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Stony Brook Hospital

Photo from Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro

More than 400 runners and walkers took part in the St. James Certified 5 Mile Challenge and 5K Fun Run, hosted by Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro, on Saturday, April 13, 2024, raising $40,000 for the new Ronald McDonald House at Stony Brook Hospital.

“We are so grateful to all the Long Islanders – runners, walkers and families – that came out to support our work to build the first Ronald McDonald House in Suffolk County,” said Cynthia Lippe, Chair of the Committee for the Stony Brook house. “This has been a labor of love for many years – and we are near the finish line, just like in a race.”

Among the runners was Wendy Lau, of Northport, whose family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House while her son Tolby received treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

“Running eased the reality of my son’s AML diagnosis in April of 2014. It’s been exactly 10 years. He is well and experiencing the life of a healthy 13 year old,” said Wendy. “I run in celebration, in thanks, in remembrance and for joy.”

The new Ronald McDonald House at Stony Brook Children’s is set to break ground on April 30, 2024. This will be the first Ronald McDonald House located in Suffolk County, and only the second on Long Island. The other Ronald McDonald House is in New Hyde Park in Nassau County, located adjacent to Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro 

Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro (RMHC NYM) provides free lodging, meals, and emotional support to keep families seeking medical treatment for their sick children near the care they need and the families they love.

A rendering of the new Ronald McDonald House building to be constructed in Stony Brook.

Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro (RMHC NYM) announced on Feb. 1 that it will break ground for a new Ronald McDonald House in Suffolk County on April 17, having raised more than $23 million for the project.

“We are thrilled to have achieved this milestone as we push toward making the dream of a Ronald McDonald House a reality for Suffolk County families,” said Cynthia Lippe, who is heading the fundraising effort. “We thank those who have supported us and urge others to join us in this most noble of efforts.”

The new, three-story, 60,000 sq. ft. Ronald McDonald House will be located within walking distance to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and will be the only one in Suffolk County. It will join two family rooms located at Stony Brook, in the Children’s Hospital (opened in 2013) and the Hospital NICU (opened in 2022). The house will include 30 bedrooms that include ensuite bathrooms, a communal dining room, a movie theater and fitness room, administrative offices and a great room designed with children in mind.

“The Suffolk County Ronald McDonald House has been a vision of ours for many years and is needed to help so many families who travel from the farthest ends of Suffolk to find the medical care their children need,” said Matt Campo, CEO of RMHC NYM. “We’re thrilled to see the end in sight and get ready for construction next year.”

“The new Ronald McDonald House will provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment for families of children who are hospitalized at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” said Carol Gomes, chief executive officer of Stony Brook University Hospital. “We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro. The facility underscores Stony Brook Medicine’s commitment to offer exceptional care to meet the needs of our patients and their families.”

About Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro 

Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro (RMHC NYM) provides free lodging, meals, and emotional support to keep families seeking medical treatment for their sick children near the care they need and the families they love.

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Donald Harrington

Prepared by Katie Harrington

Don was born to Paul and Louise Harrington in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941. He was the oldest of four children including Larry, Mary-Louise and Tom. They moved to Tucson, Arizona, when Don was 7 years old. He died May 30 at 82.

He loved the desert and maintained a lifelong connection to Sabino Canyon in Arizona. Don was a yo-yo champion as a teenager and in his early 20s spent much of his time skydiving. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1962.

Don attended Marquette Medical School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He met his wife, Mary, during medical school. They moved to Minneapolis in 1967 for a radiology residency at the University of Minneapolis VA Health Care System Hospital. Their daughter, Anne, was born there in 1970.

The family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where Don had a faculty position performing interventionist procedures at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Their daughter, Katie, was born in 1973. In 1979, the family moved to Newton, Massachusetts, where Don became an associate professor and began a faculty position at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Don and Mary moved to Old Field in 1991. Don became the chairman of radiology as well as a professor at Stony Brook University Hospital. He worked as a science adviser for the National Institutes of Health and received a master’s degree in informatics from Columbia University.

Don was eager for travel and adventure. He and Mary lived in Manhattan as well as Long Island, enjoying friendship and culture. They traveled to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Patagonia and Alaska and continually returned to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

Don was diagnosed with multiple systems atrophy, a form of Parkinson’s. He was able to live at home as the disease progressed because of the exquisite care of Mary and his live-in aide, Stanley. 

Don was uniquely loving, tender and smart. With limited mobility, he was less physically able but no less powerful. He maintained a keen awareness of life until he died.

From left to right, physician assistants Michelle Rosa and Katherine Malloy, Dr. David Fiorella and Dr. Jason Mathew visit Joseph Annunziata in his hospital bed. Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

By Daniel Dunaief

Joseph “Bob” Annunziata, a resident of Kings Park, wants you not to be like him.

An army veteran, Annunziata urges residents and, in particular, other veterans, to pay attention to their medical needs and to take action when they find out they have a problem. 

A self-described “tough guy” who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Annunziata put off medical care for a partially blocked left carotid artery and it caused a medical crisis.

“My brother and sister vets, if you got a pain or the doctor tells you to do something, do it,” he said. “It almost cost me my life. I don’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

Joseph Annunziata at his 80th birthday party

Annunziata, 80, was driving to the supermarket on Veterans Day when his right hand became limp and he was slurring his speech. Knowing he was in trouble, he turned the car around and drove 10 minutes to the Northport VA Medical Center.

The doctors evaluated him and rushed him to Stony Brook University Hospital, which is well equipped to handle stroke-related emergencies and is the only hospital in the state named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care for eight years in a row. 

Several doctors evaluated Annunziata, including by Dr. David Fiorella, Director of the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular Center and Co-Director of the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular and Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Jason Mathew, stroke neurologist.

“We identified that there was a severe blockage in the left side of his brain,” said Dr. Mathew. “If blood flow is not returned to this area, the patient is at risk for a larger area of stroke.”

Indeed, a larger stroke could have caused right side paralysis and could have robbed Annunziata of his ability to speak or worse.

Performing emergency surgery could protect endangered brain cells, but also presented some risk. If not removed carefully and completely, the clot in the carotid artery could travel into the brain or the stroke could expand over time due to a lack of sufficient blood flow to the left side of the brain.

Time pressure

Stony Brook doctors discussed the particulars of the case together and explained the situation to Annunziata, who could understand what they were describing and respond despite symptoms that threatened to deteriorate.

The hospital, which does between 200 and 250 interventional stroke treatments per year and handles many more strokes than that annually, has a group of health care specialists who can provide accessible information to patients who are not experts in the field and who need to make an informed decision under time pressure.

Stony Brook has become adept at “conveying this complex information in a time-sensitive way,” Dr. Fiorella said. In those cases for which surgery is the best option, each minute that the doctors don’t open up a blood vessel reduces the benefits and increases the risk of longer-term damage.

Stony Brook sees about one to two of these kinds of cases per month. As a whole, the hospital, which is a large referral center, sees numerous complex and unusual cerebrovascular cases of all types, Dr. Fiorella said.

Annunziata and the doctors decided to have the emergency surgery.

Dr. Fiorella used a balloon guiding catheter, which is a long tube with a working inner lumen that has a soft balloon on the outside of it that is designed to temporarily block flow. He deploys these occlusion balloons in most all stroke cases. 

The particular way he used it in these complete carotid occlusions is unique. The balloon guiding catheter makes interventional stroke procedures more efficient, safer, and the outcomes better, according to data for thrombectomy, Dr. Fiorella said. 

The occlusion balloon enabled Dr. Fiorella to control blow flow the entire time, which makes the procedure safer. The surgery took under an hour and involved a small incision in Annunziata’s right wrist.

Joseph Annunziata with his girlfriend Rosemarie Madrose

After the surgery, Annunziata was able to speak to doctors and call Rosemarie Madrose, his girlfriend of five and a half years. “He came out talking,” said Madrose. “I could understand him. I was relieved.” Four days after the emergency operation, Annunziata, who also received post operative care from Dr. Yuehjien Gu, Neurocritical Care Unit Director, left the hospital and returned to his home, where he spent the next morning preparing a welcome meal of a scrambled egg and two slices of toast.

The doctors attribute Annunziata’s quick recovery to a host of factors. Getting himself to the hospital as soon as symptoms started saved precious minutes, Dr. Fiorella said, as “time is brain.” He also advised against driving for people having stroke-like symptoms, which can include slurred speech, numbness, weakening of the arm or leg and loss of vision in one eye.

