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Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (right), Thomas Lemp (center) and his wife, Mary (left).

Suffolk County Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R – 18th L.D.) recently honored the 2023 Healthcare Hero from the 18th Legislative District, Thomas Lemp. Lemp currently serves as an EMT with the Huntington Community First Aid Squad (HCFAS).  Prior to serving with the HCFAS, he served in the Greenlawn Fire Department as a firefighter, and is credited with creating the department’s Juniors Program.  

“Thomas is a true role model, who has clearly been a consistent local source of inspiration,” said Bontempi.  “It is volunteers like Thomas, who make a tremendous positive impact, but rarely get the accolades they deserve.  We are lucky to have him here in the 18th District.”

The Suffolk County Legislature’s Healthcare Heroes program was created in 2021 in order to highlight noteworthy individuals serving in the healthcare field.  Every year, each Healthcare Hero from the various legislative districts has their biography read into the record at a general meeting, followed by a presentation of proclamations, typically at the respective district offices.

To learn more about Lemp, the other Healthcare Heroes from the other legislative districts, and the program overview, please visit: https://www.scnylegislature.us/1314/Healthcare-Heroes. 

Dr. Harold Paz. Photo by Stony Brook Medicine/Jeanne Neville

Harold “Hal” Paz, MD, MS, has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Accelerating Treatments and Improving Quality of Life committee. As a member of the committee, Dr. Paz, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University and the Chief Executive Officer at Stony Brook University Medicine, will conduct a study to identify and recommend key actions for the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to undertake to make amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) a livable disease within a decade.

“I’m delighted to have an opportunity to serve on this committee,” said Dr. Paz. “It is an honor to be a part of a group working collaboratively to support ALS therapeutic development. Through this work, we hope to accelerate promising developments that will improve the quality of life of affected individuals and their families.”

ALS is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease. There are currently no treatments to stop or reverse the disease, although various FDA-approved formulations may extend life by several months. Stony Brook Medicine is the home of the Stony Brook Neuromuscular Disease and Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, an ALS Association Certified Center providing comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for patients of all ages with neuromuscular disorders. This distinction recognizes Stony Brook’s collaborative approach and its ability to provide the highest quality care for people with ALS and their families.

The National Academies study, which is congressionally mandated and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will consider the landscape of ALS therapeutic development, care, services, and supports. Dr. Paz and the rest of the committee will develop a report with recommendations for key actions that federal agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, and nongovernmental organizations can take, including identifying opportunities for collaboration.

With over 25 years of leadership in health services and academic medicine, Dr. Paz has established himself as a nationally renowned healthcare leader with a unique combination of expertise in both academic medical centers and a Fortune 50 company. Dr. Paz is a recognized visionary who advocates a comprehensive model to address the health and wellness of individuals and communities in a rapidly evolving society. Throughout his career, Dr. Paz’s research has focused on quality management, clinical outcomes, healthcare effectiveness and employee health benefit design. He has authored over 100 publications on these topics.

Beyond his roles at Stony Brook University and Stony Brook University Medicine, Dr. Paz serves on the National Academy of Medicine Leadership Consortium, the board of directors of Research!America, the Curai Health advisory board and has served on the boards of Select Medical Corporation, United Surgical Partners International, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Academic Health Centers and the National Health Council.

Photo Caption: Harold L. Paz, MD, MS, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University and the Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Medicine, appointed to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ALS Committee.

Credit: Photo by Stony Brook Medicine/Jeanne Neville

Fanny M. Cornejo. Photo from SBU

Stony Brook University graduate student Fanny M. Cornejo has been named the winner of the newly-created “Emerging Conservationist Award” presented by the Indianapolis Prize. This award recognizes professional wildlife conservationists, biologists and scientists under 40-years of age who are working to make strides in saving animal species from extinction.

Cornejo, a Peruvian primatologist, anthropologist and the executive director of Yunkawasi, an organization that works with Amazonian and Andean communities for the conservation of threatened species through sustainable economic development and protected area management approach, was selected from among 10 finalists. She will receive $50,000 provided by the Kobe Foundation to continue the conservation work of Yunkawasi.

