The Okst family of Port Jefferson has made a "major gift" to Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital, the hospital announced Thursday. It's a gift that was motivated by personal experience: David and Dawn Okst's son Owen was a patient in the Stony Brook University Hospital neonatal intensive care unit nearly ten years ago.
The Okst family said during a recent visit to the children's hospital, it was evident that the hospital had made "tremendous progress" since their son was a patient.
“Giving to Stony Brook Children’s made a lot of sense for us,” David Okst said in a statement. “It is the only hospital of its kind on Long Island, and it has a reputation for providing exceptional patient care. It made us feel good that we could be part of making it even better.”
They added: “We know that with the help of additional contributions, Stony Brook Children’s will be able to improve the facilities and continue to attract great doctors."
While the size of their gift was not disclosed, the hospital said it will be matched by an anonymous donor. The NICU Family Lounge will be named in their honor.
Dr. Margaret McGovern, physician-in-chief at the children's hospital, thanked the Okst family for their support, and thanked one of its pediatricians, Dr. Jamie Parles, for helping the Okst family understand what kind of difference a gift to the hospital would make.
“It’s so gratifying whenever members of our community demonstrate their support for our services,” McGovern said. “Expanding our children’s hospital is a commitment we are making to the community and we appreciate its mutual commitment to us.”