Our Medical Staff
Health and safety are the highest priority at Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special. Our medical directors work throughout the year to create an environment where even the most ill children can participate fully in the camp program.
Peter Steinherz, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Peter Steinherz, the director of Leukemia and Lymphoma Studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was among the founders of Camp Simcha. During his more than 30-year tenure at MSKCC, Dr. Steinherz and his colleagues have developed new treatment protocols that have improved the survival rates of patients with ALL from 50 percent to 80 – 90 percent. He is a member of the Leukemia Strategy Group of the Children’s Cancer Group/Children’s Oncology Group for more than 30 years. During that time, he chaired or co-chaired 11 large national/international studies for the Group and was a committee member of many other investigative groups. At Camp Simcha, Dr. Steinherz is known for his warmth, accessibility and love of rafting with the campers.
Laurel Steinherz, MD
Dr. Laurel Steinherz is the Pediatric Cardiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and an expert in the cardiac toxicity of cancer and cancer treatment. She has interacted with colleagues in Pediatric Oncology, to define the cardiac toxicity of new drugs and protocols at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and the Children’s Cancer Group/Children’s Oncology Group, and with other international cooperative study groups for more than the past 3 decades. She was a co-founder of Camp Simcha, with husband Peter, and others, 25 summers ago, and is thrilled to spend time with the campers in this wonderful setting.
Leonard Wexler, MD Associate Medical Director Boys
Dr. Wexler is a pediatric oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who specializes in the treatment of bone and soft tumor sarcomas. He is currently co-chair of an international study to evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy for the treatment of children with osteosarcoma, and co-investigator of a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering that evaluates a novel combination of chemotherapy agents and radiotherapy techniques for the treatment of children with rhabdomyosarcoma.
“Dr. Lenny” has been at Camp Simcha since 1990. His “office” is the entire camp, and his prescription for recovery includes plenty of laughter and fun.
Carolyn Fein Levy, MD Associate Medical Director Girls
Dr. Fein Levy is a pediatric oncologist at Schneider Children’s Hospital, part of the North Shore-LIJ health system, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She cares for infants, children and young adults with cancer and serious blood disorders. Her main clinical focus is the treatment of rare pediatric tumors, particularly germ cell tumors, sarcomas of the soft tissues and bone as well as childhood leukemia. She is an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group, an organization dedicated to clinical research in the field of pediatric cancer. Currently, Dr. Fein Levy is involved in several research trials studying the biology of solid tumors and the implementation of new drugs and treatment plans that improve the long-term survival of cancer patients. Dr. Fein Levy has recently been charged with the responsibility for developing the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (AYA) Program for the health system.
The children of Camp Simcha have been fortunate to have Dr. Carolyn on their side since 1999. The consummate physician and friend, she exudes warmth and hope throughout camp.
Camp Simcha Special
Robert Van Amerongen, MD, has been a member of the medical staff of Camp Simcha Special since its inception in 2001. He is also the director of the Pediatric Emergency Service, Department of Emergency Medicine, at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York and is assistant professor of emergency medicine in clinical pediatrics at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Van Amerongen holds dual board certifications in general pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. A graduate of Yeshiva University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he completed a residency in general pediatrics at North Shore University Hospital, and a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center, New York City.
Dr. Van Amerongen and his family fell in love with Camp Simcha Special and its children from the moment they stepped foot into camp. “It’s hard to get my daughters to go to regular sleep-away camp,” he professes. “Camp Simcha Special is just too much fun.”
Bracha Goldress, Head Nurse
Racheli Meister, Nurse Manager
- Brand new Medical Center staffed by specialized physicians, nurses, EMTs, pharmacist and physical therapist.
- Acute transport ambulance is on-site at all times, and accompanies campers on all trips out of camp.
- Medevac helicopter, on call 24/7, can reach camp within five minutes.
- Chemotherapy can be administered at camp.