Cornejo is being recognized for her more than 15 years dedicated to the conservation and research of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, a primate species that only inhabits the montane forests of Peru and is critically endangered due to human unsustainable activities that have generated the loss of over 80% of its population.

Cornejo is a member of the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) at Stony Brook University and works in the Pat Wright Lab, where she focuses on the study of primates and big mammals, focusing on diversity, ecological studies as well as conservation activities to protect forests and improve the livelihoods of local and indigenous communities. Cornejo has also conducted research on the black and white ruffed lemurs in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar. Her graduate mentors are Professors Patricia C. Wright and Liliana Dávalos.

“Fanny lives and breathes conservation. Her energy, her motivation and her success are part of her very being. What a joy to hear that her talents and hard work have been recognized with this inaugural Emerging Conservationist Prize. What an honor for Stony Brook and an honor for Peru!” said Professor Patricia Wright, Distinguished Service Professor and Herrnstein Professor of Conservation Biology.

“Fanny was always a stand-out and it’s fantastic, but not surprising, that her talents and contributions continue to go above and beyond and to be recognized,” said Professor Carl Safina, Holder of the Endowed Chair for Nature and Humanity.

“Fanny is leading the next generation of conservationists to protect nature and inspire people to care for our world. The depth of accomplishments set her apart from the other nominees. I can’t wait to see the impact of her career in conservation,” added Indianapolis Zoological Society President and CEO Dr. Rob Shumaker.

Cornejo will be formally recognized as the 2023 Emerging Conservationist at the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. in downtown Indianapolis on Sept. 30, 2023.

“I am very honored and grateful for this recognition that is not only for me, but also for my entire team, the people we work with, our partners in local communities, governments and our donors. Undoubtedly, being the first winner of the Emerging Conservationist Award and from an organization as important as the Indianapolis Prize is a great recognition for our work in Peru,” said Cornejo.

The Emerging Conservationist finalists were selected through a two-stage selection process, where a review committee evaluated and narrowed the application pool to 10 finalists. Those finalists were then evaluated by a selection committee who chose Cornejo the winner.

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes the world’s leading conservationists whose work provides future generations with replicable and actionable conservation practices. The finalists of the Emerging Conservationists represent the people we can rely on to save species worldwide. Stony Brook University Professors Patricia Wright (2014) and Russ Mittermeier (2018) have both been awarded the Indianapolis Prize.

# # #

About the Indianapolis Prize

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes and rewards conservationists who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Since 2006, the Indianapolis Prize has given more than $5.6 million in unrestricted cash awards. The Indianapolis Prize is administered by the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.

About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University — New York’s flagship university and No. 1 public university — is going far beyond the expectations of today’s public universities. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. With more than 24,000 students, more than 2,800 faculty members, more than 200,000 alumni, a premier academic healthcare system and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs, Stony Brook is a research-intensive distinguished center of innovation dedicated to addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The university embraces its mission to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality, and is ranked among the top 35 public universities by Forbes and one of the top 80 universities in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges listing. Fostering a commitment to academic research and intellectual endeavors, Stony Brook’s membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places it among the top 65 research institutions in North America. The university’s distinguished faculty have earned esteemed awards such as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Stony Brook has the responsibility of co-managing Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy — one of only eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. Providing economic growth for neighboring communities and the wider geographic region, the university totals an impressive $7.23 billion in increased economic output on Long Island. Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stonybrooku/) and Twitter(@stonybrooku).

About Yunkawasi

Yunkawasi is a Peruvian non-profit, dedicated to the sustainable development of the territory and the conservation of its biodiversity to achieve the well-being of different human groups. They have more than 16 years of experience working hand in hand with state, civil and private partners for the design and implementation of conservation projects in key ecosystems. Yunkawasi works in various ecosystems, from coastal to Amazonian landscapes, with a focus on conservation and management of protected natural areas, sustainable socioeconomic development, participatory research, and communication and environmental education. They promote an inclusive society that sustainably manages its natural resources, values the benefits they provide, and defend their natural and cultural heritage.

