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John T. Mather Memorial Hospital

By Ernestine Franco

The Sound Beach Civic Association brought together a number of health professionals at a health and wellness expo Oct. 21.

At the health fair, professionals were on hand to provide blood pressure screenings, nutritionists discussed how to live a healthier life, representatives from the police department collected unused and unwanted medication and the Sound Beach Fire Department provided tips for calling 911 in case of an emergency

Participants, screeners and presenters participating in the even included: The Chiropractic Joint, The Community Growth Center, Ear Works Audiology, Echo Pharmacy,
Harbor View Medical Services, John T. Mather Memorial
Hospital, the LI Chapter of NYC + PANDAS/PANS Awareness Group and NY PANS Awareness Group, North Shore Youth Council, Rite Aid, Santi Yoga Community, Senior Callers, Suffolk Center for Speech,  Suffolk County Health Department, Suffolk County Police Department’s 7th Precinct., Wellness and Chiropractic Solutions and Young Living Essential Oils.

Patty Pulick, a Sound Beach resident, said she absolutely loved the health fair.

“The various tables were very informative,” she said. “I got my sugar checked, learned about healthy alternatives and discussed hearing issues. It was great that the SCPD was there so I could dispose of my unused medications. I hope they have it again.”

Civic association president Bea Ruberto extended her gratitude to BPN Home Improvement Inc., Echo Pharmacy, Harbor View Medical Services, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, Matt’s One Stop, Pern Editorial Services, Schwamb Plumbing and Heating and St. Charles Hospital, who sponsored the event.

“I would also like to give a special thank you to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to coordinate this event, as well as Bonnie Boeger, a Coldwell Banker residential broker who provided water,” Ruberto said. “As everything else we work on, it’s the generosity of the people in the Sound Beach community that made this event possible.”

Indulging in a delicious, fresh specialty doughnut can be done guilt free in Port Jefferson this month.

East Main & Main, a doughnut shop in Port Jefferson Village that opened in June and is named for the intersection it overlooks, has embraced the spirit of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In October, among the shop’s made fresh in-house daily selections has been an assortment of pink-decorated themed treats meant to honor the occasion and raise money for a worthy cause.

Port Jeff annually recognizes breast cancer awareness thanks to the Fortunato Breast Health Center Services at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, the driving force behind Paint Port Pink, a month-long community outreach effort in the village with the mission of raising awareness about breast cancer, sharing information and education and fostering solidarity in the community. Every day this month, East Main & Main owners Lisa Harris and Robert Strehle have brainstormed new pink doughnuts to offer to customers, and a portion of the sales for each of the commemorative pastries will be donated to the Fortunato center’s Fund for the Uninsured at the end of the month. The fund is comprised of money from community donations and fundraising initiatives to offer discounted or no-cost mammography screenings to qualified patients.

“Cancer in general is a cause that’s near and dear to my heart and this was something we were definitely going to jump on board with and participate in,” Harris said during a phone interview. She said she has an aunt who is a breast cancer survivor and knows many others, so the decision to participate was easy. “We just look forward to getting more and more involved in the community in any way that we can, especially for causes we believe in.”

Harris said the pink doughnuts have sold out every day so far and the customer response has been enthusiastic. Some of the flavors have included pink guava, peanut butter and jelly, pink lemonade, a “pink diva” doughnut with gold glitter and many more. None of the flavors have been or will be repeated, and Harris said it has been a little stressful coming up with new flavors, which she said they do on the fly each day, but a dedicated team of kid tasters and other customers have offered feedback and suggestions to share the creative burden.

“It’s all sorts of fun,” Harris said of the creative process.

On Oct. 4, the shop featured a strawberry pomegranate frosted doughnut, and a satisfied customer commented on a photo of the creation on East Main & Main’s Instagram account: “Yumm! The best flavor! Can’t wait for it to reappear in the spring — hopefully?”

Also featured the same day was the Pink Party, a strawberry frosted doughnut dipped in rainbow sprinkles.

“Hands down the best pink-frosted donut I’ve ever had,” another Instagram follower posted. “Thank you for that magic.”

