Community Support - Letter from John E. Schmeltzer, III

My name is John E. Schmeltzer, III. I was born and raised in New York City and moved to Greenwich in 1972. I practiced law at Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler, LLP for 45 years and in the course of my practice, developed two very close friends who were lifetime trustees of health systems — one with NY Presbyterian Columbia University and one with Mt. Sinai.

As a smoker, I was really dumb for 45 years, but very lucky in the last eight years. In that time, I have had three lung resections at Greenwich Hospital, as well as a colectomy and a knee operation. Through my close friends, I could have had the best care at either New York City hospital, but I determined that equal or better care was available at Greenwich Hospital.

Dr. Paul Waters, Dr. Paul Sethi and Dr. Martinelli are all world class surgeons and Dr. Sunil Rana is a brilliant and caring general practitioner. I have never felt the need to seek better care either in NYC or elsewhere. I am convinced that Greenwich Hospital provides world-class care through its staff and professionals. The continued expansion of services is necessary and integral to maintaining the quality and expertise of the cancer care offered. My wife, who had breast cancer many years ago, was also treated at Greenwich Hospital, under the care of Dr. Barbara Ward and Dr. D. Barry Boyd, who are world-class physicians.

That excellent quality of the Hospital's professional and clinical staff must be at minimum, maintained and if possible, improved. Due to the uniqueness of Greenwich, the Hospital has to expand in order to attract and maintain high quality physicians and staff. Without the best possible facility, equipment, and availability of expanded clinical trials, it is unlikely that the Hospital can continue to attract the quality of staff it now enjoys.

The current cancer facilities are at capacity, members of the medical staff have retired, and without the new proposed Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center, the Hospital will be at a significant disadvantage in attracting high-quality staff. Accordingly, as a resident and a user (too often) of the Hospital, I firmly support the new cancer center that has been proposed to the Planning and Zoning Committee.

John E. Schmeltzer, III