NEWBURGH – The Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit hosted its 22nd Annual NICU Graduate Birthday Party on Saturday, July 13 at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. Former patients, families, friends and MSLC staff gathered to celebrate those of all ages born in the NICU since its inception in 1997.
“We look forward to this special celebration every year,” said Dr. Prabhakar Kocherlakota, affectionately known as Dr. KP, who has been working in the Elaine Kaplan NICU since its beginning. “It is incredibly fulfilling seeing the children born in our NICU continuing to grow and develop into happy and healthy young adults. We are committed to upholding the family bonds we have established long ago and although they may have left our hospital, they haven’t left our hearts.”
The food, entertainment and venue were generously donated by local businesses and community members including: Adams Fairacre Farms, Artic Glacier, Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Cappa Podiatry, Cosimo’s on Union, DJ Echo, Melyssa DeLorenzo, The Dabroski Family, Pat Garrison, Girl Scout Troop 60174 of Newburgh, Hannaford of Walden, Leo’s Pizzeria, March of Dimes, Maternal Infant Services Network, Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Mobile Life Support Services, MSLC Food and Nutrition Department, Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Newburgh Fire Department, Pete Belford Provisions, Pete’s Hot Dogs, Pureleaf, Rockland Bakery, St. Luke’s Cornwall Auxiliary, Stewart’s Shops and Target of Newburgh.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to Mr. William Kaplan and the Newburgh Armory Unity Center for hosting the event,” said Joan Cusack-McGuirk, MSLC President and CEO. “Thank you to our generous donors, vendors, and MSLC staff for making the event possible.”
This year’s event was chaired by Jill Cappa, Vice-Chair of the St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation Board of Directors. “We’d like to thank Dr. KP and his team for building and maintaining the relationships with the NICU families; along with the SLCHS Foundation for organizing another successful celebration,” Cappa said.
Parents delivering babies at MSLC have the added comfort of knowing that the Elaine Kaplan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is just steps away from the Birthing Center. The Level II NICU offers acute and chronic care for premature infants and ill full-term babies born throughout the region. MSLC offers a transport service for critically ill babies at other hospitals without neonatal expertise. Using a family-centered approach, the NICU provides medical care to critically ill babies and offers special therapeutic services, community referrals, family education, and discharge planning.
In March 2019, the hospital changed its name from St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital to Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall.