Dr. Peter Michalos, MD, chair of the Hamptons Health Society, procured 12 state-of-the-art, life-saving ventilators with the help of Sheryl Gordon, Lally Weymouth, and Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren.
He’d called Warren about his idea for a fundraiser. The mayor was already looking to pitch in and help in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“He has a nonprofit organization and he wanted to help out health care professionals,” Warren said. “Obviously, there is nothing the village could do, but I decided to help personally.”
The idea was a bold one: contribute toward ventilators that are desperately needed at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. But even Warren was surprised at the fruit of their labor. In 72 hours, well over $300,000 was raised, more than the cost of five ventilators. Warren collected over $175,000 alone through GoFundMe.
“Everyone across the community” chipped in, Warren said, noting businessmen and women, civic groups, clergy members, teachers, and many anonymous donors. “I was impressed. Teachers who pay such high rents to live here stepped up.”
Dr. Michalos said the Greek Orthodox Christian Church of the Hamptons, Corcoran Real Estate, the vice president of community and government relations at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, its chief respiratory therapist, and others also donated. He said the community members’ generosity aligns with his way of thinking.
“My mantra has always been ‘Support your local hospital. The life you save may be your own,’” Dr. Michalos said.
The doctor added the Hamptons Health Society already delivered 1000 N95 masks to hospital doctors and nurses, the emergency department, and respiratory therapists, in addition to town, village, and state police.
“We can buy N95 masks, procure personal protective equipment, gowns, and more by using social media to get the word out,” Warren said.