May 13, 2013, Brooklyn, NY…NYU Lutheran presents its Annual Dinner Dance on May 18 at Chelsea Piers (#LHC130). Featuring celebrity honoree Lena Dunham, the event will celebrate the health system's 130 year legacy and raise funds for an expanded Mental Health Center in the Emergency Department.
Ms. Dunham is a rising superstar in the entertainment industry. Her hit show "Girls" is critically acclaimed and while not the central focus, many episodes deal extensively with the main character's mental health struggles. In a unique and original way, she has managed to put anxiety, fear and OCD issues in the public spotlight.
"As long as we keep talking about mental health in a revealing, honest and truthful manner we'll continue to break down barriers and stigmas," says Lena Dunham, Creator, Director, Writer and Star of HBO's "Girls." "This project is a perfect fit since Lutheran is a cornerstone of Brooklyn-- the borough where I work and live."
"Ms. Dunham has a special appreciation of the human condition, as evidenced in the themes and characters on her show," says Bradford Goff, M.D., SVP and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Sciences. "But more importantly, she has a special interest in supporting mental health care and services. There's energy and momentum around the topic and we need to take full advantage of that. Conditions like depression, OCD, anxiety and other disorders, are everyday realities for many people."
As the health system's primary fundraiser, the event celebrates Lutheran's 130th anniversary, honors individuals that have provided much needed support and this year, raises money to renovate and expand emergency mental health services. The Mental Health Emergency Department is a specialized unit within the hospital's main ED. The staff there is trained specifically to care for patients with behavioral health complications and proceeds will be used to increase the unit's footprint offering more space for treatment, consultations and crisis intervention.
Along with Lena Dunham, 2013 honorees include Kevin Lobo, President and CEO, Stryker Corporation, and (posthumously) Pierre G. Zalzal, M.D., Senior Attending Neurologist. These honorees will receive the Sister Elisabeth Fedde Medal of Service. Named after LHC's foundress in 1883, the award was established to recognize individuals who continue her legacy of service and commitment to meeting the needs of our neighbors. Full details on each honoree are available at www.LutheranDinnerDance.org.