Our Westchester heart failure program, which is the only Joint Commission-accredited heart failure program in Westchester, is dedicated to helping patients have the best possible clinical outcomes and quality of life. 

Photo Courtesy of BoatingOnTheHudson.com

One night in June, 87-year-old Jack Cook, who as congestive heart failure, began struggling to breathe. He was rushed to the hospital, where he learned that he had suffered a heart attack. After a nine-day hospital stay, Mr. Cook was referred to the Heart Failure Program at The New Jewish Home, Sarah Neuman in Mamaroneck. The Program, which is the only Joint Commission-accredited heart failure program in Westchester, is dedicated to helping patients have the best possible clinical outcomes and quality of life.

“My goal at Sarah Neuman was to get back to where I was before my hospitalization,” says Mr. Cook. “I wanted to resume walking along the Peekskill waterfront, so I could work with others to create a habitat for monarch butterflies, which are facing extinction.” Mr. Cook’s passion for saving the monarch butterfly began a year and a half earlier when he read an article in Boating on the Hudson that described efforts underway in local communities to protect butterflies and other pollinators. The article explained that monarch butterflies can only lay eggs on milkweed, so the plant is crucial for their survival. 

“I read the article and wanted to become involved in creating a milkweed habitat on our magnificent, beautifully landscaped Peekskill riverfront,” says Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook, who uses a walker, brought together a small group that surveyed the area and identified 10 existing milkweed sites. They developed a plan to enlarge these sites and educate others about the significance of milkweed, enlisting support from Peekskill’s Mayor, Town Council, and the Parks and Public Work Departments. 

“Being able to walk along the riverfront is an important part of my life,” says Mr. Cook. “When I left the hospital, walking was difficult, even with my walker. The team at Sarah Neuman worked with me to achieve my goal and provided care that was most appropriate for my physical condition.” The Program combines interdisciplinary rehabilitation, cardiac education, and real-time heart monitoring. Short-stay rehabilitation therapy is provided in partnership with the nationally renowned Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. 

“Sarah Neuman was very comfortable for me,” says Mr. Cook. “Every day, I worked with an occupational therapist and a physical therapist, who helped me regain my strength.  There is even an automobile in the rehabilitation gym, which they use to teach you the best way to get in and out of a car. As a self-trained cooking enthusiast, who worked as a banquet chef after retiring from a long corporate career, I was delighted to find the food at Sarah Neuman delicious and close to home cooking. I also found the staff terrific and accommodating. It was a pleasure to have them work with me and, ultimately, they gave me the confidence to return home.”  

After nine days, Mr. Cook, who lives alone, did return home. This summer, he was once again walking the paths by the riverfront, as a multitude of monarch butterflies flew back and forth before beginning their long migration south for the winter.   

Learn more about the Heart Failure Program at The New Jewish Home, Sarah Neuman or call the Admissions office at 914.864.5621.