In Memoriam

The LIJ Medical Staff Society Remembers

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the loss of beloved members of our medical staff. They were all dear colleagues, and their memories are shared and remembered by fellow physicians, hospital administrators, and, of course their patients.

October 2021
Joshua S. Roth, M.D. 

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Joshua Roth. Dr. Roth was a staple in the Medical Staff Society for many years. He served as a member, as an officer and as President. His intimate knowledge of the history of the institution as well as his steadfast devotion to the preservation of the LIJ culture made him a formidable resource to the leadership of the Staff Society and of the institution in general. After his Presidency, he continued to participate in the LIJ MSS as Chair of several committees, lastly as the Chair for Good and Welfare. Dr. Roth worked effortlessly to advocate for physicians and patients and always kept us striving for the best. We owe him an immense debt of gratitude for all he has contributed to the accomplishments of the Medical Staff Society. He will be missed. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and all of his colleagues and friends. The Medical Staff Society shares the sentiment expressed by the OBGYN Department in the statement that follows:

Dr. Roth was a beloved member of our Ob-Gyn Family, and an esteemed member of our Ob-Gyn Faculty. For over 50 years Dr. Roth played a vital role in the betterment of women’s healthcare. After graduating from Princeton and completing his Medical School training at SUNY Downstate, he then went on to join our Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency training program at LIJ. After residency, Dr. Roth served for two years with distinction at Lyster Army Hospital in Fort Rucker, Alabama. He returned to LIJ and had a very successful private practice for 25 years. During that time, Dr. Roth served on dozens of hospital committees, and was awarded a multitude of service awards. As president of the staff society and Chair of many committees, Dr. Roth always made time to help and become part of the solution team. He was always giving of his time, energy and effort, and was known for his kindhearted and caring approach. For the past 15 years Dr. Roth served in a leadership capacity as part of the quality team at LIJ, working to always improve both the care provided to our patients and the education provided to our residents and students. We express our sincere and deepest sympathies to Dr. Roth’s family, and share in the honor it was to have him as part of our lives, both personally and professionally. The lives he has touched and the impact he has made on both the medical community and the patient community are immeasurable.

October 2021
George P. Pillari, M.D. 

George served his country for three years during the Vietnam War as a physician in the U.S. Public Health Service. He joined the radiology staff at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in March 1972 and worked there until June 2005 as a vascular radiologist at a time when the specialty was in its infancy. He also broke ground as one of the first interventional radiologists in the profession. He was the first to publish research on the predictors of rupture in abdominal aortic aneurysm, and holds a U.S. Patent for the invention of the Pillari Needle. He was a mentor to many who followed in his footsteps and contributed a lot to the success of vascular surgery at the institution. He authored or co- authored more than 60 academic papers, trained dozens of interns and residents, and was an Associate Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical College.

Early in his career, George volunteered as a physician for the Golden Gloves boxing program and also ran clinics and treated those suffering from substance abuse.

Dr. Pillari was the beloved husband of Carol, the loving father of George (Rosanna), Michael (Abby) and Karen Penner (Harry), the cherished grandfather of Marie Sarah, EmilyAnne, Andrew (Adrienne and son Drew), Matthew Joseph, Michael, Mollie, Madeline, Lily, Peter, Matthew Pillari, and Matilda, Harry, Kent, Max, Charlie, and Stuart Penner, the dear brother of Vincent T. Pillari,MD (Betty) and Kathleen Merklein (the late Jack). He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He passed on his love of classical music, history, philosophy, and of course, fishing.

January 4, 2015
James J. Robins, M.D. 

We were just emerging from the lethargy caused by our excesses during the holiday season. We were slowly getting into the spirit of the new year when the news came on Sunday morning, January 4, 2015. Like a thunderclap in the middle of a serene night. Shocking! Unexpected! J.R., as he had come to be known to everyone, had passed away.

The staff who had worked with him, and who held him dear in their hearts, felt like they had been floored by a hook that they never saw coming. Just as three years before, we had been hit hard by the news of his illness. He was being treated, and we all hoped that he would come out victorious of this cruel malady. We prayed for him. At the LIJ Winter Gala in 2013, we sent him “get well wishes.” He was grateful for all these marks of attention, and he actually came to the 2014 Winter Gala with his beloved wife Connie. He looked happy. He looked healthy. We were all happy to see him. He had his characteristic “J.R. smile”. Little did we know that, deep under, the Greek tragedy was still unfolding. The stem cell transplant had failed, and, unless he could find a match for a bone marrow transplant, he would die. The North Shore/LIJ family gathered around our JR. Bone marrow drives were organized on both campuses, but alas without success. Still we all hoped for a miracle. Last fall, he showed up for a brief visit in the Ambulatory Center and was warmly greeted by everyone. Again, he was always smiling and had a “bon mot” for everyone, without letting us into the turmoil that he must have been living inside.

