People in the News

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, met with Sandra Lindsay, DHSc, the first American to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and a first responder in New York City.

Sandra Lindsay, RN, Director of Nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Northwell Health (left) and Abdulla Shahid, President of the General Assembly (right)

The meeting came ahead of a high-level vaccines event that was held at the United Nations and at which Lindsay spoke about the importance of vaccine equity. Shahid convened the Feb. 25 event to galvanize momentum for universal vaccination.

The meet-and-greet was also an opportunity for Shahid to symbolically thank health professionals in New York, who have worked tirelessly since the outbreak of the pandemic to treat and support the diplomatic community, many of whom are New York residents.

“The United Nations is hosted in New York and we are part of this strong City. Medical workers have been on the front lines seven days a week, 16 hours a day. We thank them. It is a privilege to meet Ms. Lindsay and to hear from her about the work being done in New York,” Shahid said at the meeting.

He called her a “pioneer who showed humanity” by taking the vaccine. “You are one person whom the world will remember.”

Lindsay is the Director of Nursing for the Critical Care Division at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, part of Northwell Health, and holds a doctorate in health sciences.

She received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14, 2020, following the emergency use authorization of the shots. The publicity provided her with a platform, which she has used to advocate for the use of and access to the COVID-19 vaccines.

“Vaccine equity is near and dear to my heart. I am happy that you chose that as the theme of this high-level event,” Lindsay told Shahid, calling the vaccine “hope.”

Esther S. Takeuchi, PhD, Distinguished Professor and the William and Jane Knapp Chair at Stony Brook University, is being honored by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and will receive the Award in Chemical Sciences. This award is in recognition of her breakthrough contributions in the understanding of electrochemical energy storage.

Esther S. Takeuchi, PhD, Distinguished Professor, honored by the National Academy of Sciences

Takeuchi, who holds a joint appointment at Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, is an internationally recognized inventor, researcher and educator in the fields of materials science, chemistry and renewable energy. She will be honored in a ceremony during the NAS 159th annual meeting on May 1 and will receive a medal and prize of $15,000 sponsored by the Merck Company Foundation.

The award cites Takeuchi’s contributions “to the materials and mechanistic understanding relevant to electrochemical energy storage, using chemical insight to address issues of critical importance.”

Takeuchi’s research has been instrumental in energy storage improvements that meet societal needs and can be applied to electric vehicles, medical devices and batteries that back up the power grid.

Among her numerous and notable inventions is a compact lithium/silver vanadium oxide battery that increased the lifespan of implantable cardiac defibrillators. This solution reduced the number of surgeries patients needed to undergo to replace the devices that detect and correct irregular, potentially fatal, heart rhythms.

Takeuchi was recently elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has also been inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and selected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was selected as the 2013 recipient of the E.V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2009, President Obama presented Takeuchi with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor possible for technological achievement in the United States.

Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Valley Stream Hospital has appointed Hsiang-chi (Angel) Meng, DO, as its Medical Director after a competitive search process.

Hsiang-chi (Angel) Meng, DO, appointed Medical Director of Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Valley Stream Hospital

Dr. Meng comes to LIJ Valley Stream from Lenox Hill Hospital, where she served as Associate Medical Director, physician advisor and hospitalist. While at Lenox Hill, Dr. Meng’s responsibilities included overseeing improvement initiatives that focused on transitions of care, readmission reduction, patient experience and patient safety. She also played a pivotal role in the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Meng grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, where her father was a government diplomat. Dr. Meng and her family also lived in Malawi for four years when her father was stationed there. While in Malawi, she witnessed how a lack of proper medical care impacted communities, which would play a role in her decision to study medicine. Dr. Meng moved to the United States in her early teens. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, she began her career as a research assistant at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. While at Feinstein Institutes, she decided to go on to medical school. She graduated from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine before starting her residency at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she would become an attending physician practicing internal medicine.

As Medical Director of LIJ Valley Stream Hospital, Dr. Meng will preside over the hospital’s clinical staff as well as the advanced care practitioner, case management and social work teams.

Dr. Meng’s husband also works for Northwell Health. He is a research associate at the Feinstein Institutes in the division of genetics. The couple have a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. They reside on Long Island.

START Treatment & Recovery Centers’ CEO Lawrence S. Brown, Jr., MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM, announced plans to retire after 40 years of service. The board of the behavioral health organization, which has treated more than 50,000 New Yorkers since it was founded in 1969, has retained Bridge Partners to manage the search for Dr. Brown’s successor.

As one of the nation’s largest minority, non-profit community-based agencies, START provides substance use treatment, primary medical care and HIV/AIDS services to adults in seven opioid treatment programs in socially and economically challenged communities in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and mental health services to adolescents. START also conducts cutting-edge clinical and behavioral health research in the areas of hepatitis C, substance use and HIV/AIDS.

The new CEO will be responsible for the direction, vision, leadership, management and motivation of the organization, and its staff and patients, leading an organization with a $30 million operating budget, over $60 million in total assets and approximately 240 employees serving more than 3,000 patients on an annual basis.

In addition to implementing START’s mission and leading its programs, services and financial oversight, the CEO will manage and direct all aspects of day-to-day operations, including supervision of staff, development of management systems and procedures, and fiscal responsibility. As the chief spokesperson, representative and fundraiser of START, the CEO will also be responsible for marketing the organization and communicating with its various constituencies and funding sources (both private and public), other public health organizations, patients, and the general public.

Dr. Brown’s fight is personal. He’s seen addiction and incarceration destroy many of his contemporaries in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where he was the first in his family to graduate from college. After serving in Vietnam and receiving his medical degree, he joined what was then the Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation. During his tenure, Dr. Brown has played a pivotal role in the development and success of START Treatment & Recovery Centers, always dedicated to ensuring that its patients — so many of whom are disenfranchised and marginalized — have access to behavioral health and opioid addiction services. Most recently, he masterfully led START through the COVID-19 pandemic, finding creative ways to continue providing care though teletherapy and medication delivery.

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Source: MD News February 2022, Long Island Edition