2019 – A Year in Review

Happy New Year! As we enter a new decade, I cannot help but reflect on 2019 – a historic year for Stony Brook Medicine.

With the will and determination of our incredible team as the driving force behind attaining organizational goals aligned with key healthcare systems, I would like to take a moment to highlight several significant milestones we have recently achieved and to reflect on the many successes we have had as an organization over the past year.

2019 marked the completion of a $423 million expansion project and the opening of a new Medical and Research Translation (MART) building and Hospital Pavilion, home of the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. As a result of these efforts, Stony Brook University Hospital’s bed count has increased from 603 to 624 beds. Additionally, our healthcare system continues to expand with the addition of Suffolk County’s first established hospital, Eastern Long Island Hospital, which officially joined Stony Brook’s network this past July and has been renamed Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital. The Phillips Family Cancer Center also officially opened in Southampton to provide services for our patients on the East End of Long Island.

In order to continually improve patient throughput, we created a Centralized Throughput Office (CTO), allowing a dedicated team from multiple disciplines to ensure smoother patient flow efforts using state-of-the-art technology to support bed placement. As a result of additional beds opening, the constant vigilance associated with the work of the CTO, as well as changes in workflow to better standardize decision-making, preliminary data reveal reductions in PACU and Emergency Department boarder hours, which reduces the need to float nursing staff and enhances patient engagement. Besides the CTO and additional opened hospital beds, the New York State Department of Health has approved 20 hospital observation beds – slated to open on Sunday, Jan. 12. This allows hospital observation patients to be cohorted and provides additional bed capacity for medicine patients.

Stony Brook Medicine’s Mobile Stroke Unit Program, the first and only one of its kind on Long Island, was launched in April 2019, and has played a significant role within our Comprehensive Stroke Center to give members of our community the best chance of surviving a stroke before they even get to the hospital. That’s because the special equipment, medications and tele-medical support on board each unit allow the physicians at Stony Brook University Hospital to instantly see, examine and identify if someone is a candidate for a mechanical thrombectomy – a procedure to remove clots that block large vessels.

With the introduction of the Mobile Stroke Units, which have already been dispatched approximately 1,000 times to potential stroke calls, more people are being rapidly identified for this time-sensitive procedure and quickly transported to the nearest comprehensive stroke center. As a result of these efforts, Dr. David Fiorella was recently recognized as a “Man of the Year” by the Village Times Herald for these achievements.

In October 2019, our Adult and Pediatric Trauma services were both verified as Level 1 Trauma Programs by the American College of Surgeons. Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) is home to the only Level 1 Trauma Center for adults and children in Suffolk County. This designation is effective through October 2022, and the team will continue to provide expert trauma care for Suffolk County’s patient population with our state-of-the-art facilities and experienced team.

In the quality and patient safety arena, SBUH continues to stand out from the crowd as it earned a myriad of honors, including the 2019 Pinnacle Award from the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and recognition as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals™ for 2019 from Healthgrades. SBUH was also named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care™ for the sixth year in a row; one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention™ for the fifth consecutive year; and one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care™ five years running, cementing our reputation as a nationwide leader in transforming healthcare.

The patient experience also continues to be an area of focus and was solidified as an organizational priority by hiring a Chief Patient Experience Officer. The development of a Patient and Family Advisory Committee was formed to obtain input from our patient and family partners with the goal of enhancing the patient experience and providing a mechanism for input, ideas and recommendations to continually improve patient satisfaction. Emphasis on communication and providing compassionate and connected care will continue to be a central theme over the next year.

Realizing that meaningful engagement with staff is a critical enabler of success and has a direct impact on both the quality of care and patient experience, this past year we began designing a comprehensive employee engagement strategy. The Employee Engagement Steering Committee, composed of senior leadership, was developed to prioritize and drive engagement across Stony Brook Medicine. The Employee Engagement Advisory Committee was established to allow employees at every level to have their voices heard and provide input into shaping a culture of engagement.

The committee quickly introduced the Stony Brook Stars Program, a new reward and recognition program focused on expressing appreciation to employees who model our core values of iCare (Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence). Since the program began, more than 1,700 employees have been recognized by their colleagues as Stony Brook Stars – employees who exceed the expectations of our patients, families, co-workers and others. A number of additional initiatives are also in progress.

As 2019 draws to a close, I hope each and every one of you take away a great sense of accomplishment. Your hard work and commitment is what will allow Stony Brook Medicine to sustain success, improving our performance across the board, as we provide the best possible care for our patients and their families. Our future is filled with boundless opportunities to transform care and continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve. In the coming year, we will embark on the development of a Clinically Integrated Network and continue to expand the footprint of Stony Brook Medicine.

It is truly an honor and privilege to lead Stony Brook University Hospital into the new decade. SBUH’s accolades, awards, honors, innovation and exceptional care cannot be realized without our dedicated team members. It is your commitment to making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families that is the basis for our transformational work.

I would like to thank our patients, their families, our community partners, and of course our extraordinary healthcare professionals, faculty, staff and volunteers for their continued insight, guidance and support throughout this exciting time of growth and development at SBUH.

With all good wishes for the new year,



Submitted by Kristi Mohr (not verified) on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 12:38 PM


Glad to know you have the helm and I will be routing for you (for us) in 2020.

Submitted by Pamela Scurry (not verified) on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 01:03 PM


I’m looking forward to an exceptional new year as well as the next decade in our Women’s Center and throughout the entire hospital.

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