Our Patient Testimonials
At Northern Westchester Hospital, our success is measured by our patients satisfaction with our services and the care they receive when visiting our medical center. We take great pride in our patients and their courage to overcome physical challenges, from pain management to cancer care and treatment.
While we’re always interested in knowing how we’re doing in serving our community, what’s most important is how our patients are doing following their diagnosis and treatment in our facilities.
Read stories from our patients below.
Looking Back on 100 Years of Care
As Northern Westchester Hospital celebrates 100 years, I would love to tell you of about an unusual event that happened 69 years ago regarding a freshly minted team of nurses known as "The St. Vincent's Six." This class of 1947 graduates exchanged their Greenwich Village careers for positions in Mt. Kisco. Mt. Kisco seemed so far away on the map that one of their parents even described their new home as the "Wilds of Westchester!" St Vincent's Hospital was the medical provider to the World Trade Center tragedy and has now been replaced by Greenwich Lane town homes and apartments currently advertised from $7 million to $15 million respectively. The Northern Westchester Hospital Administrator at the time, "Jerry" Peck and Nurse Superintendent Andrews in 1947 welcomed this un-recruited six with their equally diverse backgrounds. Three of the girls were country girls, Katonah's Lorraine Flynn, Claire Healy and Virginia Hurley, who was from Stanfordville, NY. From the city came Virginia Ruane, Jersey City, and Brooklyn next door neighbors, Mary Acer and Sally Heenan. Patients, especially male patients thought the six were "too young to be real nurses!" They had three point caps depicting "faith, hope and charity" which distinguished these newcomers. The three virtues are included in the Viet Nam Memorial sculpture remembering six nurses who fell in that war. The 1947 staff additions first lived at 37 Pleasant Avenue , the underused Flynn household in Katonah. At the time, their survival deeply depended on Katonah's Healy Delicatessen, owned by Claire's family. Rotating 3-11 duty soon complicated commuting and prompted the nurses to rent a home on Maple Avenue in Mt Kisco. Yet a few years later the house was demolished as railroad facilities were expanding. In this home, the first of the six to marry was Sally Heenan. I was lucky enough to be her husband and celebrate our wedding reception with family and Hospital friends. During the next five years, our first two children arrived at Northern Westchester Hospital with assistance from Dr. Kish and Dr. Rohmer. On March 31, 2016, Sally Heenan departed to join her 1947 classmates. The dedication and spirit of the "St Vincent's Six" remains at Northern Westchester Hospital.
“We had the pleasure of receiving many nurses from the India in the early 1980’s due to the nursing shortage in the U.S.”, said Valerie Zeller, RN.
“Of course their arrival was in December, one if the coldest of times. And they had only sweaters with them - having never experienced a New York winter. I quickly took them to target where they purchased warm jackets and gloves. For Christmas I gave them scarves.
That spring, Maneesha, one of the nurses, decided she needed to learn to drive. She was the only married nurse and had one small child. My daughter, Francine, also worked at the hospital and the two of us decided to take on this project. Maneesha had driven a bit in India but never with the automatic luxuries we had, nor the traffic! Twice a week we would both leave work at about 3:30 and head to staff housing. There, one of us would watch Jose, Maneesha’s son, and the other one of us would take out the driving student. It was scary! But eventually it was successful as Maneesha passed her test on the first try – she even mastered parallel parking.
The other experience that I provided was a swim in our town lake. The following summer, I had all the nurses over for a barbecue and a swim in our town lake. We all walked down to the lake shore only to realize they had no bathing suits! We didn’t mind – instead they all took a dip in their saris. It was so fun, we did this for many summers to follow.
"I was hired by Northern Westchester Hospital as one of 15 nurses from the Philippines in December 1983,” said Marlou Sanchez, RN, Clinical Analyst.
“Coming from a warm country to a place like New York in the winter, you can appreciate that we were freezing. However, the hospital staff was so kind to us - donating plenty of sweaters and coats to us. I remembered our first Christmas tree lighting in front of the North building, when the choir started to sing, we all started crying – It was the first time that we were away from our families on Christmas. However, it was the start of new Christmas traditions with our new Northern Westchester family.
Barbara Mockel, the night nursing supervisor, became our stand- in mother. On our days off, Barbara would drop us off at the mall. And when we were done shopping, her husband would pick us up and take us home. The Northern Westchester Hospital nurses’s would take turns driving us around since none of us knew how to drive at the time.
It was hard to be away from my biological family, but then, if you belong to the Northern Westchester Hospital family, it feels like all is well.
“I worked here in the summer of 1967 when school was out in the housekeeping department,” said Maryann White. “The boss at the time, Mrs. Trotter asked me if I would like to work weekends during the school year. I made $42.56 every 2 weeks, which was good money so I had fun that first summer and even came back for a second summer…this time I got a raise! There was no union then.
But in 1969 I quit. I was not interested in working for a hospital for the rest of my life. Everyone there was too old, I thought. So, I worked at Caldor’s Department store instead until one day, Mrs. Trotter came to the store. She found me at the front registers. When I saw her, she told me that I was to come to the hospital the following Monday at 7:00am and she was making me the supervisor of the linen room.
I thought about it and I had the mornings free so I decided to go. There were two woman to distribute the linen and one seamstress. That was my staff. I was to sit at a desk and do paperwork while we weighed the linen for reimbursements to the hospital for the patients. I did this from 18 years old to 21.
Then Mrs. Trotter, the boss, thought it was best that I leave the position and get involved in the Material Mgmt. Department -broaden your knowledge of the hospital she would say! I was an aide and learned about all the medical supplies, tractions and then a supervisor in the decontamination department, which was all men. I worked for two years of nights here from 4pm to 12 midnight and took care of the whole M/M dept. My husband was sick and ended up dying in 1986 and I became a senior aide again.
I was a mom before I was a career woman and after about 19-20 years here, I decided to transfer to Labor and Delivery as a nursing assistant. Barbara Mockel was my boss. Because of all my knowledge I did a great deal of jobs within the department. I took care of the stock, monitored equipment to help bio-med, checked outdates from stock to anesthesia carts. Where ever I could help I did. Barbara would say “I was the glue” and the staff truly made me feel that I was a part of the team. They welcomed me and it made my job easy. Then I had a blood clot – Janet, the head nurse, told me I needed to take care of myself instead of always being a giver.
Six years ago I transferred to the M/M depts to work in the Mail room. That’s my story. I will be 65 in June and hope to retire next year when I turn 66. The hospital has been good to me. Even though I did not go to college. (I have a twin brother, who is an 11th grade chemistry teacher though my parents didn’t have enough money for both of us to attend) . I have been happy working here.