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Better Health Better Living

SPRING 2013   

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In This Issue

New Hope for Patients Too Ill for Open Valve Replacement Surgery


Cancer Center Hosts ACS Prevention Study and Ninth Annual Cancer Survivors Day


Use Your Head to Help Keep Your Children Safe from Brain Injury


Right Place, Right Time: Learn More About Mother/Baby Care at Stony Brook


The "Burning" Question: How Serious Is My GERD?


Teen Driving Safety Tips for Parents


Investing in the Best Ideas in Medicine 


Cardiology Practice Finds New Home in Hauppauge

More News About Stony Brook Medicine

Stony Brook's Focused Areas of Excellence


 Stony Brook
Neurosciences Institute


Stony Brook Digestive Disorders Institute 

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MART and New Bed Tower to Better Serve
the Community 

MART-Bed Tower Rendering
A rendering of the Medicine and Research Translation (MART) Building and new Bed Tower
As Long Island's premier academic medical center, Stony Brook Medicine is committed to delivering world-class, compassionate care to its patients, advancing the science of medicine and educating the next generation of caregivers. In support of this mission, Stony Brook is preparing to expand its facilities with the construction of a 240,000-square-foot Medicine and Research Translation (MART) Building and a 225,000-square-foot new Bed Tower. Thanks to the support of New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and funded in part by a $35 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant and a historic $150 million gift from Jim and Marilyn Simons and the Simons Foundation, the addition of these buildings will allow Stony Brook to achieve several important new milestones that will benefit patients, faculty, students and the public for years to come.


Devoted to imaging, neurosciences, cancer care and cancer research, the MART will enable scientists and physicians to work side by side to advance cancer research and imaging diagnostics. As the site of the new outpatient Stony Brook University Cancer Center, the MART will allow Stony Brook to deliver cutting-edge cancer care more efficiently and effectively, while doubling its capacity to provide cancer treatment to the people of Long Island. There will also be an investment in new faculty, fellowships, merit-based scholarships and need-based aid. The building will contain a 300-seat auditorium for conferences, lectures and other events.


The new Bed Tower, consisting of 150 beds, will house Stony Brook Children's, new adult critical care and cardiac care units, an expanded imaging department and increased support space throughout. With its own dedicated entrance, Stony Brook Children's will contain a newly built pediatric intensive care unit, adolescent unit, procedure suite, hematology/oncology unit, medical/surgical units and a host of patient and family amenities. Based on ongoing input from Hospital staff, the proposed design of the Bed Tower reflects Stony Brook's commitment to patient- and family-centered care, helping to facilitate partnerships among healthcare practitioners, patients and families that lead to improved patient outcomes and enhance the quality and safety of healthcare.


The MART and new Bed Tower will create thousands of construction jobs, as well as several hundred new specialized research jobs. Construction on both buildings is expected to begin later this year with completion scheduled for 2016.

New Hope for Patients Too Ill for Open Valve Replacement Surgery

Aortic stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of the heart valve, is the most frequently diagnosed heart valve disease. If you have severe aortic stenosis, surgery is usually recommended to replace the valve. Without surgery, only 50 percent survive an average of two years after symptoms first start to appear. Unfortunately, many of these patients are unable to have open valve replacement surgery because advanced age and multiple illnesses put them at too high risk for conventional surgery.


But now there's a new, less invasive approach: an innovative procedure that delivers a replacement valve via a catheter while the heart is still beating. The Valve Center at Stony Brook University's Heart Institute offers this procedure -- and was the first to do so in Suffolk County -- for patients with severe aortic stenosis. Stony Brook's team of cardiac imaging specialists, interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, together with the patient's referring physician, thoroughly evaluate patients who might benefit from this procedure. The procedure is performed with the FDA-approved transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) with the Edwards SAPIENTM transcatheter heart valve.


"For high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis, a less invasive treatment has been long sought," said James R. Taylor Jr., MD, Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Co-Director, Stony Brook Heart Institute. "With transcatheter aortic valve replacement, there is now hope for older patients who have other significant illnesses."

Cancer Center Hosts ACS Prevention Study and Ninth Annual Cancer Survivors Day

Stony Brook University Cancer Center continues to be very active in its role as a community resource for health information and as an advocate for optimal and preventive care.


The Cancer Center was one of nearly 20 community and healthcare organizations in Suffolk and Nassau Counties that was selected to serve as an enrollment site for the American Cancer Society's (ACS) Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3). The ACS's goal is to enroll 300,000 people nationwide to accumulate enough data to ultimately prevent cancer and save lives.


Ethan Zohn
Ethan Zohn

On the heels of CPS-3 enrollment at Stony Brook, the Cancer Center will soon be hosting another event -- Stony Brook's ninth annual celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day. The June 9 event honors people who are living with and beyond cancer. This year's inspirational speaker is Ethan Zohn, a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, HIV/AIDS prevention educator, former professional soccer player and Survivor: Africa reality TV show celebrity. His thought-provoking message, Character: The Ultimate Survival Tool, is one that transcends cancer. It's about the importance of character and service to others. Survivors and their guests will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Stony Brook's physicians and healthcare staff. This fun-filled day has activities for all ages, the Parade of Survivors, music and light refreshments. All are welcome to this free event, regardless of where they received treatment. For more information, call (631) 444-4000 or register online.