On Wednesday, April 12, at 11 a.m., a ceremony was held to rename a portion of Railroad Street in Huntington Station in memory of Huntington Community First Aid Squad and FDNY EMS Capt. Alison Russo. She was murdered in September last year while on duty in Queens.

A portion of Railroad Street in Huntington Station was renamed in honor of Captain Alison Russo, who was murdered in September while on duty in Queens. Photo by Daniel Febrizio

A media advisory notice said that Russo had been with HCFAS since 1992, serving for nearly 30 years. She also served in the FDNY for 24 years and was a first responder at the World Trade Center on 9/11. The HCFAS and the FDNY promoted Russo to captain following her death.

Huntington Town Supervisor Edmund Smyth (R) led the ceremony. It began with the pledge of allegiance followed by the Huntington High School Choir singing the national anthem.

Huntington Manor Fire Department Chaplain Chuck Brady then came to the podium to speak. “To us, this is so much more than just a renaming of a street,” he said. “It is more a remembrance that every time we go down this street we will remember Alison, her bravery, and her many selfless acts of compassion and love.” 

After Brady said a prayer, Smyth took the podium. “There are an abundance of words that can be used to describe Captain Russo — dedicated, strong, friendly, compassionate,” he said. “Her legacy and impact will never be forgotten here in Huntington.”

Russo’s father, Frank Fuoco, was then invited to say a few words. “Alison never boasted of her achievements,” he said of his daughter. He went on to say that she devoted her career to helping those in need.

Speaking of the day she was murdered, he said, “We’re here today to honor and shed brightness on that day. I know Alison would like all uniformed and support personnel to share this event with her.” The father added, “There’s so much emptiness all around us without her, she was our hero.” 

A portion of Railroad Street in Huntington Station was renamed in honor of Captain Alison Russo, who was murdered in September while on duty in Queens. Photo by Daniel Febrizio

Fuoco tearfully shared a dream he had on the eve of his birthday in which his daughter came to visit him dressed in her uniform. He relayed the dream to his wife and she told him, “That was Alison, wishing you happy birthday.”

Tiffany White, a member of HCFAS, then spoke about how Russo had impacted her life. “Alison was a mentor to many,” she said. “Ally took me under her wing [in 2005] and taught me about the EMS world. In 2008, I was able to become a full member because of her. She taught me everything I know about EMS.”

“Ally dedicated her life to helping others, whether you were a friend, a co-worker, or simply just a member of the community,” she added. “Today we honor Alison for all her hard work and dedication to the community that she so proudly served and lives that
she touched.”

Brady ended the ceremony with a closing prayer, then taps was played while the new sign was unveiled in memory of the fallen public servant. It reads: “Capt. Alison Russo Way: Huntington Community First
Aid Squad.”

Visit our website at tbrnewsmedia.com on and after Friday, April 14, to watch our video from the ceremony.

Attendees of the gala made contact with the children at the Jerusha Mwiraria Hope Children’s Home in Meru, Kenya, via Skype. Photo by Stacey Young

The Rocky Point Rotary Club hosted the 5th annual Douglas J. McDonough Hope Children’s Fund Gala on Saturday, March 11, at the Inn and Spa at East Wind in Wading River.

This annual event benefits the Jerusha Mwiraria Hope Children’s Home in Meru, Kenya. Douglas McDonough was a former secretary of HCF who accomplished much for the orphanage despite being paralyzed.

Rocky Point Rotary Club president Kevin Mann detailed McDonough’s perseverance and drive in the face of his physical condition.

“Nothing ever stopped him,” Mann said. “No one ever even asked about his injury because he did everything,” adding, “He taught at BOCES in the middle school level for kids who got thrown out of their schools — in a wheelchair. He was just an amazing guy.”

Mann also outlined the central motivations for the gala, affirming that the annual event has been perennially instrumental in enabling educational opportunities for the children at Hope Children’s Home.

Rocky Point Rotary Club president Kevin Mann delivered a speech during the event. Photo by Stacey Young

“The premise of the gala is to raise funds and provide educational opportunities for orphans in Kenya,” he said. “This event will supply enough funds to send 45 children with secondary and postsecondary education for a trimester,” adding, “We raise a tremendous amount of money for that cause.”