This Sunday, we had to face the reality: There had been no miracle.

All of a sudden, many past images started flooding my memory. The taunt in his smile, the spring in his steps, his defiant posture, the happiness on his face as he was pulling into the parking garage in his convertible – all attesting to a man who lived his life with a rare flair and who enjoyed every moment of it.

The numerous stories told to me over the past 17 years by this seemingly always happy individual, who was never at a loss for words, came to my mind: His years at Downstate Medical School from 1980 to 1984, his numerous adventures in the streets of Brooklyn, his early years in Surgery at Downstate and in Urology at Maimonides, before he saw the light and found his true calling in the field of Anesthesiology. The teachings that he received from that attending at Downstate or the aphorisms form that other attending at Kings County Medical Center or the Brooklyn VA that remained etched in his memory and contributed to make him the excellent anesthesiologist that he was. The one I entrusted my life to when I had to undergo the surgical repair of my torn Achilles tendon in 2010.

J.R. in his unfairly foreshortened existence has touched so many lives. He has contributed to the healing of so many of his surgical patients. He has brought out smiles on so many scared faces about to undergo surgery. He was cherished by the entire department of Anesthesiology who rallied around him and his family in his most difficult days until the end of his life. He was cherished by all the physicians who professionally or socially interacted with him. However, all this love, I am sure, pales in comparison to the profound bind he had with his beloved wife Connie and his two sons, the centers of his universe, to whom along with the entire LIJ Staff Society, I offer my most sincere condolences.

J.R.! We will miss you! In the heavens, where you surely are, keep strutting! Keep smiling! Keep your head high! You have been a good doctor! You have been a good friend! You have been a good father! You have been a good husband! You have been a GOOD MAN!
Louis J. Auguste, MD, FACS
President/ LIJ Staff Society

January 9, 2015
Joseph Fierstein, M.D.

It is with great sadness that we report that Dr. Joseph Fierstein passed away earlier today. “Dr. Joe,” as he was affectionately known, died after a prolonged illness. He founded this practice in Bayside in 1958 after serving as chief medical resident at Long Island Jewish Hospital. He moved the practice to Douglaston and then in 1969, to its current location, where he continued to practice until his retirement in 2010. During that time, he helped to educate generations of doctors and medical students. He also consistently delivered the highest level of medical care to thousands of patients with compassion and integrity. His approach to medicine is one that we have tried to emulate and is his lasting legacy. We shall miss him terribly.

Funeral services for Dr. Joseph Fierstein will be at Gutterman’s Funeral Home in Woodbury at noon on Sunday, January 11. Burial will follow at New Montefiore Cemetery. The family will be sitting Shiva on Sunday from 3-5:30 and 7-9:30, Monday 7-9:30 and Tuesday 7-9:30 at the home of Jean Fierstein, 51 Diana’s Trail in Roslyn. Shiva will continue on Wednesday from 7-9:30 at the home of Mark and Sharon Fierstein, 4 Maple Drive in Woodbury. There will be a Shiva minyan at 7:30 each night.

Thank you all for your good wishes and continued support.
David Fierstein, M.D.
Mark Fierstein, M.D.

December 1, 2015
Dr. John Chang

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. John B. Chang. Dr. Chang passed away yesterday, December 1, 2015. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Chang family to whom the entire LIJ Staff would like to extend their condolences. In this painful occasion we would like to share with you a well deserved tribute presented to Dr. Chang by his great friend and colleague Dr. Ernesto Molmenti, MD, Chief of Transplant Surgery at the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

