To the Editor,

Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center officially closed on December 31, 2015.  The final years of operation for the hospital were immersed in controversy over the decision to first sell and then to close.  This is now in the past.  Summit Park Hospital and The Dr. Robert L. Yeager Health Center is a proud chapter in Rockland County History.

In the 96 years of existence, the original Summit Park Hospital evolved from the first State mandated hospital for tuberculosis treatment into one of the finest health care institutions in the country.  This evolution was mainly due to the unwavering commitment to excellence by groups of skilled individuals having immense pride and compassion in looking after anyone placed in their care.

Dr. Robert L. Yeager, named Superintendent & Medical Director of Summit Park Hospital in 1942, was a visionary and the leading force in establishing what was to become in 1977, Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center located in Building A of the 110 acre Rockland County Health Complex. In 1987, seven years after Dr. Yeager’s retirement, the entire campus was re-named the Dr. Robert L. Yeager Health Center.

A thank you to those responsible for the extraordinary care at Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center goes to:

-·       Dr. Robert L. Yeager and the Rockland County Officials whose names appear on the bronze plaque bolted to the wall of the main entrance to Building A.

  • The medical, administrative and support staff for their dedication in making Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center so widely known for exceptional comfort and care.
  • The hundreds of volunteers who, over many years, gave so freely of their time and talents in helping the Health Center accomplish its mission of caring for others.
  • The Rockland County Sheriff’s Department for providing a safe and secure environment for the patients, residents and staff.
  • Dr. David Freed, DHA, Commissioner of Hospitalsand Marianna Avarali, Assistant Patient Services Administrator and Director of Medical Social Work, two people who led a team effort to assure the comfortable and safe re-location of patients and residents who remained at Summit Park Hospital on October 1, 2015. Closure of a medical facility is an arduous task in normal time. Safely and successfully completing the process in 79 days is nothing less than a remarkable testament to their professional qualifications.
  • Friedwald Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing – for continuing to take the finest care of registrants in the Adult Day Health Care Program – and the many nursing homes in Rockland County and beyond who worked with the Summit Park Re-location Team in real time to give remaining residents a new home.

Although a simple thank you seems inadequate, it is hereby extended with sincerity and gratitude to all who were ever associated with Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center.

From the Rockland County Board of Governors,

Vincent Paul Abbatecola, Member

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