Latest News

November 01, 2017

News from our Music Therapists

Leah Oswanksi, MA,LPC,MT-BC and 
Erin Bolding, MT-BC

Leah Oswanski, coordinator of the Jeffrey F. Wacks music therapy program and Erin Bolding have had a productive and busy year. Two hundred and thirteen new patients have experienced the benefits of music therapy since our last report. Leah continues to work with outpatients, utilizing the Somatron vibroacoustic recliner during sessions designed specifically for each patient’s needs while Erin concentrates on the inpatient and palliative care population. Working with a trained music therapist in conjunction with traditional treatment may provide a much richer, and easier path toward overall well-being and peace of mind.

Both music therapists have presented at conferences and symposiums. They continue to provide services for support groups, special events, oncology seminars and retreats. We are incredibly fortunate to have two well-trained, highly respected professionals working to grow our programs and assist so many who are living with cancer and its side effects.

We are most grateful to our donors who have assisted us in establishing The Jeffrey F. Wacks Music Therapy Program and provided the resources to continue and expand our efforts.

Email Leah Oswanski:

Email Erin Bolding:

Contact Leah or Erin via phone: 

Music in the Atrium

It is with enormous pride and gratitude to our donors that we announce that Music in the Atrium continues every Wednesday. As the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center goes forward, there is a sense of excitement, curiosity and a positive feeling for the future. While we embrace change we still enjoy those special events and places that remain the same. They bring stability to our lives and create a sense of wellbeing in our hearts. Bob Egan and our volunteers look forward to greeting you and hope to add some joy to your day.

Music in the Atrium Volunteers

Please join us in honoring our Wednesday volunteers. They continue to put our patients first, always making certain that their individual needs are met. To Jeanne Jaeckle, Catherine Norbury, John Lee, Beth Gibson ,Barbara Morris, Terry Youngelson, Suzan Sletteland, Lila Reynolds, Jeanette Oliviera, Georgene Van Seggern, Paula Moccia and Bob Egan, this beautiful note is for all of you:

“Just wanted to let you know how much this ‘musical breakfast’ has brightened our morning! I accompanied my mother to a scan, and she gets anxious with tests and doctors’ visits. The highlights are: the live music, that is uplifting, and the greeters, that are welcoming and who encourage us to take a moment for ourselves. (The light fare is good too, but the aforementioned truly shine.) Thank you for providing and organizing this. Please know that you continue to touch many lives.” – Briceyda Goenaga and Briceyda Rodriguez-Canceo

Remembering and Honoring George Joest Sr. 

George Joest Sr. died in February 2017 after living with cancer for thirty years. He left behind a loving family and a myriad of friends and employees who admired and loved him. He was a patient of Dr. Kenneth Adler, a caring and supportive oncologist who has embraced our program and assisted in its growth and expansion. Relatives, friends, and employees of this special family donated to our foundation in Mr. Joests’ honor.  

We will work with the family and Dr. Adler to find an appropriate place for these monies to be used to bring music and its healing power to others

2017 Events

Ice Cream Social

On Wednesday August 16th 2017 our friends from Cliffs Ice Cream rolled their carts into the lobby of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. As in years past Marilyn and Bill Glassner generously sponsored this popular event. It is a day to honor the dedicated doctors, nurses and entire staff at the Cancer Center for the jobs they do to provide exemplary care, comfort and support for our patients and their families. Both staff and patients alike loved having ice cream for breakfast.

Summer Concert Series

Staff and visitors were treated to three special concerts on the Plaza during lunch hour. In coordination with the cafeteria a BBQ lunch was served while visitors listened to the music of the Joe Vadala Trio, the Paul Plumeri Blues Band and the Ernie White Duo.

Volunteer musicians 

Our talented volunteer musicians Vince Maiola and Steve Minzer perform every Tuesday in the lobby of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. Thank you Vince and Steve for sharing your music and your time with us.

A Hug for your Head

Paula Moccia began to sew at the age of 10, leading to a fulfilling career in childrens’ wear. When she retired, Paula became a volunteer at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. Her passion for sewing and her concern for patients dealing with hair loss led her to create T-Caps- comfortable, soft hats made from t-shirts.

A committee was formed with cutters, sewers, and decorators. A call for donations of t-shirts and embellishments went out. Thanks to the enormous support of the community and beyond Paula and her helpers have provided over 1,000 Tcaps to our patients. And they are just beginning — many other hospitals have asked for Paula’s assistance in starting their own programs.

Paula desperately needs more cutters, sewers and decorators. If you are interested in helping please email Paula at

Thank You

Marj and Keith Remland

Our dear friends and donors Marj and Keith Remland celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary this past March. In lieu of gifts they asked their party guests to make donations to the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Memorial Fund.  Marj and Keith have celebrated many milestones during the years we have known them. Thank you to the Remlands for once again choosing us to celebrate with them.

Knights of Columbus

Our longtime volunteer at Music in the Atrium, John Lee, is an active member of the Knights of Columbus, George Washington Chapter #359. John and his fellow knights actively raise monies for numerous charities — churches, little leagues, food pantries, childrens’ organizations, and many more. We are most grateful to have been the recipient of several of their awards. 

John Lee is a volunteer extraordinaire — a longstanding member of the Knights of Columbus and a consistent and compassionate volunteer at Music in the Atrium.

The Jeffrey Wacks Scholarship

Adare Brown, 2017 Wacks Scholar
, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, 
Washington University in St. Louis

Adare Brown graduated in May receiving a B.F.A. in Painting and a Bachelor of Design in Architecture. She also attended the Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy in 2015 and the INTBAU European Summer School of Classical Architecture, Ångelsberg, Sweden in 2016. This summer she shared a studio at the City Museum, St. Louis, producing numerous paintings, digital works and their integrated composites. She is presently continuing studio work on the Delmar Loop in St. Louis. Wacks Scholarship funding has been applied toward digital gear and studio supplies. It will assist with work related travel and production expenses later in the year.

To learn more about Adare’s work, please visit her website:

Our deep gratitude to all of the students at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University, St. Louis who submitted a proposal. The enormity of the talent reminds us of the excellence this school and its leaders represent.

Honoring Danielle Taylor Leventhal

Danielle Taylor Leventhal was featured in our Fall 2016 newsletter. She received the Jeffrey F. Wacks scholarship awarded at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University, St. Louis. During this post-college year, Danielle received a diagnosis of cancer which forced her to curtail both her work and her painting. She did however participate in a show that proved to be the highlight of this difficult year. We are honored and humbled that Danielle is a Wacks Scholar; her emotional strength and creative talent reflect the values originally envisioned in our recipients.

a commission for the clinton art collection

“I painted this portrait of Hillary Clinton, Onward and Upward a few months ago for my show in Chappaqua. Bill and Hillary saw it at Le Jardin and Bill asked the restaurant manager to purchase it on the spot, but it had already sold to someone else. A few weeks later, I was shocked and honored to get a call that Hillary wanted to commission me to paint another portrait as a surprise for Bill’s birthday. The experience of recreating the piece knowing it would be a part of the Clinton’s art collection, delivering the painting to secret service, and finally receiving [a gracious] voicemail from my two favorite Chappaqua residents in the hospital upon waking from my cancer surgery, has been exhilarating to say the least. Happy birthday, President Clinton!” 
- Danielle Taylor Leventhal