“John B. Chang, MD, FACS, FICA is a board certified vascular surgeon with many years of experience. His academic appointments include Professor, Clinical Surgery, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Uniondale, NY, and Adjunct Professor, Clinical Surgery, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, NY. He is a member of the MD Appointment Committee, Department of Surgery, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Uniondale, NY. He is currently Director of the Long Island Vascular Center, Roslyn, NY, and senior attending surgeon, North Shore-LIJ Healthcare System, New Hyde Park, NY. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International College of Angiology, Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Angiology , and Founding Chairman of the Asian Society for Vascular Surgery. His weekly vascular teaching rounds and conferences for medical students, interns, residents, and fellows serve as blueprints for the development of future surgical leaders. Dr. Chang’s passion to further the career of future achievers led to the establishment of the “Young Investigator’s Competition Award” and the “Professor John B. Chang Research Achievement Award” programs of the International College of Angiology and Asian Society for Vascular Surgery. Dr. Chang is the Program Chairman for scientific teaching conferences and the Annual World Congress of the International College of Angiology, and Program Chairman for quarterly, multidisciplinary conferences of the International College of Angiology’s Workshop. Dr. Chang’s extramural professional responsibilities include appointments to the editorial board of The Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine and Surgery , and Asian Journal of Surgery. He is editorial advisor and guest writer for Vascular Diseases , reviewer for the Journal of Vascular Surgery , and International Advisor for the Congress of Vascular Society of India. He is also a member of the editorial board of Aorta . As if these achievements were not enough, he is also an Honorary Police Surgeon for the City of New York, NY. Dr. Chang holds fellowships and memberships in 23 national and international professional societies and organizations. He has received over 53 professional honors, awards, recognitions, and citations for his work in vascular surgery. The International College of Angiology has established the Prof. John B. Chang Oration Lecture in his honor. Dr. Chang has also been distinguished for his teaching at the Department of Surgery of Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He has given more than 166 invited presentations at national and international scientific forums. He has authored numerous books, and published more than 137 articles and book chapters on the medical and vascular surgical management of patients with special emphasis on research, and in particular, long-term outcome of carotid endarterectomy with vein patch, aortic aneurysms, and lower extremity revascularization. On February 8, 2014, Dr. John B. Chang received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the LIJ Medical Center Staff Society recognizing him for his exceptional qualities as a physician, educator, leader, compassionate humanitarian, and friend. This highly prestigious honor recognizes Dr. Chang’s eternal devotion and dedication to his students, residents, and peers.”

He will be truly missed by his wife Lucy (a physician trained in anesthesiology) and two sons, Victor (Director of Counseling in Southern Oregon University and Co-Director of Southern Oregon University Health Center) and Robert (also a highly talented Ivy-league trained vascular surgeon ), as well as his friends and colleagues here at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Inderpal Chhabra, MD, FACP
Internal Medicine
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Hofstra North Shore – LIJ School of Medicine
President LIJ Medical Staff Society

Jeffrey N. Weiss, MD 

It is not uncommon for the hospital staff to lose a few of its members every year. Usually, they have been retired for a while and have been less visible to the current staff. Thus, they are eulogized, we reflect on their contributions to the institution or to the care of their patients, the quality of their family life, their legacy and… we move on. However, when we have to bid farewell to an active member of the staff, a younger colleague, it is that much more shocking and painful. Within the past two years, we have lost three such co-workers, the latest one just one week ago. Indeed, we were all in disbelief when we heard of the sudden, completely unexpected grave illness of our colleague, the urologist, Dr. Jeffrey Weiss, whom we all considered to be the embodiment of perfect health. Jeff was an avid jogger and played tennis every week. We waited in disbelief, hoping for a happy outcome, a miracle. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Last Monday, October 20, 2014, the news started spreading that we had lost our Jeff.

Jeffrey Weiss came to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1986, having graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut Medical School. He spent the first two years of his training in the Department of Surgery, under the tutelage of Drs. Leslie Wise, Gerard Burns, William Doscher, Rashmae Chardavoyne, myself and others. He went on to join Drs. Arthur Smith and Gopal Badlani in the Department of Urology, for a residency training in that specialty.Read MoreHis brilliance was attested by the fact that during these four years of residency, Jeff published 12 articles in peer-reviewed journals and continued to publish even after completion of his residency. He obtained his board certification in Urology. He was appointed Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Upon graduating from his urology residency, Dr. Jeffrey Weiss joined Dr. Robert Mashioff in the practice of Urology and after the latter retired, Jeff became the senior partner of a practice that included Drs. Matthew Mene and Evan Eisenberg.

He actively participated in different State and National Urologic Associations. He was elected Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and of the New York Academy of Medicine.

