NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital Celebrates its 125th Anniversary

Jan 23, 2014

Cortlandt Manor, NY

Photo of a group of NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital employees were honored today for acts of kindness when the Hospital kicked off a year-long celebration of its 125th Anniversary

Three people from the community and a group of NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital employees were honored today for acts of kindness when the Hospital kicked off a year-long celebration of its 125th Anniversary.

More than 100 people packed the hospital lobby for a presentation of the Hospital’s "Acts of Kindness Awards" presented by HVHC President John C. Federspiel. Recognized at the event were: Nancy Montgomery and her husband the late Jim Lovell of Cold Spring. Lovell, who died in the Metro North train derailment last month, was recognized posthumously as part of the Hospital 125th Anniversary’s theme – 125 Acts of Kindness. Also honored were Ellen Buccatello of Peekskill, an advocate for the homeless and hungry, chaplain and member of the Hospital’s Ethics Committee, and a team of employees who head the Hospital’s annual Santa’s Helpers holiday gift drive. Buccellato’s award was accepted by her fellow chaplain Barbara Walker as Buccellato was traveling with her friend Collette Carpenter, who accompanied the body of her son Army Pilot Clayton Carpenter back home. Carpenter died recently in a tragic helicopter accident in Georgia.

"Kindness is at the heart of everything we do so I am very pleased that we have chosen Acts of Kindness as our theme for this 125th Anniversary Celebration," said Edward B. MacDonald Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors. "I am very proud to be a part of this Hospital family. It is a very special place that combines medical excellence with a caring, community spirit."

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital was opened in 1889 in the City of Peekskill after a group of community minded women raised $1,800 to purchase property on lower South Street. The hospital was known as the Helping Hand Hospital until 1911 when it was incorporated as Peekskill Hospital. In 1966, the hospital moved to its current location in Cortlandt Manor. It was renamed NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital in 1992 to reflect its new status as a regional facility.

WHUD’s Kacey Morabito Grean served as Mistress of Ceremonies at the event and there was a performance by violinist Daisy Jopling. Public officials including Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler and mayors and supervisors of Peekskill, Cold Spring, Cortlandt Manor and Yorktown attended.

Federspiel said that those honored at the event served as role models for the community and encouraged others to perform acts of kindness. At the event, the community asked to pledge to perform at least one act of kindness in 2014. As part of the on-going "Act of Kindness" campaign pledges will be featured on Facebook and the Hospital website. To learn more about HVHC’s Act of Kindness campaign, visit or e-mail your pledge to [email protected].

Bios of honorees at HVHC’s 125th Anniversary Event:

  • Nancy Montgomery and Jim Lovell have served the Cold Spring community both as volunteers and public servants. Nancy, a Philipstown Councilwoman, served on the Recreation Commission and as a volunteer with the Ambulance Corp. Even after being elected to public office, Nancy continued to volunteer at senior luncheons, fundraising events and family nights. Nancy has a deep connection with older adults, and was well known for this ability when she served on the Ambulance Corp. She and Jim were active in Philipstown’s Depot Theater for many years. Music was at the center of both their lives, and they shared this love by bringing music into the community. Nancy was more visibly active in town, but after her husband Jim died last month in the Metro North train derailment, there was an outpouring of testimonials from the community about the Jim’s quiet contributions. Nancy has received thousands of cards and e-mails telling of Jim’s deeds whether it was encouraging a child on the soccer field or volunteering at a school event. Jim was truly a kind person who touched the lives of so many in his quiet way.
  • Ellen Buccellato is a dedicated and energetic person who has given countless hours of her time to the community and to NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital. An advocate for the homeless and hungry, she is currently chairperson of Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill (CHOP.) CHOP has helped thousands to overcome hunger and homelessness through its shelter and feeding programs including the Jan Peek House Shelter for the Homeless, Sunny Donut Free Breakfast Program, and Fred’s Pantry at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Ellen has been very active in the Chaplaincy Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital over the years. She’s been a representative for chaplains on HVHC’s Ethics Committee and HVHC’s Palliative Care Team. In collaboration with the hospital, Ellen organized a coat drive which collected over 200 coats for men, women and children. And under Ellen’s guidance, hospital employees donated non-perishable food items, toiletries, and new undergarments/socks. All items were distributed at the Jan Peek House Shelter for the homeless. Ellen is an active member of PAPA (Peekskill Area Pastors’ Association). She was inducted into the Westchester County Senior Citizens’ Hall of Fame in 2009.
  • Santa’s Helpers was started 18 years ago when Hospital President John C. Federspiel suggested that instead of exchanging gifts, employees should start a fund to benefit the less fortunate. From that time on, the program was adopted by hospital employees, volunteers, physicians, board members and the entire hospital family. Each year, HVHC raises funds to buy $125 worth gifts each for a minimum of 100 children. From soliciting and reviewing the wish lists to fund raising, shopping and wrapping the presents, Santa’s Helpers has done extraordinary things. The program has raised about $250,000 over the years and provided a very happy holiday for more than 2,000 children. So many people have been involved in this program over the years it would be hard to name them all. Committee members are Sue Lepore, Denise Pilla, Rebecca Bowen, Debbie Petranchik and Maureen DiMaggio.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs. NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Call 914-737-9000 or visit