Click here to check our events calendar and sign up for classes in the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen

America’s love affair with food is as legendary as it is deadly. The country’s recent focus on the health and economic benefits of the  “field to plate” movement is growing like a weed through the country and just may be the serving needed to save a sick and uneasy nation.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center is an acute care hospital faced with the reality of everyday illness and mortality. Its physicians and staff would like to stem the tide of illness and coach patients to a better day of wellness and longevity. The hospital’s vision for change is being crafted by national thought leaders and a celebrity chef.

Led by John Federspiel, hospital president, representatives from national organizations are joining together with the hospital to design this new approach including leading voices from Harvard, Stanford, Culinary Institute of America, New York Botanical Gardens, and Glynwood Institute For Sustainable Food and Farming. The hospital has adopted “Sanitas per escam”, or “Health through food”, as its mantra, as more and more research from around the globe supports the premise that a patient’s recovery can be positively influenced by their diet. Hudson Valley Hospital Center believes it has a responsibility to incorporate nutrition into every medical care plan of every diagnosis treated, and to hopefully discharge that patient with an understanding of why their diet is so very important to their health.

Fueled by the country’s elevated rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, a green wave of good health is finally taking root. Scientific findings support the health impact of a plant-based diet and are finding their way into hearts and minds of businesses, patients and physician practices. Americans may just be starting to get it but only one hospital is taking action.  Hudson Valley Hospital Center, has initiated a multi-phase program including:

“Seeds for Health” – an organic healing garden



 With direction from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a non-profit farm and education center located in Pocantico Hills, the Hospital built and designed an organic garden of herbs and vegetables used to educate and nourish cancer patients as well as serve as a place of relaxation and contemplation. Community and Hospital volunteers tended the garden and produce was used in nutrition education classes with cancer patients. 




Think Pink, Live Green

alt In April 2012, Hudson Valley Hospital Center opened its organic garden for healing with a guest visit from Dr. Marisa C. Weiss, President and Founder of, a global non-profit organization and the fastest growing website on cancer and health. Dr. Weiss spoke on her “Think Pink, Live Green” campaign, which   stresses the importance of lifestyle changes, including healthier eating, as a way to help prevent breast cancer and improve the health of those already diagnosed with the disease.





Farmer's Markets on Hospital campus 


In 2012, Hudson Valley Hospital Center began a monthly Farmer's Market on campus to offer its employees and the public access to fresh local and organic produce. The farmer’s market featured produce grown by local farms, including W. Rogowski Farm, Continental Organics, Glynwood Farm, Hemlock Hill Farm, Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, and others.  Staff from HVHC’s Nutrition and Education departments provided information to help integrate healthy eating practices into everyday life.  Master gardeners from Cornell University Cooperative Extension Westchester County answered questions about gardening issues. The markets were expanded to twice a month in the 2013 season with new vendors added.



Harvest for Health” Food Service 


In May of 2013, Hudson Valley Hospital Center implemented a new food service, Cura Hospitality, offering delicious, healthful meals for patient therapeutic care that incorporates locally sourced foods and from scratch cooking.

"Cura’s passion for chef-inspired menus, scratch cooking and their sustainable practices through its FarmSource program, clearly define their homegrown and healthy approach to dining.  They partner with some of the finest local farms and food producers and they support our Harvest for Health program, which promotes field to plate meals for patient therapeutic care,” said Hudson Valley Hospital President John Federspiel.



Dempsey House Teaching/Demonstration Kitchen


A teaching/demonstration kitchen has been constructed for patients and the community in the historic Dempsey House. The new Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen is offering cooking classes to patients, school children and the general community in an effort to promote healthy eating. Celebrity Chef Peter Kelly has served as an advisor to the kitchen, designed by architect Joseph Pallante, AIA. For more information on the new teaching kitchen and to learn about scheduled classes, call 914-734-3780. Click here to check our calendar and register for upcoming classes.








Young Chefs of the Hudson Valley

Young Chefs of the Hudson Valley is one of the many programs we offer in the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen. Funded by a grant from Newman's Own Foundation, and the Foundation for Youth, the program offers weekly cooking classes to at-risk children ages 11-13 in area school districts. Parents can also sign their children up for small group classes. The program, run by trained chefs and dietitians on staff at HVHC, aims to improve the health of children and reduce the risks of obesity. For more information on the Young Chefs program call 914-734-3780.





Drs. Andrew Ashikari, C. Andrew Salzberg, R Michael Koch and Pond Kelemen


“Before coming to the Cancer Center at Hudson Valley I spoke to a surgical oncologist at another hospital. All the right words were said but it didn’t make me feel better. I decided to go for a second opinion. When I walked in and met Dr. Pond Kelemen for the first time he looked at my charts, looked at me with such warmth, smiled and took my hand and said you’re going to be ok. From that moment on I truly believed that I would be. That’s patientology.”

- Kimberly Gerosa Ashikari Breast Center patient.


