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Top New York City Neurosurgeons bring vast experience to NYU Lutheran

Two of the highest-qualified neurosurgeons in New York City are now part of NYU Lutheran Medical Center, a member of NYU Langone Health System and its central hub in Brooklyn, and add decades of experience to one of the region's most talented neurosurgery teams. Erich Anderer, MD, and David Gordon, MD, bring to NYU Lutheran a combined 30 years of experience in neurosurgical care. Dr. Anderer assumed the role of chief of neurosurgery at NYU Lutheran on June 1, and Dr. Gordon joined as a senior member of the neurosurgery team at the hospital's main campus in Sunset Park. Together, they will add their talents to the neurosurgery services available to patients, including: • Comprehensive door-todischarge care

• Treatment of the most serious, complex neurosurgical conditions, including brain tumors, aneurysms and spinal conditions

• Referrals services to on-site or off-site rehabilitation care

• A 24/7 team of specialists available for treatment of a variety of neurological conditions

• A continuum of care that follows up with every patient to ensure they are getting the best possible treatment after surgery and discharge from the medical center

“The appointments of Doctors Anderer and Gordon to our medical staff underscore NYU Lutheran's commitment to further enhance accessibility to high-quality medical care at our hospital,” said Bret Rudy, MD, chief medical officer at NYU Lutheran. “They will help in continuing to raise our neurosurgical capabilities. We are delighted to welcome them to our already robust stable of high-quality, highly skilled surgical practitioners.” Decades of experience add to NYU Lutheran Specialties Dr. Anderer has been a clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan since July 2010. He also has been serving simultaneously as an attending

physician in the division of neurological surgery and the department of orthopedic surgery at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, most recently as its director of neurotrauma. An undergraduate alumnus of Columbia University, Dr. Anderer earned his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency in neurosurgery at NYU Langone. Prior to joining NYU Lutheran, Dr. Gordon served as the director of vascular neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center, where he was on the surgical staff for 11 years. He was appointed assistant professor of neurological surgery and radiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine during his tenure at Montefiore. Dr. Gordon earned his undergraduate degree in neural science from Brown University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Gordon received subspecialty fellowship training in skull base surgery at St. Luke'sRoosevelt Hospital Center and endovascular neurosurgery and neurocritical care at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. Both board-certified doctors have distinguished themselves with extensive research in the field of neurosurgery, and have made numerous presentations at hospitals on the results of this investiga-

tive work, including talks on best practices related to neurosurgical trauma patients and traumatic spinal cord injury. Together, they have published findings in more than 35 peer-reviewed journals and publications.

“We are extremely confident that the appointments of Drs. Anderer and Gordon will not only give the people of Brooklyn access to the highest quality of neurosurgical care, but also strengthen continuity and collaboration between NYU

Lutheran and the team at NYU Langone," says John G. Golfinos, MD, chair of NYU Langone's Department of Neurosurgery. "Having them on the staff at NYU Lutheran will bring enormous benefit to those who turn to them for help.”

Southside Hospital achieves Epilepsy Center Accreditation

Southside Hospital recently received accreditation from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a Level 3 Epilepsy Center. This designation shows that Southside Hospital provides top-notch medical evaluation and treatment of people with complex epilepsy. Level 3 NAEC centers are known for their interdisciplinary care of patients with complex epilepsies from diagnosis through treatment. The NAEC recommends that patients who have seizures that have not been totally controlled by a neurologist within a year should be referred to a Level 3 or Level 4 epilepsy center for care.

Southside’s NAEC accreditation is for 2016 and 2017. This is a renewal of Southside’s previous epilepsy center accreditation. “To achieve this designation renewal takes a lot of dedication and hard work,” said Bhupinder Anand, MD, director of Southside’s epilepsy program. “I appreciate our staff and the hospital’s employees’ hard work to help us get this accreditation and provide the best care possible to our patients.” For more information about Southside’s epilepsy center, call 631-9683000.

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For millions of children in North America, the return to school also means a return to organized competitive sports.

Whether they are playing football, soccer, volleyball, cheerleading or even practicing for sports in other seasons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) continues to stress the importance of concussion awareness and prevention as school age children head back to their respective fields of play. It is important that children, parents, coaches and administrators all take the proper precautions and are aware of the potentially devastating effects that head and spinal cord injuries can have when participating in these sports. That’s why the AANS continues to remind all those involved in youth sports to “make concussion awareness a part of your playbook this August, which is Neurosurgery Outreach Month.

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Huntington Hospital celebrates 100th Anniversary with painting unveiling, artifacts Huntington Hospital marked its 100th anniversary in the beginning of May and celebrated with the unveiling of a painting of the original hospital building and artifacts from the hospital’s history. Long Island artist Jo-Ann Corretti’s painting was unveiled in front of hospital and Northwell Health staff as well as Huntington community members. They were also treated to viewing the obstetrical equipment of Dr. Sam Teich, a physician who was on staff at Huntington Hospital for more than 50 years and a founding member of the medical staff, and many photos from throughout the hospital’s history. William Frazier, chairman of the board at Huntington Hospital, and Gerard Brogan, Jr., MD, Huntington Hospital executive director, reflected on the hospital’s history and its impact on the community.


Huntington Hospital is in the midst of constructing a new emergency department, set to open in January, which will double the size of the current ED. While doing construction on this facility, a time capsule from the 1960s was discovered. Some of the contents of the time capsule were on display for the hospital’s centennial anniversary. “Donor Cornelia Prime and the other hospital founders sought to provide Huntington with the finest healthcare of its time; that very spirit is what guides us today,” Dr. Brogan said. “It’s a privilege to lead this hospital at this momentous time and we look forward to continuing to provide outstanding, nationally recognized care to our community.” For more information about Huntington Hospital, call 631-3512000.

