Victoria Hochman

Victoria Hochman

Friday, 13 December 2013 15:47

Hand Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center

At the Hand Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center we specialize in treating hand injuries and conditions of the hand and upper extermity. From workplace injuries to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries, we are the experts in surgical and non-surgical treatments for disorders of the hand, wrist or elbow. From surgery to rehabilitation, our team provides a comprehensive program to help you recover faster.

In addition to our skilled physicians, orthopedic specialists and surgeons, HVHC has a Center for Rehabilitation with three licensed occupational therapists and one certified hand therapist who have intricate knowledge of upper extremity function and structure. They work with patients to prevent injury or impairment, restore gross and fine motor skills, and enhance participation in activities of daily living. Our Center for Rehabilitation is a member of the Hospital for Special Surgery Network so you know you are getting the most advanced treatment.


For additional information about the Hand Therapy Program or to schedule an appointment, please call: 914-734-3251.

Our Team

Dr. Ari Mayerfield specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and injuries of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow in patients from infants to adults. A graduate of Cornell and Harvard Universities and the Sackler School of Medicine, Dr. Mayerfield completed his fellowship at the world-renowned Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery where many firsts in hand surgery were performed including the first hand transplant performed in the United States, the first successful technique for primary flexor tendon repair, as well as many others.

He has specialized training in the minimally invasive treatment of diseases involving the hand, wrist, forearm and elbow. These include arthroscopy, endoscopic techniques, enzymatic treatments and microsurgery, all of which expedite recovery and minimize downtime.

Conditions and injuries he treats include, but are not limited to:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve compression (i.e., ulnar nerve/cubital tunnel)
- Sports injuries, fractures and dislocations
- Ligament injuries (sprains), tendon injuries, tendonitis (trigger finger, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, and De Quervain's tendonitis)
- Ganglion cysts, nerve injuries, arthritis and stiff joints
- Dupuytren's contracture, infection, vascular disorders, and brachial plexus injuries.
- Special interests include upper extremity trauma and sports injuries, post-traumatic reconstruction, tendon disorders, peripheral neuropathy, arthroscopy, and microsurgery.

Dr. Mayerfield has performed over 2,000 surgeries, including over 700 cases exclusively involving the upper extremity and specializes in the treatment of diseases of the hand, wrist, elbow, peripheral nervous system, as well as microsurgery. His practice is focused on restoring hand and upper extremity function through both non-surgical and surgical means, and helping patients get back to enjoying the activities of daily life. The majority of patients he treats ultimately do not require surgery. To make an appointment with Dr. Mayerfield, call 914-293-8700.

Dr. Mayerfield attended Cornell University (B.S. 1999) and Harvard University before attending the Sackler School of Medicine (M.D. 2007). He is an Assistant Professor of Hand Surgery at New York Medical College and a candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He completed his General Surgery training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the highest volume trauma residency program in Chicago, where he was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’. Following graduation, he went on to complete a fellowship at the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery at the University of Louisville. During his training, Dr. Mayerfield authored a book chapter on alternative imaging modalities of the Hand, and researched a new surgical technique for treatment of wrist instability.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center has Certified Hand Therapists on staff


This certification is voluntary and difficult to attain. To obtain certification in hand therapy, a therapist must have 5 years of clinical experience as an Occupational or Physical Therapist, including 4,000 or more hours in direct practice of hand therapy. The therapist must pass a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation. In addition, a therapist is required to demonstrate continued professional development and competency by re-certifying every 5 years.

The Certified Hand Therapy credential offers assurance to the public that a therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in hand therapy and stays up to date with practice within the field.

For additional information on the Certified Hand Therapist click here.



Friday, 06 December 2013 15:35

Nominate a Mensch

Around this time of year, we are all bombarded with a sweet, sticky overload of Madison Avenue hype about the season and how giving is better than receiving. These marketing campaigns are designed to get us to open our wallets in the name of giving. But there are simpler and more fullfilling ways to give, not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year. Small gestures go a long way: a smile, a compliment, giving someone the right of way on the road, giving up your seat on the subway. These small acts, restore our faith in humanity and lighten our daily load. Just last month, such a simple act of kindness went viral on the Internet. A subway rider snapped a photo of young African American man in a hoodie who had fallen asleep on the shoulder of a religious Jewish man wearing a yarmulke. The photographer asked the Jewish man whether he should wake the sleeping youth, but the man simply said "He must have had a long day, let him sleep.'' Inspired by this, the photographer posted the photo and story on the Internet and overnight, the man, Isaac Theil of Brooklyn, became a celebrity. But unlike Joe the Plumber and other media created heroes who milk the spotlight, Theil simply shurgged off the deed, saying it was no big deal. There is a Yiddish term that fits a person  like Theil - a mensch. Definition: A person of integrity and honor.

