Retired Nurse Tours Cohen 45 Years Later

Former nurse Roberta Cogen talks with staff at the cath lab about her days at LIJ Medical Center's original lab.

A longtime nurse, who worked at LIJ Medical Center’s first cardiac catheterization lab when it opened 45 years ago, said she was amazed by the technological innovations during a recent tour of Cohen Children’s Medical Center’s new pediatric cath lab.

Roberta Cogen, 85, of New Hyde Park, worked in LIJ Medical Center’s cath labs from 1969 until 1993, caring for both adults and children. Cohen Children’s opened its first pediatric cath lab dedicated exclusively to children in June. Dipak Kholwadwala, MD; Shilpi Epstein, MD; and Andrew Blaufox, MD, lead the medical team at the lab, which was made possible by a generous donation from Jay Goldman of Long Island.

During her 24 years at LIJ Medical Center, Ms. Cogen witnessed many changes and advancements in the cardiac care field, but she was amazed by the $6 million facility she toured at Cohen Children’s, which features state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment and other technology used to visualize the arteries and chambers of the heart and treat abnormalities.

“When Roberta first started, these labs were intended for diagnostic procedures only and were intended to determine the best course of action,” said Rubin Cooper, MD, chief of pediatric cardiology at Cohen Children’s. “Today, many heart issues that once required surgery can be taken care of in a nonsurgical procedure in this lab.”

As Ms. Cogen spoke with nurses and doctors, they all agreed on the pleasures of the job. “At the end of the day, you get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from every child that you are able to help,” Ms. Cogen said.

Read the next article in the Winter 2015 issue of Kids First: When Your Child’s Fever is Serious

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