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John T. Mather Hospital

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John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. File photo

Mather Hospital’s Emergency Department has received a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians. 

“Mather Hospital has taken the appropriate steps to meet the needs of seniors in our community,” said Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Adam Wos. “This holistic approach includes fall prevention, medication reconciliation, and discussions about goals of care. Our plan is to ensure that our doctors and nurses have the latest knowledge and equipment to care for the fastest growing population in our nation — people over age 65.”

The voluntary geriatric accreditation provides specific criteria and goals for emergency clinicians and administrators. The accreditation recommends more than two dozen best practices for geriatric care. Northwell Health EDs were awarded a level 3 accreditation, which requires many of these best practices and geriatric education for emergency medicine staff, as well as screenings and programs focused on older adults. Those include: geriatric-friendly equipment availability and policies regarding routine assessments for delirium, dementia or fall risk. 

The accreditation is for three years. Mather was one of 17 Northwell Health emergency departments across Long Island, New York City and Westchester to receive the accreditation. 

“This was an initiative that we wanted to get behind to help the department ensure the best patient outcomes,” said Mather ED nurse manager Julie Tegay, who spearheaded the accreditation project for the hospital. 

Many businesses in the Village of Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station will be ‘dressed in pink’ throughout the month of October.

Pink pumpkins, chocolate nights and yoga classes will be part of this year’s Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s month-long October breast cancer awareness community outreach in Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station. The event was created in 2015 to raise awareness about the disease, share information and education and foster solidarity in the community.

Employees at Mather Hospital will celebrate Wear Pink Day on Oct. 9.

New this year are Pink Your Pumpkin and Pink Your Windows contests and chocolate-making classes. It Takes a Village Wellness will offer yoga classes with a portion of the registration fees going to the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured. 

Paint Port Pink begins on Oct. 1 with Turn Your Pink Lights On!, when local merchants and residents will be asked to light up Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station. On Wear Pink Day, Oct. 9, Mather employees and community residents will be encouraged to dress in pink and to post their photos on Facebook and Instagram using #paintportpink. 

Local residents and merchants can Pink Their Pumpkins and Pink Their Windows in contests designed to raise awareness about breast cancer. Month-long promotions by local businesses will raise funds for the Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured. Mather has teamed up with about 120 local community partners — businesses and professional offices — to help spread the word about the importance of breast health.

Mammograms can help save lives

The American Cancer Society reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer in her life is about one in eight. That is why increased awareness, education and early detection are important parts of breast health care.

Fortunato Breast Health Center co-medical directors Dr. Michele Price and Dr. Joseph Carrucciu.

A mammogram can reveal a tumor as much as two years before you or your health care professional can feel it. Following the American College of Radiology guidelines, the Fortunato Breast Health Center recommends that you get annual mammography screening starting at age 40. In some higher risk situations, earlier mammography screening or additional breast imaging studies, such as ultrasound, may be recommended. To make an appointment, call 631-476-2771, ext. 1.

If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible for no cost or discounted screenings through the center’s Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need financial assistance, contact Pink Aid at www.pinkaid.org.

Women receiving their annual mammograms will now have even more accurate screenings thanks to two new state-of-the-art 3-D mammography units at the Fortunato Breast Health Center. Advances in imaging technology deliver highly detailed images that enhance a radiologist’s ability to provide accurate diagnoses. Improvements in ergonomic design allow for improved patient comfort and relaxation. The units also protect patients by delivering the lowest radiation dose of all FDA approved 3-D mammography systems.

“The mammographic images are very clear and detailed, which helps us to identify abnormalities at the smallest possible size,” says Dr. Michelle Price, co-medical director of the breast center. 

Above, one of the new 3-D mamography units at Mather Hospital

The new devices allow for improved detection rates and diagnostic accuracy over older mammography technology through the addition of tomosynthesis, also known as three-dimensional (3-D) mammography. This allows radiologists to see more than what is shown on a standard digital mammogram. “A traditional mammogram offers a top-down picture from compression of the breast tissue. With tomosynthesis, the ‘3-D’ portion of the exam, we get thin cross-sectional images so we can see what it looks like at different angles — in that respect, it is almost like a CAT scan,” said Price.

Having your mammogram done by the same center year after year allows your doctor to compare prior images and look for subtle changes or abnormalities. This can allow for early detection of breast cancer, which in turn can lead to life-saving treatment. “Being able to look back at a history of breast images and compare with prior films is critical for being able to interpret studies correctly. That’s a major advantage of coming to a place where you have established your medical records,” said Price. “It improves the accuracy of the reading.” 

Special community events

Paint Port Pink will offer several events throughout the month of October hosted by Mather’s community partners. Register for events at www.paintportpink.org.

Monday, Oct. 1: Turn Your Pink Lights On!