On our 125th Anniversary, Hudson Valley Hospital Center aims to encourage more of these acts of kindness with a contest that asks people to nominate the Isaac Theils in our community for the recognition they deserve. At the same time we are challenging people to pledge to perform more acts of kindness in the New Year. Our goal is 125, but the sky is the limit. Afterall, it was an act of kindness that started the Hospital in 1889 when a small group of community-minded women purchased a pre-revolutionary house on lower South Street in Peekskill, which became the Helping Hand Hospital. And Hudson Valley has dedicated itself to fullfilling that 'Helping Hand' mission ever since. 

So if you know someone you'd like to nominate for our 125 Acts of Kindness Award, please e-mail us at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING . In addition to the person's name and reason for your nomination, please include your own contact information so we can follow up. We would like to post these nominations - and the stories behind them - on Facebook, but we will keep nominations anoymous if you so choose.

So nominate a mensch. It can be your first act of kindness for 2014 (you can count it even though we're not quite there yet) Happy Holidays.

Cortlandt Manor, NY  – Three people from the community and a group of Hudson Valley Hospital Center employees will be honored on Thursday Jan. 23 for acts of kindness when the Hospital kicks off a year-long celebration of its 125th Anniversary.  

Hospital President John C. Federspiel will present awards to Nancy Montgomery and her husband Jim Lovell of Cold Spring for their acts of kindness. Lovell, who died in the Metro North train derailment last month, is being recognized posthumously as part of the Hospital 125th Anniversary’s theme – 125 Acts of Kindness. Also being honored are Ellen Buccellato of Peekskill, an advocate for the homeless and hungry, chaplain and member of the Hospital’s Ethics Committee, and a team of employees who head the Hospital’s annual Santa’s Helpers holiday gift drive.

The event will be held in the Hospital lobby at 11 a.m. Kacey Morabito Grean will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies and there will be a performance by violinist Daisy Jopling.

“Our hospital recently won the “Guardian of Excellence” Award for patient satisfaction and that has a lot to do with the kindness and courtesy our staff shows patients and visitors every day,’’ said Federspiel.  “It seemed fitting that we recognize our 125th anniversary by rewarding kindness and encouraging others to perform acts of kindness.”

Federspiel said he hoped that those honored at the event would serve as role models for the community and encourage others to perform acts of kindness. At the event, the community will be asked to pledge to perform at least one act of kindness in 2014. As part of the on-going “Act of Kindness” campaign pledges will be featured on Facebook and the Hospital website. 


Hudson Valley Hospital Center is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community.  In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs.  Hudson Valley Hospital Center is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Call 914-737-9000 or visit








Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:55

Cooking for a Better Life

Eating healthier is a goal aspired to by most adults these days. And what better way to do it, than to learn to prepare easy, healthful meals that are fun to make. The Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen at Hudson Valley Hospital Center is offering a series of such classes. Here's the schedule for the coming months:

Tuesday, December 10th. 2-3:30 PM. Winter Soups. As the weather gets cold, there are few things more comforting than a warm bowl of soup. Whether it is to share for the holidays, or to freeze for later, making a big batch of soup is a great way to utilize lots of vegetables and make a delicious healthy meal. ($15)

Wednesday, December 11th. 5 – 6:30 PM. Heart-Healthy Christmas Recipes. Traditional holiday dishes are fun to make and one of our favorite parts of December. Making your holidays a little more healthy is easy, and this class will show you that a healthy holiday can be incredibly delicious. Come learn some great ways to get into the winter season! ($15).

Tuesday, December 17th. 6-7:30 PM. Seafood Feasts. Many people eat fish for the holidays because of religious or cultural reasons. But fish is a healthy dining option that most Americans could make a more regular part of their diet. Prepared correctly, seafood is a delicacy that will make you feel as if your home dinner table is in a fancy restaurant. If fish is an unfamiliar ingredient, or if you just want to learn some great recipes and have barrels of fun, this will be a great class to attend. ($15).

You can register for these classes and others by checking out our calendar of events.

Cortlandt Manor, NY – (November 25, 2013) – Nearly 300 people attended Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s Wine and Dine Around the World event on November 21 to raise money for breast cancer education.

The benefit at Trump National Golf Course in Briarcliff Manor raised $30,000 for the Ashikari Breast Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center again presents “Wine and Dine Around the World” this time with a Mediterranean flair.

More than 20 fine restaurants participated in the event, which this year featured foods and wines of the Mediterranean.

