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Stony Brook Hospital

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Suffolk County Police 6th squad detectives are investigating a single-vehicle crash that killed a Selden woman the morning of Feb. 8.

Nancy Neumann, 60, of 16 Strauss Road in Selden was driving a 2006 Saturn northbound on Nicolls Road at around 11:23 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle, which veered off the roadway and rolled onto its side, according to police.

Neumann was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The Saturn was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this crash is asked to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

Raising the new Stony Brook Southampton Hospital flag at the celebration to introduce Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, from left, Cary F. Staller, Esq., SUNY Board of Trustees and Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees; Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, SUNY Board of Trustees; L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Hospital, and Vice President for Health Systems, Stony Brook Medicine; Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine; Robert S. Chaloner, Chief Administrative Officer, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital; Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, President, Stony Brook University; Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), New York State Senator; Kenneth B. Wright, Chair, Southampton Hospital Association Board; Kathy Hochul, New York State Lieutenant Governor; Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Southampton), New York State Assemblyman; Fred Weinbaum, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital; and Marc Cohen, SUNY Board of Trustees. Photo from SBU

By L. Reuven Pasternak, M.D.

When hospitals in the same region are able to work together, they can deliver health care to residents in ways that are complementary, efficient and effective.

Dr. L. Reuven Pasternak

We are celebrating a major milestone in the development of the Stony Brook Medicine health system to transform health care on the East End of Long Island. On Aug. 1, Stony Brook finalized an agreement with the 125-bed Southampton Hospital — now called Stony Brook Southampton Hospital — to join as a member of Stony Brook Medicine.

Although Stony Brook and Southampton have been providing health care services to the East End for nearly 10 years, this formal agreement will enable us to improve health care quality and access, coordinate care and improve efficiency for patients through shared resources and managing the flow of patients between the two facilities.

Patients will benefit from this relationship because it helps our hospitals match the level of care provided to the level of care needed in the facility ideally suited to a patient’s needs. It provides patients from eastern Long Island with greater access to Stony Brook Medicine’s specialists, clinical trials and advanced technology, combined with the convenience and personalized care of a community-based hospital.

In the time that it has taken to finalize our agreement, we have successfully collaborated on bringing new services to the East End, the most critical of which is the new cardiac catheterization laboratory, part of the Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center, which will be the first on Long Island to open east of Route 112, and where clinical operations are scheduled to begin on Sept. 5.

An aerial view of Stony Brook Southhampton Hospital. Photo from SBU

And coming in late 2018 is the new Phillips Family Cancer Center, a facility that will be staffed by both Stony Brook-based physicians and physicians from Southampton and promises to make top-level cancer care more easily accessible to East End residents.

Stony Brook and Southampton have been working collaboratively in our hybrid operating room, which is also part of the Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center. This specialty operating room, equipped with sophisticated imaging, enables Stony Brook board-certified vascular surgeons to perform minimally invasive interventions to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, complex peripheral arterial disease, carotid disease and the entire spectrum of vascular conditions.

Additional cardiology services have been established in the East End area. Stony Brook cardiologists Travis Bench, M.D., and Dhaval Patel, M.D., have opened practices at 676 County Road 39A, Southampton, and 600 Main Street, Center Moriches, so that patients with specific types of focused cardiac issues can get care closer to home.

Another important benefit of our agreement is that we now have additional clinical training sites to support the growing class sizes of Stony Brook’s undergraduate and graduate medicine training programs, as well as health technology programs. Graduate medical education programs, including internal medicine, family medicine internship and residency programs, plus osteopathic medicine programs in surgery and transitional year resident programs are currently being offered at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital with additional rotations planned for emergency medicine medical students and residents.

Together we are taking a bold step forward for the advancement of health care as we build on our successful collaborations to better serve the needs of Long Islanders.

Dr. L. Reuven Pasternak is the CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital and vice president for health systems, Stony Brook Medicine.

Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

By Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr.

In recognition of his dedication to the cancer fight, Stony Brook University proudly honored the 47th Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala — our annual fundraising event — on Wednesday, April 19.

