Suozzi, Northwell Health announce ‘Geriatric
Center of Excellence’ at Glen Cove Hospital
Congressman Tom Suozzi speaks at a press conference about the creation of the
Geriatric Center for Excellence at Glen Cove Hospital. Courtesy of Suozzi’s offi ce.
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.10 COM | DEC. 4-DEC. 10, 2020
The new Geriatric Center for Excellence,
Suozzi said, will help to provide
a model for what is needed to help
senior citizens navigate the difficult
challenges that they face in their lives,
entering into a hospital setting when
they’re scared, afraid and, sometimes,
Ron Panzok, 66, a resident of
Fresh Meadows, who recovered from
COVID-19, attested to the care he received
from Northwell Health’s team
of medical professionals, who helped
him every step of the way.
“I had a very good experience there.
I couldn’t walk or lift my left arm and
they brought me back,” said Panzok,
who is left-handed and had severe
illness on the left side of his body.
In March, Panzok had spent five
weeks in a COVID coma at North
Shore University Hospital in Manhasset,
and then another two weeks at the
hospital before he was transferred to
Glen Cove Hospital for two weeks of
According to Panzok’s wife, Bonnie,
the doctors encouraged him, saying
that his left side would improve
and he would start walking again.
“He did so well, that they asked
him to go into another patient’s room,
who was feeling really depressed, and
to tell him his story and to show that
he could get better, too,” Bonnie said.
“That shows Glen Cove is really interested
in doing whatever they can
to help their patients physically and
Panzok is now walking with a cane
and is doing much better. He is looking
forward to celebrating Hanukkah.
Meanwhile, the announcement of
the center at Glen Cove Hospital comes
as Northwell Health is recognized as
an age-friendly health system by the
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
and the John A. Hartford Foundation.
This recognition will help build
upon the Parkinson’s treatment center,
rehabilitation center and brain
injury center already established at
Kerri Scanlon, RN, Glen Cove Hospital’s
executive director, said they
have developed proficiencies in care
for older adults starting from the moment
they enter the hospital, and have
built vital connections to the community
that provides a continuum of care
“Our revolutionary Parkinson’s
rehabilitation disease program is
another facet that helps people grow
older with dignity and a focus on preserving
their independence and quality
of life,” Scanlon said.
Among some of the steps that
Northwell has taken to earn the recognition
is having all its emergency departments
achieve geriatric emergency
department accreditation through
the American College of Emergency
Physicians, providing falls prevention
education and bringing together
teams to provide the best management
of people with hip fractures.
Additionally, Northwell has developed
a dementia memory care program
through the University of California
in Los Angeles, which incorporates
neurologists and psychologists and
aims to help families understand the
stages of this disease and how to manage
their loved one’s mood.
Northwell Health and Zucker
School of Medicine have expanded
its specialized fellowship training
opportunities in geriatrics and palliative
medicine in order to further
educate the next generation of physicians.
Glen Cove Hospital is in the
process of building a caregiver center
with the help of $400,000 from the Glen
Cove Hospital advisory council-run
Carney said Northwell Health has
been steadily and thoughtfully adding
services and protocols over the last
several years to provide expert and
improved care for older adults.
“We aim to promote longevity, safety
and independence for a person as
they face a challenging aspect of life
and as needs evolve across a lifespan.
I am proud of Northwell for all of its
effort to provide the best care possible
for this population,” Carney said.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed
by e-mail at cmohamed@schnepsmedia.
com or by phone at (718) 260–4526.
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Congressman Tom Suozzi and
Northwell Health’s CEO Michael
Dowling on Monday, Nov. 30, announced
the creation of the first Geriatric
Center for Excellence at Glen
The Geriatric Center for Excellence
will serve as a national model
for geriatric care and community coordination.
Glen Cove Hospital, located at 101
St. Andrews Ln., will be equipped to
work alongside the local community
to provide care to seniors, partner
with assisted living facilities, nursing
homes and the Glen Cove Senior Center,
and to attract the country’s top
professionals and best practices.
“Caring for our older adults is a big
responsibility, one that we take great
pride in,” Dowling said. “Our aging
population will face health issues that
require the right care at the right time
which is why we have increased our
services including at Glen Cove Hospital.
This recognition is humbling and
a true testament to the exceptional
care we are providing our elders.”
Suozzi, who served as mayor of
Glen Cove in 1994, said he first spoke
about the creation of a Geriatric Center
at the hospital with Dr. Maria Torroella
Carney, Northwell’s chief of geriatrics
and palliative medicine, who
formerly served as commissioner of
health in his administration.
“For years, building the Glen Cove
Hospital into a premiere facility has
been a goal of our community,” Suozzi
said. “Today, achieving that goal took
a big step forward.”
According to Suozzi, there were
conversations about possibly shutting
down the hospital five years ago.
It has three nursing homes, three assisted
living facilities, multiple senior
citizen complexes, a senior center and
groups in the community focused on
senior citizen issues.
From a personal perspective,
Suozzi has long supported the hospital
where he and his children were born,
he said. It’s also where his mother
worked as an operating nurse, and his
father served on the board of directors
before becoming mayor of Glen Cove.
Having grown up with all four of
his grandparents — three of whom
were sick — living at his home, and
the passing of his parents at the ages
of 93 and 95, Suozzi said he has always
been intimately familiar with senior
“I brought my parents to the hospital
when they were elderly, and it’s
very overwhelming. If they didn’t
have me or my brothers or sister
helping, I can see them being easily
overwhelmed,” Suozzi said.