Tags Posts tagged with "Doctor"

Doctor

Mount Sinai anesthesiologist Richard Melucci, below, drowned in the Long Island Sound, scene above, after falling overboard off his 25-foot boat April 15. Photo from Facebook

A Mount Sinai anesthesiologist has died after falling off a boat in the Long Island Sound April 15.

Milford Fire Rescue received a 911 call from a woman saying her husband, Richard Melucci, 43, had fallen overboard as they were boating on the Sound near Milford, Connecticut at about 6 p.m. Melucci’s wife, Maryann, was below the deck when she heard the splash, police said.

Richard Melucci. Photo from O.B. Davis Funeral Homes

Police say Melucci, a 1991 Ward Melville graduate, was not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water, so his wife attempted to throw a life ring out several times without success, according to Captain Kieth Williams of the Connecticut State Police Department.

Milford’s dive team and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene and rescued Melucci from the water about 55 minutes later, authorities said. Melucci and his wife were taken to Milford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An avid boater, Melucci worked at Long Island Anesthesia Physicians in Rocky Point and was affiliated with John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. He was on his new 25-foot vessel, which was taken to Milford Landing, where authorities are conducting a full investigation.

Reposing took place at O.B. Davis Funeral Homes, 4839 Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station. Visitation was help April 19, and will be held today, April 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be help April 21 at 10 a.m. at the Chapel at St. Charles in Port Jefferson. Interment to follow at Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rick Melucci Family Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/rick-melucci-family-fund. As of press time, after two days, the GoFundMe raised $76,425 of the $100,000 goal.

Yakub Gangat donated $1,000 to the fund, and left the message: “An outstanding clinician and leader. Fun loving with infectious personality. He’ll be forever missed.”

Jennifer Bednar, who donated $100, also said he will not soon be forgotten.

“A devastating loss,” she wrote. “I will miss that infectious smile. My whole heart goes out to Maryanne and family.”

Teresa Schully Habacker left a similar sentiment with her $200 contribution: “What a loss for the medical community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I will miss his competent care and his great sense of humor.”

by -
0 913

Almost seven years ago, I wrote my first email to request an interview for a story. In between now and those seven years, the correspondent and I have dropped many of the formalities of our exchanges and have shared personal details.

She’s known about big events in my life, mostly related to my kids, while I was aware of when she was getting married.

Recently, she shared the exciting news that she is pregnant. I am thrilled for her and the husband I’ve never met because parenthood is such a spectacular experience, opportunity, and challenge.

Less than a week after hearing about her pregnancy, I spoke with someone for another story I’m researching. When this person heard my last name, he immediately asked me if I was related to someone. Most of the time, that someone is my mom, who works visibly and tirelessly in the communities these newspapers serve.

When I was younger and people asked me about my mother, I would look down or look away, because I couldn’t answer questions about the way my mom’s paper covered something or because I was far too busy reading the batting averages for the latest Yankees to share insights about someone who was and is such an inspiration.

As I’ve grown, I’ve become more appreciative of the questions and more prepared to look people in the eye — yes, mom, I’m teaching my kids to do that, too — to hear what they have to say and to provide a thoughtful answer.

But, this person wasn’t asking me about my mom. He wondered if I was related to Dr. Dunaief, his former ophthalmologist. Hearing the question surprised me. My father died almost 30 years ago. We talk about him regularly amongst ourselves, wondering what he would have thought of the people he’d never met, including my wife, my brother’s wife and his grandchildren. We tell our children stories about him so they know who he was and they appreciate their heritage.

The person said my father was a great doctor. I told my children about the interview and the mention of their grandfather. I asked them what they thought the conversation meant.

Both of them looked me in the eye for a long time as they considered their answers. “He must have been a good doctor,” my son said.

“Wow, that’s amazing. He made that connection all these years later,” my daughter offered.

Yes, I thought, they’re right. And, they had an idea of what it means to make meaningful and lasting connections. Whatever we do, whoever we see on a daily basis, we have an opportunity to create a legacy that extends long after we’re no longer involved in the same routine.

Some parts of who we are, or who we were, remain, whether that’s through our children or grandchildren, or through the memory of an action or interaction. I remember sitting in my father’s office one day when he took me to work and watching as he pulled glass out of the eye of a patient who had been in an accident at a construction site. The patient, a man much more muscular and stronger than my father, fainted in the chair. My father calmly removed all the equipment and revived him. He demonstrated such incredible grace, control and professionalism.

So, as I think about the connection between the expectant mother and the memory of my father, I hope she creates positive, lasting memories for her unborn child, even as that child grows and develops a meaningful legacy.