Thursday, Oct. 4, 6 to 8 p.m.: Chocolate Making Class, Chocolate Works, Stony Brook. Join them for some sweet fun molding and decorating your own chocolate creations! Registration is required.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, Noon: Wear Pink Day, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson. Get dressed up in your best pink outfit, take a photo and post using #paintportpink

Wednesday, Oct. 10: Pink Sale, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson. Come and find some pink treasures at the Mather Hospital Thrift and Gift Shop lobby sale. 

Saturday, Oct. 14, Noon & 1 p.m.: Community Reiki Circle, It Takes a Village Wellness, Port Jefferson with two chances to participate in and learn about the power of reiki. Registration is required.

Friday, Oct. 19, 6 to 7 p.m.: Meditation Session, It Takes a Village Wellness, Port Jefferson. Attend a meditation session to enhance your health and tune in to mindfulness. Registration is required. 

Friday, Oct. 19, 7 to 9 p.m.: Chocolate Making Class, Chocolate Works, Stony Brook. Join them for some sweet fun molding and decorating your own chocolate creations! Registration is required. 

Monday, Oct. 22, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Yoga for Health class, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson offered through It Takes a Village Wellness in Mather Hospital’s conference room B. Registration is required.

Friday, Oct. 26, 12 to 2 p.m.: Wellness Luncheon, Nantucket’s, Port Jefferson. Hosted by It Takes a Village Wellness, attend their “whole health” wellness luncheon and learn about staying healthy naturally. Registration is required. 

Saturday, Oct. 27, 9 a.m to 1:30 p.m.: HealthyU, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson, a seminar series and health fair focused on physical, emotional and financial well-being. Registration is required. Call 631-686-7879.

Wednesday, Oct. 31: Winners of the Pink Your Pumpkin and Pink Your Window contests will be announced. 

* Proceeds from all events benefit the Fortunato Breast Health Center Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured.

Month-Long Promotions

Chick-fil-A, Port Jefferson Station: $1 from all milk shake sales during the month of October will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

LI Pour House, Port Jefferson Station: Hosting Wine Down Wednesdays. Every Wednesday during the month of October a glass of wine will be $4 with 10 percent of your purchase benefiting the Fund for Uninsured.

East Main & Main, Port Jefferson: $1 from all pink donut sales during the month of October to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Amazing Olive, Port Jefferson: $1 from all extra virgin olive oil sales during the month of October to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Luck Soap, Port Jefferson: 40 percent of all Luck Soap Pink Ribbon soap sales (available for sale at Amazing Olive, Port Jefferson and Patchogue locations) during the month of October to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

The Soap Box, Port Jefferson: 20 percent off Pink Sugar Kiss items during the month of October.

Yogo Delish, Port Jefferson: Donate $1 with your purchase during the month of October and get a $1 off coupon for your next visit.

Tapestry Salon, Mount Sinai: A portion of all pink hair extension sales during the month of October will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Cutting Hut, Port Jefferson Station: 10 percent of all pink hair extension sales during the month of October will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

The Pie, Port Jefferson: Give a donation during the month of October and receive a free Pink Lemonade.

MAC Hair Salon, Mt. Sinai: Pink hair strands for $15 or $10 per pink foil during October with 50 percent of the proceeds to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Theatre Three, Port Jefferson: Receive a 20 percent discount on the purchase of your tickets in October when you mention Paint Port Pink.

For more information, please visit www.paintportpink.org.

All photos courtesy of John T. Mather Memorial Hospital

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University; said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.; and Dennis S. Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City shake hands during the signing of the agreement for the two hospitals to partner. Photo from Stony Brook University School of Medicine

By Talia Amorosano

Two major medical institutions have agreed to team up, and the partnership could lead to big scientific breakthroughs.

In order to create more academic research opportunities and streamline and expand clinical care initiatives, Stony Brook Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City, have entered into a comprehensive affiliation agreement. The change will promote inter-institution collaboration encompassing all five of Stony Brook’s Health Science schools, Stony Brook University Hospital, all 25 academic departments of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System facilities and Medical School, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai inclusive of seven hospitals and an expanding ambulatory network.

Facilitators of the partnership believe that the expansion of clinical trials and research opportunities for both institutions will prompt research and studies that could lead to major discoveries, especially in the treatment and understanding of disease.

Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University, noted that the alliance will make use of the strengths of each individual institution.

“What we both get out of the affiliation is enhanced possibilities for science and education,” he said. “Multiple groups of investigators [with members from each institution] work together and look at things in slightly different ways.”

In a press release, he noted Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine for its strong biomedical, clinical research and health policy expertise and Stony Brook University for its advanced mathematics, high-performance computing, and physical and chemical science departments to illustrate the point that these institutions can accomplish collaboratively more than each can do alone.

“In the long term were gonna roll out more and more in the way of clinical interactions,” said Kaushansky, who mentioned Stony Brook’s recent recruitment of two new cardiac surgeons from Mount Sinai. “We don’t do heart transplants, but Mount Sinai does.”