Dr. Fiorella urged people to call for help or to get a ride in an ambulance. Stony Brook has two mobile stroke unit ambulances, which are equipped with technology to assess patients while en route, saving time and alerting doctors in the hospital to patients who might need immediate attention and intervention.

These mobile units, which are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., have helped reduce death and disability for stroke and have cut down the length of stays in the hospital.

People or family and friends who are observing someone who might be having a stroke can call 911 and indicate that the patient is having stroke-like symptoms. The emergency operator will alert the mobile stroke unit of a possible case if the unit is available and the patient is in range.

Helping a veteran

The doctors involved in Annunziata’s care were well aware of the fact that they were treating a veteran on Veterans Day.

“Oftentimes, we think about how we can give back more than just a thank you” to people like Annunziata, who “risked his life and helped his country the way he could,” said Dr. Mathew. “I’m helping him the way I can help.”

Dr. Fiorella added that he thought it was “wonderful” to “help someone who’s given so much to our country on Veterans Day.”

Army origin

Annunziata explained that he wound up in the Army through a circuitous route.  “We watched all the war movies” when he was young and wanted to join the Marines, he said.

When he went to enlist in 1962, he was told there was a two and a half year wait. He and his young friends got the same reception at the Air Force, Navy and the Army. As they were leaving the Army building on Whitehall Street, he and his friends ran into a sergeant with numerous medals on his uniform. The sergeant urged them to go back up the hallway and enter the first door on the right and indicate that they wanted to expedite the draft. About a week later, Annunziata was drafted and got a 15 cent token in the mail for a train trip to Wall Street.

After basic training at Fort Dix, he was stationed in Greenland, where Annunziata operated a radar at the top of a mountain for two years. He participated in drills in which he had to catch American planes flying overhead.

Fortunately, he said, even during the height of the Cold War and just months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Annunziata never spotted a Russian threat, even though the base was just 20 minutes from Russian air space.

Having gone through emergency surgery that likely saved his life, Annunziata urges residents to pay attention to any medical needs on their radar.

Dr. Fiorella was amazed at how quickly Annunziata expressed concern for his fellow veterans during his recovery.

“One of the first things he talked about was, ‘How can I use what happened to me to help other vets?’” Dr. Fiorella said.

Annunziata’s girlfriend Madrose, who is grateful that the procedure saved his life, said he “didn’t listen to me. He knew he had to do this. I kept saying, ‘When are you going to do it?’ He said, ‘I will, I will, I will.’ He learned the hard way.” She added that they both know he is “extremely lucky.”

From left, Mike Fallarino, Chairman of the Board, RMHC NY Metro; Margreet Cevasco, Cevasco Design, Designer of RMHC NY Metro Family Room; Carolyn Milana, MD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook Medicine; Dr. Hal Paz, Executive Vice President of Health Sciences, CEO of Stony Brook University Medicine; Carol A. Gomes, MS, FACHE, CPHQ, CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital; and Matt Campo, CEO, RMHC NY Metro cut the ribbon to officially open the new Family Room at the Stony Brook Hospital NICU. Photo from RMHC NY Metro

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) NY Metro officially opened its newest Family Room at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Stony Brook Hospital on Aug. 4. The space will serve as a respite area for parents and families caring for a newborn in the NICU receiving life-saving treatment. 

The new family room was designed and decorated mostly with donated goods and services and is equipped with a kitchen area, laundry facility and shower, all to keep families close to their ill children in the hospital. Coffee and snacks are also made available free of charge and local restaurants regularly donate warm meals to serve to families. 

“This has been a labor of love,” said Matt Campo, CEO of RMHC NY Metro. “We have partnered with Stony Brook over the last two years to see this come to fruition. Families have been stopping in, expressing their gratitude, and using the facilities that we built for them. It’s providing so much comfort and has given us a glimpse of what this room will mean to them.” 

The room is the second at Stony Brook Hospital. Ronald McDonald House opened a family room in the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital before the COVID pandemic. Both rooms are staffed entirely by volunteers from around Long Island. 

“Serving families is at the heart of what we do,” said Dr. Hal Paz, Executive Vice President of Health Sciences, CEO of Stony Brook University Medicine. “Having the opportunity to provide a quiet space for families is an essential part of providing quality care for all of our patients. Partnerships like these are fundamental to the care that our hospital system provides, allowing us to meet the needs of our patients and their families more fully.

