Andrew Mitchell, the former president and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, was honored in a surprise ceremony Monday afternoon.
Mr. Mitchell will be officially retiring from his role as president and CEO of the Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation, the fundraising organization for the hospital.
A common thread among the various speakers and elected officials who spoke during the ceremony centered on Mr. Mitchell’s vision for the hospital during his tenure.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, when Andy arrived here 20 years ago, this hospital was on life support,” said Sherry Patterson, chair of the board of directors at PBMC. “But Andy had a vision and once we boarded the Andy train, there was no getting off.”
During Mr. Mitchell’s tenure, the Riverhead hospital underwent many layers of expansion, from the Kanas Center for Advanced Surgery; the Corey Critical Care Pavilion; The Feil Campus for Ambulatory Care; the Pegasus House Palliative Care Center; the Kanas Regional Heart Center; the North Fork’s only trauma and stroke centers; Long Island’s first hospital-based caregivers’ support center and eastern Suffolk County’s premier orthopedic program, according to the press release.
More than a hundred people attended the ceremony, including hospital staff, doctors, administrators, donors and local elected officials. The surprise featured the formal unveiling of the hospital’s front circle as “Mitchell’s Way.”
Dr. Gregson Pigott, the Suffolk County Health Commissioner, presented both PBMC and Mr. Mitchell a proclamation. Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar presented Mr. Mitchell the “Riverhead Pin.” Amy Loeb, who succeeded Mr. Mitchell as executive director in 2021, presented him with a plaque for his dedication to the hospital.
Ms. Loeb also announced the creation of the Andrew J. Mitchell Education Fund, which will be available to all PBMC and Peconic Bay Medical Group employees. The fund will support “any health care hero in their pursuit to better themselves through education,” according to the hospital.
Mr. Mitchell emphasized the achievements during his time at the hospital couldn’t have been possible without teamwork.
“People are trying to give me the accolades for the vision and everything else, it really was and will continue to be a team effort,” he said. “None of what we did, all of us did, would have been able to happen if it wasn’t for each and every one of you standing here and those who couldn’t be with us for the ceremony,” he said.
He ended his speech looking ahead and said he’s enthusiastic about the hospital’s future.
“It is a remarkable hospital,” Mr. Mitchell said. “It has unbelievable support from the doctors, the staff, the community as a whole, the town of Riverhead. The heritage is incredible. It was an honor to be part of it for 20 years and it will really be an honor to watch it continue to grow over the next 20 years.”