04/17/14 8:15am
Cynthia and Tom Rosicki, owners of Sparking Pointe, were presented with a plaque at the ceremony. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Sparkling Pointe owners Tom and Cynthia Rosicki, left, were presented with a plaque at ELIH’s ceremony on Wednesday. (Credit: Carrie Miller photos)

Eastern Long Island Hospital hosted a reception Wednesday to present its $4.5 million operating room remodeling plan and to acknowledge benefactors that helped make the project possible.

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03/19/14 2:00pm
COURTESY PHOTO | Suffolk County could lead the nation in preventing teenagers from getting hooked on nicotine.

COURTESY PHOTO | Suffolk County could lead the nation in preventing teenagers from getting hooked on nicotine.

Suffolk County is poised to be the first county nationwide keeping cigarettes out of the hands of teens as the county legislature voted to raise the age one can purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21 Tuesday night. (more…)

10/12/13 2:30pm

ELIH COURTESY PHOTO | Dr. John Cosgrove of Shelter Island is the new general surgeon at Eastern Long Island Hospital.

Eastern Long Island Hospital has welcomed a new general surgeon to its staff with the hiring of Dr. John Cosgrove.

Dr. Cosgrove, 56, has over 30 years of experience and most recently served as chairman of surgery and residency program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, ELIH officials said.

Married with three children, he has been visiting the North Fork for the past decade, staying at a vacation home on Shelter Island. He now lives on the island full-time.

The Greenport hospital has expanded its surgery department over the past five years and now does more than 5,000 procedures annually, said Eileen Solomon, assistant director of community relations. With the addition of Dr. Cosgrove, she said, they hope to continue expanding.

Q: Do you have any pre-surgery rituals?

A: I don’t like a lot of music in the operating room, but I’ll play a little rock and roll, like [the band] Rush. I think my ritual is just thinking about the cases and talking to the surgical team and not taking anything for granted. I like to hear everybody and everybody’s input. You really have to be very careful; even if you can do the surgery well you have to make sure the patient’s cardiac history can undergo the surgery.

Q: What drew you to Eastern Long Island Hospital?

A: I spent all of my career in the surgery department and I’ve educated surgical residents for 25 years. I did surgery, but I was spending a lot of time with administrative responsibilities and I missed being involved in day-to-day patient care.

Mr. Connor was recruiting a full-time general surgeon. They were calling me to see if I knew of anyone. I said I’d take a look at it. I think as soon as I met Mr. Connor I was very impressed with the care here, his leadership and vision for the future.

Q: You perform a variety of surgical procedures, including laparoscopic surgeries, hernia repairs, colon resections and gastric procedures. Do you consider any of these your specialty?

A: I don’t really consider myself a specialist but what I think I bring to the field is a broad background in general surgery — and you see some difficult cases when you’ve been practicing as long as I have. I think if there’s one field in particular, gastrointestinal surgery is my area of special interest. We want to be able to expand our laparoscopic surgeries as well, and I intend to do that.

Q: How is Eastern Long Island Hospital different from other hospitals you’ve worked at in your career?

A: I’ve never been to a place that’s so supportive and welcoming. Everybody here has really gone over the top to make me feel a part of the team and the family. I don’t use the term “family” loosely, either. It’s highly organized and the emphasis is on patient care. It’s really a very special place. I can’t see myself going anywhere else.

cmiller@timesreview.com

10/09/13 12:37pm
DANIEL GILREIN COURTESY PHOTO | A female deer tick.

DANIEL GILREIN COURTESY PHOTO | A female deer tick.

Suffolk County is one step closer to better managing its growing tick population and the resulting health concerns.

The county Legislature passed a law Tuesday requiring Suffolk County Vector Control to aggressively address the increase in cases of tick-borne disease.

Approved 16-0, with one abstention, the new law requires county Vector Control, which is charged with controlling the spread of insect-borne diseases, to submit an annual plan to combat their occurrence. Outlined in the plan should be the measures being taken, work to be done and an analysis to determine the program’s effectiveness, legislators said.

In recent years, Vector Control has focused mainly on mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile virus, said county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), the new law’s primary sponsor. But an individual is 300 times more likely to contract Lyme disease than West Nile virus, according to a press release from Mr. Schneiderman’s office.

Lyme disease is now the most widespread vector-borne disease in the U.S., but cases are often under-reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi (R), running against Mr. Scneiderman for county Legislature November 5 to represent Shelter Island, has said he favors the law but wondered why it took so long for action. Both candidates will be debating the issues this Saturday at the library.

Vector Control officials have about a year to develop a plan, which will be due next October, Mr. Schneiderman said. County residents will not benefit from the plan until it goes into effect in 2015, he said, adding that funding for the plan will be considered in the 2015 budget.

“But I don’t think [the budget] should be driving the train here,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I think public health should be the main consideration. We’ll figure out what we should be doing and then let’s figure out how to pay for it.”

Mr. Schneiderman said he envisions a comprehensive plan that begins by studying the number of deer, rodents and ticks in the county, to better understand the role each plays.

“We don’t really have a handle on how many ticks there are or where they are,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “They are going to have to start getting counts. That is what Vector Control does with mosquitoes — they have a really good handle and hopefully they will be able to do the same thing with ticks.”

With data in place, he said, a viable plan will follow. He said simply focusing on deer, the target for tick control among many local communities, will not be enough.

“I think a real tick-control program has to go way beyond deer,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “It’s going to get into rodent control, clearing high grass areas and maybe even controlled burning in certain areas. There are a lot of things the plan could include.”

09/24/13 8:00am

COURTESY PHOTO | A worker testing for ticks in an open field last spring. Tests in June showed a spike in the tick population of 200 percent at Mashomack in one year.

In an effort to combat tick-borne illnesses, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) has introduced new legislation to step up pressure on Suffolk County Vector Control, which is in charge of controlling the spread of insect-borne diseases.

The proposed law would require Vector Control to submit an annual plan that indicates steps being taken to reduce the incidence of tick-borne illnesses — including work to be done, active measures being taken and an analysis to determine the effectiveness of the program.

The division has focused mainly on mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile.

Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty has repeatedly said the county should get involved since tick borne illnesses are a more serious public health crisis than mosquito borne illnesses.

Area hospitals reported a spike in tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease earlier this year. Nearly 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported nationally each year, while 1,000 cases of West Nile are reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lyme disease is now the most widespread tick-borne disease in the U.S., but cases are often under reported across the U.S., according to the CDC.

It is estimated only 10 percent of total cases nationally are reported, CDC officials said.

“Towns and villages are struggling to develop plans to respond to the growing Lyme disease cases,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “The county should be playing a leadership role in prevention.”

Because of redistricting, Mr. Schneiderman faces off this November against Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi, running on the Republican ticket, to represent Shelter Island in the county Legislature. According to Mr. Nuzzi, his opponent’s action is a case of better late than never.

“After [Mr. Schneiderman’s] 10 years in office, I’d say the idea was a good one,” Mr. Nuzzi said. “This should have been done a lot sooner. It makes sense from a regional perspective.”

Mr. Nuzzi and Mr. Schneiderman will square off for a debate October 12 at the library sponsored by the Reporter, The League of Women Voters and The Shelter Island Association.

County Legislator Al Krupski, a co-sponsor of the bill, called Lyme disease an epidemic on the East End.

“Most of us have been impacted in some way by tick-borne disease,” he said in a release. “Suffolk County needs to play an active role to control this growing health problem.”

Mr. Schneiderman said the county has, however, done a good job preventing West Nile.

While mosquito and bird samples have tested positive for the virus, no humans have tested positive for West Nile so far this year, according to the county health department officials.