STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Island University Hospital’s 2021 Bocce, Golf and Tennis Classic unfolded before a sold-out crowd Thursday at Richmond County Country Club.
The bocce tournament kicked off at 11 a.m. with golfers teeing off at noon. And those who preferred a racket found their way to the tennis tournament at 1 p.m.
A gala outdoor buffet reception staged on the multi-level veranda of the former Italianate mansion capped the day, which brimmed with camaraderie and community spirit.
After skipping last year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Thursday’s event kicked off with John Demoleas, Phil Mancuso, Efrat LaMadre, Dr. Brahim Ardolic, Michael Caridi and former Assemblyman Lou Tobacco throwing out the first pallino balls in unison.
Honored for their exemplary service to the hospital were Dr. James Kenny, past president of the Staten Island University Hospital Medical and Dental Staff, and Frank Besignano, former chairman of the SIUH Regional Executive Council.
Attorney Philip Mancuso served as chairman of the event. Golf co-chairs were Anthony Santo, Charles Marchica and Dr. Joseph Basile.
Lou Tobacco, Matthew Langella and Efrat LaMandre were bocce co-chairs while Edward Mafour, Marison Mafoud and Anne Marie McDonough were tennis co-chairs.
In speaking of the spectacular day, Mancuso said, “Thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers, trustees, staff, administration and the Richmond County Country Club for making this year’s Bocce, Golf and Tennis Classic a special celebration.”
Proceeds from the tournament and companion journal are earmarked for the construction of the new Florina Cancer Center at SIUH. The new center will include brand new adult and pediatric oncology units, with consultation and examination rooms, infusion stations, a laboratory, a pharmacy and a cancer registry.
“I am so happy to be here tonight, especially with what transpired over the last year,” said Dr. Brahim Ardolic, executive director of Staten Island University Hospital. “Thanks to everyone who supported us and those who’ve been here year after year. And thanks to every single person who takes care of Staten Island every day in the hospital. And tonight two honorees are special to me. We are all in a better place to have known Frank Besignano and Dr. Kenny who I am happy to call my friends.”
Dr. Kenny is currently the associate chair of emergency medicine at SIUH and is an assistant professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
A New York Medical College grad, he completed his residency at SIUH. He is board certified in emergency medicine, internal medicine, and geriatrics and joined the ED attending staff in 1989 and was placed in charge of medical operations of the ED/South in 1993.
In an effort to develop advanced skills in management and foster team competency, Dr. Kenny completed a master’s in business administration in 2010. Soon after graduation, he created a fellowship in Emergency Medicine Management and Administration to train emergency physicians who have recently completed their residency to become effective physician administrators.
Dr. Kenny has served on the SIUH Medical Executive Committee since 2010 and served as the president of the Medical and Dental Staff from 2017 to 2019.
“It’s such an honor to be here tonight,” Dr. Kenny said in addressing the crowd of hundreds. “And I am so proud to be representing the medical and dental staff. They had the talents to fight this plague. And thank you to the people who donated to the Emergency Department of Staten Island University Hospital, people like E.C.H.O and others who made it possible for private rooms to be renovated and beautified. It’s also a gift to the Emergency Department family members and to staff. And thank you to the people who make it a special place. I am grateful to you and to them.”
A career banker, Besignano is business development manager for Signature Bank, a $90 billion commercial bank serving privately owned businesses, their owners and senior managers. Prior to joining Signature, Besignano was EVP/retail market president for Sovereign/Independence Bank overseeing business operations for approximately 75 branch offices throughout New York City and Long Island.
He spent 25 years with SI Bank & Trust and was a member of the executive management team with responsibilities for marketing, business development, corporate communications and compliance.
Besignano has served on the board of Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health since 2004 with positions on the quality, finance, audit and compliance, and compensation committees and served as chair of SIUH’s Regional Executive Council from 2013 to 2019. He is currently a trustee of Northwell Health and member of the finance and compensation committees.
He also has served on the boards of Boy Scouts of America, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Vision for Staten Island and has been recognized for his volunteer community service by several of the organizations he has served, as well as by the Staten Island Zoo, YMCA and United Hospital Fund.
In 2003, Besignano was acknowledged as one of the 15 most influential business leaders on Staten Island by Staten Island Business Trends.
In accepting the honor, Besignano acknowledged his wife Laura, thanking her for her support. “It’s been a great day and people have been thanking me for my contributions to the hospital for 17 years,” he said. “I am so fortunate to have worked with Tony Ferreri and Dr. Brahim. And what we do matters. John Demoleas and his team have been amazing. It’s been an honor to serve an advocate. And I’m excited about where we are now and to think about what’s coming next. I am so honored to be here. And when I walk into the lobby of the hospital, I can’t believe I am a part of it. Thank you again.”