Overlook Medical Center in Summit, part of Atlantic Health System, recently held a ceremony dedicating the Stacy Goldstein Breast Center, which will undergo numerous enhancements in the coming months.
The event marked the next chapter in Overlook’s commitment to breast health in Overlook’s expanding service area. Funding for the breast center was made possible through a gift to the Overlook Foundation by Ed and Suzann Goldstein. The center honors the memory of their daughter, Stacy, who lost her 12-year battle with breast cancer in 2001 at the age of 37.
“We want Overlook to be the No. 1 breast center in the state,” said Ed Goldstein, who with Suzann, is passionate about helping the center grow into a destination for breast care. “As the plaque in the entrance to the center reads, we wish that all who walk through these doors find comfort and peace in the journey that lies ahead.”
Suzann shared a memory of her daughter to attendees gathered at the event.
There was a day during Stacy’s breast cancer treatment, Suzann recounted, when she remembers pulling up to Overlook to pick up her daughter after one of her appointments. There she noticed a woman, sitting on a bench, crying.
Stacy noticed her too. She walked over, sat down next to the woman and, after a few moments and some brief conversation, the woman put her head on Stacy’s shoulder. Stacy responded by putting her arm around the crying woman.
When Stacy finally walked over and got into her mother’s car, Suzann asked her if she knew the woman. Stacy replied that she did not.
“She just saw someone crying and wanted to help,” Suzann said. “Now from up above, all who come to the Stacy Goldstein Breast Center will have Stacy’s arm around them.”
Over the next several months, the newly dedicated Stacy Goldstein Breast Center will undergo renovations to waiting areas, consultation spaces, and procedure rooms. It will be equipped with next-generation ultrasound and mammography machines and its medical team will play a leading role in advancing education, research and treatment surrounding breast health.
“The enhancements that this project will include will allow Overlook to remain on the forefront of care for breast health into the future,” said Stephanie Schwartz, president of Overlook Medical Center and senior vice president, Atlantic Health System. “We are extremely grateful to the Goldsteins for their continued commitment to helping Overlook serve our communities.”
“Patients undergoing breast care treatments deserve to have the best experience possible amid what is certainly a challenging time,” said Eric Whitman, MD, system medical director of Atlantic Health System Cancer Care. “These enhancements will allow us to ensure the experience for patients and their loved ones is nothing less than excellent.”
The Goldsteins have a long history of supporting cancer care at Overlook and throughout the metropolitan area. It is a mission that began in 1976 following the loss of their younger daughter, Valerie, to Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer.
Diagnosed at age three, Valerie spent much of her short life traveling with her parents from the Goldsteins’ home in New Jersey to New York City where the most advanced pediatric cancer treatment was available at the time. “When we lost Valerie, following her six-year battle with cancer, we were determined to create a state-of-the-art pediatric cancer and blood disorder center closer to home that dispensed loving health care services in a child-friendly environment,” comments Suzann.
In 1977, after launching a grassroots fundraising effort from their living room, Ed and Suzann realized their vision with the opening of the first Valerie Fund Center at Overlook. “Now, there are eight Valerie Fund Centers throughout New Jersey, New York and Long Island treating children without regard to their family’s ability to pay,” said Ed. “We’re one of the largest pediatric oncology networks in the nation treating more than 6,000 children annually.”
Following the loss of Stacy in 2001, the couple first established a critical care waiting room to make it easier for families with loved ones in Overlook’s Intensive Care Unit. In addition to the Stacy Goldstein Breast Center, the Goldsteins are planning another project at Overlook that will honor both of their beloved daughters.
“Projects such as these are only possible through generosity,” points out Clelia Biamonti, Ph.D., executive director, Overlook Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to the Goldsteins for their legacy of support for cancer care at Overlook and across the region. In response to their unimaginable losses, they channeled their energy into programs that offer lifesaving treatment and hope to thousands of others. They are true advocates for the health of our communities.”
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