WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside names honorees for annual Soirée Under the Stars gala


Signature Bank co-founder and Vice Chairman John Tamberlane will be the honoree of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s 2019 Soirée Under the Stars gala on Sept. 28 at the Seawane Club in Hewlett Harbor.

The hospital will also honor Dr. Ricardo (Eric) Cruz, the director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Nurse Tracy Thorn, the nurse manager for the Emergency Department, who will be presented with the hospital’s Mary Pearson and the Cupola awards, respectively. The Mary Pearson Award, named in honor of the hospital’s founding administrator, is presented annually to an individual for extraordinary effort and individual contributions that significantly advance the hospital’s commitment to the community, and the Cupola Award, established in 2015, honors a deserving hospital employee who goes above and beyond their duties, and lives by the hospital mission to promote excellence in healthcare.

“John Tamberlane, a leader and innovator in the banking community and one of the original co-founders of Signature Bank, has been a tremendous partner to South Nassau and to our community,” said SNCH President and CEO Richard J. Murphy. “He is the type of corporate citizen who truly recognizes the importance of giving back to the communities we serve.”

Murphy also lauded Thorn and Cruz.

“Nurse Thorn and Dr. Cruz are dedicated caregivers who are highly regarded by their peers and by their patients,” he said. “They represent the very best of South Nassau’s culture. They are known for always putting the needs of patients first. Nurses and physicians like Tracy and Eric are the very heartbeat and backbone of this hospital. We are delighted to be able to recognize them for their commitment.”

Funds raised at the Soirée will support the hospital’s Emergency Department expansion, which will nearly double the size of a facility that was built to serve 35,000 patients annually. The renovation and expansion — which is underway —will accommodate the more than 80,000 patient visits expected each year and establish dedicated treatment areas for pediatric and behavioral health patients.

The evening will feature entertainment by leading Manhattan stage and theater performers Sierra Boggess, one of the top sopranos on Broadway; Tony-award nominated Jarrod Spector; and multi-talented actress and singer Kelli Barrett.

Tamberlane has been vice chairman and a board member of Signature Bank since its inception, as well as a director of Signature Securities Group since it was founded in 2001. Under his leadership, the bank has established a standard for service excellence through its distinctive single-point-of-contact approach to relationship banking. Signature Bank is also at the forefront of using the latest advancements in digital technologies to develop and implement products and services that enhance the efficiency and productivity of its customers.

A specialist in neurologic rehabilitation, particularly stroke and traumatic brain injury, Cruz is also highly regarded for his work in physical medicine and rehabilitation, including treating patients with sports injuries, neuromusculoskeletal disorders (including low back pain, degenerative joint disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, amputation patients) and performs EMG (electromyography) to assess electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles as well as nerve conduction tests. He has helped thousands of patients regain mobility and independence.

Since January 2017, Cruz has worked to establish South Nassau’s ImPACT Baseline Concussion program. The hospital’s program offers free baseline testing to high school athletes and has become a resource to several area school districts. Board-certified in general physical medicine and rehabilitation, Cruz has authored numerous publications, including the “Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation – Stroke and TBI Rehabilitation and Neurologic Rehabilitation of the Elderly.”

Thorn, of Long Beach, was chosen by her nursing peers who described her as a decisive leader, patient advocate, collaborator, role model, self-starter and forward-thinker. Thorn has been the architect of multiple procedural improvements in electronic medical records, trauma care, sepsis response and patient throughput. Her technological proficiency led to improvements in the EMR blood administration processes and fine-tuned trauma response and process. Her efforts drove a significant reduction in mortality rates for patients with sepsis and her leadership has helped foster a decrease in wait times for patients in the Emergency Department. Thorn earned a master’s in nursing from Stony Brook University and holds professional certifications for nurse executive and in emergency nursing.

The Soirée is South Nassau’s major fundraising gala of the year, co-chaired by South Nassau Board Vice Chairman Tony Cancellieri and board member Wayne Lipton, who oversee a gala committee of 40 community members, civic and business leaders that has helped significantly increase the success of the event. Under their leadership, the annual gala has raised $3 million for the Emergency Department campaign, with double digit increases in each of the last four years.

“People on the South Shore care about this hospital,” Cancellieri said. “Our committee members and board members have volunteered many hours to help South Nassau grow and prepare for the future to better serve our communities. Our recent partnership with the Mount Sinai Health System has made South Nassau an even more important and vital institution for our patients, allowing us to offer more complex services right here in Nassau County.” 

This year’s format again will feature a two-hour, outdoor reception starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Seawane Club that will be highlighted by an elaborate array of buffet-style food choices, unlimited top-shelf open bar, passed hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to mingle with the hospital’s key supporters, staff, board leadership and administration. Following the reception and a short program is a Broadway-quality cabaret style, live performance featuring a 16-piece orchestra and performers. To learn more about the Soirée, purchase tickets or support as a sponsor, call South Nassau’s Development office at (516) 377-5360.