“We thank everyone here for supporting this wonderful event,’’ said Dr. Andrew Ashkiari, of the Ashikari Breast Center. “The funds raised here tonight will allow us to support future educational and research programs such as the symposium we had this past fall.”

Proceeds from last year’s event helped to finance a Breast Cancer Symposium on September 28 at Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook which brought together area oncologists and breast surgeons to share best practices and the latest techniques in breast cancer treatment.

The Ashikari Breast Center at HVHC offers access to nationally renowned doctors in the field. Drs. Roy Ashikari, Andrew Ashikari, Pond Kelemen and Melita Charles work together to make sure every patient who walks through their door receives exceptional care every step of the way. Bringing these experts together simplifies a complicated process and helps ensure that individuals get the best treatment for their unique situation.

For information on the Ashikari Breast Center, visit or call 914-734-3490.

Photo caption: Dr. Andrew Ashikari, HVHC Foundation Board Chairman Michael Delfino, Event Chairwoman Rosemarie Panio and HVHC President John Federspiel.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs. Hudson Valley Hospital Center is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Call 914-737-9000 or visit



Thursday, 21 November 2013 15:35

Zucchini Pancakes for Chanukah?


 Don't forget that Thanksgiving is also the first night of Chanukah! Here's a healthy recipe from HVHC Dietitican Meredith Sobel that is sure to please your guests for both holidays. Students in our cooking class at HVHC's new Chef Peter X. Kelly Demonstration Kitchen loved them. Let us know what you think at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING .

Zucchini Pancakes for Chanukah

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 5 pancakes

• 2 medium zucchini, grated
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh chives (or dill)
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 6-8 tbsp whole wheat flour
• kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
• olive oil spray (use a spray bottle and add olive oil or a conventional cooking spray)
1. Grate zucchini using the large holes of a cheese grater and place in a large bowl.
2. Add flour, shallots, garlic, parsley, chives, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray oil to cover pan.
5. Drop tablespoons of the batter into the skillet.
6. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
7. Set aside and keep warm.
8. Spray more oil in the skillet as needed, and continue with remaining batter. Makes about 20 small pancakes

Nutrition Information: (for 5 pancakes): Calories: 134.9 • Fat: 4.7 g • Carb: 16.2 g • Fiber: 3.5 g • Protein: 8.7 g • Sugar: 2.1 g • Sodium: 0 mg (without salt)


Orlando, Fla. – (November 21, 2013) - Hudson Valley Hospital Center was presented with the prestigious “Guardian of Excellence Award” ® by Press Ganey Associates Inc. at the organization’s 2013 National Conference on November 18-20 in Orlando, Fla.

The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieve at or above the 95th percentile. Hudson Valley Hospital Center was recognized in particular for achieving this level of excellence in patient satisfaction with its ambulatory and surgical services.
“This is no easy feat,’’ said Hudson Valley Hospital Center President John Federspiel. “To qualify, our medical and employee staff - from pre-surgical services through recovery - had to receive a 95 percent or above rating from our patients, every month for an entire year. This speaks volumes about the quality of care provided by our medical and employee staff. I am very proud to lead such a dedicated team.’’

The Press Ganey “Guardian of Excellence Award” is a healthcare industry symbol of achievement. Fewer than 5 percent of all Press Ganey members reach this threshold and consistently maintain it for the one year reporting period. Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve the patient experience.

"We are proud to partner with Hudson Valley Hospital Center,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “Achieving this level of excellence reflects the organization’s commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s efforts benefit their community and will lead to improved patient experiences."

Susan Krzykowski, Clinical Nurse Manager of Ambulatory Surgery, said maintaining a 95 percent rating each month is a delicate balancing act that involves strict attention to detail and excellent communication and coordination among the different hospital departments that serve the surgery center.

“It’s a huge honor that validates how hard the medical and employee staff works as a team, said Krzykowski. “We are all very excited.’’

Kathy Webster, Vice President of Patient Services, and Debbie Neuendorf, Vice President of Administration, accepted the award at this week’s conference and presented background on what led to the hospital’s achievement.

This year’s national conference at the Marriot Orlando Word Center featured keynote speakers former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Biggest Loser Wellness Coach Jillian Michaels and Best-Selling Author Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Boston's Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Press Ganey is a leader in performance improvement for nearly 30 years.

Yorktown Huskers Football Team raised more than $1,100 in one night for Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center. The team collected donations for the cancer center at its big game on Oct. 18th against rivals Poughkeepsie High School, in which Yorktown won 48 to 32.

William Dauster, Executive Director of the Foundation at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, thanked the team for its efforts and encouraged them to become professional fundraisers.


Cortlandt Manor, NY - (November 15, 2013) – Santa’s Helpers at Hudson Valley Hospital Center are getting a little help from the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater this year.

