency surgery. Because of Dr. Lubin, the patient had the necessary surgery in time, protecting a vital aspect of the patient’s life. Dr. Lubin took time out from caring for his own family, to look out for a former patient. This is not atypical for Dr. Lubin, who is generally known as a friendly, thoughtful and good-natured physician. He often goes the extra mile, staying at the hospital many hours after his shift ends to make sure his patients are well cared for. Thank you, Dr. Lubin, for your excellent care.”
Morgan Harris, Physical Medicine
Unwavering determination to help a patient equally determined to resist her help

“I credit Morgan with helping to save my life. In June 2012, I had a below the knee amputation of the right leg. How I came to have this operation is not important. What is important is what happened the day after the surgery when Morgan appeared in my room. She was determined to get me moving as much as possible that first day. However, I was equally determined to resist or complain about my depressed outlook for the future. The war of wills had begun, and I should have known then, I’d lose the contest. Morgan, ignoring my rants about depression, continued for the next six weeks to show me how to navigate this new world. She would make me do bed exercises, wheelchair transfers, and, yes, even the parallel bars on one leg. The net result is that I was very well prepared for my stay in the rehab center. I currently do outpatient physical therapy with Morgan twice a week, and I’m getting stronger each day. I hope your hospital has some sort of employee recognition program. Morgan is a tremendous asset for anyone she helps with physical rehabilitation.”
Lynne Bisceglia, RN
Christine DiSilvio, RN
Labor & Delivery

An experienced nurse praises the nurses who cared for her in labor & delivery
“I was admitted to Labor & Delivery to deliver my son. I was greeted by Christine….Beyond being kind and caring…she is also brilliant and smart. …Her fellow nurse Lynne…has the patience of a good teacher, the nurturing of a mother and the skill of an ideal nurse. Labor and delivery nurses have two patients at all times in the room: mom and baby. They know anything can happen at any time….Not a day goes by where I haven’t bragged about Christine, Lynne and Greenwich Hospital….Thank you for having such excellent nurses!”
Heather Leigh Studwell, OT, Physical Medicine
"Heather has been my therapist following my mastectomy. I hope you know how wonderful she is. She is extremely knowledgeable and professional. I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful she has been to me. Heather is the one who has guided me through my recovery, telling me what to expect, what I can do and what I can’t do and, most importantly, what I need to do to improve. Greenwich Hospital is very lucky to have Heather, and I was lucky to have her as my therapist. She is the best."
Sonia Mamraj, RN, Surgery
Special care by a compassionate nurse leaves a lasting memory 

“I was recently a patient on the surgical floor and had the pleasure of having a terrific nurse. Sonia was so caring, professional and dedicated that I know I will never, ever forget her. Even when I was not her assigned patient, she noticed that I was uncomfortable. She came to my aid, fixed my bed, gave me a much-needed back rub and helped me back to bed. This was a very special kind of caring at a time when it mattered most to me. Sonia helps make Greenwich Hospital a unique and special place.”

Steven Heffer, MD, Emergency Dept.
John Setaro, MD, Medical Staff
A patient shares his heartfelt gratitude

“We were visiting our family in Greenwich when I felt chest pain. We called 911 and were taken to Greenwich Hospital. Your ED staff was caring, well trained and efficient. Dr. Heffer confirmed immediately that I was having a heart attack and explained that I would undergo a cardiac catheterization procedure. Dr. Setaro did a great job and installed two stents in my right heart artery, which was 100% clogged. My comfort and attitude toward life increased immediately. Your hospital and staff, led by Dr. Heffer and Dr. Setaro, saved my life that day. Thank you for my life.”

Paul Pryce, Medicine Unit
A staff member commends colleague’s dedication to his team.

“We hear many stories about Paul’s courtesies and kindness in serving patients. In addition, he is a dedicated team member who showed this quality when, in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, Paul promised his team members that he would make it to the hospital regardless of the weather. On that Sunday, driving down North Street on his way to work, Paul encountered a fallen tree blocking the road. He’d made a commitment to come to work, so he got busy … moving the fallen tree and limbs to the side of the road. He arrived at work with a broad smile, soaking wet and a little muddy, but ready to work. Paul showed an unfailing dedication to his team. And on that day, like superman, nothing could stop him.”

John C., Patient
A patient sends Greenwich Hospital thanks for making his life "a little brighter."

