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Better Health Better Living

WINTER 2013   

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In This Issue

Heart Month at Stony Brook 


New Devices Show Promise in Treatment of Stroke 


Teenage Moodiness or Something More? 


Advanced Technology Leads to Limb-Sparing Surgery for Bone Cancer 


New Parents Become Tobacco Free with Opt-to-Quit 


Investing in the Best Ideas in Medicine 


Stony Brook's Newest Locations 

More News About Stony Brook Medicine

Reuven Pasternak, MD
Stony Brook's Focused Areas of Excellence


 Stony Brook
Neurosciences Institute


Stony Brook Digestive Disorders Institute  

Provide feedback about Stony Brook Medicine through Patient Voice. Share compliments, concerns and ideas, and ask questions.

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(631) 444-4000

Stony Brook Medicine's online library of
health-related articles, podcasts and videos.


Stay Healthy and Prevent the Spread of the Flu

With flu season underway, protect yourself with a three-step approach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:


Step One: Get a flu vaccination every year. With few exceptions, everyone 6 months of age and older should get an annual flu shot. Call Stony Brook Medicine at (631) 444-4000 for a referral to a provider in your area, or visit your physician or local pharmacy.


Step Two: Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands.


Step Three: Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Early treatment can shorten the time you are sick and is especially important for older adults, the very young, people with certain chronic health conditions and women who are pregnant.


For the health and safety of our patients, Stony Brook University Hospital is encouraging visitors who may be experiencing flu-like symptoms not to visit their loved ones in the Hospital until they are healthy. Symptoms include fever, cough and/or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and chills.


Learn more about staying healthy and preventing the flu.


Get Involved in Your Heart Health

Heart_Stethoscope Most of us know of someone -- a parent, sibling, spouse, relative, friend or neighbor -- who has had heart disease. Nearly 40 percent of Americans believe that they are in ideal cardiovascular health, but only 1 percent of them actually are. And, about every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary heart event. Yet as alarming as this may sound, the good news is that many issues leading up to heart disease are within our control. That's why getting screened, educated and involved in your own heart health is so important.

To celebrate American Heart Month and the 10th year of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women® movement, Stony Brook University Heart Institute is offering a month-long series of free screenings and lectures -- because the more you know, the better you can commit to a healthier heart. For information and a complete list of upcoming Heart Month events, visit the Stony Brook Medicine website or call (631) 444-4000.


Use of New Clot-Removal Devices Shows Great Promise for Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke remains the fourth leading cause of death and leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds in the country, and someone dies from a stroke every four minutes. In more severe (acute ischemic) stroke cases, where the main arteries of the brain are blocked, restoring blood flow in an effective and timely manner is critical to a patient's survival and recovery.


Intravenous clot-busting medicines are predictably ineffective, failing to open the blocked artery in 70 to 90 percent of cases. That's why cerebrovascular specialists at Stony Brook Medicine now treat acute ischemic stroke using advanced new clot-removal devices. "We have had excellent outcomes using these new devices," says David Fiorella, MD, PhD, Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery and Radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Co-Director, Cerebrovascular and Stroke Center. The devices consist of expandable wire-mesh systems of small flexible tubes called microcatheters, which are guided from the groin to the brain where they expand and open at the site of the clot, immediately restoring blood flow. When they are withdrawn from the brain blood vessel, the devices take the clot with them, removing it from the blood vessel.


"Time is brain, and in some cases, minutes matter," explains Dr. Fiorella. "No other medical institution in Suffolk County can provide acute ischemic stroke patients with this important option in addition to traditional IV therapies -- only Stony Brook."


Is It Just Teenage Moodiness? Or Something More? Our Adolescent Medicine Experts Can Help You Figure It Out.

Adolescence. It's a time of life characterized by profound physical, mental and emotional development. It's a time when mental health counseling and other services can help adolescents avoid high-risk behaviors and develop habits that encourage a lifetime of health and wellness.