His departure will be mostly regretted by his beloved wife Debbie and his beautiful children Jared and Samantha, to whom we offer our most sincere condolences. However, this totally unexpected loss will also be mourned by all his patients, his colleagues of the staff and all those who have had the privilege of knowing him.

January 6, 2014
Dr. William A. Ross     

Dear Colleagues:
Once again, we have lost one of our own. Dr. William A. Ross, gastro-enterologist, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Please see below, his obituary published in the January 5, 2014 New York Times. His funeral took place on December 31, 2013. On behalf of the entire LIJ Medical Staff, we offer our sincere condolences to his family, his friends and everyone affected by this premature loss.

OBITUARY William A. Ross, MD 1948 – 2013 ROSS–Dr. William Allan, a Long Island internist, died at his home on December 30, 2013. He was 65. Dr. Ross was born on November 8, 1948 to Shirley and Daniel Ross in New York. He attended Bayside High School, where he helped earn Bayside the city swimming championship. He went on to compete nationally for Colgate University, and later on the Masters Swimmers circuit. Dr. Ross attended medical school at SUNY Downstate, was chief resident at Long Island Jewish, a fellow in gastroenterology at Mount Sinai, and practiced for more than 25 years. By all accounts, Dr. Ross was a skilled and beloved physician, an unparalleled diagnostician with a caring bedside manner–a doctor’s doctor. In 1972, Dr. Ross met his wife Cheryl. Together they raised four boys at their Great Neck home. This year, Bill and Cheryl celebrated their 40th anniversary. Dr. Ross is survived by his wife, Cheryl, his four sons, Jeffrey (Solange), Raymond (Tracy), Michael (Yael), and Daniel (Shari) and ten grandchildren. He also leaves behind his sister, Paula Kaplan, brother, Charles Ross, and mother, Shirley Ross. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lustgarten Foundation. Published in The New York Times on Jan. 5, 2014

Louis Joseph Auguste, MDLouis J Auguste, MD, FACS
Surgical Oncology/General Surgery
Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery
Hofstra North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine
President/ LIJ Staff Society

January 6, 2014
John Walter Vincent Cordice, Jr., MD, FACS 

June 16, 1919 – December 29, 2013     

I first met Dr. Cordice sometime in 1983, shortly after I returned to Long Island Jewish Medical Center from my fellowship in Surgical Oncology. That evening, Dr. Cordice was about to operate on a patient with a cholangiocarcinoma of the Common bile duct and he asked me to join him in the operating room, which I did with pleasure. We both enjoyed the experience. Subsequently, we operated together on many challenging cases. Progressively, we developed a certain fellowship, which evolved into a mutual respect and admiration. We thus collaborated as members of the Department of Surgery full time staff, until his retirement. I have to qualify that by saying that he stopped practicing at Long island Jewish Medical Center, but Dr. Cordice never really retired from Medicine.

Over this period, we had countless hours of meetings, discussions and long conversations, as I benefitted immensely from his mentoring. At the same time, little by little, I discovered that that “man” was no ordinary man.

John Walter Vincent Cordice, jr was born in Aurora, North Carolina. His father emigrated from St Vincent and the Grenadines in the West Indies, where he had studied pharmacy. Once in the US, he entered Howard University and obtained his medical degree in 1911. He started a family practice in Greenboro, North Carolina. In 1918, the US Public Health Service dispatched him to Aurora to help with the eradication of post war influenza, which was affecting the young soldiers back from the battlefield. This is when he met and married Pearl Mae Hollingsworth. Soon afterwards from the couple, was born John Walter Vincent jr, who grew up in Durham and eventually moved to New York City to study Medicine at New York University. He graduated in 1943. He immediately started a residency in Surgery at Harlem Hospital, under Lewis Tompkins Wright, MD. Those were difficult years, since residents only earned a meager salary. He found support and comfort in the love of his life, Marguerite whom he married while he was still a resident. The residency was interrupted when he did a tour of duty in the US Air Force. He was assigned to the squadron of the Tuskegee Air Men. Upon completing his surgical training, Dr. Cordice travelled to Paris, France, where he completed a sub-specialty in Thoracic and Cardio-Vascular Surgery at Hospital Broussais-La Charite, under the direction of the famed Dr. Charles Dubost. Upon his return, he obtained further training at Kings county Hospital of the State University of New York. He was then one of the first African Americans to receive formal training in Cardio-thoracic Surgery. He became board certified in both General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He was appointed to the staff of Harlem Hospital as Chief of Thoracic Surgery, shortly thereafter. This appointment placed on a collision course with destiny. Indeed, on September 20, 1958, while Dr. Martin Luther King jr was attending a book-signing in Harlem, he was stabbed with a letter opener and was brought to Harlem Hospital with the blade still planted in his chest. Dr. Cordice was called and performed the thoracotomy, although credit was given to Dr. Aubrey De Lambert Maynard, then Chief of Surgery at Harlem hospital. The tip of the blade was just a few millimeters away from the aorta, but no serious injury resulted and Dr. King, jr left the hospital 14 days later. Thus, the entire nation owes Dr. Cordice a debt of gratitude for having preserved the life of the young Baptist minister who went on to change the course of history by shepherding the Civil Rights movement.

