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Photo from Northwell Health

Empire Subaru of Huntington has once again selected Huntington Hospital as the recipient of Subaru’s Share the Love program. The dealership donated more than $50,000 to Huntington Hospital’s award-winning neurosurgery department. This is the second year the dealership has donated to the hospital. Pictured at the check presentation on Aug. 7, from left, are Dr. Robert Kerr; Empire Subaru Sales Manager Vinny Rizzo; Vice Chair of Huntington Hospital’s board Thomas Lederer; Empire Subaru General Manager Gary Farley; and Huntington Hospital’s Executive Director Dr. Nick Fitterman.

Dr. Elena Maresca

Dr. Elena L. Maresca has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Trademark Top Doctors of America 2020 Honors Edition for demonstrating dedication, leadership and professional excellence. During the vetting process it was noted along with her exceptional reputation that she has also maintained a positive peer rating.“Representing the state of New York as one of the best is truly an honor,” said Dr. Maresca. “I am dedicated to providing my patients with the very best care and I am humbled by this selection.”

Dr. Maresca has been practicing audiology for 25 years. Prior to establishing a private practice in 2004 she was the Director of Audiology for Beverly Hospital in Massachusetts. In 2013, Dr. Maresca opened Hearing & Tinnitus Management in Stony Brook where she specializes in hearing healthcare, hearing aids, tinnitus and hyperacusis management.

Dickey's BBQ

The Centereach community will soon be able to enjoy authentic, Texas-style barbecue from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit as the restaurant’s owner operator, Gerard Stephan is set to open the full, quick-service restaurant located in Centereach Square at 13 Centereach Mall (next to Leslie’s Pool Supplies), in the next few weeks. The menu will feature southern favorites including mac n cheese, creamed spinach, potato casserole and slow-smoked meats prepared and smoked on-site over hickory wood such as ribs, brisket, jalapeño cheddar kielbasa sausage and more.

“I was born and raised in Long Island and know the community will love the comfort food and atmosphere Dickey’s has in store,” said local entrepreneur and Dickey’s Owner Operator Gerard Stephan. “I’m excited to offer folks in the area a new, unique option for whether they’re dining out, picking up or ordering delivery.” For more information, visit www.dickeys.com.

File photo

New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group Inc., which operates nearly 3,000 stores mostly at malls, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the latest retailer to do so during the pandemic.

As part of its bankruptcy plan, the company said that it would close all of its Catherines stores, a select number of Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant stores and a “significant number” of Justice stores including seven on Long Island — Bay Shore, Commack, Garden City, Hicksville, Lake Grove, Massapequa and West Babylon. After the closings, there will be three Justice stores remaining on Long Island in Deer Park, Valley Stream and Riverhead.

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New York & Company’s parent company RTW Retailwinds is the latest chain to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus has piled additional pressure on an already challenging retail landscape. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 13. It plans to permanently close most, if not all, of its stores and has begun liquidation sales.

The news affects 10 of the women’s clothing stores on Long Island, including four in Suffolk County — Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack, Tanger Outlets in Deer Park and the Riverhead Outlet in Riverhead.

“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business, and we expect it to continue to do so in the future,” RTW Retailwinds CEO and CFO Sheamus Toal said in a statement.

“As a result, we believe that a restructuring of our liabilities and a potential sale of the business or portions of the business is the best path forward to unlock value.”

Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, Sur la Table, Dean & Deluca, J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, and Gold’s Gym have also sought bankruptcy protection amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Pictured above, from left, Paige Hubbard, office manager; Councilman Neil Foley; Dr. Rohit Reejsinghani; Councilman Timothy Hubbard; Catrina Grefe, NP; Dr. Vishnu Seodat; Councilwoman Jodi Giglio; Councilwoman Catherine Kent; Tina Toulon, physician liaison for NYCBS; and Amanda Brown, medical assistant. Photo courtesy of New York Health

New York Health (NYHealth) recently announced the addition of family physician Dr. Vishnudat Seodat. To celebrate the opening of his two new offices — at 6144 Route 25A, Suite 19 in Wading River and 32645 Main Road, Suite 7-8 in Cutchogue — a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Wading River location on June 25. 

The event was attended by the Executive Director of New York Health, Dr. Rohit Reejsinghani; Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley: Riverhead Town Councilmembers Catherine Kent, Jodi Giglio and Timothy Hubbard; and members of the staff and community.

