By Lizzie Wilcox
Huntington Hospital joined forces with the community to raise awareness, and funds, for cancer research by sponsoring Relay for Life events at both Huntington Northport high schools, which raised a total of around $321,000.
This was the first time the hospital sponsored the Northport event, which was hosted on June 4 and raised $178,000, but the third time it sponsored Huntington’s event, which was hosted June 11 and raised over $143,000.
The hospital’s involvement in Huntington’s event stems from a partnership between the high school and the hospital established when the Gail Probst, the hospital’s director of cancer services, decided that she wanted to take its annual cancer survivorship dinner out into the community instead of being on the hospital grounds.
Gerard Brogan Jr., M.D., executive director of Huntington Hospital, attended the Huntington High School Relay for Life.
“In addition to taking care of patients when they’re sick battling cancer, we wanted to also participate more out in the community where they live, actually helping to celebrate those that battled this disease and are now survivors,” Brogan said. “That’s really what this is, a survivorship celebration, while also a remembrance of those who have died from cancer.”
At the event, Brogan spoke about the comprehensive cancer care that Huntington Hospital offers. Brogan described the cancer treatment process as “fractured” because many patients go into the city for chemotherapy and to local hospitals for the side effects or other medical problems. With the new offices on Pulaski Road that have cancer surgeons, medical oncologists and other types of procedures, patients can get “world class cancer care” without being “pulled away from their community hospitals, their doctors and their support network.”
The two buildings opened just over a year ago and continue to expand. The addition on the second floor of one of the buildings is expected to be complete by the end of the calendar year, according to Brogan.