Dr. Cordice always remained close to family and his community, but always felt a need to get involved in the leadership of his profession. Thus, in 1970 we find him chairing a New York Academy of Medicine Conference entitled: Community Participation for Equity and Excellence in Health Care. He gave a well-received presentation on the “Role of the Community in developing Improved Health Care.” He was bringing Health Care Disparity to the forefront, before it became fashionable. Around that time, he became affiliated with Queens Hospital Center and with Julius W. Garvey, MD constituted the Thoracic Surgery Team at that Hospital. That is when he met Dr. Leslie Wise, then Chairman of Surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, who invited him to join his staff with dual appointment in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He always remained grateful to Dr. Wise for having supported his entry into the New York Surgical Society, membership that had been denied to him until then for unclear reasons. He maintained his leadership in the medical societies and in 1983-1984, he served as President of the Medical Society of the County of Queens.

Dr. Cordice had a lifelong enthusiasm for music, particularly American Jazz. He still found time to remain active academically and at the age of 73, he was still publishing scholarly papers. One of them entitled “the Anatomic Distribution of Colonic Carcinomas in Middle Class Black Americans” appeared in the Journal of the National Medical Association in 1991. He left Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1993, but his medical career was far from over. He ran the Thoracic clinic at Queens Hospital Center, well into his 80s and occasionally still performed surgeries. Prostate cancer could not stop him as he battled the disease successfully and continued to be active. As late as 2007, nearly 90 years old, he had kept also an employment with the Board of Health of the City and State of New York and was a member of the NY State Education Department and the Office of Professional Responsibility State Board for Medicine. He kept his membership in the Medical Society of the County of Queens, long enough to see me become President of the same society in 1999-2000, as well as another one of his protégés, Dr. James Satterfield in 2008-2009. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy and the Medical Society of Queens County in 2009. He was not done with Medicine yet. Last year, however, he became increasingly aware that his health was failing. His loving wife, Marguerite, shared her concerns with me, because he was having more and more frequent episodes of dizziness. However, Dr. Cordice’s mind had remained sharp and he was only frustrated that his physical health could not keep up with his will to continue to serve his community and remain relevant in this society of which he had been and was still such a prominent figure. Earlier in April 2013, he participated in an Alumni Celebration at NYU for the Survivors of the Class of 43. The same month, he participated in the House of Delegates of the Medical Society of Queens County and in May 2013, he attended the Annual Assembly of the Medical Society of Queens County. He was still driving his old beloved and faithful VW Beetle. In November 2013, upon learning that his long time friend and co-worker, Dr. Gerald Deas was going to receive a Life Time Community Service Award at the Annual Gala of the Medical Society of Queens County, he wrote a personal congratulatory note that was published in the Souvenir-Journal and is a testament to his bright and lucid mind. Unfortunately, the years continued their ineluctable undermining of this giant and his health failing, Marguerite felt that it was best to move to Iowa to be closer to their children, grand-children and great-grand children. It is thus surrounded by the loving affection and embrace of his beloved family that his flame flickered and went out, quietly. They had sung for him Christmas carols that morning and I am sure the Angels were singing also when his soul reached the heavens.

So long, Dr. Cordice! So long my mentor! So long my older friend! You taught us how to always strive to be our best. You taught us how to give and how to lead. You will always be remembered.

