06/13/13 6:00pm

FILE PHOTO | Runners in the 2010 Shelter Island 10K.

This story was originally published in June 2012:

When it comes to medical care at Shelter Island’s annual 10k race, everything begins with the finish line.

That’s where doctors and nurses are stationed should a racer or spectator need help, and nobody knows the drill better than Dr. Frank Adipietro, head of the race’s medical response team.

“The finish line tent has to have all the ingredients an emergency room has,” said Dr. Adipietro. “It needs doctors, nurses and equipment as necessary, so we can handle anything from the simplest orthopedic problem to a full cardiac arrest.”

Dr. Adipietro and registered nurse Linda Kraus have organized and run the race’s medical support system for more than a decade.

“My husband started running the race 30 years ago,” said Ms. Kraus, “And I followed suit soon after. I became an RN in 1989 and since then, I’ve been involved in the medical tent.”

Dr. Adipietro wrote the race’s medical operations protocol 12 years ago.

“We staff the race every year, always have, and because we’ve improved it to the level we have, I think it will continue the way it has without a glitch,” he said. “When the protocol was first designed, we sat down with police officers, doctors and nurses to formulate it. Linda improved it from a nurse’s perspective and, the truth is, everybody has an important role in this operation, down to the people who deliver ice to the finish line to treat hyperthermia or heat stroke.”

Dr. Adipietro said the staffing model is quite simple. “Linda is basically in charge of the tent and I’m the medical doctor who supervises the nurses. We have two, sometimes three doctors at the finish line.”

The doctor said he’s joined by Dr. Fred Carter, an orthopedic surgeon. Sometimes there’s an ER physician, depending on availability, supported by at least a dozen nurses. Police officers and several emergency medical technicians will also stand by.

Dr. Adipietro said in addition to personnel, there are also four ambulances stationed around the race course, with a vehicle from Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps at the finish line. That way any of the island ambulances can respond to an emergency without compromising runner safety.

“If a runner goes down on the course, the Shelter Island ambulance will pick them up and treat them,” the doctor said. “If they need more advanced medical care, they’ll be transported to the finish line. We’ll decide if we can discharge them or whether they need to be transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital.”

All race personnel are in direct communication by both radio and cellphone.

“If something happens, the police will frequently be at the site of the incident before the ambulance. Because we’re all in direct communication, we’ll know from the second it happens what needs to be done,” Dr. Adipietro said.

“We had one gal a couple years ago who collapsed on the side of the road just before the final stretch,” he added. “The police department started to administer care to the girl, who was in her early 20s. We knew she was on her way, so we put on the air conditioning in the back of the Stony Brook ambulance so it would be cooled down by the time she arrived. She was ultimately fine within 15 minutes of arriving to the finish line. We put in an IV and applied ice packs to her arms and groin while she cooled down in the back of the ambulance.”

Ms. Kraus said the most challenging part of the race is the final 400 meters, during which runners have to race on grass.

“It’s a tough 400 meters,” she said. “That’s when we see people have difficulty. We had an elite runner collapse around that field once from dehydration. We brought her to the medical tent and checked her sugars. But I think we’ve had a pretty good record of nothing really serious happening.”

Ms. Kraus said medical professionals closely watch at the race clock for the hour mark.

“People want to make it in under an hour, so you have to watch that,” she said.

“As runners start to finish the race, about 45 minutes in, we begin to get busier and busier with orthopedic problems, exhaustion, dehydration and sometimes heat stroke or worse,” Dr. Adipietro said.

If someone has heat stroke, they could be disoriented or unconscious, the doctor said.

“If someone is not sweating anymore, that’s a very bad sign,” said Dr. Adipietro. “Another thing we’ll notice is people shivering because their body is not physiologically working right anymore. Other things that could occur with heat stroke are shortness of breath, chest pains and even seizures.”

Last year a spectator with an underlying medical condition had either a stroke or seizure near the finish line and was taken to ELIH.

Both the doctor and Ms. Kraus advise runners to avoid medical surprises or problems with staying hydrated as the top precautionary measure.

“There a lot of different ways to handle dehydration but the key is prevention,” Dr. Adipietro said. “Drink adequate fluids up until race time and supplement with fluids with electrolytes, like Gatorade. If the runner stays hydrated up until race time then during the race there’s a water station at every mile mark.”

Both professionals said drinking water even if you’re not thirsty is also key and if someone feels dizzy while running their advice is to stop.

As part of the protocol, police will advise runners who don’t look well to stop running, Dr. Adipietro said.

Ms. Kraus said a big tip for young runners is making sure they don’t drink too much alcohol the night before a race.

“Running a race, even a 10K, is all about the night before, so you don’t want to party,” she said. “That’s why we have the pasta night. It brings people together the night before to prepare for the race in a healthy way. It’s also important not to sit in the sun all day or eat directly before the race. Watch how much sun you get because a lot of races are run early in the morning and this one is at 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon, so people tend to go down to the beach beforehand.”