Patient success celebrated at St. Catherine of Siena’s Hyperbaric Center one year anniversary

“I was patient number 1 here at St. Catherine’s center, and after 54 dives, I am now walking on the leg that every other physician said I would have to have amputated,” said former patient Peter C. Pessoni. The term “dive” in relation to hyperbaric medicine is relative to the actual treatment process. “A patient’s entire body goes inside a special, pressurized chamber,” said Medical Director of St. Catherine’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Alexander Melman, MD, FACS, FAPWCA. “There, they are under increased atmospheric pressure and breathe 100% oxygen—this encourages new cells and blood vessels to form and enhances the body’s ability to fight infection.” This treatment process proved most successful for Mr. Pessoni. “When I met with Dr. Melman, he informed me that they are doing wonderful things with prosthesis, but I am not letting you lose your leg—I am thankful to the amazing staff at St. Catherine of Siena,” said Mr. Pessoni. The engineer is now back at work, healthily walking with both legs. Medical Director of St. Catherine’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Mitchell

Kohan, DMP, FACFAS, FAPWCA, welcomed former patients, physicians, clinicians, support staff and administrators at the one year anniversary celebration, held on Monday, June 13, 2016. “Patients have been successfully completing our program where evidence-based medicine is helping to heal patients quickly,” said Dr. Kohan. “This anniversary is the first of many anniversaries to come.” Approximately five million Americans suffer from chronic open sores that can be seriously infected, gangrenous, and may require surgical procedures. This is often due to limited blood flow, which can slow the body’s natural healing process. St. Catherine of Siena’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing offers a comprehensive approach for patients with chronic wound issues. The facility offers services for the treatment of chronic, non-healing and/ or poorly healing wounds. These services are delivered by physicians and staff specializing in wound care and hyperbaric medicine. For more information about St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, visit


Photo (L-R): Medical Directors of St. Catherine’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Alexander Melman, MD, FACS, FAPWCA and Mitchell Kohan, DMP, FACFAS, FAPWCA, with former patient Peter C. Pessoni.

Montefiore and Burke to establish Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Hospital Newspaper - NY Jul/Aug 2016

In an ongoing commitment to delivering quality, compassionate care to those experiencing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, Montefiore, which combines the expertise and best-in-class practices of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain (CAB) and Burke Rehabilitation's Memory Evaluation and Treatment Services (METS), has been designated as the exclusive Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease serving the seven county region of the Hudson Valley. The 5-year, $2.1M grant from the New York State Department of Health will create a new clinical partnership between CAB and METS that will expand cognitive screening, diagnosis and care planning efforts. It will also provide training of primary care providers throughout the region who can help screen for and diagnose cognitive impairment and make referrals to specialists and community-based organizations that support those impacted by Alzheimer’s. Additionally, the availability of clinical trials will increase for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and telephone and video consultation will be provided to area healthcare providers. The Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease (CEAD) will capitalize on the research and the training capabilities of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, of which Montefiore is the University Hospital for, as well as an expanding network of hospitals and physician groups in the Hudson Valley. Launched in June 2014, Montefiore Einstein’s Center for the Aging Brain provides evaluation and treatment for illnesses and quality-of-life issues associated with aging. The Center serves both older individuals and people who fall outside the traditional "geriatric" category, with assessment for cognition, gait and function, psychological state, complex disease management, end-oflife issues and long-term care planning. It also provides comprehensive resources to help support caregivers. According to Jessica Zwerling, M.D., M.S., director, Memory Disorders Center, associate director, Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain, assistant professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Program Director, UCNS Geriatric Neurology Fellowship, “The Center for Alzheimer’s Excellence will allow us to further break down the walls between our outpatient practice and community-based organizations.” Dr. Zwerling, who serves as a program director for the newly awarded Center of Excellence, said, “it will continue focus on the caregiver-patient relationship while providing additional means for a seamless process. We are looking forward to expanding our comprehensive services in the Hudson Valley region." Joe Verghese, M.B.B.S., director, Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain, chief, Integrated Divisions of Cognitive & Motor Aging (Neurology) and Geriatrics (Medicine) at

Montefiore and Einstein and professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and of Medicine at Einstein, will serve as advisor to the Center of Excellence. Opened in 1979, Burke’s Memory Evaluation and Treatment Services (METS) program provides comprehensive outpatient assessment and treatment of memory disorders. While some types of problems with memory are “normal” as one grows older, others are the first signs of disease, such as dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. An evaluation, which can be done through the METS program, is necessary whenever memory problems interfere with relationships, work, finances, and other routine activities of daily living.


Memory may be improved in some cases or the progression of memory loss slowed with early treatment of disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Co-director of the planned Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease, Barry D. Jordan, M.D., who is assistant medical director and director of the METS program at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital believes, “The new grant will allow Burke to continue its longstanding commitment to providing services to patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We will be working collaboratively with Montefiore to build upon the solid foundation both organizations have established in this area over the years.” For more information please visit and


