South Oaks Hospital employees participated in a Habitat for Humanity build in Central Islip on June 28. The home was being constructed for a single mother of two teenage boys.
The South Oaks team consisted of Carolyn Sweetapple, PhD, RN, the hospital’s executive director, as well as other senior leadership staff including physicians, nurses and social workers. Despite the scorching sun and high humidity, the team’s spirits were lifted knowing that they were helping a family in need.
“We want to increase our visibility in the community and give back to the people we serve,” said Dr. Sweetapple. “Participating in this home-building project also provided our hospital staff with an opportunity to get to know one another outside of the workplace in a different environment. In lifting heavy lumber and helping to build the upper floor of the home, we realized that the sum of our parts – each of us working together – was greater than one.”
South Oaks Hospital is the largest inpatient behavioral health hospital on Long Island for children and adolescents with extensive experience in treating a diverse mix of acute behavioral, emotional and substance abuse problems.
“It is our mission to look after the mental health and well-being of each of our patients,” said Dr. Sweetapple. “By participating in a community service project with Habitat for Humanity, it is a reminder about how having the security of a home provides children with a much-needed, stable environment.”
The South Oaks Hospital leadership team plans to participate in other community service projects in the near future including another Habitat for Humanity build in September, as well as working in local soup kitchens during December’s holiday season.