Mann chronicled the orphanage’s history, stating the earliest organizers first laid plans for the home in 2000. In 2003, the organization became a 501(c)(3) charity, and in 2005 the organizers opened the orphanage.

Children entering the home come from varied and often difficult backgrounds, according to Mann. “There’s a wide range of how they arrive at the door,” he said.

Moreover, membership has grown considerably during its nearly two decades in operation. “The goal was 18 children,” Mann said. “We have [over] 90 today.”

One of the unique characteristics of HCF is its organizational structure. The U.S.-based operation is entirely volunteer driven, with salaries paid out exclusively to employees in Kenya supervising the care of the children.

“In this particular case, everybody can say that 100% [of the proceeds go] to the cause,” Mann said.

One such HCF employee is Veronica Ntinyari, who runs the orphanage. In a series of text exchanges via WhatsApp, Ntinyari explained how the funds from the gala would assist the children under her care.

“The funds raised help to support the orphanage in paying their school fees, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities in the home,” she said.

Veronica Ntinyari, above, runs the Jerusha Mwiraria Hope Children’s Home in Meru, Kenya. Photo courtesy Ntinyari

Sonia Saleh is district governor for Rotary District 7255, which covers 62 Rotary Clubs throughout Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens. She praised the Rocky Point Rotary for its initiative concerning HCF.

“The Rotary Club of Rocky Point has taken this cause on,” she said, adding, “This Rotary Club is all about peace and internationalism, which is so wonderful.”

Mann maintained that the HCF gala closely corresponds to the stated purpose and vision of Rotary International. “It fits very much under the concerns of Rotary, and literacy is one of the major components of Rotary as well,” he said.

Saleh added to this sentiment. “Rotary is about two things — it’s about service and community,” the district governor said. “The point is we come together for service first, and then there are the community and friendships, which is beautiful.”

Through HCF and Rocky Point Rotary, Ntinyari said she feels associated to the people of Rocky Point and the greater Long Island community. 

“Me and the children feel connected to Long Island community members, especially during their visits in Meru,” she said.

To learn more about Hope Children’s Fund or to make a donation, visit hopechildrensfund.org.

Stony Brook University Hospital

Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) has achieved the highest level of national recognition as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2023, according to new research released by Healthgrades. This places SBUH in the top one percent of hospitals in the country.

SBUH has steadily increased its rankings — from the top 250 since 2015, to the top 100 since 2019, and now the top 50 — a reflection of its commitment to bring the best in care to its patients.

“I’m delighted with this significant accomplishment, which places us among the top one percent of hospitals in the country,” said Hal Paz, MD, MS, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Stony Brook University, and Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Medicine. “It reflects the ongoing efforts of everyone across our hospital to continuously deliver outstanding clinical outcomes and an unwavering dedication to our patients.”

“The exceptional care found at Stony Brook University Hospital is only possible when a hospital commits to high standards of quality and continuous improvement throughout the organization,” said Carol A. Gomes, MS, FACHE, CPHQ, Chief Executive Officer for Stony Brook University Hospital. “I am grateful to our physicians, nurses and all staff for their tireless hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence.”  

“We’re proud to recognize Stony Brook University Hospital as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2023,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science at Healthgrades. “As one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals, SBUH consistently delivers better-than-expected outcomes for the patients in their community and is setting a high national standard for clinical excellence.”

Healthgrades evaluated patient mortality and complication rates for 31 of the most common conditions and procedures at nearly 4,500 hospitals across the country to identify the top-performing hospitals. This year’s analysis revealed significant variation between America’s Best 50 Hospitals and hospitals that did not receive the distinction. In fact, if all hospitals performed similarly to America’s 50 Best, over 150,000 lives could have been saved*.

