Tackling Trauma, Training a Community

As a longtime trauma surgeon and chief of trauma, emergency surgery and surgical critical care at Stony Brook Medicine, James A. Vosswinkel, MD, has seen countless patients at their worst.

For many of these patients, by the time they reach Dr. Vosswinkel and his team, they are already at their second point of care, which often begins with the emergency care they receive on the scene.

Dr. Vosswinkel recognizes how vital these emergency medical services (EMS) are to trauma care. With the help of a grateful patient, he is working hard to ensure EMS staff and volunteers have the training and tools they need to save lives.

SB Medicine ranked among 100 best hospitals by health grades.

Dr. Vosswinkel currently serves as the Lillian and Leonard Schneider Endowed Chair in Trauma Surgery. In gratitude for the lifesaving care she received from the Stony Brook Trauma Center and Dr. Vosswinkel’s team, Lillian Schneider transformed what was originally an endowed trauma professorship into a fully funded endowed chair.

The fund, created to improve education, research and patient care at Stony Brook’s Trauma Center, also includes a key component: implementing and evaluating programs that meet the needs of the community — like improving emergency trauma care.

With support from the endowment, Dr. Vosswinkel and his team have provided advanced training for frontline responders, among others.

“Thanks to Lillian’s generosity, we have been able to turn her experience into something positive by offering funds to train these essential volunteers to become even better caregivers,” he says.

Seeing how these funds have benefited patients and EMS personnel alike has been incredibly rewarding for Dr. Vosswinkel, who credits philanthropists and volunteers for improving the health and well-being of the community.

“Philanthropy and volunteerism go hand in hand — both are there to strengthen the community and help individuals in need,” he says. “Endowed gifts, like this one, provide a means for us to continuously improve and to address new and emerging challenges in trauma surgery, which ultimately positively impacts the lives of even more people.”

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