Louis Joseph Auguste, MDLouis J Auguste, MD, FACS
Surgical Oncology/General Surgery
Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery
Hofstra North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine
President/ LIJ Staff Society

June 27, 2014

Walter Henry Rubins, MD

  1932- 2014

It is with a profound sadness that the LIJ Staff Society announces the passing of Dr. Walter H. Rubins on June 24, 2014. Walter Henry Rubins was born in Montreal, Canada on July 20, 1932. Following his undergraduate education at McGill University, he enrolled at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and obtained his medical degree in1957. That same year, he started a rotating internship at Kings County Hospital, in Brooklyn, NY. He, then, sought a specialization in General Surgery at the same institution but two years later, he opted instead to become an Orthopedist. He completed his residency in orthopedics at Kings County Hospital in 1963 and obtained his board certification in that specialty in 1966. He became particularly interested in Hip and knee replacements and soon, he joined Drs. Leroy S. Lavine and Irving Lustrin in the practice of Orthopedics. Although the threesome kept their operating privileges at Winthrop University Hospital, New York Hospital of Queens, La Guardia Hospital (now North Shore LIJ Hospital at Forest Hills), they concentrated their practice at Long Island Jewish Medical center and North Shore University Hospital. They participated in the education of several generations of orthopedists and added numerous original contributions to the Orthopedic Literature. Over the years the group increased the scope of their practice by incorporating younger specialists, such as Philip DeSouza, MD, Ron Light, MD and Philip D’Ambrosio. Dr. Rubins was well liked by his patients and well respected by his colleagues in the Orthopedic department. Unfortunately, as his health started failing him, he retired from the practice in 2005. His love for the profession was not lost on his son David Rubins who followed in his father’s footsteps and is now carrying on the family legacy.Read MoreHis former chairman, Dr. David Dines, upon learning of the passing of his former colleague stated: “ He was one of the LIJ “originals”. We will miss him.” This echoed the sentiment of all who have come to know Dr. Rubins. His funeral and burial were held on June 26, 2014. May he rest in Peace after a long and productive life in the service of his fellow human beings! In this difficult circumstance, the LIJ Staff Society offers its condolences to his wife, his children, particularly his son David Rubins, and all other relatives, friends, colleagues and patients who are mourning the loss of Dr. Walter Henry Rubins.

Louis Joseph Auguste, MDLouis J Auguste, MD, FACS
Surgical Oncology/General Surgery
Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery
Hofstra North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine
President/ LIJ Staff Society

Mark N. Goldstein, M.D.  2014

Dear Colleagues:
It is with heartfelt and profound sadness that I inform you of the passing of Dr. Mark N. Goldstein. Mark was a cherished colleague who touched the lives of many physicians, professionals, patients, and trainees in our specialty. He was the consummate academician and educator. Many of us have experienced and benefited from his keen wisdom, his gregarious personality, and his infectious humor.

Mark received his medical school and otolaryngology training at Boston University Medical School, with a one-year academic appointment at Harvard Medical School. He was a fellow of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Long Island Society of Otolaryngology. Mark was as a member of the full time staff at LIJ and was active in the faculty practice governance board before entering private practice.

Mark was proud to serve as the Medical Director for the Long Island Hearing and Speech Society for over a quarter of a century, and advocated for services for hearing impaired children and adults. While in private practice, he was an active member of the staff at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and LIJ, and readily engaged in resident training at both sites. He was passionate about both pediatric and otologic surgery.

Mark was deeply committed to the education of our trainees, and derived great pleasure from educating all in the intricacies of temporal bone anatomy. He was a mentor to not only our residents, but to our faculty. He was always available, affable, and articulate in almost any area of Otolaryngology.

Mark was an exceptionally patient teacher and was also a very proud family man, speaking of his wife and son frequently.Read More
His commitment to LIJ was truly a family commitment, which began with his in-laws, Nate and Frances Spingold, who were among the founders of the Long Island Hearing and Speech Society. Upon his son’s bar mitzvah, he announced that his son, in lieu of gifts, had requested that guests instead make donations to the society to improve the lives of the hearing impaired. Mark’s passion and commitment to treatment, to healing and to caring radiated to those who knew him and inspired others to give more of themselves to our work and mission.

Mark’s patients were deeply committed to him, as were his referring physicians. Similarly, Mark was ultimately concerned about his patients and referring physicians, despite his own rapidly failing health, and Mark continued to work until he was physically no longer able to do so. He composed a passionate, heartfelt letter to his patients and referring providers detailing both the personal privilege he felt for the opportunity to participate in their care as well as the responsibility he felt to identify appropriate providers for his patients when he would no longer be able to provide that care. This, above all else, is telling of the true mensch, the compassionate, thoughtful individual that Mark was. Mark will be deeply missed. His spirit, his memory, his absolute dedication to excellence in medicine and care of our patients will live in our hearts forever.