She said this year’s race is the 33rd.

“This is a great give-back and community event,” Ms. Kraus said. “When you love something, you just kind of ask, ‘What can I do to give back?’ ”

The race, started by South Ferry owner Cliff Clark, has donated over half a million dollars to various charities.

[email protected]

02/23/13 7:43am
Greenport Harbor

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Kaitlen Berry, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s tasting room manager, pulls a pint.

As the East End continues to polish its image as a leading wine region, a new effort’s a-brewing to turn the region into a destination for craft beer enthusiasts.

Last month, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named the North and South Forks one of the world’s top wine destinations for 2013. In concert with that, two new Riverhead breweries are in the works, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company is expanding, and local farmers have begun to grow hops, an important ingredient in beer.

“If you have three, four or five breweries out here, then people can make a day trip out of coming to the area for craft beer,” said brewer Greg Doroski of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. “Its becoming a destination similar to the vineyards.”

Mr. Doroski noted that the expansion of the local beer industry is similar to what’s happened in Brooklyn, with its trendy craft beer scene. And, he added, Greenport and Riverhead seem to be developing similarly to the way Brooklyn has been gentrifying.

“Growing up out here in Greenport, I can notice the difference. Greenport and Riverhead used to be a little more rough around the edges, but things are changing,” he said. “In Riverhead you have the hotel, the aquarium, the apartments, Long Ireland Beer Company, The Riverhead Project and out here you’ve always had Bruce’s, but now you have places like The Blue Canoe and First and South — there’s more high-end farm-to-table stuff going on.”

When it comes to brewing, Riverhead has an advantage over the rest of the North Fork, Mr. Doroski said, because it offers sewer connections.

“Having sewers makes it an easier place to open breweries,” he said. “There’s also more commercial industrial space.”

Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing Company is well on its way to opening its doors. Digger O’Dell is about to install a new 16-beer tap system to serve Crooked Ladder and other local brews, and the people behind Moustache Brewing Company recently entered into a lease for a commercial building in Polish Town.

Does Riverhead believe it’s on its way to grabbing the craft beer crown?

“Absolutely,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said. “One hundred percent. There’s a method to our madness about how the downtown is coming up. Becoming a craft brewing mecca will have a positive effect on both Polish Town and downtown. I love the wineries and I do like my chianti or a glass of merlot, but I’m a beer drinker so I concentrate on what I know.”

Mr. Walter said he is happy to see the camaraderie between Long Ireland, an established local beer maker, and brewers just starting out. Long Ireland, which opened in 2011, seems to be thriving, he said.

The Central Islip couple behind Moustache brewery, Matt and Lauri Spitz, said they chose Riverhead over other Long Island locations because of the town’s encouragement.

“Riverhead was one of the only towns to welcome us with open arms,” said Mr. Spitz. “A lot of the towns we talked to weren’t sure what to do with a brewery.” But Riverhead, he said, “is trying to revitalize and pull small businesses in, which is great.”

Through Kickstarter, an online fundraising website, the couple pulled in more than $30,000 in start-up capital for their brewery, which Ms. Spitz said she hopes will contribute to the “blooming” of the East End as a craft beer destination.

“Now we have two breweries and a brew pub in Riverhead,” said Ms. Spitz. “Between that and the wineries, it’s going to be great.”

Growing along with the craft beer industry is its sister business, cultivating hops. Hops, the flower of the Humulus lupulus plant, are used in the brewing process to offset the sweetness of malt sugars and add aroma to beer. A century ago New York produced most of the hops grown in the U.S. Today, that distinction is shared by the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.

Wading River farmer John Condzella wants to change that and make the burgeoning local beer industry even more local.

However, the fourth generation farmer had a difficult time making the most of his farm’s first 800-pound hop harvest this past spring using nothing but human hands.

“We were even having hops-induced nightmares from the picking,” he said, laughing.

And because Mr. Condzella’s hops plants are still maturing, he estimates they will produce between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds next season.

“It takes about an hour for someone to harvest one plant and we’re going to be doubling our hop yard this spring,” he said. He plans to plant an acre’s worth of Willamette, Perle, and Fuggle hops varieties to bring his hop yard to two acres.

He is currently raising money through Kickstarter to import a Wolf WHE 140 Hopfen Pflückmaschine harvester from Germany for cooperative use among North Fork growers.

One of these growers is Peconic hops farmer Andrew Tralka.

“We just got our license for Farm to Pint,” said Mr. Tralka. “We hope to educate people about hops, to show them what they look like, and the North Fork is the perfect spot for it.”

A harvester would mean more local hops, enabling the growing number of local breweries to make a wet-hopped ale, which requires fresh hops.