Jul/Aug 2016

Hospital Newspaper - NY

Nurse’s Viewpoint By Alison Lazzaro, RN


nursteinfo for stude s and nts Hospital Newspaper Correspondent

Lyme Disease: Stay Safe this Summer

Summer is officially in full swing! We can take a break from shoveling snow and puffy winter coats and go hiking and camping outdoors with friends and family! But, before walking your dog through the beautiful wooded areas, it is important to know the facts about Lyme Disease to decrease your risk! Symptoms to Look For Lyme Disease is spread through the infected bite of a blacklegged tick who is carrying the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Early symptoms usually include flu-like symptoms of fever, headache, tiredness, and generalized malaise. The tell-tale sign of Lyme Disease is a skin rash called “erythema migrans,” which an look like a bulls-eye. This rash is not necessarily where the tick bite occurred. If Lyme Disease goes untreated, the infection can be devastating- spreading to the joints, heart and nervous system. Transmission According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the deer tick Ixodes scapularis spreads the bacteria to humans in our northeastern area. Ticks generally need to be attached for 36-48 hours to transmit the disease. Although tick bites can occur anywhere, ticks love dark, warm areas of the body like the groin and armpits. Ticks cannot fly, but can be travel from a pet who brushes up against you. Lyme disease is not spread through blood transfusions, touching or kissing. People most at risk are people who spend time outdoors in heavily woody, grassy areas. Protect Yourself The highest prevalence of Lyme Disease occurs from May to early August- so staying away from overgrown grass or trail edges is important. Utilizing insect repellent with 20% DEET on clothes can help decrease your chances of being bit. Light colored clothes help to spot ticks more easily. Be sure to check your body for ticks after being outdoors in the yard. If you do see a tick, use tweezers to firmly grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, and then clean the skin with antiseptic. Since ticks can stay on your clothes, be sure to shower and wash and dry clothes at a high temperature within 2 hours of coming inside. Tricky Diagnosis Lyme disease may be hard to recognize- early tests may turn up negative and others have false-positive results. The rash erythema migrans usually appears within 3 to 15 days after an infected tick bite, but not everyone with Lyme Disease will have a rash. There is a 2 step blood test process for diagnosis to measure the body's antibodies to Lyme disease bacteria. The enzyme immunoassay (EIA) takes place first, and is then confirmed with a Western blot test. Treatment Treatment includes a 14-21 day course of antibiotics, which are more effective when the disease is recognized early. There are no current vaccines available for Lyme disease, so prevention is key!

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Winthrop CyberKnife : Raising the Standard of Cancer Care

When the diagnosis is cancer, patients not only want the best options for care, they want the expertise of a team of skilled clinicians to provide it to them. Patients will find that combination at Winthrop-University Hospital. In the area of cancer care, Winthrop has established itself as a worldclass leader in a range of treatment options, including CyberKnife® radiosurgery. In fact, Winthrop physicians have treated more than 4,000 patients with CyberKnife radiosurgery since acquiring the technology at its Mineola facility in 2005. CyberKnife technology utilizes highly targeted radiation beams rather than actual surgery to treat both benign and malignant tumors. At maximum, CyberKnife is a five-day treatment that requires no incisions and is performed on an outpatient basis. Each day, treatments of 30-45 minutes are delivered, and patients are allowed to return to their normal activities afterward. While there is no recovery time for CyberKnife patients, the real advantage is CyberKnife’s accuracy. “With the CyberKnife, we are able to give 10–15 percent more radiation to the tumor,” said Jonathan Haas, MD, Chief of Radiation Oncology at Winthrop. “The CyberKnife’s sub-millimeter accuracy makes it a better radiation treatment compared to other delivery mechanisms; its quicker treatment time is a bonus.” As a pioneer in the use of CyberKnife technology, with physicians from all over the world traveling to Winthrop to receive education and training on it, Winthrop expanded its innovative treatment programs from Long Island to New York City with the opening of the NYCyberKnife Center in 2014. The momentous step has helped provide access to breakthrough radiation technologies for patients throughout the tri-state area and beyond. “To-date, we have treated over 250 patients at the Manhattan facility with CyberKnife, and overall Winthrop is the most experienced CyberKnife center in the country,” said Dr. Haas.

(L.-R.) Matthew Witten, PhD, DABR, Director of CyberKnife Radiosurgery and Chief Physicist in the Division of Radiation Oncology at Winthrop; Jonathan Haas, MD, Chief of Radiation Oncology at Winthrop; and Seth Blacksburg, MD, MBA, Associate Director of Radiation Oncology and Medical Director of NYCyberKnife.

photos provided

The Winthrop NYCyberKnife Center is equipped with the leading-edge CyberKnife M6 Series.

The Winthrop NYCyberKnife Center is equipped with the leading-edge Accuray CyberKnife M6 Series that enables clinicians to provide conventional stereotactic radiation therapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy. “The technology has grown by leaps and bounds, and one of the advantages of the Manhattan office is the CyberKnife M6 has a second attachment,” said Dr. Haas. “The first attachment performs standard CyberKnife radiosurgery. The second attachment is a multi-leaf collimator (MLC) that enables the CyberKnife to treat additional cases that otherwise would require a standard linear accelerator. This allows us to treat the majority of tumors seen in our practice on the CyberKnife.” Designed to improve the accuracy of radiation oncology treatments, the CyberKnife M6 Series provides unparalleled capabilities for treating cancers that respond well to radiation therapies. While the machine can treat tumors anywhere in the body, its ability to provide targeted stereotactic body radiation is its distinguishing feature. The M6 combines highly conformable beam shaping with real-time image guidance to lock on to a tumor and deliver highly fractionated radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy, killing tumor cells and sparing normal tissue. In addition to being effective in the treatment of prostate cancer, CyberKnife is being used effectively for the treatment of a host of other conditions. “The indications are growing,” said Dr. Haas. “Breast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women annually. If we can take the model for treating prostate cancer with CyberKnife, apply it to breast cancer treatment, and reduce radiation from six weeks of treatments to five days, that’s a major benefit to those patients.” Expanding its services to Manhattan opened the Winthrop NYCyberKnife Center’s team to working with other physicians in the region who may have patients who can benefit from the capabilities of CyberKnife radiosurgery.