Dr. Vishnudat is presented with a Certificate of Congratulations from the Town of Riverhead. Photo courtesy of New York Health

“At the end of the day, New York Health is really about patient care and having the basis of a large group of patients with such a great practitioner in this area really compliments our group very well so we are very happy to have Dr. Seodat on board and we think this is going to be a successful operation moving forward,” said Dr. Reejsinghani.

“As a child, I developed pneumonia which led to a house call from my family physician. The physician did not accept payment from my family for the appointment due to my less fortunate financial living conditions at the time,” said Dr. Seodat. Inspired by the physician’s compassion, Dr. Seodat navigated his life so that he could become a doctor for everyone. “My journey began as a nurse and a pharmacist dispenser before traveling to New York to earn my degree in medicine.”

Working alongside him for the past two years is Adult-Geri Nurse Practitioner, Catrina Grefe, MS, RN-BC, AGNP-C. “Patients can feel confident with me as their practitioner, and I am eager to deliver high-quality care to patients on the East End,” she said.

“Supervisor Yvette Aguiar of the Town of Riverhead together with the entire town board extend their best wishes for success to New York Health Family Medicine … on the opening of your new practice in Wading River. We look forward to having your quality of business in our town and wish you great success,” said Councilman Hubbard before presenting Dr. Seodat with a Certificate of Congratulations.  

“This ribbon cutting ceremony, in my mind, signifies not only the clearing of a barrier but to open a new door and the birth of a new venture with New York Health,” said Dr. Seodat. “It offers an opportunity to expand medical care … to the East End of Long Island. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to partner with this multidisciplinary group and I hope to set the standard for family practice and primary care in this community and many other communities on Long Island.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Seodat or Catrina Grefe, please call ​631-758-7003.

The King Kullen in St. James. File photo by Phil Corso

Stop & Shop’s long-pending acquisition of King Kullen is no more. The announcement was made on June 10.

The two chains, along with Stop & Shop parent Ahold Delhaize USA, said they have mutually decided to terminate the deal because of “significant, unforeseen changes in the marketplace that have emerged since the agreement was signed in December 2018, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“Both companies have put forth an incredible amount of effort to work through unanticipated challenges that have arisen, and we regret that we’re not able to move forward,” Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid said in a statement. 

“King Kullen has a strong legacy on the island, and we wish them continued success. Stop & Shop remains committed to the Long Island community, to serving our customers in the market well, and to investing in our associates and our stores in Nassau and Suffolk counties,” he said.

At the time of the acquisition deal, there were 32 King Kullen supermarkets, but three underperforming locations were closed last year including Mount Sinai on June 20 and Ronkonkoma on Aug. 22. The remaining supermarkets include St. James, Huntington, Wading River, Middle Island and Manorville. The company also has five Wild by Nature stores on Long Island including Setauket and Huntington.

“We look forward to continuing to focus on what we do best: serving our great customers across Long Island and supporting our hard-working store associates,” said Brian Cullen, co-president of King Kullen. “We are enthusiastic about the future and well-positioned to serve Nassau and Suffolk counties for many years to come. In short, we are here for the long term.”

Michele Dean

Suffolk Federal has announced the selection of Michele Dean of Smithtown as President and Chief Executive Officer. She is the first woman to serve in that position in Suffolk Federal’s 52-year history.  

Dean will provide strategic leadership, tactical oversight, and comprehensive direction of day-to-day operations consistent with Suffolk Federal’s vision and mission. She will succeed Ralph D. Spencer, Jr., who will be retiring in June and will work in partnership with Spencer to shift management responsibilities beginning June 15 to ensure a smooth and steady transition of leadership.

 “The Board of Directors selected Michele Dean after an extensive search among the best qualified candidates for this position,” explained James J. Maggio, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors at Suffolk Federal. 

“Michele stood apart because of her outstanding expertise and flawless ability to connect vision, people and ideas as well as her history of successful tactical execution. Her vision and dedication are consistent with our strategic plan and will enhance the Suffolk Federal experience in delivering a constant, steady and dependable member experience.  We are excited to welcome Michele Dean to the Suffolk Federal family. We also thank Ralph D. Spencer, Jr. for his years of service to Suffolk Federal,” he continued.

