2011 News Stories

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Grateful for the Care Given—Family turns their Passion for the Briny Sea into a Dream for the Future
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

When you speak to Josephine Stefanatos, you understand how important the interchangeable waterscape was to her late husband, John, a retired master plumber. Weather and tide permitting, John and Josephine cruised the Long Island Sound in their Tiara yacht aptly named, “Our Dream.” Josephine, John’s first mate for 44 years, accompanied him even though she wasn’t a swimmer.

John was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer that typically comes from exposure to the asbestos used in the construction of buildings during the 1900s. Undetectable until it’s too late, this deadly disease left John with only a handful of years.

John was referred to Dr. Harry Raftopoulous, a thoracic oncologist practicing at Monter Cancer Center. John referred to Dr. Raftopoulos as 'Dr. Harry' where they soon developed a great patient-doctor relationship. "John trusted Dr. Harry and had every confidence in him as his doctor," said Josephine. "They developed a close relationship sharing in their Greek heritage." During John's treatment under Dr. Raftopoulos, they chatted about the thoracic program Dr. Harry dreamed of developing, helping those, like John, diagnosed with lung cancer.

Josephine soon realized what John’s legacy would be. She sold their boat and donated the proceeds to Dr. Raftopoulos in honor and in support of the treatment he received under Dr. Harry’s care. Dr. Harry’s program was no longer a dream but a reality. The John and Josephine Stefanatos Thoracic Tumor Board, named this fall, will consist of an interdisciplinary board of professionals all working together to treat lung cancer. Medical specialists review and discuss the condition and treatment options of a patient - the board consists of medical oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiation medicine specialists, pathologists, radiologists and pulmonologists. The board will provide additional learning opportunities, offering a weekly series for discussing strategies for treating the disease as well as annual conferences with a designated expert speaker.

Josephine recognized that as a health system, this gift will benefit more than just the treatment and understanding of lung cancer. In fact, more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer. Knowledge gathered through the board would be shared across many disciplines. With this gift, John and Josephine’s dream lives on.

Advancing Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM) Holds Inaugural Event
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MANHASSET, NY (October 11, 2011) “It is so exciting to see what an alliance of women can achieve,” shared Dr. Christine Metz with the audience at the inaugural program for Advancing Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM) held on Tuesday, October 11 at The Feinstein Institute. “The goal of the group is to maximize the success of women in science and medicine.” Dr. Metz, the president of AWSM is also the Director of the Laboratory of Medicinal Biochemistry and Investigator for Center for Immunology and Inflammation at The Feinstein and a professor at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine.

The vision for the group came from Dr. Betty Diamond, Feinstein’s head of the Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disorders, who organized the first meeting over a year ago. Dr. Diamond’s desire to galvanize her colleagues in support of other female scientists served as the group’s inspiration. AWSM’s mission is to advance the career opportunities and satisfaction of female scientists at The Feinstein and to enhance the visibility of the Institute through the scientific productivity and excellence of its female scientists. This endeavor speaks to the diversity and inclusion mission of the health system and will serve to improve the visibility of The Feinstein both nationally and internationally.

Psychologist Gail Golden, PhD, MBA, of Chicago-based Gail Golden Consulting led the discussion on “Advancing Careers and Achieving Full Potential” to a crowd of more than 145 people. Dr. Golden’s presentation described the issues and concerns women face − the sticky floor, the leaky pipe, and the glass ceiling − three scenarios depicting the struggle women have in obtaining the recognition that their fellow male counterparts rarely have to endure. She stressed the importance of creating an environment where women can achieve their full potential.

Echoing Dr. Golden’s sentiment of the importance of a supportive, collegial team effort, Dr. Diamond stated, “Our overall goal is to help women in science and medicine achieve their full potential through mentoring, advocacy, career development, recognition, networking and education.” Dr. Metz concurred, “We are fortunate to be scientists at Feinstein where the environment is friendly and supportive of one another and to have Dr. Kevin Tracey, our Chief Operating Officer, who has been extremely supportive of AWSM’s endeavors.”

AWSM has developed award programs designed to recognize the achievements of female scientists and also provides networking and mentoring opportunities for faculty, trainees and students. The group’s next lecture will be on January 13th, 2012 with Dr. Elaine Fuchs of Rockefeller University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute who will share her studies investigating stem cells of mammalian skin.