“We treat a wide variety of sites such as prostate, lung, breast, liver, brain, spine, and soft tissue masses, as well as functional conditions like trigeminal neuralgia, and we can evaluate all patients to determine if treatment is appropriate,” added Matthew Witten, PhD, DABR, Director of CyberKnife Radiosurgery and Chief Physicist in the Division of Radiation Oncology at Winthrop. “Our expertise extends to all cancer types,” echoed Seth Blacksburg, MD, MBA, Associate Director of Radiation Oncology and Medical Director of NYCyberKnife. “We have treated patients successfully for prostate cancer, breast cancer, benign and malignant tumors of the brain and spine, hepatic malignancies, and other soft tissue tumors. For every treatment we perform, we always work collaboratively with the other members of the patient’s medical team, including their urologists, medical oncologists or surgical team.” “We have been performing CyberKnife radiation therapies for prostate and other cancers at WinthropUniversity Hospital since 2005,” said Dr. Haas. “The Winthrop NYCyberKnife Center in Manhattan serves a broader geographic area so cancer patients from the tri-state area and beyond have easier access to advanced technology that improves outcomes.” Dr. Haas says that, although the technology itself is a boon, the hands that wield it are more significant. Two different radiation oncologists using CyberKnife technology may yield two different outcomes, so it is essential to select the most skilled provider. “Having personally treated thousands of patients and having taught physicians from all around the world, I’m so comfortable with this technology on every level that I think it’s in the patient’s best interest to consider this modality,” said Dr. Haas. “Don’t just go for the technology, go also for the team implementing the technology.” For more information about CyberKnife at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit

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Feinstein Institute Spin-off TheraSource receives $3 Million NIH grant to develop a Mitigator for Nuclear Disasters

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and TheraSource LLC, a Long Island-based biotech company, announced today that TheraSource has received a $3 million three-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will support the development of human ghrelin as an innovative treatment to alleviate health damage caused by unintentional radiation exposure. The worldwide progressive increase in the use of nuclear power has increased the risk of radiation exposure to civilian populations after natural and technical accidents, as evidenced by exposures in Chernobyl, Ukraine and Fukushima, Japan. Furthermore, international terrorism and geopolitical instability pose a growing threat of radiation exposure through radioactive devices and nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, no treatment has been approved to counter the often fatal gastrointestinal disease caused by higher doses of radiation. Thus, there is an urgent, unmet medical need for an effective therapy to treat victims of severe acute radiation injury.

Ping Wang, MD, founder of TheraSource and Chief of Scientific Officer (CSO) of the Feinstein Institute, discovered that administration of human ghrelin, a 28-amino acid peptide hormone, significantly increased the survival rate and reduced the weight loss of animal models exposed to irradiation. Human ghrelin is mainly produced by cells in the stomach and has been found to control a number of physiological activities, from food intake and energy metabolism to gut-integrity and cell death. “One of our missions at the Feinstein Institute is to transition our lab discoveries onto the path of commercialization,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute. “TheraSource is an example of how we have successfully done this.” Weng-Lang Yang, PhD, CSO of TheraSource and principal investigator of the study, will work to determine the dose modification factor of human ghrelin for evaluating its efficacy in treating acute radiation syndrome. He and his team will also examine human ghrelin’s effect on attenuating damage to the bone marrow and to the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Yang’s team consulted with Stony Brook University in the devel-

opment of business and technology strategy for TheraSource and will collaborate with University of Maryland to conduct some studies under the SBIR grant. “The Phase II award for TheraSource is a significant landmark for the company and an important milestone for the region” said Diane Fabel of the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, an

Empire State Development Division of Science Technology & Innovation Designated Center for Advanced Technology. “The Center for Biotechnology is proud to have played an integral role in the helping the company advance their business and technology strategy.” “Human ghrelin has been investigated in clinical trials of other indications. With our new findings, we will

soon be able to file an Investigational New Drug application to US Food and Drug Administration,” said Dr. Wang. “TheraSource has received investments to fund its various projects and is seeking strategic partnerships towards the goal of clinical development and commercialization.” For more information, please visit and

Bassett resident Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, recipient of 2016 AASLD Emerging Liver Scholar Award

Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, is pictured with a poster that exhibits research on NAFLD.


Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, internal medicine resident completing his first year at Bassett Medical Center, has been selected as a recipient of the fifth annual Emerging Liver Scholar (ELS) Resident Travel Awards by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). As part of a highly accomplished group of residents from internal medicine, surgery, pediatric, and pathology programs across the United States, Wijarnpreecha will attend The Liver Meeting 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts, alongside AASLD leadership, faculty mentors, former and current ELS recipients. Scholars will attend workshops on career development, clinical research and transplant surgery. “I have been interested in liver disease since I was a medical student,” explains Wijarnpreecha. “During that time, I studied patients in Thailand who had been diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. I am inspired to continue investigative work on this subject.”

During his residency at Bassett, Wijarnpreecha conducted research with several colleagues and mentor Kiran R. Nakkala, MD, MPH, on the connection between sugar-sweetened soda consumption and NAFLD, as well as sleep deprivation and its relationship to NAFLD. Both studies revealed statistically significant evidence of a heightened risk for NAFLD. Wijarnpreecha’s research articles were published in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, respectively. “I truly believe that these findings may impact clinical management and primary prevention of NAFLD in the future,” he says. “I am very grateful for this recognition and humbled by it. I have enjoyed my time at Bassett.” Created in 2010, the AASLD Emerging Liver Scholars Resident Program promotes the study of hepatology among residents who have the potential for a career in academic medicine and who haven’t yet determined their long-term career goals. This program is targeted toward medical, surgical, and pediatric residents and their mentors to attend The Liver Meeting each year and participate in other AASLD activities throughout their training.

education & careers Hospital Newspaper - NY Jul/Aug 2016


MaryJane Finnegan, MSN, RN, appointed St. Catherine of Siena Chief Nursing Officer MaryJane Finnegan, MSN, RN, of Ronkonkoma, has been appointed Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. Ms. Finnegan has been a dedicated staff member at the medical center for more than 28 years.