“The Wolf has the ability to harvest an acre of hops in an eight-hour day with two people operating the machine,” Mr. Condzella said. “If hand-picking, it would take about 500 hours for the same two people.”

Mr. Condzella said he is in a rush to raise $27,000 to bring the harvester to the North Fork and eliminate “a serious barrier to producing local hops. We want to create a sense of urgency because we feel that sense of urgency and want to show we’re very serious in what we’re doing,” he said. “We want to show the local beer movement is strong. It’s an exciting time for craft and local beer on Long Island. The people involved are very passionate.”

[email protected]

02/17/13 12:00pm


Hospitals routinely ask patients for feedback on their inpatient experiences. Since 2006, that effort has included a standardized patient survey developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that allows both statewide and nationwide hospital rankings and comparisons.

That survey, known as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS), recently took on a new importance. Eastern Long Island Hospital CEO Paul Connor said HCAHPS has now been linked to the amount of Medicare reimbursement a hospital ultimately receives from the federal government.

While a good score or high rank still offers bragging rights, less impressive performance could now cost a hospital up to 1 percent of its reimbursements. That variable doubles to 2 percent next year, Mr. Connor said.

“That’s 1 or 2 percent of the total revenue stream when we already basically break even, so positive responses are very important for us because there’s a lot of risk there,” he said.

Neither ELIH nor Peconic Bay was able to provide total dollar amounts for 2012 inpatient Medicare/Medicaid volume, which would indicate how much each hospital stands to lose as a result of the new process.

“It’s really too early to determine the loss or gain for any hospital because CMS is still crunching the numbers for 2012,” said Janine Logan, a representative of the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association.

However, Under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, 1 percent of Medicare’s 2013 hospital reimbursement is already being withheld to allow CMS time to fully assess survey results and rate hospital performance.

How much of that 1 percent a hospital will ultimately forfeit, Mr. Connor said, depends not only on HCAHPS, which counts for 30 percent of the decision, but also on its performance in a separate rating on a dozen core measures for patient care, which counts for 70 percent of the outcome. Those core measures include whether heart attack patients receive proper medication within 30 minutes of arrival and whether pneumonia patients get the most appropriate initial antibiotics.

Asked about his hospital’s performance on the more heavily weighted core measures, Mr. Connor said ELIH is “basically consistent with what the core standards are. I think we’re performing at the standards, if not better.”

The current HCAHPS results show that ELIH exceeded state and national averages on five of the 10 survey questions. Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead fell short of state and national averages on all but one question, where it surpassed ELIH by a percentage point.

Of ELIH patients surveyed 79 percent reported they would “definitely” recommend the hospital to others.

“We’ve always felt we’ve had a very positive, high-touch culture here and that’s a reflection of the community,” Mr. Connor said. “It’s nothing I’ve done. It was here before I got here, though we do take an opportunity to foster it.”

As far as improvements go, he said, “We can always use improvement in communicating to the patient,” he said.

Another area in which Mr. Connor said improvement could be made concerned noise levels, a problem he said is common at most hospitals.

ELIH got its lowest score in this area, with only half the respondents reporting that the area around their room was always quiet at night. Still, that 50 percent rating exceeded New York’s state average of 49 percent. The national average was 60 percent.

“Hospitals are notoriously noisy in the evenings, which is an industry-wide problem and though I think we’ve done marginally better [than other hospitals] I think it’s something we can always improve,” Mr. Connor said.

Peconic Bay Medical Center also received its lowest score on this question, coming in at 40 percent.

ELIH’s second-lowest score came on the question of whether staff always explained medications before administering them. Here, its results matched the state average, with 58 percent reporting that such explanation were made, but fell short of the national average of 63 percent.

Peconic Bay Medical Center also received a lower-than-average 52 percent score in this category.

On the question of whether patients received information about what to do during recovery at home, 84 percent of PBMC patients said they received that information, which matched the nationwide average and beat ELIH by one percentage point. New York State’s average was 81 percent.

Repeated efforts to reach Peconic Bay Medical Center president and CEO Andy Mitchell for comment were unsuccessful.


Eastern Long Island Hospital 

Best Scores

• 83 percent reported that YES, they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home. (New York State average, 81; U.S. average, 84)

• 79 percent reported that YES, they would definitely recommend the hospital. (N.Y., 64; U.S., 70)

Worst Scores

• 50 percent reported that the area around their room was “always” quiet at night. (N.Y., 49; U.S., 60)

• 58 percent reported that staff “always” explained a medicine before giving it to them. (N.Y., 58; U.S., 63)

Peconic Bay Medical Center

Best Scores

• 84 percent reported that YES, they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home. (N.Y., 81; U.S., 84)

• 73 percent reported that their doctors “always” communicated well. (N.Y., 77; U.S., 81)

Worst Scores

• 40 percent reported that the area around their room was “always” quiet at night. (N.Y., 49; U.S., 60)

• 46 percent reported that they “always” received help as soon as they wanted it. (N.Y., 59; U.S., 66)

[email protected]

02/17/13 8:25am

Robert Beaver, owner of the Frisky Oyster, created an absinthe mojito for his Greenport restaurant.

