Q & A
Come January, patients will be able to receive medical attention at the Winslow Specialty Care Center, the latest addition to PBMC Health’s campus for ambulatory care in Manorville.
The facility, which will feature offices for general surgery, gastroenterology and spinal surgery, among others, was made possible in part to a $1 million bequest from Richard Winslow of Aquebogue, a longtime benefactor and active member of the Peconic Bay Medical Center Board of Directors.
Mr. Winslow, a retired broadcast announcer and radio station owner, said he’s enjoyed watching the advancement of technologies he knew so well in his career and their application in the field of medicine.
“The technology used to create a sonogram, for example, that’s all based on sound,” he said. “I have studied these technologies and had used them on the radio and it’s interesting see how these technologies, that have been derived from earlier things, have had such advancement,” he said.
Mr. Winslow, a certified telecommunications engineer, has served on PBMC’s board for more than a decade.
He finalized his $1 million donation this fall.
Q: Tell me about your connection to the community and the hospital.
A: I discovered [the community], interestingly enough, in 1968. I had just purchased a new car and my young son was with me. We were driving out east so we could drive at variable speeds to break in that car … When we arrived, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a beautiful place. I’d like to live here one day.’ That’s how I discovered Aquebogue. We built our home here in 1991 and I’ve lived here ever since.
Once I came out here, I wanted to really become a part of the community because I enjoy people and I enjoy meeting new people. I was very active in philanthropic work and I was particularly interested in [medicine] — although I’m not a medical doctor, I am in science — so I was very interested in what was then Central Suffolk Hospital.
And I saw many areas that I thought would be wonderful opportunities to serve the community better.
Q: Why did you decide to support PBMC and, specifically, the Specialty Care Center?
A: Over the years [during my time with the hospital] it’s been extremely rewarding, because we’ve taken this from essentially a small community hospital to a medical center, which is what I would call a destination. People actually come here from other areas for care, which is actually the opposite of what used to take place.
When I see the sophisticated things we have here — the surgical innovations, robotics and new imaging technologies — I see the future, and I see that the future is really here now. We’re breaking new ground. We’re basically at the cutting edge of modern medicine and the specialty care center serves as a place to benefit from those innovations.
Q: How do you hope the center improves patients’ quality of life?
A: One of the things I talk about quite frequently is family. One of the most healing things for almost any patient is to have their family right there with them during their hour of need.
By keeping services on a local level — where the family is far more accessible, where it is easier for them to visit, where they can pull into a convenient location and walk across to the hospital — it puts less of a burden on them, on everyone.
If they can receive equal, if not better care at home, then why go anywhere else?
Q: Why, at this time, did you feel it was important to give to the hospital and the greater community?
A: When you see the growth, you want to participate in it. It seemed to me, the opening of this new Feil Campus [in Manorville] serves as the perfect wave of growth as we look at the challenges of modern medicine and the new insurance programs that are involved [with healthcare reform.]
We know what some of the changes are and we are, at best, only envisioning what they may be. But we’re trying to stay ahead of the curve because, in doing so, the patient benefits. It’s also the desire to do something to help people more than anything else. The whole point of philanthropy is to make lives better for people, and if you’re in a position to do it, I try to encourage everybody to do it. No matter how big or small, every gift will help somebody.
That’s the way I look at it, and I thank God I can do it.