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Hudson Valley Hospital Unveils Cancer Center

CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – Hundreds of people gathered at the official opening on the Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s new cancer center. The $12 million state-of-the-art facility was nine years in the making, for what was once a small community hospital in Peekskill.

"This means that the community will no longer have to travel into New York City for cancer care. We have a comprehensive center here now that offers radiation oncology and medical infusion services. The collegiality and comprehensive nature here is extraordinary and really unique," said John Federspiel, hospital president.

The cancer center has attracted attention for hiring the Ashikari Breast Team, a group made up primarily of three surgical oncologists, and the plastic surgeons they routinely work with. The Ashikari doctors pioneered single-surgery mastectomy and breast reconstruction, and preventative mastectomies, according to the hospital.

“The Ashikari physicians for breast disease are second to none. Our plastic surgeons pioneered many of latest microsurgical techniques in breast reconstruction.  We also have the finest radiation oncology and medical infusion specialists,” said Federspiel.

The Ashikari Breast Team is made up of Dr. Roy Ashikari and his son, Dr. Andrew Ashikari, and Dr. Pond Kelemen. The plastic surgery team is made up of New York Plastic Surgery Group , Drs. C. Andrew Salzberg and R. Michael Koch, who specialize in microsurgery and breast reconstruction.

The cancer center will be housed in a 54,000 square foot medical office building. Inside, a variety of service will be brought under one roof, including infusion and radiation services, and women’s health imaging. The cancer center itself will be named after Cheryl R. Lindenbaum, a long-time hospital supporter. The building will also house doctor’s offices.

“Having to drive at least an hour and rely on family was very difficult,” said Sue Andersen, a nurse in the hospital’s ER, and a breast cancer survivor. “If there were a facility like this when I was undergoing treatment I know it would have made a big difference in my life to have a place that offered this quality of care right in my community.”

The cancer center will focus on breast, prostate, melanoma, colorectal and lung cancers. Although the center was unveiled on Nov. 17, the variety of services will be phased in over the course of the year.

Local politicians, including Cortlandt Town Supervisor, Linda Puglisi, New York State Sen. Greg Ball, Westchester County Legislator, John Testa, and Peekskill Mayor, Mary Foster were in attendance.

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