NYS Department of Health

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus

Now entering its final stages, the evolving COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the world around us, and myriad Long Island forces – large and small, corporate and nonprofit, industrial and academic – have risen to the challenge. Innovate Long Island presents Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus as a running journal of this region’s resourceful response to the greatest global challenge since World War II. Stay healthy, dear readers.     State targets pandemic’s prescription…


No shot: Pfizer nixes New York’s direct appeal

By GREGORY ZELLER // It appears Albany’s questionable attempt to cut out the middleman in its immunization efforts is a nonstarter. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday sent a letter to Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla requesting the ability to purchase COVID-19 vaccines directly from the New York City-based global pharma manufacturer. Whether this was an honest effort to speed vaccinations to New Yorkers or a political stunt, the effort was doomed from the start…


Hurry up and wait for slow, but steady, vaccinations

By TERRY LYNAM // Frustration abounds as Long Islanders and Americans nationwide struggle to make appointments for a COVID-19 vaccination. The initial strategy put in place by Operation Warp Speed – the public-private partnership established by the federal government to develop, manufacture and distribute the vaccines – purposely held back 50 percent of the nation’s available supply to guarantee second doses to the healthcare workers, nursing home denizens and others eligible during the rollout’s first…


Northwell to lead Island vaccination plan, distribution

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York State will establish Regional Vaccination Hubs to streamline the Phase 2 administration of more plentiful COVID-19 vaccines. Scheduled to commence in “early 2021,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, Phase 2 will involve the distribution of larger numbers of vaccines to more diverse communities, including essential workers and at-risk community members. In Phase 1, limited supplies of biopharma giant Pfizer’s freshly minted COVID-19 vaccine are primarily targeting frontline healthcare…


Targeting healthcare workers, LI vaccinations begin

By GREGORY ZELLER // Americans remain split about receiving a COVID-19 shot – but frontline healthcare workers are squarely in the vaccinate-me-now category. Pfizer’s hastily approved COVID-19 vaccine is now coursing through American bloodstreams, and as the earliest shipments arrived this week on Long Island, workers throughout Island hospitals and healthcare systems were gratefully rolling up their sleeves. Phase One of the State University of New York’s COVID-19 vaccine-distribution operation commenced Tuesday, with SUNY hospitals…


Crackdown: Bad news for restaurants (and Aunt Joan)

By GREGORY ZELLER // Welcome back to the brink, Long Island. And you might want to rethink those Thanksgiving plans. Coronavirus cases are spiking – the New York State Department of Health on Wednesday reported 4,820 new statewide cases (recorded Tuesday), with exponential proliferation in numerous color-coded “microclusters.” Businesses and residents, meanwhile, continue to flout Albany’s pandemic regulations – reports of public and private gatherings exceeding state-mandated occupancy limits flood the news. With schools closing…


Wellness on ice: Northwell, Islanders renew their vows

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Swiss multinational may have won the naming rights, but as UBS Arena emerges as a top New York sports and entertainment venue, Northwell Health will be there. And so will throngs of post-pandemic employees and fans, all benefitting from a 10-year “founding sponsorship deal” announced Tuesday by the arena, the New York Islanders and the New Hyde Park-based health system. In addition to extending Northwell’s 20-year marketing relationship with the…


Busy Cuomo reverses one mistake, warns of another

By GREGORY ZELLER // It was a busy Mother’s Day for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who on Sunday reversed a key (some say costly) pandemic position, issued a dire warning about children’s health and lambasted federal recovery policies. The governor also made a bold proposal to Washington regulators poised to issue new recovery legislation this week: the “Americans First Law,” which prevents companies that don’t return to pre-pandemic employment levels from receiving post-pandemic stimulus packages. The…


Study: Healthcare pros less infected than general pop

By GREGORY ZELLER // Here’s a bright note for National Nurses Week, or any week that places dedicated healthcare providers in the crosshairs of a deadly global pandemic: The personal protective equipment is working. Measures taken to safeguard frontline healthcare workers – including mass production and the energetic, often grassroots distribution of protective masks, face-shields, gowns and gloves – are having a measurable effect, according to statistics released Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. In…


Feds eye stopgap hospitals at SBU, SUNY Old Westbury

By GREGORY ZELLER // The federal government will construct four emergency hospitals across Downstate New York, including two on Long Island, in response to the coronavirus crisis. The Stony Brook University and SUNY College at Old Westbury campuses have been identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as potential sites for temporary hospitals, along with Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the Westchester County Center – and on Sunday, President Donald Trump announced…


Minimalism, to the max, in Northwell’s new cath labs

By GREGORY ZELLER // Two Long Island hospitals – one in each county – are among three Northwell Health facilities to earn state approvals for next-level heart-procedure laboratories. Plainview Hospital, Port Jefferson’s Mather Hospital and Lenox Health Greenwich Village have each earned New York State Department of Health approvals clearing the way for new cardiac catheterization laboratories. The labs will be stocked with X-ray-guided catheters, key to a range of minimally invasive heart procedures. The…


New York set to raise statewide tobacco, vaping age

By GREGORY ZELLER // Tobacco use may be in decline, but statistics show a sharp rise in “e-cigarette” use – and both remain a catastrophic public-health threat, particularly among younger generations. To that end, New York State is about to become the 18th state to raise its minimum age for the purchase of tobacco products to 21. The age hike, which also includes e-cigs and vaping products, is set to take effect Nov. 13. Governor…


No. 417: Riding the Cyclone, battling preterm births, ERASE-ing racism – and the truth about Abner Doubleday

  June swoon: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we hurtle toward the end of June and the end of the first full week of Summer 2019. “School’s Open, Drive Carefully,” the old bumper stickers said, but that never made sense to us. It would seem that when schools are closed (most across Long Island go dark today, for the next 10 weeks) and kids are playing outdoors is when safety is paramount. But we…


At Manhasset hospital, they’re a liver to their people

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island’s first adult liver-transplant program has been green-stamped by state health officials. The Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases, housed inside North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, will begin prioritizing surgical candidates later this month, now that the New York State Department of Health has approved Northwell Health’s new liver-transplant program. The program “opens access to critically ill patients in an underserved area that stretches from Suffolk and Nassau…


Stony Brook diabetes doc to head ‘leadership’ board

The American Diabetes Association has tapped Stony Brook Medicine’s top diabetes doctor to head up its regional leadership board. Joshua Miller, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s medical director of diabetes care and an assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism in the school’s Department of Medicine, has been named president of the ADA’s Long Island Community Leadership Board. Miller will be responsible for oversight of the association’s patient- and clinical-support programs in Nassau and…