There will be a formal ceremony to honor Mark on October 7, 2014, at which time we will also announce a new initiative in his name.

Andrea Vambutas, MD, FACSChair of Otolaryngology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center & North Shore University Hospital
Professor of Otolaryngology & Molecular Medicine, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
Medical Director, Apelian Cochlear Implant Program

Joseph Schattner, MD  2013

It is with great sadness that we announce the departure of another dear member of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center Family. Our esteemed colleague Joseph Schattner, MD passed away at home on July 20, 2013 after a long illness. His entire professional career had been tightly associated with the foundation and the early development of the Long Island Jewish Hospital. Indeed, in his last year of medical school, the young Joseph Schattner was part of the very first group of medical students to rotate through the new hospital that had just opened its doors in 1954. A year later, in 1955, he started his residency in medicine under Dr. Edward Meilman, one of the founding fathers of the institution. Joe, as he was lovingly called by his friends and colleagues, interrupted his training to serve his country in the US Air Force. At the end of his military service, he returned to LIJ to complete his residency in Internal Medicine. He then did a fellowship in Endocrinology at New York Hospital (N.Y ., NY). He was invited by Dr. Meilman to serve as one of the first chief residents in Medicine at LIJ, in the footsteps of Irwin Katzka, MD, Marvin Gross, MD and Philip Sumner, MD. He remained on the staff and ran early on the Diabetic clinic at the young medical center. Dr. Joseph Schattner contributed unselfishly to the formation of many generations of physicians, He went on to form with his younger brother, Gerald Schattner, MD, one of the largest and most active internal medicine groups at Long island Jewish Medical Center and at North Shore University Hospital, which subsequently included Drs. Martin Greenfield, Stanley Shanies and Robert Peters. He was a staunch supporter of the Hospital and a very active member and leader of the UJA. He remained so until his retirement from active medical practice at the age of 65. He then merely shifted his focus and the visionary that he was concentrated his effort on the creation of a computerized medical record system, truly ahead of his time. He overcame some early health issues and enjoyed some productive retirement years, but he eventually lost the battle and passed away, surrounded by his caring family.

Dr. Schattner is survived by his wife, Harriet, his two daughters, Elaine and Gail, both outstanding physicians in their respective fields, his sons-in-law and four grand children, as well as his brother Gerald Schattner, MD, who will all miss him dearly. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the entire Schattner family and we will all keep our beloved Joe in our prayers.

Louis J. Auguste, MD, FACS
President, Long Island Jewish Medical Center Staff Society

Milton Agulnek, MD

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of one of the early founding fathers of pediatrics in Nassau County, Milton Agulnek, M.D. Milt graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952, and medical school at NYU in 1956. He went on to serve in the army for one year and then reached the rank of Captain at Fort Lewis for 2 years. He completed his residency at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn where he was Chief Resident. He then began his illustrious pediatric career in 1961 in his private practice in Plainview. He practiced full time there until his retirement in 2006.Read More

He was a founding member of Central General Hospital in Plainview, was a long time attending at New Island Hospital in Bethpage, and taught innumerable residents at the Nassau County Medical Center. Milt joined the staff at LIJ Schneider (Cohen’s) Children’s Hospital in 1989 where he loved forging new relationships with the staff. He was honored as a “Top Doctor of the NY Metro area” for 3 years in a row. Milt’s family includes his wife Rhoda, his daughter Karen, his grandson Jordan, and his predeceased son Andrew. He will be remembered dearly by his family, his friends, his colleagues, and by the countless children and families that he touched. The family requests donations to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center specifically in Bladder Cancer Research or to the charity of your choice.Staff Society
Long Island Jewish Medical Center

December 18, 2013
Dr. Louis Lester 

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Louis Lester. Dr. Lester was an active member of the Department of Surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in the 1970’s. He is fondly remembered by his friends and colleagues. Below please find a copy of Dr. Lester’s obituary that appeared in today’s Newsday as well as funeral and Shiva information.