Hosted by the Stony Brook Foundation, the gala generates funds for student financial aid and a select academic area of excellence. This year, the university raised $6,946,000 in gifts and pledges, including $2,051,000 for scholarships and $4,895,000 to support the Stony Brook University Cancer Center. Since 2000, the event has raised more than $50 million.

As vice president, Joe Biden led the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. Its mission: to double the rate of progress in preventing the disease that leads to more than 8 million deaths worldwide every year. The intention, said Biden in his remarks, was to infuse the cancer research culture with “the urgency of now.”

At Stony Brook, we share Joe Biden’s determination, sense of urgency and his fundamental confidence in our ability to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The Stony Brook Cancer Center brings together the brightest minds, enhancing purposeful collaboration, and creating strategic partnerships to share information and accelerate research.

Our researchers are receiving worldwide attention for a pioneering study of the genesis and behavior of cancer cells at the molecular level with the goal of one day helping to detect, treat and eventually eliminate the disease for good.

Through continual research and discovery, Stony Brook Cancer Center is on the forefront of cancer care. In the new Kavita and Lalit Bahl Center for Metabolomics and Imaging, for instance, Dr. Yusuf Hannun and Dr. Lina Obeid are receiving international recognition for their pioneering studies in the relationship between cancer and lipids, naturally occurring molecules in the body such as fats. Their work is changing what is known about the role lipids play in cancer and brings us closer to understanding how to prevent and treat the disease.

Next year, the Stony Brook Cancer Center will relocate from its current location on the Stony Brook Medicine campus to the new 254,000-square-foot Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, designed to enable scientists and physicians to work side by side to advance cancer research and imaging diagnostics.

We’re thrilled that for one big night, we shined a white-hot light on the cancer issue and worked to raise awareness and money that will no doubt play a continuing role in bringing an end to this disease.

Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. is president of Stony Brook University.

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A Rocky Point man was ejected from his vehicle as a result of a crash in Port Jefferson Station Feb. 22 and transported to Stony Brook Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, according to Suffolk County Police. Sixth Squad detectives are investigating the two-vehicle crash.

Brian Carter was driving a 1975 Jeep westbound on Route 347 when he attempted to make a left turn onto Crystal Brook Hollow Road and his vehicle was struck by an eastbound 2009 Chevrolet at about 8:20 p.m.

Carter, 25, of Rocky Point, was ejected from the vehicle and was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The driver of the Chevrolet, Zachary Pisoni, 24, of Medford, was not injured.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

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Suffolk County Police arrested a Centereach woman for driving while intoxicated following a motor vehicle crash that critically injured her passenger Dec. 18.

Paige Reddy was driving a 2011 Toyota Prius northbound on Mark Tree Road in Centereach when her vehicle struck a tree just north of School Street at 3:28 a.m.

Reddy’s passenger, Matthew Borkowski, 21, of Centereach, was critically injured and admitted to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Reddy, 21, was transported to Stony Brook hospital where she was admitted for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Reddy was charged with driving while intoxicated and will be arraigned at a later date.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652.

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Suffolk County Police 7th Squad detectives are investigating a crash that killed a woman in Rocky Point Sept. 22.

Rachel Stalter was operating her 2014 Toyota Highlander westbound on Route 25A when she approached an intersection and collided with a 1999 Chevrolet Malibu that was turning to go northbound onto Hallock Landing Road.

The passenger in the Chevrolet, Carol Sardegna, 65, of Rocky Point, was transported to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the Chevrolet, Colleen Gorman, 61, of Rocky Point, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Stalter, 47, of Port Jefferson Station, and her 12-year-old daughter were transported to Saint Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, where they were treated with non-life-threatening injuries.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact 7th Squad detectives at 631-852-8752.

This version corrects the date of the accident.

North Shore shows support in family’s time of need

Supporters display custom-made #PrayforDan shirts donated by Port Jeff Sports. Photo from Facebook

Helen Keller once said, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” And in former Comsewogue baseball player Daniel Colasanto’s time of need, the community has come together to be the catalyst for recovery, in mind, body and spirit.