Harris suggested the success of the October promotion has inspired the owners to seek out more month-long features aimed at raising money and awareness for worthy causes in the coming months.

The American Cancer Society reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer sometime during her life is about one in eight. Since there is still no sure way to prevent breast cancer, increased awareness, education and early detection are critical components of breast health care. The Fortunato center recommends that women apply the following the guidelines for early detection of breast cancer: first mammography by age 40 and yearly mammograms after age 40; clinical breast exams at least every three years beginning at age 20 and annually after age 40; and monthly breast self-examinations.

PRETTY IN PINK: Shops along East Main Street and, right, the sign at Mather Hospital during last year’s Paint Port Pink event. Photo from Mather Hospital
Month-long events planned in celebration of Paint Port Pink
Astoria Bank will once again present Paint Port Pink to benefit the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital. Above, employees of the Port Jefferson Station branch at last year’s event.

Throughout the month of October, Paint Port Pink, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital’s annual breast cancer community outreach, will once again light up Port Jefferson to raise awareness about the disease, share information and education and foster solidarity in the community.

Presented by Astoria Bank, the outreach encourages women to get their annual mammograms and learn more about breast health. The American Cancer Society reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer sometime during her life is about 1 in 8. While the vast majority of breast abnormalities are benign, they can cause great anxiety for a woman and her family. Since there is still no sure way to prevent breast cancer, increased awareness, education and early detection are critical components of breast health care.

 

The Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital recommends that women follow the American Cancer Society‘s guidelines for early detection of breast cancer: first mammography by age 40 and yearly mammograms after age 40; clinical breast exam at least every three years beginning at age 20 and annually after age 40; and monthly breast self-examination.

Among the new Paint Port Pink offerings this year are two Paint Night fundraisers — one at Comsewogue Public Library in Port Jefferson Station, on Friday, Oct. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m., and at Muse Paintbar in the Harbor Square Mall in Port Jefferson on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friends, co-workers and family members can have fun painting while supporting the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Fund for Uninsured. Fee is $45 for each workshop and preregistration is required; $15 from every registration fee at the library and 45 percent from the Muse Bar event will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Local retail community partners will offer special events throughout the month to benefit the Fund for the Uninsured including:

Panera Bread in Port Jefferson Station will hold a special fundraising night on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. with a percentage of all purchases (must present qualifying flyer, available on www.paintportpink.org) donated.

Amazing Olive in Port Jefferson will hold a special olive oil tasting on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. with 10 percent of the tasting fee donated.

Bounce Blow Dry Bar in Port Jefferson on Friday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will offer blow outs for $20 with 10 percent of the proceeds donated.

Pindar Vineyards Wine Store in Port Jefferson will hold a wine tasting on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 3 to 7 p.m., with 15 percent of all Rosé or Summer Blush wine purchases donated.

Fedora Lounge Boutique Hair Salon, Port Jefferson, will hold a $20 hair cut-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 14, from noon to 4 p.m. with 100 percent of the proceeds donated.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Port Jefferson Station will hold a special fundraising night on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 10 p.m. with 10 percent of all purchases donated.

East Main & Main, Port Jefferson, will offer a day of donut tasting on Saturday, Oct. 21, with 10 percent of the proceeds from pink donut sales donated.

Photo from Mather Hospital
The Frigate in Port Jefferson will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from pink cupcakes sales throughout October.

Month-long promotions include:

•Amazing Olive, of Port Jefferson and Patchogue, will donate $1 from every bottle of olive oil sold and 40 percent of special pink ribbon soap purchases.

•Chick-fil-A, Port Jefferson Station, will donate a portion of all milk shake sales.

•The Frigate, Port Jefferson, will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from pink cupcake sales.

•Salon Blond, Port Jefferson, will offer $10 pink hair extensions with 100 percent of the proceeds donated.

•East Main & Main, Port Jefferson, will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from pink donut sales.

•Fedora Lounge Boutique Hair Salon, Port Jefferson, will offer pink hair extensions for $15 or two for $20 with 100 percent of the proceeds donated.