“While I was here on an inpatient basis, the nurses made me feel welcome and that I truly mattered…. It is rare in today’s state of healthcare that people go beyond in what they are expected to already do. A hug, a handshake, a calling of your name when you walk in are things that are wanted by patients, but unheard of. ALL of your staff does these things, they do them repeatedly, and they do them WELL.

“This hospital is a shining example of what a hospital can be and should be. My battle is an uphill one, but I have the good fortune of being surrounded by a staff of professionals that care and that alone gives me hope. I thank you for this hospital and all you have done and I appreciate everything that has been done for me, to me and given me in a total effort to make my life a little better…a little brighter.”

Dr. Franklin Loria, Hospitalist
Rx to engage a reluctant patient? Pizza with just the right toppings.

“Today was just one example of how my colleague, Dr. Loria, made a difference in a patient’s life. This elderly patient was not cognitively sound and was reluctant to eat or get out of bed. When Dr. Loria engaged him in conversation, the gentleman recalled that he liked pizza. With a bit more coaxing, he remembered that he preferred pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms. The deal was struck!

“Dr. Loria told the patient that he would order a pizza for him if he would promise to get out of bed and eat. He then personally placed the order – with all the right toppings – and waited in the lobby for the delivery. While the patient ate, Dr. Loria sat and chatted with him. He then spoke with the family, helping them to understand his condition and encouraging them to remember the good times with their loved one.

“Whether taking a patient to the hospital garden to see the flowers, finding the perfect socks for an elderly lady, or ordering a pizza, Dr. Loria demonstrates a very special kind of compassion.” 

Valerie Romanello, RN, Operating Room
A surgeon applauds the nurse who came in on Christmas Eve to help save a life.

“On Christmas Eve, I was called to the Emergency Dept. to see a young mother who had a sudden catastrophic brain hemorrhage. She needed to be taken immediately to the operating room, or she would die. I knew I needed a very experienced OR nurse and asked for Valerie, who was not on call and was busy cooking for her family and preparing for the holiday. Within 20 minutes, Valerie appeared in the OR. We stopped the bleeding, and the patient woke up without having suffered a stroke. She was walking and talking within days and celebrated her birthday in the hospital soon afterward with her family and two-year-old.

“Valerie is dedicated, professional and always willing to do whatever it takes to help a patient in need. This patient was able to enjoy Christmas and look toward the New Year – all thanks to Valerie’s unwavering dedication.” 
  Tom Milucci, PT, Physical Medicine
For this patient, physical therapist Tom Milucci was literally a lifesaver.

“I have been going to Tom for PT since having a total knee replacement and have had terrific results. I am convinced that Tom saved my life twice in a three-day period. When walking from the waiting room to the gym, I was quite short of breath, which I attributed to my weight. Tom noticed and asked if he could call my internist. I agreed and was seen immediately. A CT scan revealed blood clots in my lungs and treatment began immediately. The second experience occurred two days later. Tom always asks me how I feel before we begin our session. I told him I had been feeling faint earlier in the morning. He took my blood pressure and called my doctor once again. I was taken directly to the ED, where I was admitted for very low blood pressure. In both cases, if Tom had not acted promptly, the results could have been disastrous. He is an exceptional, astute, professional and caring member of your staff.” 
Lynn Kelly and Kye, Nancy Stillerman and Phoebe, Good Dog Foundation Volunteers
Therapy dogs are great, and so are their owners – especially when they go the extra mile for a patient.

“Nancy and Lynn have been bringing therapy dogs Phoebe and Kye to our Aphasia Support Group for a number of years. These ladies’ genuine warmth and enthusiasm touches everyone, and Phoebe and Kye offer unconditional love, support and cuddles (as well as some pretty impressive tricks). It is heartwarming to see the interaction between these dogs and those who struggle to communicate. Nancy and Lynn have always given of themselves to make our group meaningful to each participant. But today, Lynn went above and beyond her typical volunteer role. At the end of the group session, one of the patients asked that we contact ‘Call a Ride’ for her. Unfortunately, because it was a holiday, they were not operating. When the patient became tearful, Lynn reassured the woman that she would get her home safely and even brought her car up to the front door to pick her up. As the group’s facilitator, I thank both Nancy and Lynn – and Kye and Phoebe – today and every day they have given to the group.” 
Paul Duffus, Food Services
To a wheelchair-bound cafeteria patron, Paul was a godsend.