Thomas Stavola mugshot from the DA's office

A cardiologist has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a Smithtown car crash, 16 months after he killed a fellow medical professional and mother of three.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday that Setauket doctor Thomas Stavola, now 56, will spend two years in prison and five years on probation after last year’s crash, during which his Audi broadsided victim Monica Peterman’s Mercedes at the intersection of Routes 25 and 111. It was shortly before 4 a.m., and Peterman, 45, had been on her way to work as an X-ray technician at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. Instead, the Middle Island resident was pronounced dead at that same hospital she had worked for more than 10 years.

District Attorney Tom Spota said previously that the doctor, who sustained minor injuries in the crash, left the scene without helping Peterman.

“Witnesses who came upon the crash scene said the defendant suddenly left and began walking west on Route 25,” Spota said in a previous statement. “What I found most troubling is the fact that a physician chose not to render any kind of aid or use his cellphone to call 911 to get some assistance for a seriously injured motorist.”

The DA said those witnesses gave police officers a description of Stavola, and a sergeant on his way to the scene spotted the man about 500 feet from the crash, walking quickly with his head down.

According to the DA’s office, Stavola had a .10 blood alcohol content 90 minutes after the fatal incident.

The impact of the collision had embedded Stavola’s front license plate into the side door of Peterman’s car.

Stavola originally pleaded not guilty to his charges. The victim’s family filed a $20 million civil lawsuit against him last year, saying they hoped it would help make punishments stricter for drunk drivers.

But Stavola changed his plea and Peterman’s family supported the two-year sentence and probation, the DA’s office said. Husband Russell Peterman said in a statement that his family wanted to let go of the anger they felt toward Stavola and realized he deserved another chance “to go back to helping people.”

Huntington neurosurgeon touts procedure’s success

This diffusion tensor imaging shows the patient’s nerve, brain and other tissue matter surrounding the white mass, which makes it easier for surgeons to diagnose and treat their patients. Photo from Ericca Ardito

When Jean Noschese’s left hand started to go numb, she didn’t expect her doctor’s visit to lead to brain surgery at Huntington Hospital, where she met Dr. Robert Kerr, a neurosurgeon who had a new way of operating on the brain.

On Oct. 16, 2013, Noschese experienced a head-on collision while driving in Hauppauge. The car accident left her in need of several surgeries, including ones to repair her rotator cuff and replace her hip. But it was when she started losing sensation in her left hand, in 2014, that she went to a specialist. Noschese, who initially wondered if her issue with her hand was related to her crash, was rushed to the hospital after her hand specialist thought Noschese was experiencing a stroke.

But instead of a stroke, the doctors found a three-by-four-centimeter lesion on the right side of her brain that caused paralysis on the left side of her body. Her lesion wasn’t caused by the crash, but from Noschese’s breast cancer that had metastasized to her brain. Noschese was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

Doctors wanted to perform brain surgery the following day, on Dec. 22, 2014, according to Noschese,

“It’s overwhelming to hear that you need brain surgery,” she said.

A large mass is located in the left hemisphere of the brain prior to the operation where Dr. Robert Kerr used Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter Plan. Photo from Ericca Ardito
A large mass is located in the left hemisphere of the brain prior to the operation where Dr. Robert Kerr used Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter Plan. Photo from Ericca Ardito

But Kerr, who met with Noschese when she entered the hospital, reassured her and reviewed the procedure with her. A new brain-mapping technique, using the Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter Plan product, involves several new tools, including a highly engineered tube that splits brain tissue fibers and allows neurosurgeons to access difficult and deep parts of the brain easily. The procedure also utilizes a fiber optic, high definition telescope that creates a “cone of visualization” that allows surgeons to clearly view all planes of the brain they are working on.

The technique also features a procedure called the myriad, which uses a blunt suction device that peels off tumors from dangerous or sensitive areas without damaging surrounding areas in the brain.

“Traditionally, surgeries for deeper regions actually involve destroying a certain amount of tissue to get to the target area,” Kerr said.

According to Kerr, in traditional brain surgeries, metal retractors are used to create a pathway so surgeons can access target areas of the brain. Doctors use the retractors to pull the edges of the brain apart and create a pathway.

Kerr said the issue with this technique is that, regardless of how careful a surgeon is, he or she may still push on these retractors, which widens the pathway the surgeon created from surface of the brain to the target area. As a result, the patient is left with a hole in part of the brain, which means the patient will take longer to recover from the surgery.

Stony Brook Medicine Neurosurgeon Dr. David Chesler said Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter Plan procedure is only appropriate under certain circumstances.

“Tumors that come right to the surface, where they’re easily approachable, I don’t think there’s any benefit to using this technique, because the tumor is right there,” Chesler said. Chesler took a course for the procedure about two years ago. While he thinks the technique is beneficial, he does not think it is a be-all and end-all procedure for brain surgery.

