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Stony Brook Children’s Installs Final Steel Beam at ‘Topping Off’ Ceremony – Marking Construction Milestone and Launching $2.5M Knapp Swezey Foundation ‘Children’s Challenge’
$5 million expected to be raised by Challenge, which will complete the Building Fund’s $25 million goal
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The installation of the final beam for the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital was celebrated at a ‘topping off’ ceremony attended by Stony Brook Medicine leaders Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, L. Reuven Pasternak, MD and Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD; Knapp Swezey Foundation representatives Danielle Knapp-SanGiovanni and Jesse SanGiovanni, Dave and Michele Knapp, and Foundation board member John J. Roe, III; Island Federal Credit Union CEO Bret Sears; as well as elected officials, donors, Stony Brook Children’s patients and family members. The beam was signed by them and others instrumental in supporting the construction of the new building. Credit: Stony Brook Medicine.

Stony Brook, NY, July 28, 2015 – At the “Topping Off” Ceremony for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, cheers were heard as a crane installed the final beam needed to complete the frame of the major building project on the Stony Brook Medicine campus. The event marked a major milestone for the project and also served as a launching point for the Knapp Swezey Foundation Children’s Challenge, a $2.5 million matching challenge pledge designed to raise the $5 million needed to complete the $25 million Children’s Hospital Building fund philanthropic goal. The Knapp Swezey Foundation has pledged a dollar-for-dollar match on all private donations and public funding received between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Before the ceremony, the final beam was signed by patients, families, donors, elected representatives and Stony Brook Medicine leadership.

“Stony Brook Medicine has been such an important resource for the health and wellness of the Long Island community for so long,” said Foundation Board Member David Knapp. “We hope this matching challenge pledge will create even more awareness and support from the community to ensure the children of Suffolk County receive the very best care available.”

“We are grateful to the Knapp Swezey Foundation for their generosity across campus over the years,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “The Knapp Swezey Children’s Challenge is an incredible example of their confidence in Stony Brook’s mission and how philanthropy provides the margin of excellence in all we do. It will also help position Stony Brook Children’s as a leader in pediatric care and a model children’s hospital of the future.”

During the ceremony, leadership of Stony Brook Medicine, Knapp Swezey Foundation, Island Federal Credit Union, other donors, elected officials, Stony Brook Children’s medical staff, and young patients and their families assembled on the 5th floor patio of Stony Brook University Hospital, with the backdrop of the massive construction site, where 465,000 square feet of building construction will lead to new space devoted to Stony Brook Medicine clinical care, research and training.

“We want everyone interested in supporting Stony Brook Children’s to know that donations made through June 30, 2016 to the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Building will be matched by the Knapp Swezey Foundation – doubling the impact of their gift,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “The Knapp Swezey Foundation has been a great friend, and we are thankful for this generous pledge.”

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The final beam going into place during the ‘topping off’ ceremony for the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Credit: Stony Brook Medicine.

Dr. Kaushansky also recognized New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Senator Kenneth LaValle, the Senate’s Chair of Higher Education, for their ongoing support in securing the original $53 million in state funding for the project.  He also thanked Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, as well as Brookhaven Town Council members Valerie Cartright and Daniel Panico, who were all present for the ceremony. 

“This hospital will help a great number of children and families in our region. Congratulations to everyone who has worked throughout the year to construct this state-of-the-art facility,” said Senator Flanagan. “This effort was a great partnership of state funding and private donations, and we are very appreciative of all who joined together for the good of our community, including the Knapp Swezey Foundation and Island Federal Credit Union.”

“This project is one of my most cherished accomplishments in that it will benefit the lives of Suffolk County children and families for years to come,” said Senator LaValle. “Today we celebrate a major milestone and recognize all those who have contributed, from the financial donors to the pediatricians and doctors to labor and their workers who are making this dream a reality.”

“The Knapp Swezey Foundation’s dedication to ensuring that Stony Brook Children’s is able to provide Long Island families with the best possible care, has been tremendously encouraging,” said L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Vice President for Health Systems, Stony Brook University Hospital. “We are grateful for the momentum this matching challenge has infused into this project, particularly at this pivotal time when the next phase of construction is beginning.”

