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NUMC Celebrates Opening of New Eye Center

The Ophthalmology department had been working out of a trailer for the past 40 years.

Forty years is more than enough to work out of a trailer.

That was the sentiment for Marcelle Morcos, the Ophthalmology chairwoman that has been working on eye care out of a trailer for the past four decades. On Friday, Morcos' dream of a new eye department finally came to fruition.

"We’re here today to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the opening of our brand new eye center," Arthur Gianelli, president and CEO of NuHealth, said. "This is particularly important, because 40 years ago, our Ophthalmology program moved into a trailer in the parking lot."

The 3,500 square-foot, $600,000 facility will be able to field patients seeking visits for glaucoma, retina, vitreous disease and pediatric eye care, according to hospital officials. In 2010, doctors saw more than 11,000 eye patients in the trailers outside of NUMC, and 600-plus surgeries were performed as well. The patient intake is expected to increase 10 percent with the new facility.

"What is more basic to a patient’s well being? What is more important than their vision?" Steven Walerstein, NUMC's medical director asked. "Now we have a facility that matches the exceptional care that this department provides here in East Meadow."

The new facility has 10 exam rooms, compared to the trailer's six. Marcos, who went through the residency program at NUMC, said that she is forever grateful to those that helped the project reach its completion.

"We were in that trailer for 40 years," Morcos said. "As you can imagine, few believed that this would ever happen. Thank you today for keeping your promises."

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