New cancer center to open this summer
Putnam County Courier

CARMEL-History was made in Putnam County when the ribbon was cut celebrating the new Camarda Care Center at Putnam Hospital Center.

More than 250 people were on hand for the occasion last Thursday inside the lobby of the beautiful, five-story, $34 million 113,000 square-foot building named for the family of local developer and philanthropist Paul Camarda.

The facility houses the PHC Wagner Cancer Pavilion-a new state of the art cancer center enhanced with radiation therapy services in the Agarwal Center for Radiation Oncology as well as 70 private patient rooms, physician's offices, a new main lobby and a conference center in the Michael Weber Community Auditorium for both hospital and community use.

Hospital Vice President Jeffrey Kellogg called the occasion historic: "Not only is history being made today but the day will be remembered for some time to come because the benefits will soon begin."

The hospital's new wing is slated to welcome its first patients later this summer.

PHC President and CEO Donna McGregor forecast the new hospital would "open a new era in health care for Putnam County and beyond while the hospital's former president Michael Weber who now serves as Chief Executive Officer of Health Quest, the parent group of Putnam Hospital Center, called the facility a "new crown jewel in Putnam County."

Health Quest Board of Directors Chairman Tom Eastwood traced the history of the hospital from the days back in the 1950s when the Mahopac Hospital contained six beds to 1964 when Putnam Community Hospital opened its doors with 66 beds.

Today, Putnam Hospital Center is a 164 bed healthcare facility offering services to an area with a population exceeding 150,000 in Putnam, southern Dutchess and northern Westchester.

An emotional Paul Camarda thanked those in attendance for the kudos associated with his generosity that helped make the new wing a reality. Camarda, who has contributed more than $600,000 towards the expansion, called the ribbon cutting: "The beginning of a new era for our county. This is a jewel not only for its modern infrastructure but for the dedicated and highly trained medical staff associated with PHC."

State Senator Vincent Leibell told the audience that he was blessed to be living in Putnam County: "Putnam is special. Its people are wonderful. Its educational system is tops and now with the expansion to our hospital residents will have another option for cancer care instead of having to automatically travel into Manhattan of lower Westchester."

Physicians and hospital staff also addressed the hour-long ceremony.

Dr. Michael Neshiewat, chairman of the PHC Medical Executive Committee, predicted the new center would "take us into the next century."

Dr. Vinita Agarwal, co-chair of the hospital's Cancer Committee, forecast that "cancer care will be advanced for years to come in Putnam County thanks to the new addition and the incredibly bright medical personnel associated with it."

Dr. Dimitrios Papadopoulos, who serves as the cancer committee's second co-chair, told the audience: "We started with a dream and here we are!"