Also acknowledged at the Topping Off ceremony was Island Federal Credit Union (Island) for its $750,000 gift to the new Children’s Hospital building fund earlier in the year, as part of its $7 million, 10-year partnership with Stony Brook University.

Bret Sears, CEO and President of Island applauded the Knapp Swezey Foundation’s commitment and expects it will build on the groundswell of support for the new Children’s Hospital. “Island Federal Credit Union is proud to partner with Long Island’s businesses, nonprofits, and community members to support Stony Brook and bring the very best pediatric facilities, doctors, and clinical care to Suffolk County families,” he said.

The Knapp Swezey Foundation, together with their friends and family, have been dedicated supporters of Stony Brook Children’s since 2010 with a total impact of $14.4 million, including the new matching challenge pledge. Most recently, in September 2014, the Foundation gave a $2.7 million gift, which enabled Stony Brook Children’s to complete a $9 million matching challenge for the new building from an anonymous donor.

“The generous support of the Knapp Swezey Foundation is helping to make Stony Brook Children’s a reality,” said Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, and Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “The new Stony Brook Children’s hospital is an important addition to Stony Brook Medicine; it will provide all private rooms to allow parents to comfortably stay with their children, and lots of play space and respite areas for families. The new facility will also support cutting edge clinical programs and allow us to recruit and retain the best pediatric doctors in the country and expand the research frontier toward developing groundbreaking therapies for the cure of childhood disease and disability.”

Designed for pediatric patients and their families, the new 71,500 square foot Stony Brook Children’s will feature single patient rooms geared for children of all ages, family suites with private sleep and bathing areas, and playrooms and teen relaxation spaces designed by Stony Brook Child Life Specialists. It will also expand the pediatric research program at Stony Brook Medicine.

The new Stony Brook Children’s is part of a major expansion project currently underway that will allow Stony Brook Medicine to grow with the changing needs of families throughout Suffolk County and beyond. It will be located within the 10-level University Hospital Pavilion, which is part of a 465,000 square foot development that also includes a state-of-the-art research and clinical care facility, the Medical and Research Translation building. The new facilities are being built adjacent to Stony Brook University Hospital.

The philanthropic goal for the new Children’s Hospital is $25 million, of which more than $20 million has already been raised. To donate and double the value of your gift with the Knapp Swezey Children’s Challenge, please visit stonybrook.edu/childrenschallenge.

For more about the Knapp Swezey Children’s Challenge, click on this video.

To learn more about the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, click here.

About Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

With 106 beds, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 8,000 children and young adults are discharged each year. Stony Brook Children’s has more than 160 pediatric specialists in over 30 specialties. The hospital is Suffolk County’s only Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the highest designations possible from the New York State Department of Health. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, and Cystic Fibrosis Center. To learn more, visit stonybrookchildrens.org

About Island Federal Credit Union

Island Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y., is a not-for-profit, full -service financial institution, providing affordable banking products and services to Long Islanders. Founded in 1955, Island has grown to be among the top performing credit unions in New York State with over $1 billion in assets, serving more than 33,000 members. Island’s successful track record can be attributed to consistently delivering the best rates, no hidden fees, and exceptional service to its members. When banking at Island, members have access to a complete menu of loan and deposit products, including: Simply Free Checking accounts, Certificate accounts, IRAs, Auto, Mortgage, Home Equity loans and lines, a Best Rate and a Best Rewards MasterCard® and Student Choice College loans. For anytime access, Island offers free 24/7/365 customer service, online banking, bill payer, and mobile banking services. In 2014, Island announced a 10-year, multi-faceted partnership with Stony Brook University that included naming rights of the Island Federal Credit Union Arena, sponsorship of the Stony Brook Film Festival, support of the Long Island State Veterans Home and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital as well as providing two branches and more than 11 ATMs on the Stony Brook University campus. In addition to the Stony Brook University locations, Island operates seven full service branches throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties, located in Bellmore, Hauppauge, Hicksville, Massapequa, Riverhead, Sayville, and Selden. Island members can also access their Island accounts at more than 5,000 shared credit union branches throughout the country, and over 55,000 surcharge-free ATM networks nationwide. For more information about Island, stop by any branch, visit their website, islandfcu.com, or call (631) 851-1100.