More photos of the Ronald McDonald NICU Respite Lounge at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital can be found here

 

The second in a two-part series, this article highlights the strain COVID-19 has placed on a mental health care system that was already resource-constrained. Mental health care workers, from social workers to psychologists, psychiatrists and emergency medical teams, have responded to the increasing need for their services, cutting back on vacation times and dealing with patients who threaten violence against themselves and others. During the pandemic, health care workers who focused on the emotional well-being of patients also sought balance in their own lives. To borrow from the TV show “Law & Order,” these are their stories.

For some, running half marathons, spending time with family, meditating and communing with nature helps. For others, staying connected and reaching out to the kinds of services they themselves provide also offsets the growing strains in their work.

Health care workers have shouldered the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than two years, reaching out well beyond their job description to help patients amid a period of intense uncertainty that threatened their physical and emotional health.

The cost to health care workers, including those who work in behavioral or mental health, has been considerable, as time at the hospital and speaking with patients remotely cut into their personal lives and threatened their own sense of balance.

“It was very difficult to be a doctor through the storms of COVID,” said Dr. Stacy Eagle, director of Psychiatry at Port Jefferson-based St. Charles Hospital. Health care workers had to “deal with a lot of mental health issues” during the last few years.

Indeed, hospitals throughout the area offered varying levels of support while their staff were on-site, including meditation rooms and aroma therapy. They also suggested personal health checks and provided on-call services for employees who might be struggling amid concerns about their health and the well-being of family members and their patients.

While the general public has tried to push COVID into the back of their minds, attending sporting events and movies, going to restaurants and returning to patterns and activities that are reminiscent of life in 2019, health care workers have increasingly needed mental health support.

Employee Assistance

Over the last several months, Stony Brook University, which has an Employee Assistance Program, has seen a rise in the number of staff reaching out for help.

During the pandemic, Stony Brook launched an employee helpline for those who need mental health support, including psychotherapy and/or medication management. Compared to last year, Stony Brook is seeing a two-folded increase, or triple, the number of employees reaching out for services, according to Dr. Adam Gonzalez, director of Behavioral Health and associate professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health at Stony University Renaissance School of Medicine.

“There are high concerns about employee burnout, resignations and departures from health care,” Gonzalez wrote in an email. “Most concerning is the risk for suicide — the ultimate consequence of burnout.”

Stony Brook has an employee support team that implements wellness initiatives, including daily mindfulness meditation sessions, yoga and stretching, and confidential one-on-one support by a faculty and staff care team and employee assistance program.

Dr. Poonamdeep Gill, director of the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Stony Brook Hospital, said the mental health team is “seeing more patients who are sicker from a mental health standpoint. People are really struggling. It does take a toll on you.”

Gill said Stony Brook is proactive with staff, making sure they can access services. The university also encourages staff to check in with their leadership team if they are feeling burned out or struggling.

Dr. Michel Khlat, director of St. Catherine of Siena in Smithtown, said he has seen some of the same health care fatigue that has beset hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the country.

“Staff members have gotten overwhelmed with the volumes,” Khlat said. “Some are altering their occupations to see more outpatients. Some are reverting to part-time and per diem work.” He has had a few friends in Florida who are seeing the same phenomenon, with health care workers quitting or cutting back on hospital time and going into private practices.

Bounce forward

The Northwell Health System has been working on the support of all health care workers, including in mental health, said Dr. Vera Feuer, associate vice president in School Mental Health. Northwell has adopted a stress first aid response, peer support, and a resilience model to recover from stress and trauma.

The military developed stress first aid to deal with situations like the pandemic, in which there is ongoing stress with an uncertain ending. That, Feuer said, differs from a single event, like 9/11, where something traumatic occurs and survivors build back from it.

The pandemic has involved over two years of continuous stress and this feeling of uncertainty, she added.

Stress first aid teaches people to support each other in resilience and to “bounce forward,” Feuer said. “It is difficult to maintain in a busy, stressful environment.”

Finding balance

Doctors suggested they engaged in a wide range of activities to help with their own mental health.

A believer in the value of nutraceuticals and supplements, Dr. Jeffrey Wheeler, the director of the Emergency Room at St. Charles Hospital said he also works on focused breathing.