“On behalf of the New York Credit Union Association and credit unions across the Empire State, we congratulate Michele in joining an impressive and growing list of women leaders at New York credit unions,” said William J. Mellin, President/CEO of the New York Credit Union Association.

“Credit unions, from their very earliest days in this country, have recognized just how extraordinarily important it is to have strong and diverse leadership. Today, the majority of credit union CEOs in New York are women, and we’re honored to welcome Michele to this prestigious group of executives. It’s clear from her background that she is passionate about credit unions and helping New Yorkers achieve a better financial future. I look forward to working with her,” he added.

“I am honored to be joining Suffolk Federal and appreciate the Board of Directors’ confidence in me to lead this dynamic organization as we move towards the future,” said Dean. 

“I am excited to work with the Board and the Suffolk Federal team to effectively serve our members and community, building upon a solid foundation to achieve continued success, growth and expansion.”

Dr. David Rivadeneira. Photo from Northwell Health

David Rivadeneira, MD, MBA, has been appointed director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Huntington. The announcement was made in press release on June 4. For the last seven years, Dr. Rivadeneira has led surgical services and colorectal surgery at Huntington Hospital.

“We are thrilled Dr. Rivadeneira will be leading the Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Huntington,” said Richard Barakat, MD, physician-in-chief and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute and senior vice president of cancer services at Northwell Health. 

“He is a gifted surgeon, experienced leader and skilled educator, who also has strong community ties. Cancer experts throughout the health system look forward to collaborating with him as he builds new cancer programs in the Huntington area,” he said.

“The goal of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Huntington is to provide a center of excellence to offer phenomenal cancer care and to be a leader in cancer services in Suffolk County,” said Dr. Rivadeneira, a resident of Lloyd Harbor. 

“As Suffolk’s population grows each year there is a tremendous need to provide top-quality cancer care to residents locally. It’s much less stressful for patients to get care in their community than travel to Nassau Country or Manhattan. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored our patients’ desire to avoid leaving the area for cancer care.”

Dr. Rivadeneira said the Cancer Institute at Huntington, located at 270 Pulaski Road in Greenlawn, treats patients with range of diseases such as breast, thoracic, colorectal, kidney, prostate and other cancers.

“To create an environment in which patients receive exceptional care, a key component is to have the best doctors with the appropriate expertise in organ disease-specific cancers, as well as specially-trained nurse navigators dedicated to guiding patients through their journey,” he said. 

“We are recruiting top physicians in oncology, radiation oncology, surgery and professionals with genetic expertise. Also, we are adding certified staff members to the program who will offer nutrition support and integrative approaches such as meditation and other holistic modalities.”

Future plans include building a comprehensive ambulatory cancer center at Huntington Hospital offering patients a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care treatment. Clinical leaders in all oncology modalities will be within the campus of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute at Huntington, making it easier for patients and their care teams to communicate and meet when deciding treatment plans. With a close connection to the National Cancer Institute-designated Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, patients will benefit from leading cancer research.

Buona Sera co-owner Julian Mercado displays the new flyer.

Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, local pizzerias have teamed up with the Town of Smithtown in a collaborative effort to help find loving homes for rescue dogs and cats at the Smithtown Animal Shelter. Each pizzeria has taped adoption flyers to pizza boxes which are distributed to customers throughout the Township. Each flyer includes important information about the animal seeking a loving home, including age, gender and the needs of each adoptee. 

From left, Monte’s Pizza driver Joseph Soriano and owner Andrew Monteleone with the new flyer.

“The truth is that it’s an ideal time to consider adopting a loving animal in need of a second chance. So we started making calls to local establishments currently operating as essential businesses. The response was overwhelmingly positive, as many of these establishments have stepped up to help the community from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo.

The main objective of the Pizza Box Adoption campaign is to attract new eyes to the longest shelter residents, often passed up because of age, size or breed misconception. Every adoptee featured on these flyers is truly deserving of a second chance.

Participating businesses in the adoption campaign include Buona Sera in Smithtown, Monte’s in Smithtown, Three Bambino’s in Smithtown, Mannino’s in Smithtown, Ciro’s Pizza in Smithtown, Alpine Bakery in Smithtown, Branchinelli’s in Hauppauge, Mama Sbarro’s in Hauppauge, Gino’s in Kings Park, Legend’s in Kings Park, Ciro’s in Kings Park and Pizzaiola in Commack. 

Photos courtesy of Town of Smithtown