•The Soap Box, Port Jefferson, will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from sales of rose water and jasmine, “pink sugar kiss,” peony rose petal and mistral soap sales.

•The Pie, Port Jefferson, will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of pink lemonade.

•Tommy’s Place, Port Jefferson, will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from sales of pink cocktails.

•Brewology295, Port Jefferson, will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of its pink cocktail.

In addition, the Port Jefferson Free Library, Port Jefferson, will offer a Paint Port Pink workshop on Friday, Oct. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. where visitors can drop in and make a commemorative button for those who have been affected by breast cancer. Mather Hospital will host a HealthU seminar and health fair on Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (free but registration required).

Visit Port Jeff Liquors, Wink Design Group anf Theatre Three for more Paint Port Pink promotions.

Mather Hospital has distributed pink lights and flags to more than 100 community partners and will post photos of decorated shops and businesses each day on the hospital’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/matherhospital. On Wear Pink Day on Oct. 17, individuals who dress in pink are encouraged to take selfies and post them to Facebook with the hashtag #paintportpink.

Paint Port Pink’s sponsors include Long Island Physician Associates, LI Anesthesia Physicians, Long Island Bone and Joint, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Empire Bank, Local 342 Long Island Public Service Employees, STAT Health Management and Tritec Building Company.

For more information, please visit www.paintportpink.org.

All photos courtesy of Mather Hospital

Port Jefferson Village and John T. Mather Memorial Hospital squared off on the open seas for the eighth time Sept. 9 for the Village Cup Regatta, an annual event that features a parade, sailboat race, a reception and even remarks from actor Ralph Macchio. Representatives from both groups man vessels and race in the Long Island Sound near Port Jefferson Harbor for bragging rights and, more importantly, to raise money for cancer research. The Mather team won the 2017 incarnation of the race and proudly took the trophy back from Village Mayor Margot Garant, who had the cup since the village’s 2016 victory. In total, about $65,000 was raised for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and for the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. The event is hosted by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club.

A boat representing the Port Jeff Brewing Company at a previous race. File photo by Bill Landon
View Memorial Parade of Boats before race

Colorful sailboats of all sizes will descend on Port Jefferson harbor for the eighth annual Village Cup Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 9. A fundraiser cleverly disguised as a sporting event, the regatta is designed to combine the fun and excitement of sporting achievement while raising money for pancreatic cancer research.

The boat race was initiated by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club (formerly Setauket Yacht Club) primarily to call attention to and to support efforts to combat pancreatic cancer, which has claimed the lives of two of its members in recent years. The event also promotes a closer relationship between the club and the village in the wonderful maritime setting they share.

Join actor Ralph Macchio on Sept. 9 in supporting a most worthy cause. File photo by Bob Savage

 

Actor and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again act as a community ambassador for the friendly competition between John T. Mather Memorial Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, which raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation. Over the past seven years, the annual event has raised more than $377,000 for the two organizations.

Macchio’s role as ambassador for the regatta for the fifth year is to help publicize the important work of the two programs it funds. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.

The regatta consists of yacht club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing the hospital and the village. Employees from each organization help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. The festivities begin at Harborfront Park, located at 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson, at 10 a.m.

File photo by Bob Savage

Regatta T-shirts designed by a local artist and signed by Macchio will be available for purchase along with the event’s commemorative T-shirts, hats and nautical bags. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags.

Following the regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place at the Port Jefferson Village Center, a restored 1917 shipyard building located next to the Harborfront Park.

The cup is currently held by the village, which has earned the cup a total of four times. Mather Hospital has won the cup twice, and weather forced the cancellation of the 2012 race. The event is catered compliments of Schafer’s Port Jefferson restaurant and the Port Jefferson Brewing Company.

Businesses, organizations and individuals can support the regatta and the programs it funds by making a donation or purchasing tickets to attend the Skipper’s Reception or view the regatta on a spectator boat. Sponsorships also are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com.