Eagle, his colleague at St. Charles, urges people to pursue some of their hobbies, such as reading or painting. She also recommends staying off of or limiting social media, particularly for younger children who might find the information and the reaction to postings unnerving.

Stony Brook’s Gill believes in physical activity and exercise. She ran a half marathon a few weeks ago on Long Island.

“I make sure I stay active,” she said. “We need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of other people.”

Stony Brook’s Gonzalez stays closely connected to family, friends and work colleagues.

“I also try to stay active and explore nature,” Gonzalez said. “I regularly practice mindfulness [which is] tuning into the present moment in a nonjudgmental way.”

Gonzalez enjoys a good TV show or movie to disconnect and unwind as well.

Northwell’s Feuer said she’s worked harder than she ever had, but, at the same time, she feels fulfilled by the hope and meaning in her work.

For Feuer, the silver lining is the attention to mental health, which “we know has been a problem for a long time. I’m hoping the right resources and interventions” will help those who need it.

To read the first of this two-part series, “Mental health strain for Long Islanders,” visit tbrnewsmedia.com.

Director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Stony Brook Heart Institute Dr. Eric Rashba is holding the new Watchman FLX device, which provides protection from strokes for people with atrial fibrillation. Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

The butterflies that color backyards are welcome companions for spring and summer. The ones that flutter towards the upper part of people’s chests can be discomforting and disconcerting.

In an effort to spread the word about the most common form of heart arrhythmia amid American Heart Month, the Stony Brook Heart Institute recently held a public discussion of Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib.

Caused by a host of factors, including diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, and advanced age, among others, A-fib can increase the risk of significant long-term health problems, including strokes.

In atrial fibrillation, the heart struggles with mechanical squeezing in the top chamber, or the atrium. Blood doesn’t leave the top part of the heart completely and it can pool and cause clots that break off and cause strokes.

Dr. Eric Rashba, who led the call and is the director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Stony Brook Heart Institute, said in an interview that A-fib is becoming increasingly prevalent.

A-fib “continues to go up rapidly as the population ages,” Rashba said. It occurs in about 10% of the population over 65. “As the population ages, we’ll see more of it.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 12.1 million people in the United States will have A-fib over the next decade.

As with many health-related issues, doctors advised residents to try to catch any signs of A-fib early, which improves the likely success of remedies like drugs and surgery.

“We prefer to intervene as early as possible in the course of A-fib,” Dr. Ibraham Almasry, cardiac electrophysiologist at the Stony Brook Heart Institute, said during a call with three other doctors. “The triggers tend to be more discreet and localized and we can target them more effectively.”

Different patients have different levels of awareness of A-fib as it’s occurring.

“Every single patient is different,” said Dr. Roger Ran, cardiac electrophysiologist at the Stony Brook Heart Institute. Some people feel an extra beat and could be “incredibly symptomatic,” while others have fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and dizziness.

Still other patients “don’t know they are in it and could be in A-fib all the time.”

Doctors on the call described several monitoring options to test for A-fib.

Dr. Abhijeet Singh, who is also a cardiac electrophysiologist at the Stony Brook Heart Institute, described how the technology to evaluate arrhythmias has improved over the last 20 years.

“People used to wear big devices around their necks,” Singh said on the call, which included about 150 people. “Now, the technology has advanced” and patients can wear comfortable patches for up to 14 days, which record every single heartbeat and allow people to signal when they have symptoms.

Patients can also use an extended holter monitor, which allows doctors to track their heartbeat for up to 30 days, while some patients receive implantable recorders, which doctors insert under the skin during a five-minute procedure. The battery life for those is 4.5 years.

Additionally, some phones have apps that record heartbeats that patients can send by email, Singh said. “We have come a long way in a few years.”

Dr. Roger Fan, a cardiac electrophysiologist at the Stony Brook Heart Institute, added that all these technologies mean that “we are virtually guaranteed to get to the bottom” of any symptoms.

Drugs vs. surgery

Doctors offer patients with confirmed cases of A-fib two primary treatment options: drugs or surgery.

The surgical procedure is called an ablation and involves entering the body through veins in the groin and freezing or burning small areas that are interfering with the heart’s normal rhythm. The procedure breaks up the electrical signals in irregular heartbeats.

