Largely supported by community donations of a whopping $1.7 million, Mather Hospital has just announced the extensive renovation of its cancer care unit known as 2 South.

To mark the occasion, hospital staffers, patients and supporters gathered Monday at the Port Jefferson hospital for a ribbon-cutting.

All the care and attention that went into the work had the patients — and their families — in mind. The idea was to provide “an exceptional healing environment,” within the unit, said hospital officials.

Opened in 1973, 2 South, which primarily treats cancer patients, was designed with double-bedded rooms. That all changed with the renovation work.

“Most patients today prefer single-bedded rooms and research shows they result in improved patient outcomes,” reads a Mather announcement. “Single-bedded rooms also optimize patient privacy, which is important to all patients but particularly those facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

“All oncology rooms on the unit are now single-bedded. And while Mather has an excellent infection prevention program, single-bedded rooms further reduce the risk of infection, an important factor for cancer patients whose immune systems are already compromised.”

Here are even more upgrades that happened at 2 South, according to the hospital:

• Showers and enlarged bathrooms have been added to the single-bedded rooms to increase patient comfort and privacy.

• Bedside computerized nurse charting stations with locked medication/supply cabinets are now available in every patient room — allowing nurses to spend more time at the patient’s bedside.

• The remainder of 2 South received a facelift, with a new nurses’ station, patient family lounge, serenity room and entry way.

The “family lounge offers space for small group gatherings, as well as a place for family members to rest and renew their strength while staying close to their loved ones,” the announcement reads.

Also, more than 30 local artists from The Setauket Artists, LIMarts, and the North Shore Art Guild donated original works for the unit.

The unit was closed for two years, hospital officials said. Double rooms were converted to single rooms in other parts of the hospital to accommodate the patients during the renovation.

Scroll down for more photos.

Dr. Jeff Vacirca, CEO and managing partner of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, cuts the ribbon on the renovated 2 South patient unit, which serves primarily cancer patients. The unit was named for the group in recognition of a generous donation. Mather President Kenneth Roberts (to Dr. Vacirca’s left), and Mather administrators, board members, donors and staff joined in the event.
Dr. Jeff Vacirca, CEO and managing partner of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (center, standing), and physicians and staff of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists at the ribbon-cutting of Mather’s 2 South Oncology and Medical/Surgical Unit. The unit was named for the group in recognition of a generous donation.
Jeanne Brennan, RN, nurse manager for 2 South; Mather President Kenneth Roberts; Karen Tuzzolo, RN, director of surgical services; and Phil Messina, RN, assistant VP for nursing emergency services & critical care.