Cardiac Care: 

These newest national and state rankings come on the heels of Healthgrades naming SBUH as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery™, now for two years in a row (2022-2023). SBUH is one of only two hospitals in New York State to be named among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care™ for nine years in a row (2015-2023). For more information, visit heart.stonybrookmedicine.edu/healthgrades

Stroke Care: 

SBUH is also proud to be the only hospital in New York State to be named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care for eight years in a row (2016-2023). In addition, Healthgrades 2023 rankings named SBUH as the #2 ranked hospital in NY for both Neurosciences and Stroke Care for 2023 — and one of only two hospitals on Long Island* in the top five. See other Stony Brook Neurosciences Institute-related Healthgrades achievements at neuro.stonybrookmedicine.edu/strokehealthgrades2023.

Hysterectomy Procedures: 

Additionally, for 2022 SBUH received a 5-star rating for Hysterectomy procedures, Healthgrades found that there is a significant variation in hospital quality between those that have received 5 stars and those that have not. For example, patients having a Hysterectomy in hospitals with 5-stars have, on average, a 65.1% lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated by hospitals with 1-star. For more women’s health-related Healthgrades achievements, visit womenshealth.stonybrookmedicine.edu/news/healthgrades

“Year after year, our hospital’s Heart Institute and Cerebrovascular and Comprehensive Stroke Center continue to shine, providing a level of care few hospitals anywhere can match,” said Dr. Paz. “And our five-star rating for Hysterectomy places us among our nation’s Hysterectomy leaders.“

*Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2019 through 2021 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

*Long Island is defined as Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Stony Brook Professor John Fleagle during a paleontology expedition in Ethiopia. Photo by John Shea

His work in the evolution of primate locomotion and adaptation spans 50 years

 John Fleagle, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine, has won the Charles Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award. Granted by the American Association of Biological Anthropology (AABA), the award will be presented at the association’s annual conference held April 19-22 in Nevada. Known as the AABA’s most prestigious honor, this yearly award recognizes a senior member of the association who has exhibited a lifetime of contributions and commitment to biological anthropology.

Fleagle is only the second Stony Brook professor to receive the Charles Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, it was bestowed upon the late Robert R. Sokal, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolution.

Professor Fleagle’s presence in the field of biological anthropology spans half a century. Much of his work has centered around investigating primate evolution, primate locomotion, and broad patterns of evolution and adaptation across many taxa. From Argentina to India, his fieldwork has taken him across the world. In Ethiopia, Professor Fleagle directed a groundbreaking study that uncovered fresh insights into the African origin of homo sapiens.

Professor Fleagle has mentored and trained young anthropologists, founded and edited an authoritative review journal called Evolutionary Anthropology, and authored a highly regarded textbook titled Primate Adaptation and Evolution. He is also a member of the Scientific Executive Committee of the LSB Leakey Foundation.

“I’m delighted that John was granted the award,” said AABA President Steven Leigh. “His work is remarkable and has made major impacts across many aspects of our discipline. His textbook set the standard for our field and I consider it one of the best textbooks in any field.

“Personally, John helped me immensely 30 years ago when I was a postdoc at Stony Brook just getting a start in the field,” added Leigh. “It will be a career highlight for me to present the award to him.”

Professor Fleagle is a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of three graduate programs at Stony Brook University – the Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution, the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, and the program in Anatomical Sciences.

Stony Brook Heart Institute has expanded its current array of TAVR treatment approaches, providing new options for patients with severe aortic stenosis. Photo by Jim Lennon/Stony Brook Medicine
Includes valve technology used for the first time on LI and NYC

Physicians at the Stony Brook Heart Institute Valve Center have expanded the array of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) approaches with two innovative techniques for treating patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS). Aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, affects up to 20 percent of older Americans. AS can lead to significant heart problems. For those with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis, the mortality rate within a year can go as high as 50 percent if left untreated.