He emphasized the new potential for patients to easily seek services from either hospital. In fact, joint research programs ranging from fields of biomedical engineering and computer science to medicinal chemistry science, neurology, psychiatry, therapeutics and more are currently in the works.

“Stony Brook Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are two powerhouses of research that when partnered will definitely yield more than just the sum of their parts.”

—Lina Obeid

In terms of education, University students will now be afforded the unique opportunity to take classes offered on either or both campuses, and participate in a variety of summer programs geared toward students of all ages. The two schools plan to facilitate joint graduate and medical educational programs in a wider range of subjects than ever before, and have agreed to invest a collaborative $500,000 for the development of academically challenging pilot programs to be supervised by a joint committee.

“The joint pilots in research have immense promise to advance health at the most exciting time in the biomedical sciences, including advanced computational, bioinformatic and engineering approaches,” said Lina Obeid, MD, dean for research and vice dean for scientific affairs at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “Stony Brook Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are two powerhouses of research that when partnered will definitely yield more than just the sum of their parts.”

Other leaders of each institution have already expressed similar enthusiasm about the affiliation, which was effective immediately upon signing, and many have verbalized hopes that groundbreaking research will take place as a result of this strategic partnership.

Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, said, “Together [Mount Sinai and Stony Brook] will use our outstanding resources to create changes in medicine.”

“Each institution has so much to offer,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., “this is an opportunity that will prove to be beneficial to all — now and in the future — as we explore and grow this incredible collaboration.”

Looking toward the future, Kaushansky said that Stony Brook has more affiliation agreements in the works, contingent upon state approval.

“We are working very hard with our friends in the state of New York to get approval for affiliation with Southampton Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport,” he said.

Also pending is a potential partnership with John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. “In April, Mather Hospital asked a number of healthcare systems — us included — whether they were interested in affiliating with Mather Hospital, and we said yes,” Kaushansky said. “We made a proposal to the Mather hospital board … and they were supposed to decide [with whom they wish to affiliate] back in June.”

About a year ago, Kaushansky said he wondered aloud how it is that the insistution could make a bigger impact on clinical medicine, education and research. He now expresses confidence that Stony Brook’s affiliation with large city medical center, Mount Sinai, and future mutually-beneficial partnerships with Long Island hospitals and medical centers, is the most surefire way to achieve such an impact.

Linda Hallock, Jennie Sweeney, Kathy Sciacchitano, Jane Del Prête and Betty Baumach pose with their dollhouse. Photo from Mather Hospital

The women of Crafters for a Cause usually help their students learn to paint, but this summer the ladies decided to help people outside of the classroom.

Members Betty Baumach, Linda Hallock, Virginia Sweeney, Jane Del Prête, Kathy Sciacchitano and Martha Palermo recently donated a handmade dollhouse to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital to help fight breast cancer through its Fortunato Breast Health Center. The dollhouse will be raffled off at next year’s Families Walk & Run for Hope, an annual springtime fundraiser.

The women started building the roughly 2-foot-tall dollhouse in June. According to Baumach, a Lake Grove resident who leads the group, which meets at the New Village Recreation Center in Centereach, the volunteers teach people various forms of painting year-round — except during the summer.

“During the summer the teachers don’t teach,” Baumach said in a phone interview. “We still wanted to get together anyway so we said, ‘Oh, what could we do this summer to fill the time?’ so I suggested building a dollhouse.”

Baumach got the idea to donate the house to the Port Jefferson hospital because she brought her sick aunt to Mather in the past.

She had previously built five or six dollhouses, including this particular model of house, so drawing the plans was simple. Like all of Baumach’s dollhouse projects, it was made without a kit — the women designed and built each component by hand.

Until it is raffled off, the dollhouse will reside in the office of Cindy Court, the hospital’s development coordinator.

The eight-room house includes a living room, a dining room, a bedroom, a bathroom and a sewing room, among others. According to Court, the crafters brought individual boxes of furniture to decorate the house the day they donated it to the hospital.

“Each builder was responsible for decorating and furnishing one of the eight rooms,” Court said in an email. “They precisely [placed] each piece, down to the smallest detail.”

The group didn’t plan on furnishing the dollhouse until Sweeney found furniture on sites like eBay and Craigslist. Baumach provided the materials to build the house and was responsible for its exterior.

Court said the group used tongue depressors to make the roof shingles.

“I think it’s wonderful this group of women put so much time and love into this dollhouse and then donated it to Mather to help raise funds for the Fortunato Breast Health Center,” Dr. Joseph Carrucciu, who specializes in radiology at the center, said in an email.

While Crafters for a Cause enjoyed giving back to their community, it remains to be seen whether the dollhouse will become an annual effort.

“I think this was a one-shot deal as far as dollhouses go,” Baumach said in a follow-up email interview. “But they are trying to convince me to do another next summer.”