Ms. Finnegan has distinguished herself in the Acting CNO position with the management of the Nursing Department, with an emphasis on patient safety and clinical outcomes. Executive Vice President and CAO Paul J. Rowland

Throughout her long career, Ms. Finnegan has maintained several responsibilities, especially serving as leadership for both the Psychiatric and Emergency Departments. Since December of 2015, Ms. Finnegan has been fulfilling the role of Acting CNO, and prior to that position, she was the Assistant Vice President of Nursing Administration. As Co-Committee Chair of St. Catherine’s Clinical Ladder Program, Ms. Finnegan inspires and cultivates a culture of nursing excellence in the provision of direct patient care across the continuum. The Clinical Ladder Program facilitates progression in the career of nursing and defines the levels of clinical, professional nursing practice.


To progress “up the clinical ladder”, the individual nurse must demonstrate skills, competency, clinical excellence, educational attainment and professional expertise. “Ms. Finnegan has distinguished herself in the Acting CNO position with the management of the Nursing

Department, with an emphasis on patient safety and clinical outcomes,” said Executive Vice President and CAO Paul J. Rowland. “She has been integral to our recent successful Joint Commission Survey, working with physician leadership throughout the organization and leading our labor management negotiations.” When Ms. Finnegan is not walking the halls of St. Catherine of Siena, ensuring patient safety is achieved, you can be sure to find her facilitating a Healthy Sundays event at local parishes including St. Hughes of Lincoln of Huntington Station, St. Francis de Sales of Patchogue, St. John’s Evangelist of Center Moriches, or wherever she is needed. The Healthy Sundays

Program provides preventive health screenings and education to members of medically underserved communities on Long Island. Ms. Finnegan actively participates in St. Catherine’s Community Outreach Program providing free screenings and health information to the surrounding communities. She is a mission-driven worker, dedicated to health care and helping others. “The essence of nursing is the relationship developed at the bedside with direct care from the nurse to the patient—which is why nursing is the most trustworthy profession—the most noble profession,” said Ms. Finnegan. For more information about St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, visit


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Jul/Aug 2016

Hospital Newspaper - NY

Long Island Nurses recognized for Excellence

Nurse leaders from Long Island’s hospitals and nursing education programs gathered Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at the Woodbury Country Club to bestow recognition upon their nurse peers at the Nurse of Excellence Award Ceremony hosted by the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC). One nurse from each of the Hospital Council’s member hospitals was nominated for this award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and clinical practice. Deans of area nursing schools also submitted nominations recognizing nursing excellence in education and clinical practice. Garden City resident Eileen Dwyer, BSN, RN, OCN, infusion unit nurse manager at St. Francis Hospital, Cancer Institute rose above a field of 26 nominees. Those nominees were selected from a field of about 500 nurses at hospitals and teaching institutions from across Long Island. Dwyer challenges herself and her staff, “to put their heart into cancer care every day.” With more than 30 years’ experience as an oncology nurse, Dwyer said she realized early on in her career that this patient population needed and deserved highly-skilled nursing care. To assure this level of care, the unit achieved 100 percent oncology nursing certification due to Dwyer’s leadership and guidance.

St. Francis Hospital Nurse takes top honor


From left: Gara Edelstein RN, MSN a member of the Nurse Excellence Sub-Committee and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and Catholic Health Services of Long Island; 2016 Nurse of Excellence Winner Eileen Dwyer RN; Ann Cella RN, Senior Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, St. Francis Hospital; Valerie Terzano MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Chair of the Nurse Excellence Sub-Committee and Senior Vice President of Nursing/Chief Nursing Officer, Winthrop-University Hospital.

The unit began in 2013 as a 14-chair infusion unit and by 2015 moved to an off-site location and is now a 32-chair unit. A true advocate for all her patients and their families, Dwyer has encouraged her staff to join her in many fund raising activities, such as charity walks and runs. “My goal for the infusion center was to offer individualized care with a multidisciplinary approach, along with compassion and, most importantly, a personalized touch,” said Dwyer. “Nurses are the backbone of our hospitals on Long Island and across the United States,” said Alan Guerci MD, chair of the NassauSuffolk Hospital Council and CEO of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. “The physician is at the patient’s bedside just a few minutes each day. It is up to the nurse to implement the care plan.” The Hospital Council’s annual salute to nurses is fashioned after the New York State Legislature’s Nurse of Distinction Program that ended in 1995. NSHC is one of the few hospital associations in the state to continue this program voluntarily. It is now in its 21st year. The NSHC represents Long Island’s not-for-profit and public hospitals. For more information about this program and a full listing of nominees, please visit

Quannacut Nurse honored by local Rotarians

Cindy Swiskey, RN, a nurse at Eastern Long Island Hospital, received the prestigious “Laura Goodale Nurse of the Year Award” for 2016 at a dinner held in her honor at the Soundview Restaurant in Greenport. The Laura Goodale award, established in 1986 by lifelong ELIH supporter Carl E. Vail, Sr. and the Rotary Clubs of Southold and Greenport, is given in the spirit of Laura Goodale, a former ELIH nurse with a 42 year service record that was so extraordinary, it won her recognition as the ‘Florence Nightingale’ of the North Fork. Each Rotary Club contributed $1,500 to Eastern Long Island Hospital as a tribute to Cindy for her dedication and commitment to the nursing profession. Cindy, who resides in Southold, has been at ELIH for 23 years. “As a nurse for Quannacut Addiction Services, Cindy is a highly specialized nurse,” states D. Patricia Pispisa, Executive Vice President Patient Care. “Addiction nurses monitor patient progress and administer medications during their hospital stay. Well-educated in the recovery process, Cindy provides support, both emotionally and physically for patients undergoing treatment. She helps addicted patients understand the importance of maintaining a clean and healthy lifestyle and gives resources for remaining drug and alcohol free after discharge.”