Performed under general anesthetic, the procedure generally takes two to three hours. Patients can return home the same day as the operation, Rashba said.

As with any surgery, an ablation has some risks, such as stroke or heart attack, which Rashba said are “very rare” and occur in fewer than one percent of the cases. Additionally, patients may have groin complications, although that, too, has declined as doctors have used ultrasound to visualize the blood vessels.

In extremely rare occasions, some patients also have damage to the esophagus behind the heart, said Rashba, who is also a professor of medicine.

For patients experiencing symptoms like A-fib, doctors recommended a trip to the emergency room, at least the first time.

“If it’s not going away, one, you can reassure yourself, two, you can get treatment, and three, you can get a diagnosis quickly,” said Almasry.

The Stony Brook doctors said choosing the best treatment option depends on the patient.

“Everybody has different manifestations of their A-fib,” said Fan.

Among other questions, doctors consider how dangerous the A-fib is for the patients, how severe the symptoms are, and how much they affect the quality of life.

Doctors urged residents to make the kind of healthy lifestyle choices that keep other systems functioning effectively. Almasry cited a direct correlation between obesity and A-fib.

Reducing body weight by 10%, while keeping the weight off, can reduce the likelihood of A-fib recurrence, he said.

Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

To kick off National Nurses week, Stony Brook University Hospital rolled out the red carpet for its nursing staff, cheering them on as they made their way into work.

On Thursday, May 6, the 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. shifts were welcomed into the hospital with a red carpet and balloons to thank them for their efforts — especially throughout the last year. 

Since the early 90s, May 6 through May 12 (ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday), nurses across the country have been thanked for the work they do.

Photo from Stony Brook Medicine

But 2020 showed a new appreciation for nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. SBUH decided last summer to put out the red carpet, as nurses ventured into work during the height of the coronavirus crisis. 

And for the second year in a row, more than 3,400 RNs, LPNs, nursing assistants, nursing station clerks and more were thanked as they readied a 12-hour shift like a celebrity.

Carolyn Santora, chief nursing officer & chief of regulatory affairs, said the red carpet was just one way of saying thanks. 

“Our nurses are stars, and they’re wonderful,” she said. “We wanted to show our appreciation.”

Santora said that throughout the whole week, nurses and nursing staff were recognized for their hard work. One day they were delivered ice cream, another they were given awards. 

“The staff, I can’t say they’re not weary and tired — it’s been a long, long year — but they’ve been incredible,” she said. “They come to work dedicated every single day, take care of our community and support each other in the process.”

Santora said the staff were appreciative of the hospital’s efforts. 

“The importance of this is understanding and recognizing them for their skills, for their dedication, for their talents and for their heart,” Santora said. “Taking care of all of these patients every single day, it’s just remarkable what they do.”

Stony Brook University Hospital

By Carol Gomes

SBU Hospital CEO Carol Gomes. Photo from SBU Hospital

If you were in need of an elective surgery or procedure before COVID-19 and have been delaying it, I want to reassure you that Stony Brook University Hospital is fully operational. 

We have everything in place to ensure that safe and effective care is provided to every one of our patients to meet their healthcare needs — whether it’s for a simple outpatient procedure or a more complex inpatient surgery. We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines and universal precautions to provide the safest environment possible. 

You can also rest assured that the enhanced safety measures to protect our patients and hospital staff to prevent coronavirus spread also remain in place. Some of these safeguards include testing all patients prior to surgery, having patients self-isolate prior to surgery, and requiring all staff and patients to wear masks and be screened for symptoms. 

We also require all hospital personnel to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). And of course, we have hand sanitizer stations located throughout our facilities, and patients in the hospital who test positive for COVID are separated in a designated area to minimize risk from other patients.

At Stony Brook University Hospital, we perform, on average, 100 to 120 surgeries daily. This includes a diverse area of specialization, including general surgery, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, surgical oncology, cardiac surgery, trauma, kidney transplants, urological procedures, gynecologic surgery and several other specialties. 

From the time you schedule your surgery, to pre-op, and every phase through post-op and beyond, our goal is to ensure your safety every step of the way, while our surgical specialists and their teams provide the quality care you need to restore your health.

Carol A. Gomes, MS, FACHE, CPHQ is the Chief Executive Officer at Stony Brook University Hospital.

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File photo

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.