“Pretty much everyone in my family has been born there,” says Alida Giannini of Deer Park, reflecting on her family’s many connections to Good Samaritan University Hospital (West Islip, NY). Counted among those born there are Alida and her husband Jason, their eldest son Jayce, and their twins Avelina and Blaise. As such, Alida considers her family a “Good Sam Family.” The connection runs deeper, with Alida holding the title of Director of Public & Community Relations for Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre and St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, facilities in the Catholic Health network of hospitals.
Though she had no shortage of options to choose from, Alida’s personal and professional connections to Catholic Health, Good Samaritan’s high standard of compassionate care, its strong community ties, and its faith-based environment were all deciding factors in her choice to deliver her children at Good Samaritan. “Good Sam was my choice even before I joined the system. It felt meant to be,” she says.
In 2017, Alida and her husband Jason welcomed their first child, Jayce, into the world. As coincidence would have it, the room where Alida spent a few days recovering after Jayce’s birth, room 418, would also be the room where Alida recovered after delivering Avelina and Blaise a few years later. Another happy coincidence, labor and delivery nurse Maria Milan was on hand for the birth of the twins. Yet another familiar face also returned. The nurse who cared for Jayce in the nursery was also the same nurse who also scanned the twins during Alida’s maternal-fetal medicine appointments.
The comfort and familiarity provided by returning to the same room and having familiar faces among the staff would prove to be something to lean on in challenging circumstances. The twins were born during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and due to safety protocols family were unable to visit post-birth. Alida and Jason were isolated, and Alida recalls missing Jayce especially during that time. More, one of the twins, Blaise, would require time in the NICU for additional care. Having anticipated this would be a possibility and knowing that Good Samaritan has the area’s only Level 3 NICU only strengthened Alida’s confidence that returning to Good Samaritan for her second delivery was the right choice.
“The hospital staff took excellent care of my children, and also of Jason and I,” Alida says. “They’d make a point of asking, ‘How’s Mom? How’s Dad?’ The compassion of the staff was something we really appreciated during our time there.” In fact, when the time to go home finally arrived, she recalls it feeling bittersweet. “When Blaise was in the NICU, the whole staff were his cheering section, and it felt like we were all in it together, working with each other toward a common goal. Then it is time to leave and you realize, ‘Oh, I’m not going to see you anymore!’ At the end, they felt like an extension of our family.” One lasting impression Alida has of her time spent at Good Samaritan was seeing clearly how much the nurses and other staff loved doing what they do. “You could tell they all love being there,” Alida says.
Those who know she works in the health care industry come to Alida and ask, “Where should I deliver?” With memories of the compassionate care her family has received in her heart, Alida is always quick to answer—“Good Sam!”
Good Samaritan University Hospital was recently nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the adult specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showing the steadfast commitment to the patients and communities in both Suffolk and Eastern Nassau Counties. Earlier this year, the hospital opened its brand new Mother Baby Unit, featuring more private patient rooms and equipped with the most current technologies and finest amenities.
This Unit was in addition to Good Samaritan’s already robust Maternity program, which includes the south shore’s only Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, high-risk Maternal Fetal Medicine program, perinatal education/childbirth programs and the new St. Francis Heart Center Women’s Heart Wellness Program, detecting cardiovascular disease in pregnant women.