As a lifelong resident of Cortlandt Manor, Kimberly Gerosa had witnessed Hudson Valley Hospital Center evolve from a nice little hospital to the amazing facility it is today. Kim says she had always had a positive impression of the hospital. Her internist and gynecologist are affiliated with it, but now she knows and appreciates the hospital on a much deeper level.


Kim’s journey with breast cancer began after her routine mammogram in December of 2011 indicated a problem. The radiologists at Hudson Valley recommended an ultra- sound, which confirmed Kim needed a biopsy. Everyone in this imaging department was extremely nice, and very compassionate in helping Kim deal with this news – from the technicians to the radiologists. At this point in time, the Cancer Center at Hudson Valley was brand new. Not knowing much about it Kim went at first to another hospital to speak to a surgical oncologist. 


Kim was told she had the early stages of breast cancer. All the right words were said but Kim did not feel at ease with this doctor. Her internist recommended she go and speak to the doctors at the Ashikari Breast Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center. From the moment Kim met Dr. Kelemen she knew this was the right decision for her. She had a lumpectomy in January of this year. Unfortunately she learned soon after, on her birthday actually, that her birthday surprise was that the cancer had moved to her lymph nodes taking  her cancer from stage 1 to stage 2 .Consultations were arranged with Drs. Azim Ajaz, director of oncology services, and Chika Madu, Medical Director for Radiation Oncology, and Dr. R Michael Koch, plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. They designed a treatment plan that was right for her, which began with a 5-month course of chemotherapy. Kim said that Dr. Aijaz’ compassion and intelligence helped her get through the treatments.


While going through chemotherapy was a tough time in her life, she said the Hudson Valley Hospital Center team did everything they could to make it easier for her.  In June, after finishing her chemotherapy treatment Kim came back to Hudson Valley to have a bi-lateral mastectomy. She was in the hospital for 3 days and everything was done to make her feel as comfortable as possible. The night of her surgery the nurses were wonderful, checking constantly to make sure she had everything she needed. And even though she was not a candidate for the one-step mastectomy, the doctors were able to perform skin and nipple sparing . Nancy, Dr Koch’s Surgical Physician Assistant, has been there for all Kim’s post op questions and concerns.


Kim’s breast cancer journey is not over, but all indicators point to a full recovery and a healthy future for her. She said going to a comprehensive cancer center like the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center made her journey a lot easier, because every doctor and course of treatment Kim needed was available at the Center. And it’s all right here for her in her own backyard.





Neal Castaldo - Treated like family at the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center


When Neal Castaldo was turning 63 years old he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was scared and confused. But from the day he entered the new Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center his fears were soothed. He was comforted, assured smiled at. Neal, a teacher for more than 30 years, says those are things you take with you… Neal’s prescription was for 44 radiation treatments, five days a week for nine weeks.  The first treatment on the first week was a mock treatment so Neal could feel what it felt like to be in the tunnel.


Neal describes meeting his radiation oncologist, Dr. Chika Madu for the first time. He was amazed she knew so much about him from the minute he walked into the room. She had obviously studied his folder thoroughly. She knew his past. She knew who his urologist was. She knew when he was first diagnosed. Neal said it was as if she knew him before they met. Dr. Madu also carefully outlined everything that would happen, which he found very comforting.


Neal says he was amazed at how easy the treatments actually were. He would arrive at the hospital at 8:30, be greeted with smiles, asked what kind of music he would like to hear (Neal likes pop music.)  and at 8:45 a.m. he would  be in his car driving away. During his treatments Neal had to meet with Dr. Madu every Tuesday, which he called “an absolute joy”. She would check on his progress, ask about symptoms, because there are reactions that you can have to radiation. And answer any other concerns he might have, even including questions like how to tell his two grandchildren about his condition, or when he could take a vacation again. Neal said throughout his treatment Dr. Madu was always there for him.


Neal was astounded that for 44 visits he could be greeted with smiles and real concern, by every member of the staff he encountered. Whatever the weather, whatever other problems might be on their minds. Neal is now finished with his treatments, his prognosis is good, and he states glowingly:


“If I had a friend in need of any kind of medical care, I would explain to them that there is no other place they should go,'' said Neal. "In fact, I’ve already done it. At Hudson Valley every word they say, every question they answer, the thoroughness, the comforting tone in their voices, the feeling you get as a human being is all part of patientology.”



New “Open Friendly” MRI arrives at Hudson Valley Hospital Center


The star attraction of Hudson Valley Hospital Center ‘s new MRI suite arrived on July 25 – the Siemens Aera 1.5 Tesla “Open Friendly” MRI.

The MRI arrived on a flatbed trailer and was lifted by crane into the new 1,200 square-foot addition. The quieter “Open Friendly” MRI has a larger 70 cm opening and its spacious accommodations offer patients the benefits of an open MRI while providing physicians with better quality images.

The all-new MRI suite features comfortable waiting area, changing and consult rooms. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 914-734-3674.