It's also a time that creates unique challenges for healthcare providers. After all, no one person can be all things to all people. At Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital Division of Adolescent Medicine, we understand that adolescent needs are different. As the only hospital-based adolescent medicine program in Suffolk County, we offer primary care and specialized services to address some of the major health issues of those between the ages of 12 and 24.

Shreya Nagula, MD
Shreya Nagula, MD


Shreya Nagula, MD, the newest member of the division, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist specializing in medication management for anxiety and mood disorders and high-risk behaviors. Her expertise enables her to distinguish between what is truly extreme or compulsive behavior and what is normal teenage behavior, so that the patient can be diagnosed and treated most effectively. "I was attracted to Stony Brook Children's because of its strong reputation in adolescent medicine. What's most rewarding about working with this age group is that they are so open to change and growth," she explains.


For information about adolescent medicine at Stony Brook, call (631) 444-2730. To learn about other new physicians at Stony Brook, visit Stony Brook Medicine's Find a Doctor Web page or call (631) 444-4000. 


Advanced Technology Leads to Limb-Sparing Surgery for Bone Cancer

Pediatric Orthopaedic Oncology
Fazel Khan, MD (right), with Frank Ortega-Mejia and his mother, Jovita Mejia

In the past, bone cancer treatment typically involved amputation of the affected limb. Fazel Khan, MD, one of the few orthopedic oncology surgeons on Long Island, uses advanced computer-based imaging technology that provides greater precision and more accurate views of the affected area so that when he treats the cancer, much of the surrounding area -- a limb, a bone socket, the pelvis -- can be preserved.


Frank Ortega-Mejia, now 9, benefited greatly from this advanced treatment. Frank's mother, Jovita, noticed that Frank's foot was swollen after a walk. Testing revealed Ewing's sarcoma, and Frank was referred to Dr. Khan for surgery. "With feet, there are tight margins and not much room to salvage the limb," explains Dr. Khan. The cancer was completely removed, the foot was saved and only a small part of the foot and one toe were removed. Today, with chemotherapy at Stony Brook University Cancer Center completed, Frank is back to his life of attending school and hanging out with his friends.


Opt-to-Quit: A New Approach to Becoming and Staying Tobacco Free

Three Babies Part of helping children stay healthy is ensuring a healthy environment, particularly since children have such little control over their own environments. Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital became a smoke-free campus in 2009 because of the well-documented dangers of secondhand smoke on still-developing bodies: links to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, respiratory issues and middle ear infections.  


By adopting a new state initiative called Opt-to-QuitTM, developed by Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Stony Brook Children's is now taking steps to help parents of newborns and is bringing this same concern about children's environments outside the walls of the Hospital into the places where they spend the most time, including their own homes. Part of the New York State Smokers' Quitline, Opt-to-Quit offers smokers telephone-based coaching and support, free nicotine replacement medications and other smoking cessation tools. In Stony Brook's newborn nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), parents, caregivers and family members are offered a direct referral to the Quitline by Hospital staff.


Stony Brook is one of only 11 hospitals and primary care sites in New York State that are currently in various stages of implementing the program, and Stony Brook Children's is the only participating children's hospital.


Investing in the "Best Ideas in Medicine"

These generous friends have chosen to invest in Stony Brook Medicine, making a lasting impact on the region for years to come:


Belle Terre residents and Stony Brook alumni Gloria Snyder '72 and Mark Snyder's '69 donation of $150,000 enabled the establishment of the Gloria and Mark Snyder Symposium for Cancer Medicine, hosted by Stony Brook University Cancer Center.


Redwood Abstract Inc. of Smithtown will support the expansion of Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital with its recent gift of $100,000.


A gift of $82,000 from Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC, of Smithtown will also support the expansion of Stony Brook Children's. Mark Eghrari was recently elected Chair of the Stony Brook Children's Hospital Task Force, a group organized in 2009 to raise funds and awareness for Stony Brook Children's.


