Benedictine Health Foundation Announces New Board Member

Kingston, N.Y. – Crystal Oakes, Director of Plant and Tax for Central Hudson, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Benedictine Health Foundation.

Oakes is a current Board Member of the Rondout Valley Scholarship Fund and past Board member of the Southlands Foundation.

Oakes earned a BS in Accounting from Binghamton University. She lives in Kingston with her husband Randy and daughters, Katie and Kayla.


About the Benedictine Health Foundation, Inc.

The Benedictine Health Foundation (BHF) is an independent 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raise and distribute financial resources to those struggling with a cancer diagnosis and whose financial means limit their ability to access or receive the care that they need. Benedictine Health Foundation provides assistance to Ulster County residents and their families or residents of neighboring counties receiving medical services in Ulster County.

KINGSTON, N.Y.  – November 27, 2018 – The Benedictine Health Foundation granted $15,000 to the Kingston City School District to allow J. Watson Bailey and M. Clifford Miller middle schools to continue “Do Better Today” a program that helps students develop coping skills for stressful situations and academic challenges.  The pilot program was launched in 2017 with tremendous success.

The program aims to benefit students in grades five through eight who show aggression, are impulsive, lack coping skills, refuse to come to school due to anxiety, demonstrate antecedent drug-use behavior or a have a tendency to harm themselves.

The program fits with the school district’s “restorative justice” effort to address disciplinary problems with methods other than punishment using Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidenced-based practice that teaches individuals how to regulate their emotions and maintain balance in their lives through mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, radical acceptance, walking the middle path and interpersonal effectiveness.

“We are very fortunate to offer this type of support to our students.  Last year, we met with small groups after school, which will continue, but we now are able to offer DBT to our sixth grade students in their classrooms due to this generous gift from the Benedictine Health Foundation.  The “Do Better Today” program offers an opportunity to bring mindfulness and intentionality to our adolescent community members.  We are extremely excited for this opportunity,” stated Debra Fitzgerald, Principal, J. Watson Bailey Middle School.

KINGSTON, N.Y.  – November 6, 2018 – The Beichert Family and Dr. Zoe
Weinstein, of Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), will be
honored at the Benedictine Health Foundation’s 49th annual Winters Eve Gala,
December 15 at The Chateau in Kingston.

The Beichert Family, recipient of the St. Benedict Award for Community
Spirit, will be recognized for their volunteer work and philanthropy.  The
family’s support of Benedictine Hospital began over 60 years ago with George
“Knute” Beichert who worked at the Daily Freeman, and his wife, Florence
“Flo”, a former member of the Benedictine Auxiliary and co-founder of the
Auxiliary’s Gift Shop.  Flo was renowned for swimming across the Hudson
River from the Rhinecliff dock to the Rondout lighthouse at the age of 83 to
raise money for the Cancer Center at Benedictine Hospital.

Today, their children, Ozzie and Kathleen Beichert, Marie Beichert, and Joan
(Beichert) and Carl Mayer, and grandchildren, Paul and Jennifer Beichert,
and Joseph and Maryanne Beichert continue the family tradition of giving
back to the Ulster County community through their support of the Benedictine
Health Foundation and countless local charities.    Paul and Joseph own and
operate Timely Signs of Kingston, Inc., a business started by their father,
Ozzie, in 1972.

Zoe Weinstein, MD, of Westchester Medical Center Health Network, a board
certified breast surgeon practicing in the mid-Hudson Valley for more than a
decade will receive the St. Benedict Award for Medical Excellence.  Since
2009, Dr. Weinstein serves as Medical Director of the Fern Feldman Anolick
Center for Breast Health at HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus.
Dr. Weinstein will be recognized for the compassionate care she provides to
her patients, and for her dedication and support of the Benedictine Health
Foundation’s Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund which provides
financial assistance to people diagnosed with cancer while they receive

For event details, to register or sponsor online visit or call the Foundation office at
(845) 481-1457.

