In the face of an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the Stony Brook Council has honored and bestowed University Medals for Exemplary Leadership and Service to three members of its Stony Brook University leadership. The Stony Brook Council serves as an oversight and advisory body to the campus and to Stony Brook’s president and senior officers.
These individuals were recognized for their extraordinary service in their areas of oversight, expertise and responsibility in protecting and caring for the Stony Brook community in the hospital system and on the Stony Brook University campuses. Their innovations, contributions and immediate responses to the pandemic were celebrated at a recent Stony Brook Council meeting. The individuals include:
Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Knapp Professor and Knapp Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Dean for Clinical Affairs, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; and Vice President, Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy for Stony Brook Medicine (resolution)
“Our University community has benefited greatly from these individuals who inspire greatness in others, motivate teams to tackle the almost impossible and always place the greater good in front of mind,” said Kevin Law, President of the Stony Brook Council and President and CEO of the Long Island Association. “We are grateful for their outstanding leadership and public service and recognize their exceptional achievements on behalf of Stony Brook University; Stony Brook Medicine; and our patients, students, faculty and staff.”
Carol A. Gomes was recognized for her administrative leadership for the following Stony Brook University Hospital achievements:
Development of surge plans to increase hospital capacity;
Helped establish a fully staffed field Emergency Room to manage surge in patient volume;
Creation of Oxygen Tank Farms prior to height of pandemic;
Creative solutions for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment to ensure staff safety;
Reprocessing of N95 respirators with Battelle Laboratories;
Successful collaboration with Stony Brook University for the manufacture of hand sanitizer, ventilators and 3-D face shields;
Implementation of the “My Story” information boards about patients who were often unable to communicate because of their illness;
Creation of a Respite Lounge to address the mental health needs of staff members and help deal with stress;
Collaboration with SUNY Upstate Medical University to provide additional nursing staff during the height of the pandemic; and
Recognition of her steady, can-do spirit that helped the hospital serve as the backbone of the overall response to COVID-19 across Suffolk County.
Dr. Margaret M. McGovern was recognized for her administrative leadership for the following Stony Brook Medicine achievements:
Oversight, focused dedication and expert leadership of Stony Brook Medicine’s staff and faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic that demonstrated incredible heroism, innovation, creativity and teamwork;
Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system collaborated successfully to manage patients at its four hospitals and across the entire continuum of ambulatory care settings, to make sure COVID-19 patients received the appropriate level of care;
Expansion of telehealth services for outpatients, offered innovative technological solutions at patients’ bedsides to connect inpatients with loved ones during restricted visitation periods;
The establishment of a drive-through coronavirus testing site on Stony Brook University’s campus in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health to test thousands of Long Island residents for coronavirus;
The development of creative and innovative approaches to solve problems and support its staff, including new training programs and buddy programs, creation of the Respite Room, Team Lavender and the Hope Report;
Use of multi-disciplinary teams who were inspired to clear every obstacle to solve the problems that were presented each day allowed Stony Brook Medicine to form the backbone of the overall response to COVID-19 across Suffolk County; and
Leading the efforts to immunize staff and faculty and assist in vaccinating Long Island residents through public COVID-19 vaccinations sites.
Lawrence M. Zacarese was recognized for his administrative leadership for the following Stony Brook University achievements:
Demonstrating compassion, dedication and extraordinary leadership that has been vital to Stony Brook University’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
Using his extensive experience and expert training in emergency management, he helped the campus community to face each challenge during this complex time with grace and keen determination;
Developing a comprehensive campus plan, creating a foundation of resiliency and commitment. As a result, Stony Brook was one of the few institutions in New York — and the only SUNY University Center — to remain open as planned in the fall semester;
Instituting the University’s Return to Research Plan that enabled Stony Brook to fast-track its researchers getting back in their labs, ensuring the University’s mission to push the boundaries of science;
Oversight of Stony Brook’s Return to Work and Return to Campus plans that provided a foundation for our work and our support for faculty, staff, students and the broader community, which was modeled by others in the SUNY System; and
Motivating teams to stay focused while tackling obstacles presented by the pandemic and being good regional partners through the management of COVID-19 public and university testing and vaccination sites.