June 15, 2017

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital will dedicate its Summer Blood Drive on Thursday, June 29 to the memory of Richard Dellacona a 33-year member and former chief of the Westbury Fire Department, who died of a rare cancer after working on “the pile” at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful man who was always there for us,” said Alice Aug, his step-daughter who is a unit secretary at Mather. “He was not my father but he was my dad. Anyone can be a father but it takes a great man to be a dad.”

The blood drive will take place from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm in Conference Rooms 3, 4 & 5. No appointment is necessary and the blood drive is open to all community residents. All successful donors will receive gift cards and a treat bag.

Dellacona, 60, also was a principal at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens. His wife, Fortune, has made it her mission to have local blood drives dedicated to his memory, Aug said. “My mom took something traumatic and has made it into something good, something that could help other people,” she said. “If it could save one person’s life, how amazing is that?”

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital is an accredited 248-bed, non-profit community teaching hospital dedicated to providing a wide spectrum of high quality healthcare services to Suffolk County residents, showing compassion and respect and treating each patient in the manner we would wish for our loved ones. Mather has earned the prestigious Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Mather is the only Long Island hospital to earn four stars from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for patient experience, safety, and timely and effective care measures since July, 2016. Mather also was ranked 19th out of almost 250 hospitals in New York State in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals rankings.