Stony Brook University Hospital Introduces New Chief Operating Officer

On October 12, Steven Strongwater, M.D., chief executive officer of Stony Brook University Hospital appointed Bruce Solomon, M.P.H., M.B.A., as chief operating officer. According to a recent press release, Solomon will be responsible for helping the university hospital complete the ‘Major Modernization Project’ along with Strongwater. This will be the first major renovation and refurbishment of the hospital’s interior since its ribbon cutting in 1980. For the project, the Emergency Department will be expanded and renovated, as will the Surgical Expansion and the Cancer and Imaging Center. Additionally, Solomon will assist in creating alliances with three east end hospitals in this area.

According to Dr. Strongwater, ‘Bruce brings strong administrative background as well as qualitative and quantitative skills to SBUMC. He has a proven track record working in academic medicine and providing leadership to large numbers of direct reports. Apart from his many accomplishments, he has an engaging personality.’

Solomon joins SBUH with a tremendous background in healthcare administration. Previously, he served as a senior consultant for Harvard Medical International, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. There he led the development of a university-teaching hospital in Dubai, UAE with the capacity for 500 beds. He other credentials include previously being COO for the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), also part of the Harvard Medical School teaching system, which served as the public health department for the City of Cambridge, MA. As COO for the CHA, he oversaw three hospitals, 22 health centers, a physician organization and a Medicaid managed care organization.

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On his welcome to SBUH Solomon said, ‘I was immediately attracted to the friendliness and helpfulness of everyone I met in an organization performing at a high level with huge opportunities for development and expansion.’

SBU Hosted ‘Biomedical Technology for a Global Age’ Symposium Attracts Top UN and NCI Officials

Stony Brook University the Biomedical Technology for a Global Age Symposium on September 26. As a joint effort among the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Department of Technology and Society and the Center for Cancer Prevention, the symposium, according to an Oct. 2 press release, invited a discussion of the need for biomedical technology research in the 21st century from a global perspective.

The symposium featured speakers and guests of various influential backgrounds. Present were the Director General of the United Nations/Geneva, the President of the Geneva School of Diplomacy, the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute and the former Undersecretary of Commerce.

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Ultimately, the symposium concluded that research in molecular medicine and advances in information technology can potentially enhance the medical care in nations around the world.

‘There are many challenges to translating new technology into effective medical care based on these advances, both locally and globally,’ said Basil Rigas, M.D., director of the Center for Cancer Prevention at Stony Brook. ‘Technology can provide a credible solution to the enormous healthcare needs of the world, but what is required is a coordinated effort to mobilize resources.’

According to Sergei Ordzhonikidze, director general of United Nations/Geneva, just one percent of the funds used for worldwide expenditures of weaponry used instead for biomedical research could be produce a significant contribution towards securing sustainable solutions to healthcare issues. Anna Barker, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Advanced Technologies and Strategic Partnerships, National Cancer Institute, echoed Ordzhonikidze’s sentiments in suggesting that using research in biomedical technology for acquiring a system of preventative medicine is imperative in today’s world.

The catalyst of change medicine, according to Dr. Barker’s speech at the symposium, is the ‘convergence between molecular science and technology.’ She insisted that sharing scientific discover and exploiting the power of global communication is critical in making lasting advances. She envisioned the future of medicine where progress in biomedical technology would make possible medical care personalized according to genetic make up and risk of developing disease.

Furthermore, Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and chair of the Center for Health Transformation, lauded SBU for hosting the symposium in a recorded video message. He discussed the potential of technological advances in medicine and what they would mean for healthcare on a global stage.

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Recent SBUMC Study Links Unhealthy Sleep Patterns in Minorities to Poor Health.

A research study of the sleep patterns of some minority groups concluded that they may contribute to the health disparities between races. This study, led by Lauren Hale, Ph.D., assistant professor in the graduate program of public health at SBU, was published in the Sept. 1 issue of SLEEP, according to a recent press release.

Survey information from over 30,000 adult participants was used as data for this study. This information was collected by the NHIS from a nationwide pool of participants in 1990. The participants, grouped according to race, were asked about race/ethnicity, sleep duration, employment, income, health status, stress level, weight, exercise, smoking and residence.

African American and Hispanic survey participants were reported to have an increased risk for abnormal sleep durations. This includes a very long sleep time, usually over nine hours, and a short sleep time, or fewer than six hours. Self-reported Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic ‘others’ were excluded from these results.

The results of the study indicate that individuals with abnormal sleep durations are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality than individuals that have a sleep duration that falls within normal limits. According to many experts, around seven hours of sleep every night is recommended for good health.

Furthermore, the study indicated that living in an inner city may also place individuals at greater risk for having short sleep times as opposed to living in non-urban residential areas.

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Dr. Hale points to the need for members of disadvantaged communities to work multiple jobs or the loud noises and cramped social environment of an inner city as possible indicators of risk for abnormal sleep habits. ‘Inadequate or prolonged sleep durations may be due to an abundance of life stressors among racial minorities and residents of urban environments,’ she explains.

The study cannot identify a casual relationship between race/ethnicity and sleep duration and ultimately poor health risk due to the nature of its cross-sectional analysis, according to Dr. Hale. The results are useful, however, in potentially identifying segments of the national population that may be at greater risk for sleep disorders.

‘If sleep, in fact, is a mechanism through which some disadvantaged groups have poorer health, then developing or targeting interventions to improve sleep in these populations may work to reduce health disparities,’ explains Dr. Hale.

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