Photo Captions:  Zoe Weinstein, M.D., Beichert Family, from left to right:
Jennifer, Katherine, Marie, Ryan, Paul, Ozzie, Kathleen, Thomas and Jobe
Beichert (kneeling), Joan (Beichert) Mayer & Carl Mayer, Maryanne, Joseph
and Emily Beichert

Over 700 bike enthusiasts, runners and walkers participated in Benedictine Health Foundation’s Bike for Cancer Care on Sunday, September 18th at Dietz Stadium.  The event reached its fundraising goal of $150,000 due to an overwhelming community response.

Now in its 13th year, the event added a 5K Run / Walk through uptown Kingston and a Kids Fun Run inside Dietz Stadium in addition to the existing 50-mile, 25-mile and 12-mile bike rides.  Over 175 volunteers were on hand to staff the event.

Lunch donated by Hannaford Supermarkets, ice cream from Stewart’s Shops, and music by Payne’s Grey Sky was enjoyed at the post event awards ceremony.  94.3 FM, The Wolf, was on site to provide announcements and entertainment during the event.

The inaugural 5K honored Carly Elaina Bradley, formerly of Kingston, and Lisa Naccarato Schatzel, a lifetime resident of Kingston, who lost their battles to cancer earlier this year.  For the second year, the 50-mile ride was named in memory of Dan Barnes, a graduate of Kingston High School, class of 2003.  Dan passed away in 2015 at the age of 30 after a two year battle with Melanoma.  Friends, family and community members came out to support the event forming Team Bradley, Schatzel Strong, and Dan’s Fans.

Proceeds benefit the Benedictine Health Foundation’s Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund, which provides financial assistance in the form of gift cards for cancer patients to purchase food or fuel while they receive treatment.  The Fund, established in memory of Rosemary in 2004, has distributed over $700,000 to more than 1600 local cancer patients.

The Foundation and Gruner families extend special thanks to its Platinum Sponsors: 94.3 FM, The Wolf, Timely Signs, Anita Williams Peck, Hannaford Supermarkets, Stewart’s Shops and Dr. Zoe Weinstein, and to all event sponsors, donors, participants and volunteers for their generosity.

For further information, contact Barbara Klassen, Executive Director, Benedictine Health Foundation at (845) 481-1303 or

Photo: Kingston High School Bike for Cancer Cheering Squad


The Benedictine Health Foundation received a generous grant from Ulster Savings Bank to fund a Health and Technology Camp at HealthAlliance Hospital, Member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, to be held July 25 – 29.

“We’re very pleased to provide funding in support of the 2016 HealthAlliance Health & Technology Camp,” said Jeffrey Wood, Ulster Savings Bank Vice President and Chair of the Ulster Savings Bank Donations Committee.  “The Camp provides an excellent educational opportunity for these students, as well as offering them insights into the clinical and complementary services provided to patients throughout the HealthAlliance health care system.”

The innovative, week-long summer program will provide 10 – 12 year old children with the opportunity to observe many different aspects of healthcare.  Campers will be grouped in teams and attend classes on CPR and summer safety.  They will shadow medical professionals and visit clinical areas including nursing, emergency medicine, maternity, and mental health, as well as non-clinical including engineering, security and information technology.  

“Due to the generous support of Ulster Savings Bank, the Benedictine Health Foundation is honored to fund the Health and Technology Camp.  This is a memorable experience for the campers and the hospital staff, and exemplifies our Foundation’s tradition of supporting compassionate care for the people in our community,” said Robert J. Ryan, Jr., President of the Benedictine Health Foundation Board.

A graduation and awards ceremony will be held at the end of the week where campers will present PowerPoint presentations on their team’s favorite area of healthcare.

For more information, please contact Barbara Klassen, Benedictine Health Foundation Executive Director, at  (845) 481-1303 or

(L to R): 2015 Campers with HealthAlliance Medical Staff

Supporting the Benedictine Spirit of Compassionate Care