About Eastern Long Island Hospital Eastern Long Island Hospital, Suffolk County’s first voluntary hospital, was established in 1905. Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH) is a 90-bed, acute-care Hospital with a mission to provide essential healthcare services to the residents of the North Fork and Shelter Island. To learn more, visit


Pictured ((l to r) Paul J. Connor, President/CEO, Eastern Long Island Hospital; Laura Goodale Award Recipient Cindy Swiskey, RN; D. Patricia Pispisa, Executive Vice President Patient Care; Colin Van Tuyl, President Greenport Rotary and John Shack, President Soutold Rotary.

education & careers


Hospital Newspaper - NY Jul/Aug 2016

South Nassau expands its Medical Education Program Adds surgical and OB/GYN residency programs

Expanding its role as a regional medical center and teaching institution, South Nassau Communities Hospital for the first time welcomed its own postdoctoral medical residents in surgery and obstetrics and gynecology on July 1. In a major step forward, South Nassau received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to add the surgical and obstetrics and gynecology residency training programs. The addition of two postdoctoral residency programs continues the ongoing transition of South Nassau from a community hospital to its current role as Medical Center that offers advanced training as well as ongoing education for staff to ensure patients are receiving stateof-the-art care. Only six new surgery residency programs and seven new residency programs for training in Obstetrics and Gynecology were approved in the United States during this past year, making South Nassau’s approval all the more significant, given the stiff competition among hospitals competing to expand or start residency programs. The South Nassau residency programs will ultimately offer 15 surgical and 12 obstetrics and gynecologic training positions. The Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs are five and four years in length respectively. Residents will receive strong academic and hands-on training. “Having our own residency programs is another part of our ongoing effort to constantly improve patient care and maintain the highest standards,” said Richard J. Murphy, President & CEO of South Nassau. “We will be able to hand select residents who participate, closely supervise their training and pick the very best to join our staff.” "While the nation’s healthcare delivery system is changing rapidly, a central component of it isn’t: that is the enduring need for compassionate, dedicated physicians with world-class medical training who will ensure that patients receive patient-centered healthcare services,” said Adhi Sharma, MD, South Nassau’s chief medical officer.

“Having our own residency programs is another part of our ongoing effort to constantly improve patient care and maintain the highest standards. We will be able to hand select residents who participate, closely supervise their training and pick the very best to join our staff.” Richard J. Murphy, President & CEO of South Nassau

“By hosting a robust postdoctoral medical education program, South Nassau is taking a proactive role in ensuring that there is a deep pool of qualified and experienced physicians based within the communities it serves.” ACGME is a private, non-profit organization that evaluates and accredits graduate medical education (GME) programs. Residency is the final phase of a long educational process, required for a physician to practice medicine, and often influences where a physician eventually practices. “The accreditation of these programs is a true testament to the support and educational opportunities we provide and our mission to train and prepare the next generation of physicians to meet the healthcare needs of their patients,” added Samuel Sandowski, MD, Director of Medical Education and Designated Institutional Official (DIO) for South Nassau Communities Hospital. “The fact that South Nassau is one of only a handful of newly accredited programs in this country demonstrates the resources available and committed to education.”

South Nassau is the sponsor of ACGME-accredited residency programs in Family Medicine, Surgery, and Obstetrics and Gynecology; AOA-accredited residency programs in Family Medicine, Geriatrics and Transitional Rotating Internships, and a CPMEaccredited program in Podiatry. To date, South Nassau’s residency program has graduated nearly 200 residents from its Family Medicine Residency Program. In addition to its training of residents, South Nassau trains several

hundred medical students each year. It offers undergraduate clinical experiences for medical students from Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, SUNY at Stony Brook, SUNY at Brooklyn, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Ross University Medical School. It also serves as a training site for Physician Assistant students from Hofstra University, Pace University, and Touro College. For more information, please visit


Jul/Aug 2016

Hospital Newspaper - NY

Boomers &Beyond Music and Memory Program at NYC Health + Hospitals’ Skilled Nursing Facility improves quality outcomes for residents with dementia NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Ram Raju recently announced the results of a new music therapy program that has helped one of the system’s skilled nursing facilities to improve quality metrics and the quality of life of dementia residents. With a combination of personalized iPod soundtracks, daily dance and movement activities, and weekly musical performances, the “Memory Care” program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler, an 815 bed facility on Roosevelt Island, reduced falls, violent behavior, and the use of antipsychotic medications among residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The program is run by a designated team of trained staff who have received official certification as “Dementia Care Practitioners.” “When the music starts, lethargy becomes laughter, isolation becomes interaction and we can break through and make a special connection with our residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Raju. “I’m very proud of our expert team of doctors, nurses and therapists at Coler for their innovative use of music to improve the quality of life of our most frail and elderly patients. Their caring, compassion and culturally responsive approach exemplifies the unique attributes of our essential health system.”

The program’s impact on patients and staff is captured in “Healing with Harmony: A Music & Memory Story,” a new short film produced by The Fund for NYC Health + Hospitals, which documents the breakthroughs that remembered songs and music can elicit in people who once seemed to be unreachable. The film recently garnered the Communicator Award of Excellence from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts. “Dementia is not an identity, it is a diagnosis. And people still con-

tinue to be the people who they are,” said Dr. Ravindra Amin, NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Chief of Psychiatry. The new music therapy program targeted more than 100 patients in two Memory Care Units at Coler, specializing in the care of patients with dementia due to any cause including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular causes or traumatic brain injury. At the heart of the successful interventions is the Music & Memory program which features personalized iPod soundtracks for individual residents.


