Thanks to Charles and Helen Reichert, a center for a new caregiver program at Huntington Hospital, part of Northwell Health, will be ready by the first quarter of next year.
To be named the Reichert Family Caregiver Center, the philanthropic gift came this month to give the new program a space to help patients, their families and the community.
“The program was designed to support the family caregiver — the people taking care of their own loved ones that carry with them the stress, possible burden, the need for information and resources or emotional support,” said Cheryl Miranda, the hospital’s director of patient and customer experience. “For them, it’s almost like CPR for the family.”
She said the families dealing with their loved ones who are in the hospital are known as the silent patients.
“They do an amazing job to try to take care of their family members,” she added.
The caregiver program was implemented before COVID as a pilot, which is made up of different components, all to connect those caring for the chronically ill with programs and resources that can relieve their burden. The center will work within the hospital to help families with ongoing care after discharge.
“Once we have the new center, we’ll have the ability to give people space in real time,” Miranda said. “Someone will be there to be with them, hold their hands and let them cry.”
From emotional support to other resources like food delivery options, the center plans on walking the family through whatever they need when they leave the hospital.
“Our social workers and case managers, as great a job as they do with the patients and their families, it’s a short time they’re with them,” Miranda said. “This allows us to be connected with them and bring continual support throughout this community.”
And because of the Reichert family, the hospital can now fund the center and a full-salaried social worker to help out. Known for their philanthropy throughout the community, the Reicherts have been instrumental in implementing new technologies and services throughout Northwell Health.
Previously the Reicherts donated to Northwell Health Reichert Family Imaging at Huntington in Greenlawn and the reception area of the Huntington Hospital Emergency Department, as well as supporting the hospital’s Center for Mothers and Babies. The Reichert family’s donations also funded the purchase of the hospital’s first 3D mammography machine.
“The Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation is committed to building stronger and healthier communities,” Charles Reichert said. “We are proud to partner with Huntington Hospital to create this much-needed program that will provide support, assistance and respite. You don’t realize how important a caregiver is until you become one.”