New York State Senator Ken LaValle does not approve of the decision

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson is set to join Northwell Health. File photo from Mather Hospital

A Port Jefferson institution established in 1929 is set to undergo an unprecedented change, the likes of which has never occurred during its near-90-year history. John T. Mather Memorial Hospital leadership has signed a letter of intent to join Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care provider, which has 22 hospitals under its umbrella. Prior to the agreement, Mather was one of just two Long Island hospitals unaffiliated with a larger health system. Mather’s board considered affiliation with Stony Brook University Hospital, though ultimately decided on Northwell.

Mather Hospital is set to join Northwell Health. Photo from Huntington Hospital.

“I don’t think it’s a good decision,” State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) said in a phone interview. LaValle is a fervent supporter of the university, often publicly spotted wearing a red SBU baseball cap. “For 50 years-plus there’s been a culture in place if people needed tertiary care they would go from Mather to Stony Brook. Stony Brook will still be in place, will still offer services and people still if they choose can go to Stony Brook.”

LaValle said he didn’t know why Mather decided to go with Northwell, and members of Mather’s board declined to discuss specifics of the agreement with Northwell because discussions are ongoing. The changeover could take place as soon as prior to the end of the year.

“I would have wished that the Mather board would have been considerate of the people in their area rather than for whatever other reasons they made this decision,” LaValle said. “I don’t know whether Northwell came in with a bag of cash and that’s why they made the decision; but if they were making the decision based on the people they serve in their catchment area they would have gone with Stony Brook.”

Mather Hospital Vice President of Public Affairs Nancy Uzo, said Stony Brook was considered an option for affiliation and offered an explanation by email as to why it was ultimately spurned.

“I don’t think it’s a good decision.”

— Ken LaValle

“Our goal through this process is to ensure that our communities continue to have access to advanced, high quality care and superior satisfaction close to home and to serve the best interests of our medical staff and employees,” she said.

Mather Board of Directors Chairman Ken Jacoppi and President Ken Roberts declined to comment further through Uzo.

“Our community, employees and medical staff have a deep commitment to Mather Hospital,” Roberts said in a press release. “We chose a partner that would support our culture of caring as well as our future growth.”

Stony Brook University Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine Ken Kaushansky declined to comment on Mather’s decision via email. President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. did not respond to a direct request for comment nor through a university spokeswoman.

In 2016 the American Hospital Association released research suggesting hospital mergers like the one Mather is set to undertake result in cost savings and quality improvements. According to the research, mergers decrease costs due to economies of scale, reduced costs of capital and clinical standardization among other efficiencies. An analysis showed a 2.5 percent reduction in annual operating expenses at acquired hospitals. Other benefits include the potential to drive quality improvements through standardization of clinical protocols and investments to upgrade facilities and services at acquired hospitals, an expansion of the scope of services available to patients and improvements to existing institutional strengths to provide more comprehensive and efficient care.

New York State Sen. Ken Lavalle did not agree with Mather’s decision to join Northwell Health over Stony Brook University Medicine. File photo

Huntington Hospital joined North Shore-LIJ in 1994, which became known as Northwell Health in February 2016. After the merger is official, Mather and Huntington hospitals will be the only Northwell hospitals on the North Shore in Suffolk County.

“Mather Hospital is known for patient-centric care both in the community and throughout the industry,” Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO said in a statement. “That deeply embedded sense of purpose is the type of quality we want to represent Northwell Health, along with an excellent staff of medical professionals and physicians. Together, Mather and Northwell will play a crucial partnership role expanding world class care and innovative patient services to Suffolk County residents.”

In what some view as a related move, Stony Brook announced in a press release Aug. 1 that Southampton Hospital would become a member of the Stony Brook Medicine health system.

“Today we celebrate a unique opportunity in which academic medicine and community medicine can come together to benefit our entire region,” Stanley said. “We will continue to build on successful collaborations achieved over the past ten years, which have already brought many new programs to the East End, including a robust number of internship and residency programs at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and where students enrolled in graduate programs in the health sciences on the Stony Brook Southampton campus can put their training to good use as the next generation of allied health professionals to help address the shortage of providers on the east end and beyond.”