The effectiveness of the music therapy program shows measurable improvements in quality outcomes from 2014-2015: • 78% of patients participated in Music & Memory during the last quarter of 2015 compared to only 4% of patients participating by the last quarter of 2014; • Rate of antipsychotic medication use in special care dementia units in the country is known to be much higher than the national average of 17.4%. The percentage of residents requiring antipsychotic medications dropped from 30% to

18 % at Coler, a significant trend that is expected to continue; • The number of patients involved in physical altercations dropped to zero from 8 incidents the previous year; • The number of falls dropped to three from 11 the previous year. “With the help of music, dance, laughter, and connection, we are leading an innovative treatment program that offers the promise of improved lives for residents and their families, as well as for our staff,” said Maureen McClusky, NYC Health + Hospitals Senior VP of Post Acute/Long Term Care Services. “Indeed, the program also has benefits for the residents’ caretakers. Music & Memory has impacted the staff as well by reducing the stress that we can experience by trying to make residents comfortable,” added Edith Johnson, a nurse at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler. “Music evokes powerful memories for most people—and music’s power is especially evident for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Even in the very late stages of the disease, music can spark compelling outcomes. At Coler, we are extremely proud of our innovative Memory Care Program and the positive effects our professional and compassionate team has on our Memory Care residents,” said Floyd R. Long, Interim Chief Executive Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler. Visit

Southside Hospital earns Gold for total hip and knee replacement

Southside Hospital announced recently it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its total hip and total knee replacement programs. To achieve the certification, the hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review to ensure compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards including orthopedic consultation and pre-operative, intraoperative and post-operative follow-up by an orthopedic surgeon. “The Southside Hospital orthopedics department has been continually working to expand and seek the best treatment options to offer its patients,” said Fred Cushner, MD, chair of orthopedics at Southside Hospital. “I am very proud of the team for helping us to achieve this designation.”

Michael Nett, MD, coordinator of Southside Hospital’s orthopedics joint program, added, “To get the best result after a total knee or total hip replacement, a strong connection and understanding between the patient and his or her orthopedic surgeon as well as a commitment from both parties to take the necessary steps to make this a success is required. The Southside orthopedic team’s dedication to its patients has helped many people get back to enjoying their activities.” Southside’s orthopedics team is dedicated to providing innovative procedures with optimal patient outcomes. For example, the hospital offers numerous options in the treatment of arthritis of the hip and knee including injections, physical therapy, cartilage enhancement surgery and partial and complete knee replacement

surgery. Keith Reinhardt, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Southside, has been performing hip replacements utilizing an anterior approach as another option for patients requiring hip replacement surgery. As can be seen, Southside Hospital offers numerous options to address a specific patient's needs. The Joint Commission total hip and total knee certification was developed in response to the growing number of patients undergoing a total hip or total knee replacement surgery, as well as the increased focus on clinical evidence-based patient care related to pain management, quality of life issues, functional limitation in mobility and a person’s return to their everyday activities. For more information about Southside Hospital’s orthopedics department, call 631-647-3800.


Hospital Newspaper - NY Jul/Aug 2016

Boomers &Beyond

Study finds that exercise may slow memory loss in older adults Neurologists find that moderate exercise may slow cognitive decline by 10 years

Researchers from NewYorkPresbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and University of Miami, with support from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, co-authored a study that may help older people slow their rate of cognitive decline. The population-based observational study, published on March 23, 2016 in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that moderate to intense exercise in people over the age of 65 was associated with a slower rate of decline in memory and cognitive function. Researchers studied data on 876 people enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), a research study of stroke and stroke risk factors in the Northern Manhattan community conducted at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, Division of Stroke and Critical Care. Using an in-person questionnaire, participants were asked how long and how often they exercised during the two weeks prior to that date. Exercise was defined as the maximum intensity of any activity performed and was placed into two classification levels: no exercise to light intensity and moderate to heavy intensity. Participants also received a brain MRI and a standard neuropsychological examination (NPE). The NPE tested a variety of different cognitive abilities, including processing speed, semantic memory, episodic memory and executive function. Five years later, participants received the examination again. “The study found that people who did not exercise or exercised with only light intensity experienced cognitive decline that was equal to 10 more years of aging than people who reported exercise with moderate to heavy intensity,” says Dr. Mitchell S.V. Elkind, professor of neurology at Columbia

University College of Physicians and Surgeons, attending neurologist on the Stroke Service at NewYork-Presbyterian and an author on the study. Of the participants, 90 percent reported light exercise or no exercise. Light exercise included activities such as walking and yoga. They were placed in the low activity group. The remaining 10 percent reported moderate to high intensity exercise, which included activities such as running, aerobics or calisthenics. They were placed in the high activity group. “This research presents us with valuable information that may help people 65 and older retain their memory and thinking skills,” says Dr. Joshua Z. Willey, assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, assistant attending neurologist on the Stroke Service at NewYork-Presbyterian and lead author of the study. “The population of people 65 and older in the United States is increasing, and so should our efforts in helping these individuals do everything they can to live long lives with their memories intact.” For those individuals who showed no signs of memory and thinking problems at the beginning of the study, researchers found that those reporting low to no activity

levels showed a greater decline over five years than those with high activity levels. Participants were tested on how fast they could perform simple tasks and how many

words they could remember from a list. The difference was equal to that of 10 years of aging. Researchers adjusted for factors that could affect brain health, such as alcohol use,

smoking, high blood pressure and body mass index, and the 10 years difference remained. For more information, please visit

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Jul/Aug 2016

Hospital Newspaper - NY

American Cancer Society applauds Winthrop’s concerted pledge to increase colorectal cancer screening rates The American Cancer Society applauds Winthrop-University Hospital for uniting around a shared commitment to save lives from cancer, signing the 80 by 2018 Pledge and sending a consistent message to the community: get screened for colorectal cancer. The national percentage of adults 50 and over that are up to date with recommended colorectal cancer screening has increased from 56 percent in 2002 to 65 percent in 2010, according to the American Cancer Society. In New York State, 69.3 percent have been screened; in Nassau County that number is 70.06 percent. As the nation’s second leading cause of cancer related deaths (when men and women are combined) as well as one of the few cancers that can be prevented, a collective effort nationwide to commit to increasing colorectal screening rates to 80% by 2018 has been formed by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) to which the American Cancer Society is a leading partner. “There are several screening options to detect colorectal cancer early on, including simple take-


