Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) in Riverhead opened the doors of its Caregivers Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and resource fair on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, thanks to a generous donation from local philanthropist and member of PBMC’s Patient & Family Advisory Council Judith Jedlicka. Acknowledging the importance of family caretakers during the recovery period, the new center focuses on providing support services to those individuals.
Making the donation in her father’s name, Jedlicka explains the need for such a center to exist and her personal reason for funding it, “The need for support for family caregivers was dramatized for me when I was in that role caring for my father. I spent long hours with him in hospitals during his battle with lung cancer, and during his periods at home I had to figure out how to find portable oxygen devices and other medical equipment for him.” She adds, “Those were daunting tasks for someone not familiar with healthcare organizations and without a ready-made support system…I know he would be thrilled and appreciate this gift in his name.”
The new Caregivers Center, located just off the main lobby of PBMC, provides a comforting place for caregivers to relax and enjoy light refreshments between visits with hospitalized family members. It is also home to a team of volunteers that provide coaching and counseling. The center also serves as a referral for community-based resources that could be helpful for caregivers and patients returning home from the hospital.
“The Caregivers Center helps us fulfill our mission to provide compassionate care for the entire family,” PBMC President and CEO Andrew Mitchell says. “It also helps us provide recognition to the family caregivers who for too long have been the unsung heroes of healthcare.”
Patients and families can learn more about the Caregivers Center by calling 631-548-6259 or by visiting pbmchealth.org.