The landmark theater’s new operators, Paramount Hudson Valley, have pledged to donate a portion of the ticket sales from its December 8 performance of the classic holiday ballet the Nutcracker to the Hospital’s “Santa’s Helpers” program.

For the past 18 years, HVHC’s “Santa’s Helpers” has raised funds to buy holiday gifts for deserving children in the Cortlandt Manor area.

“I cannot think of a more perfect way to raise funds for Santa’s Helpers,’’ said John Federspiel, President of Hudson Valley Hospital Center, who started the holiday gift drive. “The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition loved by children of all ages. I urge all of our employees and everyone in the community to attend the Dec. 8th performance to support the Paramount and Santa’s Helpers.”

Kurt Heitmann, CEO of the Paramount Hudson Valley, said the theater is pleased to partner with such a worthy cause. “We are about the community and what a wonderful opportunity to give back,’’ he said. “Our Nutcracker is a family event and perfect to raise money for children in need. We are delighted to partner with Hudson Valley Hospital Center.”

Tchaikovsky’s holiday ballet features classics such as “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Waltz of the Snowflakes. The ballet will be performed by the Westchester Ballet Center for the Performing Arts under the direction of Rose Menes. Tickets to the December 8 performance are $20 and $26 and can be purchased online at or by calling 914-739-0039.

With the funds that are raised from the performance, donations and hospital fundraisers, the Hospital plans to spend $125 per child on about 100 children. It will add a child for each $125 that it raises. The Westchester County Department of Social Services and other social service agencies provide the Hospital with wish lists from families.

On Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. in the Wagner Conference Room staff will begin wrapping gifts that will be delivered to families in need. Pajamas and books, dolls, trucks, boots, socks and tons of toys will be packaged in a few short hours.

Sue Lepore, facilitator of the program in the administration office at HVHC, has the job of sorting through letters containing the wish lists of needy children and their families. She then assigns gift shopping to Hospital employees who spend an entire afternoon wrapping the gifts at a festive wrapping party. Many times families and social service workers stop by during the afternoon to pick up the gifts.

“We hope that people in the community will help us to support this very worthy project,’’ said Lepore. “These children ask for so little. We try to make this a great holiday by giving them more than they request.’’

For more information on donating to the Santa’s Helper’s Project visit or call Sue Lepore at 914-734- 3287.


Cortlandt Manor, NY - (November 15, 2013) – Ed Ajello said before he was diagnosed he had never given a thought to dying of lung cancer. Working in construction, Ajello said he faced danger many times as he dangled 50 stories above the ground.

“There were many times I thought I might die,’’ said the Peekskill resident, who worked on Manhattan skyscrapers and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. “Lung Cancer was not the way I imagined it.’’

Ajello was one of several patients and family members who spoke at the “Shine A Light on Lung Cancer Vigil” Thursday night at Hudson Valley Hospital’s Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center. The vigil was one of hundreds held across the nation as part of an effort by the Lung Cancer Alliance to raise awareness about Lung Cancer.

November is lung cancer awareness month and Hudson Valley Hospital officials took the opportunity at Thursday night’s vigil to announce that this month the hospital will begin offering free lung cancer screenings for high risk patients. The first two screenings were performed today.

Dr. Charles Abate, a pulmonologist who helped create the lung screening program at HVHC, said the screenings are a bit of good news in the war against lung cancer. The stigma of smoking he believes is partly responsible for the lack of attention and research funding lung cancer has received when compared to breast and other cancers. Far more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer, yet lung cancer receives only a fraction of the funding and attention, he said. Lung Cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S. and worldwide, killing more people than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.

Dr. Asim Aijaz, Medical Director of Oncology at HVHC, said that for years even physicians had lost hope because of the bleak prognosis for lung cancer patients. But recently he said new drugs and the advent of customized genetic treatments have given new hope to physicians and patients.

“When you talk about inspiration, it is you, my patients that inspire me,’’ Aijaz told the audience.

Dr. Maurice Poplausky, Director of Radiology at HVHC, urged people in the community to sign up for the free low-dose CT screenings, that he said normally cost about $400. He said early detection was the key to fighting lung cancer. Without the screenings most people do not get treatment until they experience symptoms, often times too late for a cure, he said.

“We want people at risk to take action and get a screening,’’ said Poplausky. “We know it saves lives.’’

Studies have shown that LDCT lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20% in people who are at high risk. Those considered high risk are men and women between 55 and 74 who currently smoke or who have quit smoking in the past 15 years and have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years.
To find out if you are eligible for a free lung cancer screening, call the Lindenbaum Cancer Center at 914-293-8400.