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The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s 19th Founders Ball celebrates record fund raising

Borough’s Oldest Medical Provider Marks Progress in Fulfilling Downtown’s Health Care Needs

September 29, 2017 By Andy Katz Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Retired NY Jets Hall of Famer Joe Namath poses with TBHC Walter Reed Medal Honoree Dr Saimamba Veeramachaneni (3rd from left in glasses) and family. Eagle photos by Andy Katz
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Football sans politics — knees neither straight nor bent, but only scarred from years on the gridiron — was the theme for The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s (TBHC) 19th annual Founders’ Ball, a keystone charitable event that raised some $1.3 million dollars in support of Brooklyn’s oldest health institution. On hand as guest of honor at the Sept. 27 event was NFL Hall of Famer and New York Jets legend, Joe Namath.

“God bless these guys and the care they provide!” Broadway Joe told the 1,000-plus gathered in the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge banquet room before swapping play-action passes with TBHC’s Vice President and Chief Development Officer Debbie Niederhoffer and two members of the NYPD Football Squad.

Among those honored for the care they provide were Dr. Anders Cohen and Dr. Saimamba Veeramachaneni. Cohen’s specialty is minimally invasive neurosurgical treatments. He was the first New York City surgeon to perform extreme lateral interbody fusion and Trans1 procedures to treat the lumbar spine. A onetime professional tennis player, Cohen also served as team physician for the U.S. Open.

“Dr. Sai” Veeramachaneni was among the first women doctors in New York to complete both an internal medicine residency and fellowship in cardiology. She is currently TBHC’s director of clinical cardiology, and additionally serves on the Sonny Archer Law Enforcement Foundation, which seeks to reduce mortality and morbidity of law enforcement officers produced by the on-the-job stress with medical intervention and prevention, particularly related to hypertension.

Founders’ Medals were also awarded to attorneys Charles Modica and Patrick Adams.

Modica, a co-founder and director of St. George’s University in Grenada, has also been an ambassador-at-large for the Caribbean nation, working to promote tourism, trade and the country’s health care infrastructure.

Adams is also a co-founder and officer of St. George’s University in Grenada, which is the fourth-largest supplier of licensed physicians in the U.S. In 2017, 32 St. George’s graduates will fill first-year residencies at TBHC.

In addition to the $1 million-plus raised by the Founders Ball itself, TBHC has also received $25 million from New York’s Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program to complete a long-planned expansion and enhancement of the center’s emergency department.

First opening its doors in 1845, TBHC is Kings County’s longest-serving health care provider, offering service in Downtown Brooklyn, an area recently denuded of walk-in and emergent medical care with the closure of the Long Island College Hospital.

With the recent opening of its Brooklyn Heart Center, TBHC has focused and enhanced comprehensive cardiac care in conjunction with Mt. Sinai Heart, and in so doing was awarded the 2017 Gold Plus Honor by the American Heart Association for progress in treating heart failure.

“This is the only facility,” Walter Reed Medal Honoree Anders Cohen said, “where I felt real camaraderie and belonging.”


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