The acquisition will result in new offerings at Stony Brook including a provisional Level 3 Trauma Center, with 24-hour coverage by emergency medicine doctors and a trauma surgeon available within 30 minutes, a Hybrid Operating Room with sophisticated imaging capabilities and a new cardiology practice in Southampton with Stony Brook cardiologists, among other benefits.

LaValle declined to classify Mather’s decision as a “loss” for Stony Brook and added he expects Mather and the university to continue to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship going forward.

“Stony Brook is close by and they will reach out and still try to encourage both local physicians and people to come to Stony Brook,” he said.

This version was edited Aug. 7 to include comments from Michael Dowling.

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital Director of Engineering, Design and Construction Kevin Koubek monitors the hospital’s electricity generation. Photo by Alex Petroski

A Port Jefferson-area hospital is setting trends in reducing its environmental impact. A number of new initiatives at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital have turned the facility into an energy efficiency machine, but the hospital’s director of engineering, design and construction said they’re not done trying to improve.

“I would say Mather is one of the most progressive hospitals on the Island in terms of green energy renewable technology and reducing carbon footprint,” Brian Hassan, PSEG Long Island lead account manager for health care, said in a phone interview. He added if other hospitals followed Mather’s lead it would be beneficial to reducing substantial carbon footprint that can be left by facilities that consume large amounts of energy. The glowing assessment can be attributed in large part to the efforts of Kevin Koubek, the engineering director at Mather who is constantly working to improve the hospital’s efficiency.

“I think we’ve shown we’re trying to do everything physically and humanly possible to reduce our demand on the grid,” Koubek said in an interview. Between air conditioning and heating, heavy-duty medical equipment, elevators, kitchen equipment, lighting, gift shops, coffee shops and various waiting rooms, the amount of power required to run a hospital is obviously substantial. Koubek said the hospital is always looking for ways to reduce energy requirements.

“Trying to offset some of this electrical demand is huge, and that’s one of the reasons we have tried to identify where we can minimize our loads,” he said.

Mather is the first Long Island hospital to install a thermal ice storage system to help with cooling the hospital during warmer months. It was installed and became operational earlier in 2017. The system serves to shift a portion of the hospital’s peak electrical load from daytime to nighttime, when electricity is more plentiful, less expensive and generated more efficiently by creating ice using larger air conditioning equipment during off-peak hours, then storing ice in 24 tanks that are used with pumps to generate cool air during the day.

“The day-to-day benefits would be that we’re not turning on this large machine, we’re pulling off the electric grid,” Koubek said.

In the past, before the hospital focused on energy efficiency initiatives, Koubek said much like homes in the summertime, the hospital’s cooling systems had a hard time meeting demand.

“We have to recognize [we] do have patients that for whatever reason, they’re here,” he said. “Their comfort is paramount.”

The chiller was approximately $2 million, though the hospital is expecting a rebate check from PSEG Long Island to cover half the cost.

Mather was also the first Long Island hospital to install solar panels. A 50-kilowatt photovoltaic ground-mounted solar panel was installed in the rear of the parking lot in 2011, and Koubek said the hospital has considered adding more.

“[Hospital administration] would love to do that, it’s just very expensive,” he said.

Koubek added the hospital is also in the process of replacing about 300 standard lighting fixtures of the roughly 3,000 at Mather with LED ones. Standard fixtures require about 180 watts of power while LEDs require about 30 watts.

“That’s the one thing that is sort of flying under the radar, but is making a huge impact on us is the fact that we’re on a track to replace every lighting fixture in the hospital and go to 100 percent LED,” Koubek said.

The hospital is also using lower cost hydropower, or electricity created by utilizing moving water, to reduce its energy costs by $2.5 million through the ReCharge NY award from the New York Power Authority. ReCharge NY is a program designed to retain and create jobs through allocations of low-cost power, half of which is made up of hydropower.

Koubek seemed to embrace the idea that Mather is setting trends for other hospitals in increased efficiency.

