The Office Of Hope

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    A local Surgical Oncologist is relocating his one-of-a-kind office.
    Surgical Oncologist Dr. Dwight De Risi has been practicing out of his office at 1010 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck for 41 years, and is now moving out of his office. His office is memorable to anyone who has visited because of the various lions, angels, artwork and other presents given to him by his dedicated patients. Dr. De Risi focuses on breast cancer and has cured thousands of patients throughout his 41 years of practicing in Great Neck.
    Dr.De Risi grew up on Long Island and went to Herricks High School. After graduating, he went to Seton Hall University for pre-med. Then, he went to Georgetown University for medical school. Dr.De Risi did a five-year residency and chiefship at North Shore University Hospital, and left for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
    “I was put in a really good space of understanding human anatomy from a surgical standpoint,” said Dr. De Risi. “I learned all aspects of surgical oncology and then came back to my neighborhood to open my private practice.”

    One of the many display cases in Dr.De Risi’s office. (Photo by Jenni Cherlin)

    “Over the next few years, for whatever reason, my breast practice flourished,” said Dr.De Risi. “I didn’t have time to do any of my other cancer surgeries. So I gave up colon, pancreas and liver to concentrate on breast cancer. For the last 36 to 37 years out of the 41 years I’ve been practicing, I’ve only done breast cancer.”
    “Basically, what I do is get the referrals, see the patients, plan their journey and help them during a very difficult time,” said Dr. De Risi. “I get them involved with our specialists and make it easier for them, take the burden off of them. They feel comfortable with the plan they have, and now they feel much better and know how to deal with the situation.”
    “My dedicated, wonderful and loving group of patients are like my army,” Dr. De Risi joked. Dr. De Risi’s retired partner once went around the office and counted the gifts from his patients that were displayed, and got to 3,000 before stopping.
    The personal touches covering every wall of Dr.De Risi’s office make a welcoming and comforting environment for all of his patients. When Dr. De Risi’s cancer patients come in, they often have high anxiety, but walking into his office and seeing all of the fun gifts and trinkets makes their anxiety levels drop.
    “My daughter designed my office, and it’s amazing,” said Dr. De Risi. “I have a fountain in the middle of my waiting room with four lions that spit water from their mouths. Over the years, I’ve gotten thousands of coins in my fountain from people wishing for good health.”

    The lion fountain displayed in the waiting room. (Photo by Jenni Cherlin)

    Lions and angels in statues, artwork and stuffed animals, are the most popular gifts displayed around Dr. De Risi’s office. “I get lions because my astrological sign is leo and lions are the symbols for Leos,” explained Dr. De Risi. The story behind the many angel gifts is “an interesting story that still gives me chills,” Dr. De Risi said.
    In short, Dr. De Risi had a patient come in for a scan and told him that he was a special person with a guardian angel looking over him and his practice. Dr. De Risi had the woman’s scans looked at, and everything was fine. When he went to pull her paperwork and scans to give her a call, everything had disappeared. There was absolutely no trace of the woman ever coming to see him. He and the friends he told this story believe the woman to be his guardian angel. “Very shortly after that, everyone started to bring me angels,” said Dr.De Risi.
    Now, Dr. De Risi and his 3,000-plus gift collection has had to move out of the office. “Unfortunately, insurance companies do not pay private practitioners anymore,” Dr. De Risi explained. “When the insurance company started to cut back on reimbursements, I couldn’t maintain my practice.”
    Luckily, Dr. De Risi has joined the New York Blood and Cancer Specialists. “It’s a great growing group that is well known now and has amazing medical oncologists,” said Dr. De Risi.
    Dr. De Risi and his items won’t have to travel far because the new location is across the street from his old office on Northern Boulevard. “They promised me that they would build enough shelves to make a home for all of my things. I’ve yet to see it because they are still in construction, but we’ll see what happens,” said Dr. De Risi.
    Although Dr. De Risi will be leaving his famous office, he will still be practicing medicine to help thousands of more patients across Long Island, and all of his lions and angels will be making the move with him.

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