For more information on AWSM or the lecture, visit: www.feinsteininstitute.org/Feinstein/AWSM or by email AWSM.Feinstein@nshs.edu.

To support AWSM or any of The Feinstein endeavors, visit: support.northshorelij.com/SupportFIMR

Janet and John Raggio Nephrology Institute—Approaching the Next Decade Using Technology to Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease
Friday, August 19, 2011

MANHASSET, NY — In 1984, John Raggio forged a partnership with his then nephrologist, Dr. Mossey who believed that education was the key to preventing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and that patients are responsible for advocating on their own behalf to drive their care. Sharing Dr. Mossey’s belief, John pledged his commitment to that vision, ultimately giving rise to the Janet and John Raggio Nephrology Institute.

Started in 2000, the Institute’s tenets have remained true to Dr. Mossey’s philosophy that education, awareness, screening and outreach are the best ways to prevent kidney disease. Under the direction of Terry Tan, the Institute’s Program Coordinator, outreach is provided via workshops and programs presented at the community level sharing prevention techniques especially in areas lacking resources for educating those at the highest risk.

The National Institutes of Health estimated that 26 million people in the United States have CKD and efforts to prevent renal failure have been hampered due to the fact that most Americans are unaware of risk factors and how to control it. Two leading causes of CKD are diabetes and hypertension and it is estimated that nearly 785,000 people will be receiving treatment for kidney failure by the year 2020. African Americans are at greater risk for those diseases and as such are at higher risk for kidney failure.

This past summer, Mr. Raggio, a North Shore-LIJ Health System trustee, along with his wife Janet, provided additional funding to continue the institute’s work which is now in its second decade of operations. An innovative pilot program is being launched and will be maintained by the Institute’s first fellow graduate, Kellie Calderone. This pilot program is ground breaking as it will seek out Stage 2 CKD candidates using Electronic Medical Records (EMR) of patients at North Shore-LIJ’s General Internal Medicine group. Serving as a “patient navigator,” Kellie will utilize the group’s EMRs looking for correlations of risk factors and analyzing those patients identified as at high risk for CKD. Her role will be to monitor and collaborate with physicians on staff. Trending towards wellness is a top priority for the health system and this pilot program fits in with the system’s goal of embracing prevention as a model of care.

Dr. Alessandro Bellucci, Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine at North Shore University Hospital and current medical director of the Institute believes just as Mr. Raggio and Dr. Mossey did.” This ground breaking work could not have been done without the support and forward thinking of the Raggios and Dr. Mossey,” declared Dr. Bellucci. “We are in the business of delivering value care, not volume care.” When speaking to John you can feel his excitement. “We are in the midst of great change, becoming more outcome-oriented and looking at the best ways to educate patients and physicians, empowering them to be their best advocates.”

Final beam placed on new pavilion at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York
Thursday, July 28, 2011

NEW HYDE PARK, NY (July 27, 2011) — On July 27, 2011 the final beam was placed on the 115,000 square foot pavilion being erected at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) in New Hyde Park, NY. This expansion will further enhance the hospital’s national reputation for excellence in pediatric healthcare. The need for specialized pediatric services has grown tremendously and this new addition will enable us to continue to be a truly world-class children’s hospital unmatched in the New York area.

The six-story, state-of-the-art pavilion will offer our patients access to the most advanced care, treatments and technologies in a family-friendly environment. In his remarks prior to the raising of the beam, Dr. Arthur A. Klein, Executive Director and Chief of Staff at Cohen Children’s Medical Center noted, “In troubled economic times some may ask why this glorious pavilion? The answer to me is simple - we cannot afford for the sake of our communities, our children and our professionals that our services and the venue in which they are provided are anything less than world class and a reflection of best regional and national standards. We want this building to be a go-to place where other pediatric leaders come to see how program, technology, art and exquisite care for children come together in an extraordinary way.”

This addition will house Long Island’s only freestanding Emergency Department dedicated exclusively to the care of children, a new pediatric surgical suite, a new pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), a state-of-the-art surgical suite, 25 additional private patient rooms with sleeping accommodations for parents, as well as training facilities for our residents and fellows.


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