Good cake, good wine and good health care were three things the late Robert Entenmann cared deeply about, according to Robert Rosenthal, a Northwell Health Trustee and a close friend of Mr. Entenmann.
“He was a man of conviction, a patriot, a man who believed in business ethics and most importantly he believed in quality,” Mr. Rosenthal said. “Whether it was quality in a boxed cake we’ve all eaten for God knows how many years or whether it was quality in the wine he made at Martha Clara Vineyards, or his desire to have quality health care on Long Island.”
Members of the Riverhead community along with Peconic Bay Medical Center officials honored the late Mr. Entenmann by naming the new administrative campus on 4 West Second Street after him. When he passed away in 2016, his children Jackie and Robert Entenmann donated $5 million to PBMC’s New Era Campaign benefitting cardiac care in the region.
The Entenmann bakery started in Brooklyn in 1898 and had roots in the Bay Shore area since 1924. In 1961, the company moved into a factory on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore, which at its height employed about 1,500 people. It closed in 2014.
After Mr. Entenmann sold the company in 1978, he purchased the North Fork farm that has become Martha Clara Vineyards.
“Recently there was the sale of Martha Clara, but the Robert Entenmann legacy will live on through the Peconic Bay hospital and Northwell Health,” Mr. Rosenthal said.
Because of his family’s and others generous donations, PBMC was able start construction last summer on its $60 million Kanas Heart Center, which doubled the current size of the emergency department and will have a rooftop helipad, two cardiac cath suites, an electrophysiology suite, recovery rooms and an 18-bed intensive care unit. Although the new tower won’t be completed for a few years, the new cardiac care system (led by Dr. Stanley Katz) has been in place. Since October, PBMC saved 27 people who were experiencing heart attacks and has seen more than 500 people that have gone through the interim cardiac cath lab.
“It’s so wonderful that it’s in the heart of Riverhead because this is a cardiac gift in many ways,” Ms. Entenmann said. “This is all my dad’s doing.”
Ms. Entenmann was one of the six founding members of PBMC’s foundation, which has raised more than $100 million since it started in 2004.
Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling spoke about how donations like this have changed PBMC tremendously over the past decade.
“If you don’t have a lot of support from the community, it’s very, very hard to get these things done,” Mr. Dowling said. “It’s a community effort.”
The new campus is located in the former Suffolk County National Bank building in downtown Riverhead and will provide 40,000 square feet of office space for administrative staff and other office employees.
“We’re growing rapidly, and this new downtown campus will be vital for our continued growth,” said Andy Mitchell, CEO of PBMC. “Not only will it free up room within the medical center for additional services and staff, it will also make more parking available for our patients and visitors.”
The remaining Entenmann family takes solace in the fact that their father has been memorialized in the town that he loved.
“It is such an amazing thing to be able to finally bring this one home for the North Fork,” Ms. Entenmann said. “It was particularly poignant walking through the building and seeing all the pictures of my father and being reminded of how much he loved the North Fork.”
Photo caption: A ribbon cutting was held Friday at the new Peconic Bay Medical Center admin campus named in honor of Robert Entenmann. (Rachel Siford photo)