After Tragedy, Local Family Spearheads Effort to Create the Evan Lieberman Friends and Family Lounge
Valhalla, New York – Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, is now hosting families with loved ones in its Trauma Intensive Care Unit in a spectacular, new caregiver waiting area. The new space is more than twice the size of the previous Trauma Intensive Care Unit waiting room and includes several amenities designed to provide comfort for families during a challenging period.
On a given day, more than 50% of the patients arriving at Westchester Medical Center – the advanced care hospital for the Hudson Valley - had no previous plans to visit the facility. Many of these patients are treated in the hospital’s Level I Trauma Intensive Care Unit, the only unit of its kind in the region. Being a Level I center, the hospital cares for the region’s most critically injured patients. As trauma injuries are often sudden and grave, families rush to Westchester Medical Center in support of their loved ones and often stay in the hospital for long periods of time as their family member receives care.
The new Evan Lieberman Friends and Family Lounge was designed to accommodate and support Trauma Intensive Care Unit families. The new Lounge boasts more than 2,400 square feet of space that includes an expanded waiting area with comfortable seating and multimedia touch points. In addition, since spouses, parents and other close family members need to be with or close by their loved ones during certain periods of care, showers, lockers, nutrition stations and modest resting accommodations for these dedicated caregivers have also been incorporated into the design. The newly expanded space represents an investment in resources for Hudson Valley families by the Westchester Medical Center Health Network and the Evan’s Team Foundation.
“Due to the unique nature of its services our Trauma Intensive Care Unit often operates at patient capacity and when it does, we host 15 patients with three or four caregivers at their side. That’s a lot of people spending extended time in our hospital,” explained Linda McGinnis, R.N., Vice President, Patient Care Services, Westchester Medical Center. “The added space and amenities offered in the Evan Lieberman Family and Friends Lounge will provide extra comfort for stressed and worried caregivers while aiding them in their support of their loved ones.”
From Family Tragedy to Positive Experience for Other Families
An inspirational and motivational source for design and philanthropic support for the new caregiver area has been the Lieberman family and their local Chappaqua, New York, community.
Four years ago Evan Lieberman, then 19, was brought to the Trauma Intensive Care Unit of Westchester Medical Center after sustaining severe injuries as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident. With his parents and younger sisters by his side at all times, Evan bravely battled for his life for more than 30 days before finally succumbing to his injuries.
The Lieberman family was grateful for the medical care given to Evan, but felt the space provided to caregivers could offer more support. For the past three years the family has worked with Westchester Medical Center officials to design the new caregiver area, and they have organized several fundraisers that have raised over $500,000 to support the construction of the new space. The Evan Lieberman Friends and Family Lounge, named in honor of their son and brother and supported by an entire community champions, is a tribute to all the families who spend countless hours supporting critically injured family members in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit.
About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,500-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, NY, spanning seven hospitals and several campuses and locations in the Hudson Valley. Its flagship, Westchester Medical Center, is the only regional resource for tertiary and quaternary care, covering 6,000 square miles in eight counties and serving more than three million people. WMCHealth employs more than 10,000 people, with nearly 3,000 attending physicians. From Level 1 and Level 2 Trauma Centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals and numerous health-related centers, programs and services, today WMCHealth is the leading and pre-eminent provider of integrated health in the Hudson Valley.