People in the News

Lawrence Schwartz, MD 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announced the appointment of Lawrence Schwartz, MD, as MSK’s new Chair of the Department of Radiology. He will assume the role in early 2023. Dr. Schwartz is internationally recognized for his expertise in quantitative imaging, artificial intelligence in cancer imaging, and for his pioneering work in the development and validation of novel imaging biomarkers in oncology. 

Since 2009, Dr. Schwartz has been Chair of the Department of Radiology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons and Radiologist-in-Chief at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to this role, Dr. Schwartz served in a variety of leadership roles at MSK from 1993 to 2009. 

Dr. Schwartz earned his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine, his residency at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College, and a fellowship in Cross Sectional Imaging (MRI/US/CT) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Radiology and a member of the American Roentgen Ray Society, Radiological Society of North America, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, New York Roentgen Ray Society, Society for Computer Applications in Radiology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and a Fellow at the International Cancer Imaging Society. 

St. Joseph’s Medical Center President & CEO Michael J. Spicer; CNN Anchor Randi Kaye; Auxilian Extradonaire Kathleen DeBlasio, and Event Co-Chair Dolly Mayer. Event Co-Chair Suzanne Augustin; St. Vincent’s Senior Vice President for Behavioral Health Services Bernadette Kingham-Bez; Auxiliary Co-President Tara Crawford and Auxiliary President Monique Keane  

Emmy Award-Winning Correspondent and CNN Anchor Randi Kaye was the honoree at St. Vincent’s 67th Annual Auxiliary Luncheon & Fashion Show held on November 10 at the Westchester Country Club.   

Randi Kaye was honored for her work in raising awareness and suicide prevention.  “It is such an honor to be recognized for my efforts to increase suicide awareness, but the people I met today at St. Vincent’s are the ones who deserve recognition—the crisis counselors working the hotline phones, they are the ones who are really saving lives,” said Kaye.  

The event, which featured a fashion show presented by Neiman Marcus, raised over $175,000 to benefit the programs and services of St. Vincent’s Hospital. More than 320 people attended the event. This year’s journal was dedicated to Kathleen DeBlasio, Auxilian Extradonaire who has been a dedicated auxiliary member since 1995. 

This past July, St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester became the Westchester Call Center for the new 988 Suicide Hotline.    

Harvinder S. Sandhu, MD 

Harvinder S. Sandhu, MD, co-chief emeritus of the spine service at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York, was appointed the Chair of the Department of Orthopedics at Stamford Hospital, effective November 1, 2022.  

Before joining HSS in 1997, Dr. Sandhu was chief of the spinal surgery service at UCLA. His clinical practice specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, robotic surgery, and the use of spinal biologics to enhance healing. Dr. Sandhu is also actively engaged in researching and developing medical devices and instruments used in spinal surgery and holds several patents. In addition, he has authored or co-authored well over 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and has received research awards from the North American Spine Society, the Orthopaedic Research Society and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, including the prestigious Volvo Award in Spinal Research. 

Anne Gaya-Ngowe is Putnam Hospital’s new Chief Nursing Officer 

A familiar face has joined Putnam Hospital’s senior leadership team. Veteran Putnam Hospital nurse Anne Gaya-Ngowe is the facility’s new Chief Nursing Officer. In her role, she acts as a liaison between the nursing staff and hospital management.  

This promotion recognizes the contributions Gaya-Ngowe has made to Putnam Hospital during her tenure with the organization. For the last nine years, she has served as Director of Nursing Resources and Patient Care Services, responsible for leading several departments including float pool, nursing supervisors, stroke care, inpatient oncology, bloodless medicine and transportation. She was also instrumental in setting nursing quality measures and standards of care and practice in Patient Care Services. At the start of the pandemic, she was named Operations and Planning Sections Chief for Emergency Management, assisting with the development and implementation of strategy and tactics during the hospital’s COVID-19 state of emergency.  

Gaya-Ngowe started working at Putnam Hospital in 1998 as a nurse in the Medical-Surgical unit. After six years, she became a supervisor, responsible for the overall patient care management of the nursing staff. She also served in a variety of other roles including Outcomes Coordinator, interim Director of Psychiatry and Director of Obstetrics.  

Gaya-Ngowe is from Kenya, East Africa, and migrated to the United States in the early 1990s. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing in Pleasantville, NY. She later received a master’s degree in Business Administration in Healthcare from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY and a master’s in Public Health: Health Policy and Management from New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY.  

Dr. Kathleen G. Reichard 

Dr. Kathleen G. Reichard, Emergency Medicine Physician, Montefiore Nyack Hospital, has been named a New York State Emergency Medicine Unsung Hero. This designation was awarded because she consistently advocates on behalf of her patients and for the specific needs of the Peds ED. When asked about Dr. Reichard, William Greenhut, DO MPH FACEP, Emergency Department Director said, “Dr. Kathleen Reichard is a beloved member of the ED team at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. She is exceptionally passionate, knowledgeable, caring and friendly.” 

Dr. Reichard has worked at various hospitals mostly in the NY/NJ area, including at St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan, NY where she was involved in teaching EM residents, was the child abuse liaison, and mentored college students. In New Jersey she worked as the director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Overlook Medical Center, as a staff attending, and served on the Pediatric Quality Committee. In 2021 she joined the Emergency Department at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. 

A New York State Emergency Medicine Unsung Hero goes beyond simply being the embodiment of what it means to be an emergency physician. They are a stalwart of the emergency department, who is deeply committed to the mission of the emergency department, their colleagues, co-workers and patients. 

The New York American College of Emergency Physicians represents over 3,100 dedicated professionals committed to speaking out for broad access to quality health care, including and especially emergency health services for all citizens. 

Sameh Said, MD 

Sameh Said, MBBCh, MD, FACC, FACS has been appointed to the role of Chief of the Section of Pediatric and Adult CongenitalCardiac Surgery, within the Department of Surgery, for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Westchester Medical Center.    

Dr. Said specializes in the repair of congenital heart defects in children, including complex abnormalities such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and other univentricular heart conditions, Ebstein’s anomaly, unifocalization procedures, adult congenital heart diseases and complex cardiac repairs. He is at the forefront nationally of employing a minimally invasive approach to heart surgery, avoiding mid-sternal injury, whenever possible.  

Dr. Said is board certified in general surgery, thoracic surgery and congenital cardiac surgery. He also is a member of many prominent national and international cardiac and thoracic surgical societies including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society, Western Thoracic Surgical Association, Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Said is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology. 

Prior to his arrival at WMCHealth, Dr. Said served patients at Masonic Children’s Hospital of the University of Minnesota and at the Mayo Clinic and its Mayo Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital, where he served as both a pediatric and adult cardiac surgeon. 
Dr. Said earned his medical degree in 1998 from Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt, followed by an internship and initial cardiothoracic surgical training at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Alexandria University, Egypt. Dr. Said sought additional training and completed a second fellowship in pediatric congenital cardiac surgery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. 

Academically, Dr. Said has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and scientific presentations, 24 book chapters, and sits on the editorial Board for the World Journal of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery (WJPCHS). He also is an associate editor for Frontiers in Pediatric Cardiology and is an established educator who has created several video presentations sharing advancements in surgical techniques.