Phelps Hospital raises $625,000 at 35th annual Champagne Ball

Champagne Ball honoree Kenneth Taber, Phelps executive director Eileen Egan, Champagne Ball honoree Michelle Espinoza, MD, and Phelps Community Board chair Kevin J. Plunkett. Photo credit: Northwell Health

For the first time since the pandemic began, 325 friends, guests, and supporters of Phelps Hospital, part of Northwell Health, gathered on Friday, October 21st at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club for the 35th annual Phelps Champagne Ball fundraiser. The black-tie affair raised more than $620,000 in support of the hospital’s mission to care for the community. The evening’s Fund-a-Cause, which supports the hospital’s Comfort Care program, set a new fundraising record raising nearly $375,000 of the night’s total.

The evening event honored three patrons and supporters of the hospital: Michelle Espinoza, MD, and the palliative care team at Phelps Hospital; Mary L. Melvin, community leader and philanthropist; and Kenneth W. Taber, former board chair of Phelps Hospital and partner of the international law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Dr. Michelle Espinoza leads Phelps’ Palliative Care team and was the driving force that inspired Phelps’ comfort care rooms that are used for end of life and other relaxation and relief care.

Mary L. Melvin has been a generous supporter of many hospital programs including, Nursing Promise, the Comfort Care Rooms and earlier this year was a major contributor to the new PET/CT imaging suite, which improves care for patients with cancer, memory disorders and heart disease.

Kenneth W. Taber chaired the Phelps Community Board for five years until May of this year; he now serves as its vice chair. Mr. Taber was instrumental in helping to improve services at the hospital, shepherding Phelps’ strategic plan as Phelps transitioned to join the Northwell Health family.

This funds raised will allow Phelps to:

  • Build more Comfort Care Rooms at Phelps Hospital. These private rooms are outfitted for special care including end-of-life care, palliative care offered at all stages of life, and for those suffering from chronic conditions. Comfort Rooms also feature a peaceful, serene environment, comfort amenities for patients and their loved ones and Hudson River views.
  • Provide Comfort Care for Staff caring for Patients. It is called Team Lavender. Team Lavender functions like a “rapid response” to provide just-in-time support and resources for team members when they need it the most.

Phelps executive director, Eileen Egan said, “the Comfort Care program helps to support our patients, their family, and our staff. Our goal is to alleviate pain, relieve stress and facilitate communication that helps to support the patient and family. Not only was this program supported by our friends attending tonight, but we are also so grateful to everyone at the Champagne Ball for supporting our hospital and the community.”

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