Visit Our New Locations

In addition to Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook Medicine provides world-class, compassionate care to patients in more than 50 community-based healthcare settings throughout Suffolk County. Here's a listing of our newest locations:


New York Spine and Brain Surgery

54 Commerce Drive, Suite 7, Riverhead

(631) 444-1213

Treatment for a wide range of spinal conditions, including adult scoliosis, cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, discography, herniated/degenerative discs, sciatica, spinal cord injury, spinal stenosis and spinal trauma/fracture.


Stony Brook Urology

4875 Sunrise Highway, Second Floor, Suite 200, Bohemia

(631) 444-6270/1910

General and subspecialty urologic care, including female urology, minimally invasive surgery, pediatric urology, renal transplantation, robotic-assisted surgery and urologic oncology, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of female voiding dysfunction, kidney stone disease, male infertility and prostate disease.


University Associates in Obstetrics and Gynecology

4875 Sunrise Highway, Second Floor, Suite 200, Bohemia

(631) 444-4686

Comprehensive care in obstetrics and gynecology, including family planning, high-risk obstetrics, in vitro fertilization, menopause management, midwifery, minimally invasive surgery, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and ultrasound and diagnostic testing.


Visit Stony Brook Medicine for a complete list of services and locations.

Upcoming Events

Heart Month

In celebration of Heart Month and the American Heart Association's 10th year of the "Go Red for Women" movement, Stony Brook University Heart Institute is offering a month-long series of free screenings and lectures. For a complete list of events, visit the Stony Brook Medicine website. To RSVP, call (631) 444-4000.


Varicose Vein Screening

February 16 and 23, 8 am-2 pm, Stony Brook Vein Center, East Setauket, (631) 444-VEIN (8346)

This free screening involves an ultrasound test and is offered to men and women, over age 18, with large varicose veins that cause leg swelling, pain or discomfort. To schedule an appointment, call (631) 444-VEIN (8346).


Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Seminars

February 18, and March 4 and 18, 5-7 pm, Café Fresco, Stony Brook University Hospital, Level 5, (631) 444-4000

Learn about the impact of obesity, including causes, health risks and today's surgical treatment options. To register, call (631) 444-4000.


Ask the MS Expert Teleconference

February 21 (pediatric MS) and March 27 (adult MS), 7-8:30 pm, (631) 444-7832

Here is your chance to ask a world-renowned expert any questions about pediatric and adult multiple sclerosis. Call (631) 444-7832 to register. Upon registering, you will be given a call-in number.


Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Seminar Series

February 21, Update on Treatments for Adult MS, and March 21, Advances in Mobility, 7-8:30 pm, Neurology Associates of Stony Brook, East Setauket, (631) 444-1454

Healthcare experts from Stony Brook's MS Comprehensive Care Center and other professionals specializing in issues related to MS share news about the latest research and advancements, and provide tips on managing MS.


Learn To Be Tobacco Free

March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4, 25, 6-7:30 pm, Stony Brook Education Center, East Setauket, (631) 444-4000

A free six-week program that offers techniques to stop smoking and provides tips for stress management, relaxation and behavior modification. Nicotine replacement is offered for three months as indicated. 


Update on Colorectal Cancers

March 7, 7-8:30 pm, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, (631) 444-4000

Learn about the latest advances in diagnosis, management and treatment of colorectal cancer, and the importance of getting scree­­ned.


Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Day

March 14, 8 am-6 pm, Stony Brook University Hospital Lobby, (631) 444-4000

Help ignite the movement toward a world free of MS and learn about the newest research and advancements.


Update on Ovarian Cancer

March 14, 7-8:30 pm, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, (631) 444-4000

Discover the latest options available for the screening of ovarian cancer. A question-and-answer session will follow.


Colon Health: What's the Scoop?

March 20, 7-8:30 pm, Middle Country Public Library, Selden, (631) 585-9393

Learn about the importance of colonoscopy screenings in preventing colon cancer as well as cancer risk factors, recommended timing and frequency of screenings, and why early detection is the best defense.

Better Health Better Living is produced by the Office of Communications at Stony Brook Medicine.


This information is intended to educate people about subjects pertinent to their health, not as a substitute for consultation with a personal physician.


Stony Brook University/SUNY is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.