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Stony Brook University Medical Center Launches Children’s Hospital

Originally Posted: July 02, 2010

Melissa Scali with her three-year-old son Patrick, gives a heartfelt testimonial at the Stony Brook Children's Hospital launch event. Patrick had life-saving surgery when he was eight months old.

Southampton - Stony Brook University Medical Center launched Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital, a clinical, academic, and financial commitment to the development of a unique regional resource dedicated to delivering expanded, specialty and tertiary health care needs of children and adolescents in Suffolk County.

Stony Brook Children's, the only dedicated children's hospital east of the Nassau/Queens border, will provide patients with state-of-the-art technology and world-class specialty physicians, nurses and researchers, all contained in the only university-based children's hospital on Long Island.

Tom Archer, father of traumatic brain injury patient, Ben (17), and member of the Family Advisory Committee in Pediatrics, speaks about his family's experience with Stony Brook University Hospital. His son Ben was transferred from his rehabilitation center to Stony Brook 12 times in the past two years for the higher level of care provided by the Pediatric Service at Stony Brook.

"Nothing is more important than the health and welfare of our children," said Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., President of Stony Brook University. "Stony Brook University Medical Center takes an important first step in making the dream of a Children's Hospital for our region a reality."

Simultaneous with the launch announcement, the organization received associate membership status in the prestigious National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). NACHRI promotes the health and well-being of all children and their families through support of children's hospitals and health systems that are committed to excellence in providing health care to children.

"Stony Brook Children's will build on our strong foundation in pediatric services and will be dedicated to help accommodate the unmet health care needs of the children in this region," said Steven L. Strongwater, M.D., SBUH chief executive officer. "As Long Island's only university-based research hospital, we are uniquely positioned to provide this comprehensive care dedicated to the community's youngest patients and their families while leading the way to new knowledge in children's health. When this project is complete, we will have invested some $80 million in facilities, recruitment and programs," he added.

"This is the most important cause any of us could possibly undertake today, protecting the health and safety our children with a health care facility second-to-none in the region," said John Tsunis, Chairman of Gold Coast Bank and chair of the Children's Hospital Task Force.

"I applaud any initiative designed to improve the health status of New Yorkers - especially that of our children," said Richard Daines, M.D., Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. "I look forward to a reduction of all childhood illnesses as we go forward. This announcement today is a promising beginning of that quest here in Suffolk County."

Initially, Stony Brook Children's will be located within Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) as plans are developed for a free-standing facility in the future.

Leading Stony Brook Children's as Physician-in-Chief is Margaret M. McGovern, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. McGovern will continue as Chairman of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine.

"With Suffolk's high incidence of chronic childhood illnesses such as asthma, and with young accident victims and low birth weight infants, there is a driving need for a children's hospital here," said Dr. McGovern. "We will offer the best practices in diagnosis and healing. It will be a destination for doctors, nurses and researchers who are continually seeking new ways of treating persistent - and emerging - threats to children's health.

"At the core of Stony Brook Children's is our mission to further enhance pediatric medicine through targeted faculty recruitments and expanded clinical programs and research capabilities," said McGovern. "It is our intent that Stony Brook Children's deliver sophisticated, quality care at a new level in this region and strategically enhance the services that do not exist or that will benefit from a higher degree of specialty."

"Stony Brook Children's again demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering the very best academic medicine can offer, compassionate, cutting-edge medical care, to our youngest patients," said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., incoming School of Medicine Dean and Sr. Vice President for Health Sciences. "This step also expands our investment in the health of all, by advancing the training of pediatricians and pediatric specialists for Suffolk County, Long Island, all of New York and beyond."

SBUH currently operates 100 pediatric beds with a faculty of more than 100 pediatric providers in 30 different specialties and more than 200 voluntary pediatric faculty members. More than 7,000 children and adolescents are admitted to SBUH each year and in 2009 the hospital provided primary pediatric care services to more than 50,000 children with Medicaid coverage. Next year, SBUMC will complete the construction of the most advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in New York State, adding to its existing specialized children's services, including the Regional Perinatal Center, the National Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center, the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, the Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Cody Center for Autism and Development Disabilities.

Stony Brook Children's represents a forceful response by the medical center to an increasing national trend within pediatric medicine in the severity of childhood illness, prevalence of chronic conditions and survivorship of care. This hospital will be able to serve the needs of the children of Suffolk County as a community hospital for local residents, a tertiary hospital for complex, chronic or congenital conditions and a safety net hospital for those who are underinsured or uninsured.

About Stony Brook University Hospital
Stony Brook University Hospital is the only tertiary care hospital and Level 1 trauma center in Suffolk County. The hospital operates 571 beds and employs more than 5,100. It is the largest hospital in Suffolk County treating approximately 30,000 inpatients, more than 250,000 outpatients and is where more than 15,000 surgical cases are performed. The Heart Center performs the only open-heart surgery in Suffolk and the Cancer Center and Cerebrovascular Center attract patients from throughout the region with cutting edge diagnostic and treatment facilities. Stony Brook is home to Long Island's first kidney transplantation program which has performed over 1,100 transplants, and initiated the nation's first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. The hospital is also the regional referral center for trauma, perinatal and neonatal intensive care, burns, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pediatric/adult AIDS, and is the regional resource center for emergency management. Stony Brook's Stroke program is certified by the Joint Commission and the NYS Department of Health; and, Stony Brook is home to the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and Long Island's first comprehensive ALS Center.

Raising the new flag for Long Island Stony Brook Children's Hospital, standing from left ; Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Incoming Dean, School of Medicine, Senior VP for Health Sciences Stony Brook University; Dr. Margaret McGovern, Chair, Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine and newly appointed Physician-In-Chief, Stony Brook Children's; Dr. Steven Strongwater, CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital; Dr.Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. ,President Stony Brook University; Dr. Richard N. Fine, Dean, School of Medicine; John Tsunis, , Chairman of the Board,Gold Coast Bank, and Stony Brook Children's Hospital Taskforce Chair, Dr. Richard Daines, Commissioner, NYS Department of Health

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