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Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Honored with Medical Visionary Award

Make a wish award2014

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Honored with Medical Visionary Award

Make-A-Wish Suffolk County Recognizes Exceptional Pediatric Care


Robert Parker, MD, Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Stony Brook University Cancer Center accepted the “Medical Visionary Award” from Karine Hollander, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Suffolk County, at the foundation’s 20th Annual “Bouquet of Wishes” spring dinner. (photo credit: Carol Serapiglia Photography)

STONY BROOK, NY, MAY 13, 2014 – Stony Brook Children’s Hospital was presented with the Medical Visionary Award on Thursday, May 8, at Make-A-Wish Suffolk County’s 20th Annual “Bouquet of Wishes” spring dinner. The event took place at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook and hosted over 800 guests. The Foundation presented this award to Stony Brook Children’s for the institution’s meritorious leadership in advanced and innovative pediatric specialty care.

“It is an honor to receive the Medical Visionary Award from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County,” said Margaret M. McGovern, M.D., Ph.D., Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.  “At Stony Brook Children’s we value our partnerships with organizations like Make-A-Wish that help us to care for all the needs of the sickest children. It is an organization that does an extraordinary job granting wishes to so many of our pediatric patients.”

“Stony Brook Children’s Hospital is Make-A-Wish Suffolk County’s largest referral source for wish children,” said Karine Hollander, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Suffolk County. “We see firsthand the results of the treatment Stony Brook provides; enhancing children’s health both physically and emotionally.  Together, we work in partnership to heal a child’s spirit.” 

Dr. McGovern along with Robert Parker, MD, Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, who accepted the award on behalf of Stony Brook Children’s, are members of the advisory board for Make-A-Wish, Suffolk County.   

“The Make-a-Wish dinner is always a wonderful event, and this night was no exception,” said Robert Parker, MD, Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. “I think what Make-a-Wish does is build memories, for the child and their families.  I can’t think of a better organization to which to donate time, resources and money.”

During the evening, children with life-threatening medical conditions from across Suffolk County were granted wishes— and a few were past or current patients from Stony Brook Children’s like 17-year-old Rachel Ragone.


17-year-old Rachel Ragone in November of 2013 doing her homework during a stay at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Ragone’s wish to travel to Italy was granted by Make-A-Wish Suffolk County.  

In March of 2013, the Manorville resident was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a primary bone cancer that affects mainly children and adolescents. For almost a year, Rachel was receiving treatment at Stony Brook University Cancer Center under the supervision of Dr. Parker.

In June of 2013, Rachel was given the opportunity to grant a wish through Make-A-Wish Suffolk County. Dreaming of walking around in art museums and cobblestone streets blanketed with history, Rachel’s wish was to go to Europe. Proud of her family history, Rachel and her family will be headed to Rome, Italy for a 9-day journey.

“Knowing that I had this wish gave me something to look forward to while finishing up my treatment,” said Ragone. Rachel completed her treatment in January and was medically cleared to travel. “We are going to Rome, there is so much to do there, and I can’t wait to eat the food!” 

“A wish gives the patient something to hold on to and look forward to during some of the darkest moments,” said Lauren Sharaby, MS, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.  “Make-A-Wish gives these kids control over a situation; making a wish gives our patients power, hope and improves their quality of life.”

Sharaby, who attended the Make-A-Wish dinner, works firsthand with a lot of the patients who grant wishes through Make-A-Wish. “It lets their imagination run wild while taking the focus off of needles and medicine and hair loss. It gives these children the opportunity to be a kid again and it renews their spirit so they can continue to fight for a cure.”

About Stony Brook Children’s Hospital:

Established in June 2010, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 7,000 children and adolescents are admitted each year. Stony Brook Children’s operates 100 pediatric beds and has more than 140 full-time pediatric physicians and surgeons in 30 different specialties and over 200 voluntary pediatric faculty members. The hospital is the Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center for our area and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. To learn more, visit

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