Robert Beaver, the 35-year-old executive chef and owner of The Frisky Oyster, unleashed the Green Fairy on the North Fork Valentine’s Day, when he began selling absinthe mojitos at his Greenport restaurant.

“Absinthe itself was intriguing to me because of the mystery of it,” Mr. Beaver said of the controversial liquor, which is rumored to cause hallucinations.

“It was first found in Switzerland and moved to France where it became popular among artists, which interested me because it was drank among the inner circles of writers and artists. It wasn’t widely known.”

The brand of absinthe carried at The Frisky Oyster, Absente, advertises itself on its website as the “first legal absinthe recipe in the U.S. since 1912.”

In addition to mojitos, Mr. Beaver said along with his wife Shannon, they developed an absinthe ice cream that is used to top one of their dessert items, a chocolate ginger cake.

Watch a video below of Mr. Beaver preparing one of their signature absinthe mojitos and pick up a copy of next week’s Suffolk Times for more on this story.

02/03/13 5:00pm
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |  Papo Vazquez, left, with Willie Williams on saxophone at Raphael Vineyards during last year's Winterfest.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Papo Vazquez, left, with Willie Williams on saxophone at Raphael Vineyards during last year’s Winterfest.

It’s that time of year again when visitors from across the Northeast flock to Long Island Wine Country for Winterfest Jazz on the Vine.

The six-weekend jazz-and-wine celebration kicked off Jan. 25 with a media event and party at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead, with shows booked at select winery tasting rooms Feb. 9 and 10. The festival runs through the weekend of March 16 and 17.

Now in its sixth year, Winterfest has helped the local wine region evolve from a seasonal tourist attraction to a year-round getaway, boosting business at local hotels, restaurants and B&Bs, area businesspeople say.

RELATED: Complete series schedule for Jazz on Vine 2013

In addition to attracting visitors to tasting rooms during traditionally slow months, Winterfest has proved a factor in the North Fork’s recognition as a top wine destination, said Rob Salvatico of the Hotel Indigo. “It used to be that roughly after Thanksgiving you could shut your doors until mid- to late April or May,” Mr. Salvatico said. “Now the weekends are rocking from Valentine’s straight through Saint Patrick’s Day. There’s a lull during Passover and Easter, but then it starts to pick right back up again.”

Mr. Salvatico said from a revenue perspective the numbers Winterfest brings to the region are enough to transform a winter Saturday to a summer Saturday, and last year’s event brought nearly 10,000 visitors to the North Fork over the six weeks.

“Jazz on the Vine is the theme of Long Island Winterfest,” he said, “I don’t think they intended for it to always be jazz, but it was so popular that it’s become a fixture. If you’re a jazz enthusiast, this is going to become a destination for your yearly jazz jaunts.”

He said the popularity of Winterfest hit a new high in 2012 for it’s fifth year anniversary, when Hotel Indigo held a kickoff showcase event for the first time in their ballroom, and supper-style events throughout the six weeks.

“On Saturday nights the musicians would come back to the Hotel Indigo and have jazz jam sessions in our bistro and it was so popular we had to turn people away,” he said. “Every weekend was just wild.”

This year’s event shows no signs of slowing down, according to the president of the Long Island Wine Council trade group, Ron Goerler.

“We have the most acts ever this year,” Mr. Goerler said. “We chose 72 acts to perform at 30 wineries over six weeks. We had 250 people apply to play during Jazz on the Vine this year, so that shows just how much it’s growing.”

Mr. Goerler said the region used to get money from Suffolk County and New York State to fund the festival, but wineries had to charge cover fees for events after grants began drying up.

But that didn’t stop people from visiting, he said.

“Last year we had a record 7,500 people come out for the event and with the region being named [by Wine Enthusiast magazine] one of the top four wine regions in the world to visit in 2013, I’m looking forward to seeing how many people come out this year,” Mr. Goerler said.

The event brought people from as far south as Philadelphia and as far north as upper Westchester and Connecticut, along with folks from New York City and New Jersey, according to Mr. Salvatico, who said Winterfest has “without question” been part of Hotel Indigo’s success through 2012.

“Winterfest actually gave birth to our having live music on Fridays and Saturdays,” he said. “We do that throughout the year now. Anyone can play Muzak all day, but having live music a couple times a week adds an air of elegance and style to the facility. It’s an amenity for our guests and a draw for people locally to come have dinner with us.”

[email protected]