2017 Battle of the Bands … “Docs Who Rock” Benefits Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
What do physicians do when they are not treating patients? At Eastern Long Island Hospital, Dr. Lawrence Schiff, Director of the Emergency Department picks up a set of drum sticks and rocks with fellow band members and ER physicians, Dr. Ryan Zapata who plays lead guitar and Dr. David Lin who plays bass. With the addition of John Fazio, CRNA on vocals, they are a ‘classic rock’ style band called POC (Products of Conception).
POC recently competed with four other bands to raise funds for Stony Brook University Cancer Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at 89 North in Patchogue in the Third Annual Battle of the Bands, “Docs Who Rock.” Taking home the People’s Choice Award and an electric guitar signed by Sammy Haggar of Van Halen, the prized guitar belongs to the group, but only for a year. The guitar is now on display in the hospital’s main lobby giving Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH) bragging rights.
“Both Larry and John are enjoying their new found fame around the hospital. I also think it is good for the community to see a lighter side of health care professionals,” said Paul J. Connor III, President/CEO. “Sometimes patients are put at ease when they realize our physicians are not just about medical procedures and tests.”
“We don’t want to give the guitar back, we have to defend our title now,” said Lawrence Schiff, MD, Director of the Emergency Department who has competed in all three band battles. “As doctors, we are normally not that competitive, but this is a fun competition for a good cause. All this would not be possible, except for all the ELIH nurses and staff that attended the event - they all voted for us. This is as much their victory, as it is ours."
The event drew a crowd of 375 people netting over $5,600 for cancer patient activities at Stony Brook University’s Cancer Center including music and art therapy programs. Nurses at the event took swabs from 30 people to be entered into the national bone marrow donor registry. Every 3 minutes in the U.S., someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. For many patients, a bone marrow transplant is the best chance for survival. While 30% of patients can find a matching donor in their families, 70%—nearly 14,000 each year—must rely on a compassionate stranger to step up and donate. Bone marrow and stem cell donation can be a life-saving treatment for blood cancer and 70 other serious illnesses of the blood.