Use Your Head to Help Keep Your Children Safe 
from Brain Injury

During warm weather months, it's natural for children to spend more time outdoors. However, many popular outdoor activities come with the risk of head injury. While we can't keep our children in protective bubbles, reinforcing safety measures from day one helps. Michael Egnor, MD, one of only 181 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons in the country, is the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Stony Brook Children's and a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. He offers the following tips to parents:

  • Make sure your child always wears a helmet that fits properly when riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard. If the helmet doesn't stay on the head during a fall, it's of no use.
  • If children refuse to wear a helmet, show them photos of professional cyclists and skateboarding champions who always wear their helmets.
  • When driving with children, make sure their car seats, booster seats and other appropriate child restraints are positioned correctly with the lap and shoulder belt on the strongest parts of the body to better withstand impact.
  • Ensure that responsible adults supervise pool parties and other events where swimming and diving are involved.

For more information about brain injury prevention, visit our Ask the Expert online library or call (631) 444-4000.

Right Place, Right Time: Learn More About Mother/Baby Care at Stony Brook

Mother and Baby Whether it's your first baby or your fourth, deciding where to give birth is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make.


Do you opt for a comforting, family-centered experience? Or choose the peace of mind in having high-tech, high-level care available should complications arise? With the recent renovation of the mother/baby program at Stony Brook Medicine, you no longer have to make this nearly impossible decision.


Our new Labor & Delivery Suite -- with 10 private rooms, three state-of-the-art operating rooms and 24/7 anesthesia coverage -- offers both: a soothing environment and access to highly specialized physicians, a family-centered approach and the ability to handle every obstetric emergency 24/7, one-to-one education on breastfeeding and baby care as well as an adjacent Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that cares for the tiniest, sickest babies.


We invite you to learn more by viewing our new video "Right Place at the Right Time: Mother/Baby Care at Stony Brook Medicine." Also, visit our website to request a copy of our latest brochure.

The "Burning" Question: How Serious Is My GERD?

Millions of Americans suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as chronic acid reflux. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, regurgitation of acidic fluid, a sour taste in the mouth and difficulty swallowing. While mild cases can be managed with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications, if left untreated, recurring GERD symptoms can cause damage to the esophagus, and may result in more serious digestive disorders like Barrett's esophagus.


Barrett's esophagus is a condition that occurs when some of the cells of the esophagus are replaced by precancerous cells. It doesn't mean you have cancer, but you could develop it over time. Esophageal cancer is difficult to treat, and carries a poor outcome and a greatly compromised quality of life. Prevention is key.


When treatment of Barrett's esophagus is needed, advanced diagnostic and therapeutic treatment at a comprehensive gastrointestinal center is recommended. Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is an outpatient endoscopic procedure performed by gastroenterologists in Stony Brook University Hospital's Endoscopy Suite. This minimally invasive procedure uses highly targeted heat energy to eliminate the precancerous tissue in the esophagus. Studies show that RFA completely eliminates the precancerous tissue associated with Barrett's in 98.4 percent of patients, and remains effective for at least five years.


For more information, call Stony Brook University Digestive Disorders Institute at (631) 444-5220.

Teen Driving Safety Initiatives: Tips for Parents

Teen Driver Because Stony Brook Children's has a Regional Trauma Center, treating the most severe injuries in Suffolk County, we see firsthand the toll accidents take on our community. What we also see is that so many of them could have been prevented.


That's why we recently launched a new safety series, which takes on one core topic each quarter. Our current focus: vehicular safety is always important, but even more so with prom season approaching. What can parents do?

  • Get involved and stay involved. Teens need far more supervision than you may think.
  • Set a 10 pm curfew. Most fatal crashes occur at night, so this takes the teen off the road during the most dangerous hours.
  • Don't give teens carte blanche for use of the car. Teens who have to ask for permission have fewer crashes, better safety records and higher rates of seatbelt use.
  • Make safe driving an ongoing dialogue from the time your teen is able to sit beside you in the front seat.
  • Model safe driving behaviors.
  • Talk with other parents and agree to enforce safe driving guidelines together. 
  • Consider a parent/teen driver "contract" to make expectations clear up front.  

Learn more. Our next topic: sun and water safety, followed by sports safety in August.


For more information and vehicular safety resources, call Stony Brook Children's at (631) 444-4000.

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:


Stony Brook alumna Dawn Okst '91 and her husband David Okst, residents of Port Jefferson, recently presented a major gift to Stony Brook Children's that will be matched by an anonymous donor. "Expanding our children's hospital is a commitment we are making to the community," said Stony Brook Children's Physician-in-Chief, Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD. "It's so gratifying whenever members of our community demonstrate their support for our services."


