People in the News

John Boockvar, MD, the Vice Chair of Neurosurgery and Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Lenox Hill Hospital, will assume two new leadership roles at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute — Director of Experimental Research and Head of Research for the Western Region. Dr. Boockvar’s surgical expertise in brain tumors and skull base and endoscopic pituitary surgery, coupled with his extensive research portfolio, provide a strong foundation for the important work of advancing the health system’s clinical and research oncological goals.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Boockvar received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical School, where he graduated as a valedictorian. He completed his internship and went on to become the chief resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also received a postdoctorate degree in brain tumor and stem cell biology.

Olga Komargodski, MD

The Pain Institute of Long Island is pleased to welcome Olga Komargodski, MD, and Jerry Thomas, DO, to the Pain Institute of Long Island family.

Dr. Komargodski was born in Ukraine. She obtained her Bachelor of Medical Sciences from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she also received her Doctor of Medicine. In addition, she earned a public health and healthcare management degree from Bar Ilan University in Israel. After a year in internal medicine at SUNY Stony Brook, Dr. Komargodski completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She was named Chief Resident of Research and Quality Improvement, Stony Brook PM&R. During her course of study, she received many awards and accolades, which she followed up with a fellowship in pain medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Dr. Komargodski is fluent in three languages and is a published author, including peer-reviewed publications, and has presented at several national conferences on pain medicine, physiatry, and rehabilitation and physical medicine.

Jerry Thomas, DO

Jerry Thomas, DO, is a board-certified physician who specializes in interventional pain management. He is a native New Yorker who knew from an early age that he wanted to become a physician, completing his degree through a seven-year accelerated BS/DO program at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in the top 5% of his class. He then went on to complete a medicine and surgical transitional internship year through Northwell Health, Plainview Hospital, where he was awarded Intern of the Year. He subsequently completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital under both the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He had additional extensive training with sports medicine specialists at the Hospital for Special Surgery and with cancer pain specialists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Thomas decided to pursue further training to advance his skill set where he completed an accredited ACGME fellowship in interventional pain medicine through the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has been a member of several professional membership societies and continues to lecture in the academic and community settings to both residents and patients alike.

Chief Nursing Officer Nicolette Fiore-Lopez, PhD, RN, CENP

Catholic Health’s St. Charles Hospital is pleased to announce that its Chief Nursing Officer, Nicolette Fiore-Lopez, PhD, RN, CENP, has been selected to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Induction into the Academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career in which their accomplishments are honored by their colleagues within and outside the profession. Fellows are selected based on their contributions and impact to advance the public’s health.

Through a competitive, rigorous application process, the Academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed a record number of applications, representing a 30% increase from the previous year, to select the 2022 Fellows. Fiore-Lopez was one of 250 individuals selected to be inducted. The 2022 Fellows represent 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 17 countries.

As St. Charles’ CNO, Fiore-Lopez serves as the clinical lead, directing a staff of nearly 1,000 nurses, social workers, counseling staff and other personnel. She ensures the provision of quality care to the community served with nationally recognized programs in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and substance use disorder services. She also serves as adjunct faculty at Stony Brook University School of Nursing and adjunct faculty at the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve. Fiore-Lopez is President of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders, Co-Lead of the Strategic Board Placement Workgroup of the Nurses on Boards Coalition, member of the AONL Advocacy Committee and board member of Molloy College.

Sophy Lu, Northwell’s new Chief Information Officer

Northwell Health announced the appointment of Sophy Lu as its new Chief Information Officer. Lu, a 12-year veteran of the health system, succeeds John Bosco, who held the post from 2004 until his retirement.

Lu, a Senior Vice President who previously served as deputy CIO, will oversee one of the most robust digital information and technology departments in the healthcare space with more than 1,900 team members and 3,000 solutions at the fingertips of caregivers and administrators. Her new responsibilities include the strategic direction, talent, information, security, technology and service delivery for the health system’s digital transformation and integrated product innovation.

Lu joined Northwell in 2010 and assumed the role of Chief Applications Officer in 2017. There she helped the organization with its long-term digital technology goals before being appointed Deputy CIO earlier this year. Lu was responsible for the effective implementation and maintenance of digital administration systems as applications officer.

Lu has more than 20 years of experience in both health care and global information technology during a crucial time for digital transformation in health care. Prior to Northwell, Lu helped design and build a liquefied natural gas plant in Indonesia as well as the design of several air separation plants for the industrial gas industry. She earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

David Sanchez, MD,and Suffolk Pediatrics, PC were recognized with the HPV Vaccination Honor Roll Award for achieving the largest percentage increase in HPV vaccination on Long Island. This Central Islip-based pediatrics practice was the only practice in Suffolk County to achieve this honor.

With at least 30% of adolescents in New York not vaccinated against human papillomavirus, the New York State (NYS) HPV Coalition, the NYS Department of Health, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene united to develop an annual awards program to recognize health systems across the state that have excelled at increasing HPV vaccination rates in youth.

Yirezelif Fuerte, LPN, spearheads HPV vaccination efforts at Suffolk Pediatrics, PC and shared their best practices.

“We rely heavily on early education starting at 9-year-old well checks where our Medical Director, Dr. Sanchez, and the other providers at the practice have a conversation with parents to educate them on the importance of HPV vaccination.”

By beginning this conversation early, most parents consent for their children to receive the HPV vaccine by their 11-year-old well check, Fuerte says. The HPV vaccine, which prevents six types of cancer, is recommended for children of all genders at ages 11–12 and is safe beginning at age 9. For parents who are hesitant about vaccination, Suffolk Pediatrics, PC offers a patient portal with additional education, as well as pamphlets with more information in the office.

Lawrence Eisenstein, MD, MPH, FACP

Catholic Health has selected Lawrence Eisenstein, MD, MPH, FACP, as its Vice President and Chief Public and Community Health Officer. In this newly created role, Dr. Eisenstein will lead Catholic Health’s efforts to address health care disparities within underserved communities in our region. Also, he will provide leadership, coordination and project management to define, implement and evaluate Catholic Health’s strategies for providing equitable access to clinical care and ensuring quality outcomes across the communities the health system serves.

Dr. Eisenstein joins Catholic Health after more than a decade as Nassau County’s Health Commissioner. Prior to that, he specialized in managing infectious disease. Dr. Eisenstein earned his bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University before completing his medical degree at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. Dr. Eisenstein also completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Winthrop-University Hospital, in addition to earning a master’s degree in public health from New York Medical College in Valhalla.

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Source: MD News October 2022, Long Island Edition