SBUMC Celebrates Opening of New Pediatric Emergency Department That Addresses Unique Needs of Youngest Patients


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    Dr. Sergey Kunkov, nationally recognized pediatrics physician, heads up new department

    Credit: Sam Levitan
    Dr. Sergey Kunkov, Chief of SBUMC’s Pediatric Emergency Department, center, takes a moment to celebrate the new department and space with Dr. Steven L. Strongwater, CEO, and Dr. Margaret M. McGovern, Chair of Pediatrics.

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., April 7, 2010 – Stony Brook University Medical Center on April 7 celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art Pediatrics Emergency Department designed to offer child-centered emergency services in a warm and comforting atmosphere.

    Headed by Dr. Sergey Kunkov, who comes to SBUMC from Jacobi Medical Center-Albert Einstein School of Medicine in The Bronx, the separate pediatric emergency department is part of the hospital’s major modernization project and features:

    • Physicians board certified in pediatric emergency medicine and an experienced staff including nurses, physician assistants, and technologists with specialty pediatrics training;
    • Nine private, hard-walled treatment rooms that protect patient privacy and accommodate parents and their child;
    • Child-sized equipment, gowns, IVs, airway management tools, and other medical necessities;
    • A new 320-slice CT scanner – the fastest in Suffolk County – that improves the speed so much that most children will not need sedation when undergoing diagnostic tests;
    • Negative pressure isolation rooms in which to evaluate children with potential airborne infectious diseases;
    • A dedicated separate entrance that keeps children away from the potentially frightening adult crises that can occur in a general emergency department;
    • Free valet parking so that parents can focus on their child rather than mundane details.

    Credit: Sam Levitan
    Stony Brook University Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art Pediatrics Emergency Department on April 7. Pictured at the ribbon cutting, from left: Alison Rowe, Nurse Manager, Emergency Department; John Tsunis, member of the SBUMC Development Council ; Dr. Sergey Kunkov, Chief, Pediatric ED; Dr. Richard N. Fine, Dean, School of Medicine; Dr. Steven L. Strongwater, CEO, SBUMC; Dr. Margaret M. McGovern, Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Dr. Mark C. Henry, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Eric Niegelberg, EMS Director.

    "The opening of a separate Pediatric Emergency Department at Stony Brook University Medical Center moves us to the forefront of emergency pediatric medicine in terms of design, equipment and dedicated staff,” said Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine. “Dr. Sergey Kunkov is a nationally known pediatric emergency medicine physician who will provide leadership for this new facility that is second to none in the region. This will enable us to offer the very best care to our youngest patients and their families in a warm and calming atmosphere that will help to ease anxiety over being in a hospital."

    “Our goal is to expand and enhance emergency care for the children and adolescents of Suffolk County, simplify the referral and transferring process of sick children from private pediatric offices and outlying hospitals to our pediatric emergency department, and broaden the scope of the house staff education in pediatric emergency medicine,” Dr. Kunkov said. “Establishing a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship is also in our plans.”

    Dr. Kunkov said the advantage of having a separate pediatric emergency department is that the physicians and staff are specially trained to deal with both the young patients and their families.

    “Children have their own unique needs and medical conditions that you need to be attuned to and need to respond to in an effective fashion, especially with younger children, those who are not verbal. Fellowship-trained pediatric emergency physicians are the optimal providers of medical care to acutely ill or injured kids,” he said.

    Credit: Sam Levitan
    Dr. Sergey Kunkov, newly appointed Chief of SBUMC’s Pediatric Emergency Department, spoke about how the new department will be a gateway for children needing other specialty pediatric services at the hospital.

    Pediatric emergency medical specialists are also trained to involve the entire family in the care plan, he said, which improves the outcome for the patient. “Alleviating the parents’ anxiety and keeping them fully informed about what is happening matters a great deal. Once the parents understand what’s going on, once they’re involved in the process, the kids will feel better, calmer and overall care improves quite a bit.

    Dr. Kunkov had been with Jacobi Medical Center in The Bronx for more than 10 years, most recently as Associate Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship. He was also Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

    He received a Master of Science in Clinical Research Methods at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in The Bronx. He had a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Jacobi Medical Center-Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and did his pediatric residency at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn.  He received his M.D. degree and did his internship program in pediatrics at the Pediatric Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia.