Northwell receives gift from trustee Roy J. Zuckerberg to create the first cancer hospital and cancer campus on Long Island

Northwell receives gift from trustee Roy J. Zuckerberg to create the first cancer hospital and cancer campus on Long Island

Leaders from Northwell Health gathered today at a ribbon-cutting event to recognize a new gift from longtime trustee Roy J. Zuckerberg to create the R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Hospital at Long Island Jewish Medical Center — Long Island’s first cancer hospital — and to establish the R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Center, Northwell’s largest ambulatory cancer center.

Zuckerberg’s gift will also create an endowed chair in cancer research, helping to recruit top talent in the field and is part of his long-term generous philanthropy to Northwell, where his vision and commitment to enhancing patient care have made a direct impact across the health system.

The R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Hospital and R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Center unite cancer care provided at LIJ and across the street at 450 Lakeville Road, a state-of-the-art outpatient facility that offers numerous cancer programs and therapies in a healing environment.

The new cancer campus is the flagship of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, which seamlessly integrates the health system’s network of nationally recognized hospitals and cancer specialists, so patients across Northwell’s footprint get top care close to home.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to Roy for his visionary gift in helping to create a cancer campus, one that unifies LIJ’s superb surgical cancer care with our cutting-edge outpatient oncology programs,” said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “This is the first-of-its-kind cancer campus on Long Island and in Queens, which will help us further integrate services and deliver the highest level and best possible cancer care to patients in the region.”

As part of  Zuckerberg’s gift to advance cancer care, Northwell plans to enhance or create several programs, including dedicated oncology floors so cancer patients will be paired with experienced oncology nurses; a new women’s cancer center focused on treating women with breast and gynecologic cancers in a healing and tranquil setting; a Center for Genomic Medicine that can perform tumor profiling for all patients; and new technology to treat liver cancer. There are also plans to transfer the bone marrow transplant and CAR-T immunotherapy program from North Shore University Hospital to increase the program’s size.

The R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Hospital, Northwell’s only cancer hospital, delivers the most complex care available and includes 164 of LIJ’s 583 beds, dedicated to treating patients with various types of cancer including breast, pancreatic, lung, head and neck, colon, urologic and gynecologic cancers.

On any given day, four to six operating rooms are used for open or robotic cancer surgery. The R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Hospital and the R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Center each offer dedicated navigation programs to guide patients through every step of their cancer journey.

The 150,000-square-foot R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Center, Northwell’s largest, includes 64 infusion bays and provides outpatient treatment in the specialties of medical oncology including chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone therapy; comprehensive radiation medicine; surgical and neurological consults; clinical trials; diagnostic imaging; a pharmacy; and support programs for cancer patients and their loved ones.

“With the R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Hospital and the R.J. Zuckerberg Cancer Center we have one of our premier hospitals literally across the street from our state-of-the-art comprehensive ambulatory cancer center, which allows us to streamline cancer services for optimal care,” said Dr. Richard Barakat, physician-in-chief and director of cancer services at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute and senior vice president of cancer services. “What makes us so unique is that we provide comprehensive medical care as our standard of cancer care, meaning virtually any medical condition patients have or side effects they may experience can be treated by our specialists in one health system.”

With more than 400 physicians, Northwell Health Cancer Institute treats more than 19,000 cancer patients annually, more than any other provider in New York State.

“As the largest provider of cancer care in the state, we feel a tremendous responsibility to deliver the best treatments and therapies — and the highest quality care — for our patients who choose us to receive their care during the most challenging time in their life,” said  Barakat. “This amazing philanthropic gift will assist us as we build new multidisciplinary cancer programs in a patient-centric manner, from diagnosis through treatment to survivorship, and will provide integrative medicine therapies, not only to improve patient outcomes, but to improve the quality of patients’ lives.”

Zuckerberg, who spent 31 years at Goldman Sachs and was its longest-serving partner before retiring as vice chairman in 1998, was first introduced to LIJ in 1972 when he sought treatment for his 3-year-old daughter at the hospital’s hearing and speech center, now the Sandra Atlas Bass Otolaryngology Center.

“I’ve had a passion for LIJ since I saw the remarkable care my daughter received there, and it inspired me to get involved in the hospital,” he said.

Zuckerberg later became a member of LIJ’s board of directors and served as the hospital’s chairman, where he helped lead the historic merger between LIJ and North Shore Health System in 1997. He also served as chairman of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

“My inspiration for giving came from seeing my father make gifts to various causes,” said Zuckerberg. “While my father was not a wealthy man, I saw enough to realize there are people who help people in the world. There’s nothing more important than making a sick person well, and the place to do that is in a hospital or a place where healing happens.”

Zuckerberg’s gift contributes to Northwell’s historic Outpacing the Impossible comprehensive fundraising campaign, which he co-chairs. Northwell announced last month it reached the $1 billion goal in the campaign and announced an extension to raise $1.4 billion by December 2024, with cancer care noted as a campaign priority.

“The generosity of our donors is what accelerates our ability to carry out our mission and advance care for our patients,” said Brian T. Lally, senior vice president and chief development officer at Northwell Health. “We are immensely grateful to Roy for his dedication to Northwell and for his continued commitment to providing care to the diverse communities we serve.”

Zuckerberg has been a longtime supporter of LIJ and in 2009 he made an extraordinary gift to LIJ that led to the development of a 10-story glass tower and the largest expansion in the hospital’s history. In addition to his longstanding support of Northwell, Zuckerberg has generously supported cancer research and education at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Northwell Health and CSHL have a strategic affiliation that focuses on aligning cancer research to bring clinical trials and treatment to the health system’s network of cancer clinical services.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here