The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) donated $25,000 to the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine (SDM), enabling the School to launch a comprehensive school-based dental health program. To kick off the program, the SDM provided free preventive oral healthcare services to all elementary school students in the Riverhead Central School District. "One of the goals of the School of Dental Medicine is to reach out to every child on Long Island who does not have access to dental healthcare services," said Ray C. Williams, DMD, Dean, School of Dental Medicine.

Cardiology Practice Finds New Home in Hauppauge

Stony Brook Medicine provides world-class, compassionate care to patients in more than 50 community-based healthcare settings throughout Suffolk County. Recently our cardiology practice, formerly located in Islandia, moved to a larger, state-of-the-art facility located at 200 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge. The practice provides general and subspecialty cardiology care, including heart failure and cardiomyopathy diagnosis and management; adult echocardiography and stress testing; electrophysiology; and the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of cardiac conditions, including angina, myocardial infarction, hypertension, mitral regurgitation, aortic insufficiency and Marfan syndrome. For more information, call (631) 444-9600.

Upcoming Events

Free Stroke, Glucose, Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Screenings

May 22 and 29, 8 am-4 pm, Stony Brook University Hospital Lobby

Learn more about the risk factors for stroke during National Stroke Awareness Month. Healthcare professionals from the Department of Neurology will provide blood pressure checks and screening tests for blood glucose and cholesterol levels.


Don't Fry Day at the Long Island Ducks Game

May 24, 6:05 pm (gates open), 7:05 pm (game starts), Bethpage Ballpark (Long Island Ducks Stadium), Central Islip

Stony Brook Children's is turning Friday into "Don't Fry Day" to raise awareness about skin cancer and sun safety. This family-friendly event featuring Stony Brook experts will include mini-bats for first 1,500 fans, free sunscreen, health screenings for the whole family and a children's health expo with interactive exhibits.


Stroke Life Society: A Safe Haven for the Stroke Survivor Community

May 29, Noon-12:30 pm, Cafeteria, Stony Brook University Hospital, Level 5

Sharing common experiences can help reduce the feeling of isolation that stroke survivors and their caregivers often experience. Learn how Stroke Life Society, a Long Island-based stroke support group run by stroke survivors, promotes a renewed sense of self by helping stroke survivors and co-survivors help others.


Sixth Annual Judy's Run For Stroke Awareness  

June 1, 9 am, Sunken Meadow Park, Kings Park, (631) 255-2516

Judy's Run is an annual event to raise funds for and awareness about stroke and those affected by stroke. It features a 5K Run and a 1 Mile Fun Walk. To register or for more information, call (631) 255-2516 or visit the Judy's Run website.


Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Seminars

June 3 and 17, 5-7 pm, Cafeteria, Stony Brook University Hospital, Level 5, (631) 444-4000

Freedom from obesity is attainable with the right combination of tools and support. Learn about the causes, health risks and treatment options, tailored to each patient's needs, lifestyle and goals. To register, call (631) 444-4000.


Diabetes Education

June 3-6, 6-9 pm, Stony Brook Education Center, 14 Technology Drive, Suite 1, East Setauket, (631) 444-0580

Diabetes professionals and advisors share self-care tips on diet, meal planning, exercise and medications, and discuss new treatments for all types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. All are invited, including friends and family. Pre-registration is required and insurance coverage is discussed at registration.


Skin Cancer Awareness Day at West Meadow Beach

June 8 (rain date June 15), 11 am-1 pm, West Meadow Beach, Stony Brook, (631) 444-4000

Sponsored by the Stony Brook University Hospital Auxiliary with the assistance of Boy Scout Troop 117, beachgoers will receive sunscreen and information about skin cancer and melanoma.


National Cancer Survivors Day

June 9, 11 am-4 pm, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, 3 Edmund D. Pellegrino Road, Stony Brook, (631) 444-4000

Stony Brook's ninth annual National Cancer Survivors Day will feature inspirational speaker Ethan Zohn, a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, HIV/AIDS prevention educator, former professional soccer player and Survivor: Africa reality TV show celebrity, who will share his thought-provoking message "Character: The Ultimate Survival Tool." Also included will be the Parade of Survivors, games, musical entertainment and light refreshments. To attend this free event, register online or call (631) 444-4000.


Nutrition Management of Chronic Pain and Immunity Enhancement

June 20, 5:15-6:15 pm, Center for Pain Management, 3 Edmund D. Pellegrino Road, Stony Brook, (631) 638-0800

Learn how to incorporate healthy eating into one's daily life to help enhance immunity, combat stress and improve overall well-being.


Varicose Vein Screenings

June 29 and July 20, 8 am-2 pm, Stony Brook Vein Center, 24 Research Way, Suite 100,
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).


Learn To Be Tobacco Free

August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and September 5 (classes); September 29 (reunion), 6-7 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.

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.