“I am confined to a wheelchair and sometimes logistics are difficult. I was recently in your cafeteria and having a rough time. I was trying to balance things on my lap while navigating my wheelchair, and honestly, was becoming frustrated. At that very moment, Paul came over and took my tray; I never even had to ask.  He helped me to my seat and asked if I needed anything else. To my surprise and delight, when I was finished eating he appeared again to offer his help. I never had to ask; he just magically appeared. He was so very kind and helpful and I dearly appreciated his help. Being a person in a wheelchair is hard enough and to find someone so kind these days is very refreshing!” 
Kathy Chisholm, RN, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
A “miracle” nurse helps a developmentally disabled woman through eye surgery.

“Our daughter had cataract surgery at the Helmsley Surgical Center in January. As she is developmentally disabled, the preparation for the surgery was perhaps not the easiest. Our nurse, Kathy, explained that she would be with our daughter through the whole procedure, and she was. Everything went beautifully. Our daughter was totally relaxed and cooperative because of Kathy and the dedicated staff at the Center. I believe it was a miracle that Kathy was there that day. It was a delight to see her holding our daughter’s hand as she was wheeled into the operating suite – the two of them loudly singing ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry.’ I thought, ‘yes they do’ as tears streamed down my own face. How blessed we were to have such an accomplished professional nurse at her side.” 

A Grateful Dad’s Story
A new dad gives high praise to GH’s Maternity Team.

“I cannot say enough about the level of care provided to my wife and newborn son. Dr. Stephen Carolan delivered our son via C-section Saturday morning. His confidence and skills made the experience something to behold. Worthy of equal note is a nurse named Lynn from your Labor and Delivery team. She so clearly took great pride in not only getting the job done right, but also in every little detail that made my wife comfortable and calm. Then there was Christa from that staff, the anesthesiologists...the list goes on and they all were quite amazing in not just skill, which you would expect, but also in attitude. Add to it an amazing facility and it’s clear where this hospital gets its reputation from. Many, many thanks!” 

Robert Meltzer, Volunteer
A patient and his pets get TLC from a volunteer who really listened.

“As Bob escorted  a gentleman from his Ultrasound exam, the patient told him he was extremely upset that he was going to be admitted to the hospital.  He explained that his two dogs were at home and needed to be fed.  Bob offered to call a friend or neighbor for him, but the patient explained there was no one to call.  That’s when Bob offered further help.  

“When Bob got to the patient’s home, there was little food for the dogs and not much for the owner either.  He made a trip to the store and bought dog food and the basics so the patient  would have something upon his return home.  During the next several weeks Bob fed, walked and cared for the dogs and even arranged a visit to the vet.  As more time passed and the patient could no longer care for his pets, Bob helped to find them new, permanent homes.  

“The extraordinary help he provided for this patient exemplify Bob’s kindness, generosity and resourcefulness.  He extended himself in a truly magnificent way.”   

Eileen Toretta, Home Hospice Volunteer
 Friendship and a helping hand are hallmarks of this special volunteer.

“Eileen has been a Home Hospice volunteer for a number of years and has always provided excellent care to her patients. Not too long ago, she agreed to see an elderly gentleman who lived alone and suffered from cancer. It turned out that she quickly became his lifeline. She helped him with shopping, transportation to doctor’s appointments and shared friendly companionship. When he could no longer live on his own and moved to a hospice residence, she continued her visits and stayed in touch by telephone.

“Greenwich Hospital commends Eileen on her commitment to this gentleman. She not only did a marvelous job for him, she extends this measure of warmth and kindness to all of her patients. Thank you.” 

Joanne Bellantoni, Patient and Guest Relations; Jessica Page, Admitting; Mikhail Rappaport, MRI
This team exceeded all expectations as they helped a patient complete an MRI.

“I never had any trouble with taking an MRI, but this time I had barely started when the noise became too much.  The technologist suggested I speak with my doctor and reschedule the exam.  Disappointed, I got dressed and went back to the reception desk where Jessica greeted me.  Her warmth, kindness and willingness to stay with me were exceptional. She insisted that I get something to eat and even escorted me to the cafeteria.  

“While Jessica sat with me, she called Joanne who was equally concerned and considerate. Joanne felt that if I could talk with Mikhail, perhaps I could tolerate the test.  His kind words were so reassuring.  I retook the MRI with Mikhail at the helm.  He provided earplugs, confidence and an atmosphere in which I could successfully complete the test.  Everyone should know how wonderful this team is and to what lengths they went to help me.”

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