Pictured (top row, l.-r.) are Richard Rivera, MPH, MT, LCLT, CHE, Vice President, Administration; Janet Shehata, MSN, RN, OCN, NEA-BC, Director of Nursing, Oncology Services; Jules Garbus, MD, Colorectal Surgeon; Al Glover, Chief Operating Officer; Christine Guarnieri, RN-BC, MSN, OCN, Supervisor, Oncology Nurse Navigation, and Nurse Navigator, Colorectal/Gastrointestinal & Pancreatic Cancers; James H. Grendell, MD, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition; and Robert Bartolomeo, MD, Gastroenterologist. Bottom row (l.-r.) Susan Lee, MD, Associate Director of the Breast Program at Winthrop, Laurie Vokes-Jackson, MPH, Senior Manager, Hospital Systems, Eastern Division, American Cancer Society, Inc. (ACS); Dawn Tropeano, Health Systems Manager, Hospitals, ACS; Eva Chalas, MD, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of Clinical Cancer Services at Winthrop; Kristina Thomson, LCSW, Senior Director, Hospital Systems, Eastern Division, ACS; and John F. Collins, President and CEO of Winthrop-University Hospital.

home options,” said Dawn Tropeano for the American Cancer Society in Hauppauge. “To prevent more cancer and save more lives I applaud all members of our community that are coming together and help us by getting screened, and talking with friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened.” “Winthrop-University Hospital is proud to partner with the American Cancer Society in this very important initiative,” said Eva Chalas, MD, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of Clinical Cancer Services at Winthrop. “Colon cancer is highly preventable with regular screenings, and the physicians and staff at Winthrop firmly believe that achieving the 80 percent by 2018 goal will help save lives. We are committed to working with the American Cancer Society and our community leaders to help educate the public about the importance of screening, and to providing the resources and expertise to achieve this meaningful goal.” For more information about Winthrop’s dedicated Cancer Program or to schedule a screening, call 1-866-WINTHROP.

New York Methodist Hospital welcomes new Cancer Chief, Dr. Alan Astrow

Alan Astrow, M.D., recently joined New York Methodist Hospital (NYM) as chief of hematology and medical oncology. Nationally recognized and board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology, Dr. Astrow specializes in treatment for a variety of cancers, particularly breast cancer and gynecologic cancers. In his new role at NYM, Dr. Astrow oversees the Division of Hematology and Oncology, and is responsible for services pertaining to all non-surgical and non-radiologic treatments for cancer at New York Methodist. In addition to patient care oversight, Dr. Astrow will work with the clinical and administrative leadership at NYM to help develop a comprehensive clinical cancer center as a central component of the Hospital’s Center for Community Health. The center will comprise infusion services, clinical research, psychosocial care, medical education, and community outreach. “Hematology/medical oncology is a field where you really get to know your patients— you are with them for the ‘long haul,’” said Dr. Astrow, reflecting on what drew him to

his specialty. “You want to leave no stone unturned on a patient’s behalf, and you want to make sure it’s clear to your patients that you are going to support them throughout their treatment process.” Dr. Astrow comes to New York Methodist from Maimonides Medical Center, where he served for over a decade as the director of medical oncology and hematology and played a key role in the development of the cancer program there. Prior to that, he was on the staff of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan for almost 20 years and served as the associate medical director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, chief of clinical oncology, and fellowship program director. Dr. Astrow is a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, and he completed his residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital and his fellowship in hematology/oncology at New York University Medical Center. “Dr. Astrow has broad experience in the management of cancer, and our radiation oncologists work in conjunction with his medical oncology team to form the non-surgical

arm of a patient’s cancer treatment plan,” said Hani Ashamalla, M.D., chair of radiation oncology at NYM. “He has been a leader in his field in New York City for years.” “We are thrilled that Dr. Astrow has joined NYM’s lineup of expert medical oncologists, all of whom are vital partners to the Hospital's surgeons in giving patients the best chance of beating cancer,” said Sebron Harrison, M.D., New York Methodist’s chief of thoracic surgery. “The overall success of even the most technologically advanced surgical procedure may ultimately rely on a precisely executed chemotherapy plan to shrink a tumor beforehand, and/or to destroy remaining cancer cells afterward.” Dr. Astrow’s key areas of interest include individualized therapies that target cancer at the molecular level. “There have been exciting developments especially in the hormonal treatment of breast cancer,” notes Dr. Astrow. “These include new targeted cancer therapies, which attack proteins that cause breast cancer to grow in certain patients. We are already incorporating those therapies into treatment options for many of these patients.”


“Dr. Astrow’s reputation in cancer treatment precedes him," said Stephen Peterson, M.D., chairman of NYM’s Department of Internal Medicine. “But just as important, he is dedicated to the belief that cancer treatment should be centered on the whole patient, and not simply the illness he or she is confronting. We’re proud to have him leading our medical oncology services, and helping to guide the course of cancer care at New York Methodist Hospital.” For more information visit


Hospital Newspaper - NY Jul/Aug 2016

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Jul/Aug 2016

Hospital Newspaper - NY



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Students in the M.B.A. program follow the standard 48-credit curriculum, normally completed by part-time students over a 24-month period, with a focus on leadership in healthcare organizations. The Healthcare Sector Management Program will be offered at Long Island University’s Hudson Graduate Center at Westchester, located on the grounds of Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, N.Y. Courses are offered on weekday evenings and on Saturdays. “The healthcare management field is one of the few sectors of our economy we know will continue to grow significantly over the next five years,” according to Dr. Kevin Nash, director of the M.B.A. Healthcare Sector Management program. For more information, please contact the Admissions Department at 914-831-2700 or Long Island University Hudson Graduate Center at Westchester 735 Anderson Hill Rd. Purchase, NY 10577


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Hospital Newspaper - NY Jul/Aug 2016


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