Colasanto suffered significant head trauma after being hit by a car on Route 25A around 1 a.m. on June 16. The 18-year-old received what his father Wayne called “life-saving surgery” at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson before he was transported to Stony Brook Hospital’s trauma center.

“The care that he has received, although a different type of care, has been parallel with the efforts and outpouring of the community,” Wayne Colasanto said of the staff at both hospitals. “You couldn’t ask for more. They’ve been that impressionable.”

Friends and family wait in the hospital lobby. Photo from Facebook
Friends and family wait in the hospital lobby. Photo from Facebook

Following the accident, the family’s pastor, Randy Paige, of Christ Church United Methodist in Port Jefferson Station, held a prayer service for Daniel, who his father said always wakes up with a smile because he finds the good in everything.

“It’s a small church,” Colasanto said. “And there were over 300 people there — there was zero room left. Some of the people included surgeons, people Danny played baseball with 10 years ago, teachers, guidance counselors, an endless amount of family members. There was a potpourri of people from every facet of our life represented at that prayer service. It was truly amazing.”

And that support hasn’t quieted down. It’s still more than noticeable — as the community helped the Colasanto family heal.

Wayne Colasanto said the family has received food, blankets and other things to keep the average 25 kids in the waiting room comfortable, almost entirely from anonymous donors.

“That, to me, speaks volumes,” he said. “I always felt that the gift was in the giving, not the recognition.”

The Port Jefferson Station family has also received donations from local and surrounding community establishments.

Chick-fil-A in Port Jefferson Station has brought in freshly cooked food to the Ronald McDonald Lounge on the 11th floor of the hospital every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. GREEK-TO-GO in Stony Brook has brought a “humongo” Greek salad every day, and Gyro Palace in Rocky Point has also supplied food.

“Seeing the caring spirit in humanity, the general concern of people you don’t even know and how they have leaped into action in support, it’s humbling.”

— Wayne Colasanto

“The people who are donating to our family are feeding everyone up on the 11th floor,” Colasanto said. “The amount of food that’s been donated through friends, other restaurants — if we were having an eating contest at Coney Island on the Fourth of July we couldn’t get through all the food.”

And the donations keep coming.

Colasanto said that every time he goes downstairs to retrieve donations, he’s almost immediately sent back, if not interrupted on his way back upstairs, to collect more donations.

Assistance has also come in other forms.

Zachary Colasanto, one of Daniel’s older brothers, is extremely close with his brother.

“They’ve never had a fight in their life,” Wayne Colasanto said.

The father said that when Daniel was a junior and Zachary a senior, they approached him to ask if they could forego their own bedrooms and purchase a bunk bed to live as they did when they were younger.

“That’s how close they are. But as a parent with some wisdom, I said absolutely not,” Wayne Colasanto said, laughing.

Zachary Colasanto wanted to do something special to show support for his brother, who was a four-year varsity baseball player for the Warriors, and started on varsity as an eighth-grader at The Stony Brook School. Colasanto also played football at Comsewogue, and is currently on the roster as a pitcher at The College of Saint Rose.

Zachary had T-shirts made at Port Jeff Sporting Goods, which have the hashtag #PrayforDan and the No. 42, Daniel’s jersey number, on the back. When Daniel’s eldest brother Michael went to pick up the 50 shirts that Port Jeff Sports helped design and make, they would not accept payment.

“I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude at the fact that Port Jeff Sports was generous enough to donate those shirts,” Zachary Colasanto said. “It is incredible to see the love and support the entire community has been sharing with my family during this very difficult time.”

Wayne Colasanto said Father’s Day was especially difficult, but added it was also a positive reminder.

Former Comsewogue baseball player Daniel Colasanto suffered head trauma after being hit by a car on Route 25A. Photo from Facebook
Former Comsewogue baseball player Daniel Colasanto suffered head trauma after being hit by a car on Route 25A. Photo from Facebook

“It was probably the toughest Father’s Day, but it’s the one that I feel the most blessed about, because of the unity of my family,” he said. “I had to fight his friends to go home on Saturday night before Father’s Day. They literally refused. I told them that they would not outwait me. And before noon, they were all back here the following morning.”