Stony Brook Heart Institute’s new treatment options offer these potential benefits to patients:

  • More precise procedures. Building on the existing family of TAVR treatment approaches, Evolut FX, the fourth and latest-generation of the Evolut™ TAVR System Medtronic self-expanding valve technology, is designed to provide physicians with greater ease of use, precision and control throughout the procedure—leading to overall more predictable, deliverable and precise TAVR procedures. On October 5, 2022, the specially-trained Stony Brook TAVR team completed their first FX system procedure.
  • Reduced wear of the valve. A new type of transcatheter tissue valve, the Edwards SAPIEN 3 Ultra RESILIA™ valve, has the potential to improve valve longevity and reduce the need for reintervention by using enhanced calcium-blocking technology to help reduce calcification and the wear of the valve. On November 2, 2022, the first procedure using the SAPIEN 3 Ultra RESILIA™ valve for an aortic valve replacement was performed by the Stony Brook TAVR team. On the same day, the SAPIEN 3 Ultra RESILIA™ valve was used in an intervention procedure to replace a failed surgical mitral valve. Procedures using the SAPIEN 3 Ultra RESILIA™ valve at Stony Brook were the first on Long Island and in NYC to be performed using this type of valve technology.

For three years in a row (2021-2023), Stony Brook has been named a Five-Star Recipient for Valve Surgery by Healthgrades, the first organization in the country to rate hospital quality based on actual clinical outcomes. The TAVR team is led by cardiovascular surgeon, Henry Tannous, MD, Co-Director, Stony Brook Heart Institute, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Director, Structural Heart Program; Smadar Kort, MD, Director, Valve Center and Director, Interventional Echocardiography; and interventional cardiologists Robert Pyo, MD, Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Director, Structural Heart Disease Program, and Puja Parikh, MD, Director, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program.

“Many of our patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis will, now, based on their individual preferences and discussion with their heart team, be able to opt for the most innovative, minimally invasive method of aortic valve replacement that best ensures their safety and outcomes,” shares Dr. Tannous. “It is an exciting and transformative time both for patients and the medical community, alike.”

“Our TAVR clinicians now have more ways to provide quality care that is customizable to the patient’s needs,” says Dr. Pyo. “Our ever-growing TAVR program continues to raise the bar for cardiac care on Long Island and we are proud to provide our community with the full array of the most comprehensive aortic stenosis diagnostics and treatments under one roof.”

“Our TAVR program is patient-focused in every aspect, from patient selection to procedure planning to treatment and postoperative care,” advises Dr. Kort. “The treatment provided at the Stony Brook Heart Institute Valve Center is distinguished by easy access to our entire team of specialists and our wonderful and dedicated nurse navigator who acts as a liaison between the medical team and the patient and family.”

“The combined expertise of our multidisciplinary teams allows us to bring the best approach to each patient, treating our cardiovascular patients with some of the most advanced technological breakthroughs for optimal outcomes and quality of life,” says Dr. Parikh.

The TAVR procedure involves placing a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s location through a catheter. For those with severe AS who are considered high-risk for conventional open-heart surgery, the minimally-invasive alternative provides a viable option that eliminates the need for traditional open-heart surgery. TAVR is also a surgical treatment option for patients with severe AS who are considered low-or intermediate-risk for conventional open heart surgery. Stony Brook was the first in Suffolk County and among the first in the nation to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR.

For more information about innovative heart treatment at Stony Brook Heart Institute, visit heart.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

About Stony Brook Heart Institute:

Stony Brook Heart Institute is located within Stony Brook University Hospital as part of Long Island’s premier university-based medical center. The Heart Institute offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The staff includes full-time and community-based, board-certified cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, as well as specially trained anesthesiologists, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, surgical technologists, perfusionists, and other support staff. Their combined expertise provides state-of-the-art interventional and surgical capabilities in 24-hour cardiac catheterization labs and surgical suites. And while the Heart Institute clinical staff offers the latest advances in medicine, its physician-scientists are also actively enhancing knowledge of the heart and blood vessels through basic biomedical studies and clinical research. To learn more, visit www.heart.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

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Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. Photo from Tierney's office
Defendant Noah Green faces multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced today the Grand Jury Indictment of Noah Green, that formally accuses him of two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, one count of Criminal Possession of a Firearm, as well as counts of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Resisting Arrest.

