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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    SBUMC Pulse: CEO Completes 100 Days, Women in Medicine, Stroke Awareness Day!

    Upon Completing 100 Days in Office, SBUH CEO Evaluates Hospital Performance

    At a ceremony and press conference to mark his first 100 days in office, Steven Strongwater, M.D., chief executive officer of Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH), assessed patient safety and care quality initiatives and programs adopted by the hospital upon his arrival. The ultimate goal for SBUH, according to Strongwater in a May 1 press release, is to become ‘the safest hospital in the State of New York, and even the United States.’

    Strongwater has taken substantial steps towards bringing SBUH closer to that goal since becoming CEO. ‘Improving patient satisfaction, improving patient safety and quality of care, and improving community connections” are the focus of the hospital’s current efforts, said Strongwater. He added, ‘we have specific initiatives to address each and are constantly reviewing new ideas about how to be better. I am excited to say we have made significant progress in a short period of time.’

    The initiatives taken up by the hospital to address patient safety and quality of care include the program ‘Last Touch’– where caretakers and health care professionals are required to ask if patients have questions at the end of every meeting– ‘patient activity schedule’–which aids patients in planning their days and keeping their loved ones informed of their progress– and the ‘promise to patients’ program, which outlines and ensures the basics of patients care and safety to the patients themselves.

    Addressing the results of the annual ‘New York State Hospital Performance Card’ compiled by the Niagara Health Quality Coalition (NHQC), Strongwater recognized the categories of evaluation where SBUH did not perform up to NYS standards, but suggested that the report card was incomplete in its assessment.

    Furthermore, Strongwater cited the results of an evaluation of SBUH by the University Health System Consortium (UHC) which found that the hospital is actually improving in the areas initially noted by the NHQC as lacking. The UHC reported that the hospital’s mortality rates have improved the most in the last four years as compared to all other 129 hospitals that submitted information.

    To recognize the achievements of SBUH, the Institute for Health Care Improvement recently labeled it a ‘Mentor Hospital’ which, according to the press release, ‘recognizes SBUMC’s long standing commitment to performance improvement and to collaborative efforts with other hospitals.’

    SBU Health Sciences Center Hosts 1st Ever Women in Medicine ‘Research Day’

    On Apr. 18, female researchers and physicians gathered at the SBU Health Sciences Center to celebrate the first ever ‘Research Day.’ The event was part of the ‘Women in Medicine’ program at SBUMC which was sponsored by Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

    Top women researchers and physicians presented their findings and shared their stories of research success and discussed the major obstacles faced by women in the field of academic medicine.

    According to the AAMC in an Apr. 20 press release, 30 years ago, women comprised only 8% of all practicing physicians. Today, however, the percentage of practicing women physicians has risen to 25%. Additionally, the AAMC reported that the percentage of women in medical school as risen from 15% to 50% in the last 30 years. These findings are offset by the fact that women physicians in leadership positions continue to be a rare occurrence.

    In her keynote address at ‘Research Day,’ Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., chief academic officer at Bassett Health Care and faculty member of the AAMC Women in Medicine Program, offered encouragement to women interested in pursuing a career in medicine. She noted that ‘statistics reveal a shortcoming of women representation in leadership positions in academic medicine, but this should not be a roadblock to women’s progress in the field.’

    Many of the women professors and physicians from SBUMC present at the event offered their own stories of success as encouragement to future women health care professionals and researchers. M. Cristina Leske, M.D. and SUNY distinguished service professor of the Department of Preventive Medicine, emphasized during a panel discussion that women who make careful career and personal choices at each stage of their lives can succeed in medicine, according to the press release.

    Sharon Nachman, M.D., the director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, encouraged women to be more proactive. She suggested that women should take the initiative to apply for a higher position or suggest a research or clinical program instead of focusing on the obstacles to their goals more often and more aggressively.

    The women present at the event had their opportunity to share their experiences and research findings as well as discuss the future of women in medicine. ‘Research Day provided a forum for women faculty to share their remarkable research accomplishments and other successes,’ said Latha Chandran M.D.,’ chair of the Women in Medicine Program at SBUMC.

    Suffolk County-Wide Stroke Awareness Day Campaign Initiated by SBUH

    On May 8, SBUMC will begin its ‘War on Stroke’ campaign as an effort to educate Suffolk County residents about the symptoms and dangers of strokes. This JCAHO certified program is part of larger, national ‘Stroke Alert’ outreach and will be directed towards Suffolk County. Candice Perkins M.D., director of the Stroke Program at SBUMC, outlined the goals of the program initiative: spreading awareness of the dangers of strokes and offering stroke screenings to the community.

    ‘Our goal is to reach 1.5 million people with the message that time is brain, and reduction of risk for future disease and disability is dependent on recognizing the signs and symptoms of strokes,’ she was reported saying in an Apr 17 SBUH press release. ‘We continually strive to improve quality of life for stroke patients and their families, and raising awareness is vital to accomplish this goal.’

    Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 700,000 Americans suffer from strokes each year. That translates to more than one stroke every minute in the United States.

    Disease prevention through proper education is the ultimate goal of the SBUMC ‘War on Stroke’ campaign. SBUH will be joined by 20 other community organizations and facilities as it officially begins its campaign next week.

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