“I’d have to say we’re probably one of the leading hospitals on the Island, if not in the state,” he said.

“Eat well, live well” was the tagline for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce annual Health & Wellness Fest, which was held April 22 at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson. Attendees were instructed on how to do both by vendors set up at tables in the school’s gymnasium, featuring representatives from Stony Brook Medicine, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, St. Charles Hospital and many others.

“It’s been growing every year, and in the last two years, we were so fortunate as to have St. Charles Hospital provide us with the healthy snacks, and that’s really helped us boost the attendance,” Chamber President Jim Karras said in an interview during the event.

Chamber director of operations Barbara Ransome was also pleased with the number of vendors who turned out to offer advice to interested community members.

“We had no extra tables this year,” she said. “We had over 80 tables this year…I think there were like 45 individual vendors…All of our local nonprofits, we don’t charge them, so we feel like this is giving back to our community.”

Karras said he is proud of what the chamber has built with the annual event.

“There’s a lot of health and wellness events in the area, but I think we’re the only one that has the three major hospitals sponsoring them,” he said. “That makes a big difference.”

Ransome thanked the district for their hospitality.

“We want to put a shout out to our school,” she said. “Fred Koelbel, who is the superintendent of buildings here for the Port Jefferson School District, and for them to allow us to use this great facility, we have elevated this event.”

Other vendors included Jefferson’s Ferry lifecare community, L.I. Botanical Wellness, Save-A-Pet, Paws of War, Port Jefferson Hearing and many more.

Mount Sinai anesthesiologist Richard Melucci, below, drowned in the Long Island Sound, scene above, after falling overboard off his 25-foot boat April 15. Photo from Facebook

A Mount Sinai anesthesiologist has died after falling off a boat in the Long Island Sound April 15.

Milford Fire Rescue received a 911 call from a woman saying her husband, Richard Melucci, 43, had fallen overboard as they were boating on the Sound near Milford, Connecticut at about 6 p.m. Melucci’s wife, Maryann, was below the deck when she heard the splash, police said.

Richard Melucci. Photo from O.B. Davis Funeral Homes

Police say Melucci, a 1991 Ward Melville graduate, was not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water, so his wife attempted to throw a life ring out several times without success, according to Captain Kieth Williams of the Connecticut State Police Department.

Milford’s dive team and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene and rescued Melucci from the water about 55 minutes later, authorities said. Melucci and his wife were taken to Milford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An avid boater, Melucci worked at Long Island Anesthesia Physicians in Rocky Point and was affiliated with John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. He was on his new 25-foot vessel, which was taken to Milford Landing, where authorities are conducting a full investigation.

Reposing took place at O.B. Davis Funeral Homes, 4839 Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station. Visitation was help April 19, and will be held today, April 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be help April 21 at 10 a.m. at the Chapel at St. Charles in Port Jefferson. Interment to follow at Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rick Melucci Family Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/rick-melucci-family-fund. As of press time, after two days, the GoFundMe raised $76,425 of the $100,000 goal.

Yakub Gangat donated $1,000 to the fund, and left the message: “An outstanding clinician and leader. Fun loving with infectious personality. He’ll be forever missed.”

Jennifer Bednar, who donated $100, also said he will not soon be forgotten.

“A devastating loss,” she wrote. “I will miss that infectious smile. My whole heart goes out to Maryanne and family.”

Teresa Schully Habacker left a similar sentiment with her $200 contribution: “What a loss for the medical community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I will miss his competent care and his great sense of humor.”

File photo.

Suffolk County Police Sixth Squad detectives are investigating a crash that killed a pedestrian in Coram on the evening of March 24.

Douglas Redmond was crossing Middle Country Road, 500 feet west of Mount Sinai-Coram Road, when he was struck by a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado at approximately 11:20 p.m. The driver of the Chevrolet, Tyler Miazga, stayed at the scene.

Redmond, 31, of Coram, was transported via Coram Rescue to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where he was pronounced dead.  Miazga, 29, of Coram, was not injured.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information on the crash to contact the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652.

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