“In Suffolk County, we investigate every time that a gun is illegally fired, and we pursue charges on those perpetrating violence in our community,” said DA Tierney. “Here, thanks to the amazing work of the investigators from my office and Suffolk County Police Department detectives, the gun used in the shooting in front of Congressman Zeldin’s house was allegedly recovered from the pocket of this defendant. Moreover, the Suffolk County Crime lab was able to link this gun to a bullet from the shooting near Congressman Zeldin’s residence, as well as shell casings located in the stolen car believed to have been used in the shooting. This indictment should send a message that in Suffolk County we will not tolerate violence. The investigation in this case is not over.”

On October 31, members of law enforcement were conducting surveillance pursuant to the ongoing investigation into the October 9,  non-fatal shooting outside the residence of United States Congressman Lee Zeldin. At approximately 1 p.m., members of law enforcement allegedly observed Green, 18, exiting his residence in Shirley and enter the driver’s seat of a stolen black 2022 HondaCRV.

At that time, members of law enforcement approached the defendant who immediately exited the stolen vehicle and attempted to evade apprehension by jumping onto the hood and roof of a law enforcement vehicle. In his efforts to flee, Green caused damage to both the hood and roof of that vehicle. The defendant continuously refused to comply with the officers’ commands and began reaching for his pants pocket where the loaded Taurus 9 mm pistol was ultimately recovered.

The gun was found to contain a loaded, high-capacity magazine. A microscopic analysis of the gun allegedly recovered from the defendant’s pocket showed that the firearm was used in the non- fatal shooting that occurred in front of the Zeldin residence on October 9. Additionally, two 9 mm shell casings were recovered from the cowl (i.e., the space between the hood and the windshield) of the stolen car, believed to have been used in the October 9 shooting. The October 9 shooting is still under active investigation and defendant Green is not charged with that crime at this time.

As part of the investigation, members of law enforcement have observed social media accounts allegedly belonging to the defendant and observed the following picture, which depicts Green and another individual with a firearm, posted to the defendant’s Snapchat account on Friday October 28, 2022:

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In addition to the image above, other images and videos posted to this account revealed that the defendant was an occupant of a vehicle which appears consistent with the stolen Honda CRV from which he fled immediately prior to his arrest on October 31.

Green is charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a class C violent felony); Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (a class D violent felony); Criminal Possession of a Firearm, (an E non-violent felony); Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Third Degree (a class A misdemeanor), Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree (a class A misdemeanor) and Resisting Arrest (a class A misdemeanor). If convicted as charged, Green can be sentenced to a determinate period of incarceration of between three and one half (3 1⁄2) years imprisonment and 15 years imprisonment.

At his arraignment on the indictment this morning, the Honorable Karen M. Wilutis ordered Green held on $1 million cash, $2 million bond or $10 million partially secured bond.

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.

Allison Russo-Elling/FDNY

Funeral services have been made for a nearly 30-year member of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, Allison Russo-Elling.

Russo-Elling, in addition to her volunteer work in Huntington, was a lieutenant with the New York City Fire Department and a 24-year veteran of the FDNY. She was also a 9/11 first responder.

The lieutenant was attacked and stabbed multiple times while walking in Astoria, Queens, while on duty at FDNY’s EMS Station on Sept. 29. She was brought to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

She was appointed to the FDNY as an EMT in 1998, according to the FDNY, and promoted to paramedic in 2002. She became a lieutenant in 2016.

Russo, a longtime Town of Huntington resident, joined the Huntington Community First Aid Squad in November 1992, according to the HCFAS Facebook page. She was also a day captain for 13 years. It was during her time with the first aid squad that she became an EMT.

THE HCFAS posted on its Facebook page that she was “loved by so many at HCFAS. She will be dearly missed by everyone, but her legacy will live within our hearts forever.”

In addition to her work within the Huntington community, she was a 24-year veteran of the FDNY, joining as an EMT in 1998.

Russo’s wake will be held at Commack Abbey Funeral Home in Commack on Monday, Oct. 3, and Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A service will be held Oct. 5 at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts in Brookville at 11 a.m. Cremation will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to EMS FDNY Help Fund, P.O. Box 604362, Bayside, NY 11360-4362. Or, Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center, 33 Warner Road, Huntington, NY 11743.