United for Excellence in Children’s Healthcare

Five Long Island Trade Unions Unite For a $600,000 Impact for New Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Building


beam 1In 2015, ironworkers from local 361 tagged a steel beam in orange paint with the message, “IW 361, Hope you all feel better soon.” Suspended by a crane, the beam was lowered into place in what is the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital building.

Not long after, a paper sign scrawled in crayon appeared in one of the patient’s windows with a reply: “Thank you, IW 361.” The brief back and forth between patients and on-site construction workers culminated in five area labor unions contributing a generous donation towards the new building.

Ironworkers Local 361 gave $100,000 while Plumbers Local 200, Electrical Local 25, Operating Engineers Local 138 and Steamfitters Local 638 each donated $50,000. Thanks to matching dollars from the Knapp Swezey Children’s Challenge, the five unions have made a total impact of $600,000 on the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

“The collective gift from these unions is extremely beneficial to Stony Brook Children’s, and represents — above all — the power of a unified community,” said Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD, physician-in-chief at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and Knapp Chair in Pediatrics. “Contributions such as this are the margin of excellence when it comes to the kind of care our doctors and nurses can provide in what will be a state-of-the-future facility.”

beam 2Matt Chartrand, business manager for Ironworkers Local 361, knows of many on his team who have children who have visited the hospital and can speak firsthand on the expertise within. “It’s one of the best places you can walk into,” he said.

Stony Brook Children’s first launched in 2010 and currently boasts 180 top pediatric physicians, 250 pediatric nurses, child life specialists and social workers and cares for more than 8,000 inpatients and performs more than 3,700 surgeries each year.

The $72 million 71,500-foot children’s hospital expansion will be housed in the 10-story Hospital Pavilion. It will feature 108 single patient rooms, including the pediatric intensive care unit and pediatric medical surgical beds, family amenities, playrooms, teen spaces and more. From trauma to state-of-the-art cancer treatment, Stony Brook Children’s will have a greater ability to handle any type of medical condition affecting kids.

“It’s important that we have these special pediatric resources for our region,” said Mario Mattera, business agent for U.A. Plumbers Local Union 200, who noted that both of his daughters were born at Stony Brook. “Stony Brook has become a one-stop-shop for area residents. It’s my hospital. Why go somewhere else when you have the best here, right in Suffolk County?”

More than 5,000 New Yorkers and Long Islanders are represented by unions that donated to the hospital. “This tremendous gift is a great example on how the regional community has come together to fill a crucial need for area residents,” said Dexter A. Bailey Jr., senior vice president for University Advancement. “The impact of these gifts will continue to be profound in its influence on the health and well-being of more than 400,000 children and their families who live in Suffolk County.”

The unions’ collective gifts all contributed to The Campaign for Stony Brook’s $600 million goal, the largest in SUNY history. To date, more than 38,600 donors have given more than $512 million in support of areas across campus.

Jordan Chapman