While the procedure is minimally invasive, may decrease the chance of injuring the patient during the operation and allows surgeons to approach lesions or blood clots, Chesler said there are some downsides to the technique. He said that the technology of this technique is not new, but simply creates a new system that makes it easier for surgeons to implement.

Additionally, minimally invasive procedures double or triple the length of an operation, depending on the surgeon and the nature of the surgery. Surgeons who may not be very experienced may leave parts of lesions or tumors and blood clots behind because of limited visualization.

A large mass is located in the left hemisphere of the brain has been removed with the use of Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter Plan. Photo from Ericca Ardito
A large mass is located in the left hemisphere of the brain has been removed with the use of Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter Plan. Photo from Ericca Ardito

Surgeons can only see what is at the end of the tube, which is around the diameter of a dime.

Kerr said this procedure will decrease patients’ recovery time. Patients are usually tired following the surgery and require extensive amounts of rest before they are discharged from the hospital. Noschese, however, was alert and speaking two hours after the surgery. Not only did she regain sensation in her hand, but she was also able to grab and hold onto a variety of objects.

Chesler, like Kerr, said patients who receive traditional surgeries for deep-seated lesions or blood clots can do well. He said his patients’ deficits were more related to the “structures involved with the tumor,” as opposed to the approach used. Chesler has seen both good and bad outcomes from this technique

According to Kerr, few surgeons are using this technique.

“Neurosurgeons are skeptics and slow adopters and I think that’s appropriate,” Kerr said, explaining why more surgeons may stick to traditional brain surgery practices.

While Chesler said the procedure should be used for the right case and with an experienced surgeon, he said staff are looking to adopt this technique at Stony Brook University Hospital. Chesler, who does both pediatric and adult neurosurgery, said he is simply looking for the right case. Recently he hasn’t come across a case that calls for the technique.

Doctors must demonstrate the procedure and illustrate its benefits when introducing the technique to the hospital. Hospitals need to invest in the procedure for a surgeon to officially implement it.

Although Chesler said there are other systems that surgeons can use to reach a similar goal, Kerr said the technique is a glimpse into the future of this type of surgery.

“I think this technology reflects the future of neurosurgery and accessing deep-seated lesions in a kinder, gentler, more precise way,” Kerr said. “I think this is representing a future paradigm shift in the way that brain surgery is done, and I think that we will see many more adopting this in a very short period of time.”

Family, friends will remember Dr. William T. Konczynin as community staple who proudly served residents

William T. Konczynin. Photo from the Konczynin family

William T. Konczynin, a physician who served Long Island residents for 29 years at both St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson and other major community facilities, died unexpectedly on June 3. He was 63.

Konczynin is survived by his wife Barbara, his children William Jr. and Allyson, and his daughter-in-law Meghan. He was also an uncle to seven.

“He was totally, totally devoted to the children and to me. He was the best of the best,” said his wife. “He always loved to host parties at our house, and was happiest with company around.”

Born in 1952 in New York City, Konczynin graduated from Chaminade High School on Long Island in 1970 and then obtained a bachelor of science degree in biology from Georgetown University in 1976. Following his undergraduate degree, Konczynin went to medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico. After graduating in 1980, Konczynin returned to the United States and completed his residency in general surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.

In 1985, after finishing his residency, he worked at a family practice in Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in Patchogue. Eventually he accepted a position at St. Charles, where he was appointed director of the emergency department and, later, director of the alcohol substance and abuse program there.

“It was a natural progression for him to remain involved with the patients in the hospital after they were brought into the O.R. for overdoses,” Barbara Konczynin explained, of how her husband got involved with the substance abuse program.

At St. Charles, Konczynin was also the director of the department of family medicine and the president of the medical staff.

Outside the hospital, Konczynin was the chief physician at the Three Village school district and a hockey coach for his son, William Jr. He enjoyed boating, golfing, tennis and gardening.

Konczynin’s memorial mass was held at St. James Church, where he had served as an usher along with his two children, and his wake, at O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Port Jefferson Station, was attended by more than 2,000 people, his family said.

James O’Connor, chief administrative officer and vice president of St. Charles Hospital, said in a statement that Konczynin will be remembered as an extremely talented and thoughtful physician, but also as a warm and caring friend, and a wonderful colleague who gave freely of his time, advice and expertise.

by -
0 1441
Jacob Mathew mugshot from SCPD

Police charged a Port Jefferson neurologist with forcible touching on Wednesday, a couple of months after authorities say he had inappropriate contact with a patient.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, Dr. Jacob Mathew inappropriately touched a female patient when she visited his Oakland Avenue office for treatment in February.

The SCPD did not identify the patient and said her name would be kept confidential.

The doctor, 58, was arrested at his office on Wednesday, police said, shortly before 4 p.m.

Attorney information for Mathew was not immediately available. He will be arraigned at a later date.

Anyone with information related to the police investigation is asked to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.