Other area businesses and community members continue to show support. A GoFundMe page was created by a friend, to help raise money for the family: www.gofundme.com/dancolasantosfight. Also, Sundaes in Port Jefferson Station, on Route 112, will be holding a fundraiser on Friday, July 1. The day happens to be Daniel’s 19th birthday. The fundraiser will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., and 20 percent of all sales will be donated.

That constant, and around-the-clock support has opened Wayne Colasanto’s eyes.

“I don’t mean to sound cynical, but it’s almost disbelief,” he said. “I’ve admittedly adopted a cynical look at people in general because of their abrasiveness at times, and after seeing the caring spirit in humanity, the general concern of people you don’t even know and how they have leaped into action in support, it’s humbling. I just feel rejuvenated in my own mind about people in general. I’ll never forget what people have done. You can’t put into words.”

To stay updated on Daniel’s condition, you can visit the Facebook page the family has created, called Daniel Colasanto’s Fight: www.facebook.com/danielcolasantosfight/.

Stony Brook’s 100,000th baby Luca Michael Picarella cries in his mother’s arms at Stony Brook University Hospital. Photo By Giselle Barkley

It’s a boy. It’s also a major milestone.

Katie Picarella of Rocky Point was wheeled into the room with her new bundle of joy and her husband Mike and daughter Gianna, 5, to celebrate the birth of Stony Brook Hospital’s 100,000th baby, Luca Michael Picarella on Thursday, Aug. 20. And by the time she was wheeled out, she had much more than a new member to her family.

The hospital presented blue cupcakes surrounded several pink cupcakes that spelled “100K,” in the Stony Brook University Hospital’s lobby in celebration of the event.

Todd Griffin, chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine, said he expected Katie Picarella to give birth near the end of August, and he was right. Attending OB/GYN and former Stony Brook student Julie Welischar delivered Luca the morning of Monday, Aug. 17.

Until a week ago the Picarella family was unaware of the news that Stony Brook was expecting its 100,000th birth.

Members of the hospital arranged blue and pink cupcakes to celebrate the 100,00th birth at the Stony Brook University Hospital. Photo By Giselle Barkley
Members of the hospital arranged blue and pink cupcakes to celebrate the 100,00th birth at the Stony Brook University Hospital. Photo By Giselle Barkley

“A friend of ours told us [that they] had been following this,” Mike Picarella said. “I started looking at it and [the friend] said, ‘you guys are getting close. It’d be funny if you guys are the couple.’”

But the expecting father said he was still surprised when the doctors informed him that his newborn son was the 100,000th baby.

The family didn’t just leave with their new baby boy, they also left with a gift basket, which awarded the Picarella family with $10,000 scholarship from the Island Federal Credit Union, a $2,500 scholarship toward tuition at the North Shore Montessori School, a $500 shopping spree among other gifts for the parents and their newborn.

Luca’s older sister Gianna, who was also delivered at Stony Brook, was also awarded with a brand new American Girl doll.

“Truly from the bottom of our hearts and all of our family’s hearts, we greatly appreciate it,” Mike Picarella said.

The entire Picarella family said they were thankful for the gifts and shocked by the news that they were the couple who birthed the 100,000th baby.

“Stuff like this doesn’t happen to us,” Katie Picarella said when speaking to the media. According to Picarella, the birth was scheduled for Friday after doctors realized Picarella’s baby would come before the end of August. But Picarella rescheduled the C-section delivery date because she wanted to have enough time to recover in order to attend her daughter’s Kindergarten screening.

The family of four also had the opportunity of meeting Jeff Solomon, who was the first baby born at Stony brook University Hospital on May 28, 1980 at 8:15 a.m. Solomon’s father Bob Solomon and step-mother Hope also attended the conference and met the family.

Before the family prepared to go home, Griffin highlighted the importance of the birth.

“For years the number of births on long island have been going down,” Griffin said. “We’re actually starting to see in the last year or two that the births have been going up.”

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