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November 16th, 2017


81st Annual Gala … Today’s Mercy
Celebrating a tradition of compassionate care and delivering advanced health care for tomorrow

Rockville Centre, NY – The Friends of Mercy Medical Center will hold their 81st Annual Mercy Ball on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY. More than 500 participants are expected. This year’s event celebrates Today’s Mercy a tradition of compassionate care, delivering advanced health care for tomorrow.

The monies raised will defray the cost of Mercy Medical Center’s recently purchased Molecular Breast Imaging technology (MBI). Mercy is the first hospital in New York State to feature this ground breaking technology. MBI is revolutionizing women’s imaging through the use of a tracer and special camera to detect breast cancer despite dense breast tissue, which applies to 50% of women. This is the first innovative technology in breast imaging in years and can help in the fight to reduce breast cancer deaths. Coupled with 3-D tomosynthesis imaging, another leading technology, MBI will allow Mercy the ability to better detect cancer to save lives. Mercy is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, offering a range of imaging options for breast health. At Mercy Medical Center, we are committed to offering excellence in care to our patients, using the most modern imaging equipment to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Since Mercy’s founding over a century ago, proceeds from the Ball have helped to make it possible for the hospital to care for our community, including the less fortunate.
“We are looking forward to a successful 80th Ball as Mercy celebrates more than 100 years of quality health care to the community,” said Brian J, Croutier, President, Friends of Mercy.
The chairpersons for this year’s event are Mayor Francis X. Murray of Rockville Centre and Mrs. Gloria DiSciullo of Muttontown.

Three major awards will be presented:

  • Xenophon P. Xenophontos, MD of Manhasset, is extremely honored and humbled to be the recipient of this year’s Theodore Roosevelt Award. Dr. Xenophontos is a native of Cyprus and immigrated to the United States, at the age of eleven, after Cyprus was invaded by Turkey.  Dr. Xenophontos grew up in Kew Gardens, Queens.  For the past 22+ years Dr. Xenophontos built a private practice at Mercy in which he has and continues to deliver high quality care to patients with peripheral vascular conditions. Dr. Xenophontos has served as Mercy Medical Center’s Section Chief of Vascular Surgery since 2001. He is the Director of Mercy’s Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory.  He is also a past President of the Mercy Medical Center’s Executive Committee. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Mercy. He is chairman of Mercy’s Medical Record Committee and a member of Mercy’s Credentialing Committee.  He is also on the Board of Directors for the Queens-Long Island Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.  Dr. Xenophontos received his Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from City College of New York and is a proud graduate of The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He completed his General Surgery residency as well as his Vascular Surgery Fellowship at State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn, New York.  He is board certified in both general and vascular surgery and started out his career in both fields. He now solely concentrates his efforts in vascular surgery.  Dr. Xenophontos and his wife, Androula, have been blessed with four daughters, Georgia, Paraskevi, Spyrithoula, and Sophia. Dr. Xenophontos will receive the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Outstanding Service. The award is presented by the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council to an individual contributing to the development of Long Island’s community hospitals in the spirit of the renowned former president and Long Island resident’s lifelong devotion to public service.
  • Denise Baston of Bay Shore, Denise Baston is extremely humbled and proud to be the recipient of the Sister Mary Nadine Casey, CIJ Award. Denise has been with Mercy Medical Center for the past eighteen years. Denise has weathered through many organizational changes in Human Resources during her tenure at Mercy.  Still she remains one of the most trusted, friendly and well liked employees in Human Resources. Since starting with Mercy as a HR Generalist, Denise has held various positions and wore many hats which ultimately led her to being the HR Director. She has been at the forefront in contributing to the development of the HR Department.  Denise has successfully led the department through various regulatory agency surveys, restructuring of departments, to name a few.  Denise has a way about her when dealing with daily human resource challenges. Her staff speaks highly of her patience, compassion and ability to stay calm in tumultuous situations while being firm and getting the best resolutions.  She leads by example in a way that most want to emulate. Denise resides in Suffolk County with her husband and three children.  Although Denise devotes most of her time to work and family she still finds time to be involved in many church and community activities.  Denise will receive the Sister Mary Nadine Casey, CIJ Award that honors a member of the Mercy family who best personifies the values of Mercy Medical Center and the Congregation of the Infant Jesus whose members founded the hospital in 1913.

  • Paul H. Durnan of Rockville Centre, is a lifelong member of St. Agnes Cathedral Parish in Rockville Centre where he attended both the St. Agnes Elementary and High Schools.  Interestingly, in his Senior Year of high school, he was a member of the 1958 Mercy Ball Honor Guard held at the original Garden City Hotel! He serves in his parish as a Eucharistic Minister and lector at Masses. Paul has been a member of the Friends of Mercy for over 35 years. He served on the Mercy Hospital Board of Trustees for many years and was one of the founding members of the St. Francis – Mercy Hospital Corporation overseeing both of these institutions.  Eventually, he became one of the founding members of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. A graduate of Holy Cross College, Paul, along with his wife Sherry, founded The Durnan Group, Inc. which grew to become one of the largest privately-owned insurance agencies in New York, specializing in Workers Compensation and OSHA Compliance programs. Currently, the agency is owned and operated by two of their sons. From 1994 to 2005 Paul was on the Molloy College Board of Trustees, where he served as Chairman of the Board for seven years. He currently holds the title of Chairman Emeritus.  In 1998 both Paul and Sherry were recipients of the Molloy College Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Paul, along with his wife Sherry, received the first St. Agnes Medal for Outstanding Service in The Diocese of Rockville Centre, given to them by Bishop William Murphy. A member of both The Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and The Order of Malta, Paul has participated in 13 Malta pilgrimages to Lourdes, France and several missions to the Malta Sacred Heart Hospital in Milot, Haiti. In 2004, the Durnans became the Founding Co-Presidents of the Long Island Chapter of Legatus International, an organization striving to strengthen the faith of Catholic CEOs and their spouses.  In 2009, they received the National Legatus Officers of the Year Award. Happily married for 54 years, Paul and Sherry are blessed with seven children, their spouses and 16 grandchildren. Paul will receive the Bishop John R. McGann Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented to a distinguished individual dedicated to volunteering time and effort in support of the Friends of Mercy.

One of the annual traditions at the Ball is the Mercy Honor Guard, comprised of high school students who escort the Grand March of dignitaries into the ballroom preceded by a Color Guard from the United State Marine Corps. They are then presented to the Bishop, a program follows, guests enjoy a sumptuous meal and dancing into the night.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and complete event information, please visit on line at, or call The Office of Development at 516-705-2618.