Breathe Easy - John T. Mather Memorial Hospital

Breathe Easy - John T. Mather Memorial Hospital

Infusion Center Expansion Allows Greater Capacity, Additional Programs

Flanked by Infusion Center staff and members of the Hospital’s Board of Directors, Nicole Ghokassian, daughter

of Infusion Center patient Terry Portala (holding fl owers), prepares to cut the ribbon for the new Infusion

Center at Mather Hospital last October. Standing between them is Mather President Kenneth Roberts. To the

right of Ghokassian are Assemblyman Marc Alessi and Mather Board Chairman Kenneth Jacoppi.

Mather Hospital offi cially opened

its new Infusion Center last

October in the Frey Family

Foundation Medical Arts

Building on the hospital campus.

The beautifully appointed center includes a

spacious, calming reception area and 13 individual

treatment areas. Anchoring the sun-drenched

space is a nurses’ station with an optimum view

of all patients. The expanded center was funded in

large part by a $1.5 million Healthcare Effi ciency

A beautifully appointed reception area sets a calming tone for patients

and their families at the Infusion Center.

and Affordability Law (HEAL) grant, which also

provided funding for a Congestive Heart Failure

(CHF) Program and an Anticoagulation Program.

“For those patients requiring long-term

therapy, the outpatient setting enables them to

resume a relatively normal lifestyle and work

activities,” said Mather Hospital President

4 | Housecalls

Kenneth Roberts at

the Center’s opening.

“While the delivery of

infusion therapy has

made great strides, the

demand has also grown.

Our new Infusion

Center more than

doubles its previous


The Infusion Center

serves patients who

require chemotherapy,

transfusions or other

intravenous therapies

for cancer, lupus,

multiple sclerosis,

Crohn’s disease and

other autoimmune

diseases or IV antibiotics for infections.

Outpatient infusion therapy is also a treatment

option for hematological, rheumatologic,

gynecological and kidney disorders.

Some people receiving regular treatments for

cancer or chronic diseases and conditions too

often feel like a patient, identifi ed by their illness,

not their individuality. During her eight-year

ongoing battle with lymphoma, Terry Portala of

Farmingville has never had that experience at

Mather, which is why she values Mather’s Infusion


“When I go there, I don’t feel like I’m going to

a hospital,” says Portala, who receives treatment

several times a month. “The nurses and staff don’t

make me feel like I’m sick. They make me feel like

I’m the only person there.”

At the center, patients can make an

appointment that meets their needs and relax in

reclining treatment chairs, watch television, listen

to music, or simply read and rest. Light meals and

snacks are provided to patients who have extended


Mather’s Infusion

Center is staffed by

specially trained nurses

and nurse practitioners.

Their level of care,

The spacious Infusion Center

provides patients with private

treatment areas that are fully

visible from the centrally located

nursing station.

according to Portala, is exceptional.

“The new center is beautiful and accessible,

but the best thing about being treated there is the

nursing staff,” said Portala. “They are absolutely

the best and they know just how to treat me.”

Center to Foster Patient Education

The Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) program

helps to reduce hospitalizations and department

visits and can improve a patient’s quality of life

through education and patient navigation.

Through the program, a nurse practitioner

(NP) works closely with the patient, stressing

the importance of keeping doctor visits and

following discharge instructions. The NP will call

the patients after they go home from the hospital

to be sure they keep their doctor appointments,

follow their diet, weigh themselves daily, fi ll

their prescriptions and take their medications as

directed by their physicians. In addition, a CHF

support group to assist patients and their families

meets at 1 pm on the third Wednesday of every

month in Mather Hospital’s Conference Rooms 1

&2. Discussion topics include: Daily Weights: Why

Weighing Yourself Daily is Important; Medications

Used in Heart Failure; Nutrition for the CHF

Patient – Understanding the Low Sodium Diet;

Symptom Awareness – When to Call Your Doctor;

and The Importance of Exercise and Physical


Through the Anticoagulation Program,

patients, for example those who have recently

undergone total hip or total knee replacement

surgery, are monitored to keep their medication

regimen optimized. Nurse practitioners regularly

receive lab results and communicate with

patients to adjust the dosing of anticoagulant

medications as necessary. This ensures that

the correct drug effect is maintained to prevent

clotting or bleeding. Progress and concerns are

communicated to the patient’s physician.