A Letter from Caren Landis

This letter was sent to Warren Geller, the President and CEO of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center

My name is Caren Landis and I have a fabulous story to share with you. In September of 2014, I had a bad biking accident and hurt my back. I tried everything to improve without surgery.

I am a very active person; I love to bike, fly, fish, kayak, boat, walk and play with my huge dogs. A very large part of my life is as a crew-member of FiFi, the last fling B-29 bomber from WWII.

After the accident I had to go on tour with the crew but I was unable to perform my duties to my standards or any standards. I did my best and knew that if I was unable to repair the damage, my flying life was over. I was truly distraught!

I decided that drastic measures were necessary and I began my search for the best Orthopedic Spine Surgeon for me. I specify for “Me” because I felt and still do feel that it is very important to be able to trust and relate to one’s physician.

My strategy was to talk with my friends who had been to orthopedic physicians for various back injuries followed by surgical procedures. I went to one highly recommended physician who without even getting new tests (Mine were a year old) wanted to do surgery immediately on my L – 2/3 vertebrae. He scared the life out of me by making it sound desperate!

I told him I would think about it and get back to him. I was so put off by his approach that I knew I would seek out another opinion.

I was taking my mother to her rheumatologist, Dr. Alexandru Kimel of Teaneck, NJ, and I decided to talk with him about what happened with the first orthopedic physician.

Dr. Kimel proceeded to tell me about Dr. Jonathan Lewin of The Center for Spinal Disorders. He told me if he or any family member ever needed back surgery, he would only go to Dr. Lewin.

I have a deep respect for Dr. Kimel and upon his recommendation I decided to make an appointment with Dr. Lewin.

Dr. Lewin is out of network for my insurance plan, but his wonderful office staff said that they would work with my plan. I made an appointment and was seen rather quickly. I loved Dr. Lewin! He was kind, caring, self-assured and did not rush to do surgery! He told me that it was important to get it right the first time! After several new tests, Dr. Lewin and I sat down to discuss the options.

The first realization I had was that the problem was not with the L-1/2 area, but with the L 4/5 vertebrae! I decided to go ahead with the discectomy/fusion because of my active lifestyle. I never wanted this problem to pop up again!

Dr. Lewin recommended having my surgery at the Englewood Hospital Spine Center. His reasons were sound; he told me the care I would receive would be top-notch. I live in dockland County, NY, so this was an easy decision for me.

We decided to drive down and visit the hospital for ourselves. It was beautiful! We walked around the lobby and cafeteria area and saw all the awards that had been awarded to the various units within Englewood Hospital. My mind was made up! We chose Englewood for the surgery and I can only say that out of all my hospital experiences during my life, the treatment and care I received was phenomenal! There were two nurses that were outstanding, Iulia Comanici and Wendy. I also had two of the most amazing and caring nursing assistants, Jazz and Fiona (Fifi). There is no way I can thank them for taking such wonderful care of me!

Dr. Lewin was true to his word; my back is now on the way to being as good, if not better than it was! I had joked with Dr. Lewin about not having huge scars and he told me not to worry! When I was in the rehab facility, the physician there told me how beautiful and small the three little scars were! I was so very happy with the outcome of Dr. Lewin’s work!

I have already told all my friends about Dr. Lewin and his wonderful staff. I cannot imagine a more caring physician. I was in Englewood during the “Storm of the Century” that wasn’t, and Dr. Lewin made sure that if he was unable to see me that another physician would be there for me! Dr. Lewin even called me on the phone to check in with me! I never had a physician do that when I was in the hospital!

In closing, I wasted to share with you how much of a difference Dr. Jonathan Lewin and his wonderful staff have made in my life! When FiFi (B-29) leaves on tour in May, I will be back in the air where I belong!

Thank you for everything that Englewood Hospital Spine Center did for my family and me!


Caren Landis