LOUIS LESTER, MD Physicians and staff of North Shore University Hospital, and trustees of the North Shore-LIJ Health System mourn this weekend’s passing of Louis Lester, MD, who would have turned age 99 on Jan. 1. The husband of North Shore-LIJ life trustee Sylvia Lester, Dr. Lester was one of North Shore’s founding surgeons when the hospital opened in 1953, along with the late Arnold Fenton, MD. He was president of the hospital’s Medical Staff Society in 1964 and 1965. While he was a general surgeon, he specialized in breast surgery during the last half of his career. During World War II, he served as an Army surgeon in MASH units in China, Burma and India, achieving the rank of major. Well-regarded for his compassionate care, he retired in 1988 after practicing for more than 50 years. Married for more than 70 years, Dr. and Mrs. Lester have been long-time generous supporters of the hospital and the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Among their many causes, the Lesters donated funds to establish a meditation room in the hospital. We extend our sincere condolences to the entire Lester family. Susan Somerville Executive Director, North Shore University Hospital Richard Goldstein, Chair Michael Dowling, President & CEO North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Louis J. Auguste, MD, FACS
Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Staff Society

December 23, 2013
Dr. Alan Rosenthal 

Dear Colleagues: Once again this month, it befalls on me to bear the sad news of the passing of yet another former member of our staff. Alan D. Rosenthal, MD was our first pediatric Neuro-surgeon at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. He was initially recruited by the prominent Neuro-Surgery group at our Institution, the Long Island Neurosurgical Associates. The group at that time included Drs. Joseph Epstein, Robert Decker, Robert Carras, Alexander Rosenthal and later on Nancy Epstein. Although he later on became chief of Neuro-Surgery at Winthrop Hospital, he continued to practice at Long Island Jewish until his retirement. He lost his battle to lung cancer and expired on December 13, 2013, surrounded by his loved ones. Please find attached the text of his obituary which was published in the New York Times edition of December 16, 2013. The LIJ Staff Society would like to pay homage to this pioneering figure of the history of our Institution and to extend our heartfelt condolences to his widow Mrs. Enid Rosenthal, his children, grand-children and all the relatives and friends affected by this loss.

ROSENTHAL–Dr. Alan, died peacefully on Friday, December 13, 2013, surrounded by loving family and friends. Dr. Rosenthal’s passionate dedication to healing led to a remarkable career in neurosurgery, with a subspecialty in pediatric neurosurgery. After graduating from Yale University (1958) and the University of Virginia Medical School (1962), he pursued his fascination with the neurosciences to a residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the Children’s Medical Center of Boston, where he served as Chief Resident and Teaching Fellow in Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School in 1968. His remarkable ability to perform intricate surgical procedures and his intense interest in pediatrics took him to Long Island, where, as a founding member of Long Island Neurosurgical Associates, he developed the first pediatric neurosurgical practice in the region. He then left LINA to become Co-Director of Winthrop-University Hospital’s Institute for Neurosciences and Chief of their Division of Neurosurgery, where he was a principal player in the development of Winthrop’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit–the first of its kind on Long Island. Dr. Rosenthal was also instrumental in bringing the first CyberKnife, used to perform non-invasive robotic radio-surgery, to the NY metropolitan area. Additionally, Dr. Rosenthal was an Attending Neurosurgeon at several other Long Island hospitals, including Long Island Jewish Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Nassau County Medical Center and South Nassau Community Hospital. He was a contributing author to three major textbooks on pediatric neurosurgery, and his bibliography includes over 25 articles in peer reviewed journals. He has been an invited speaker at many international symposia. His greatest gift, however, found expression in the personal side of medicine. He remained in contact with many of his first patients, and followed their lives as they grew into adulthood. He continued to receive birthday and holiday greetings from several of them until he died. Dr. Rosenthal loved to play golf and tennis and to listen to baroque and classical music. He drove high performance sports cars and read volumes of history and international intrigue with equal relish. He delighted in a high-spirited conversation about history or politics. But his close family and friends remember him most often saying “What can I do to help?” Alan Rosenthal’s memory survives as a blessing in the thousands of lives he touched and saved, but most especially in the hearts of his beloved and devoted wife Enid Feldman Rosenthal; daughters Amy Ilyse Rosenthal and Nina Michelle Rosenthal Fusillo; son-in-law Michael Fusillo; grandsons Nathaniel James and Benjamin Paul Fusillo; brothers-in-law Barry and Joel Feldman; and sisters-in-law Diane and Tina Feldman. Services will be held at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach, FL on Tuesday, December 17 at 1:45pm.

Published in The New York Times on Dec. 16, 2013Louis J. Auguste, MD, FACS
Surgical Oncology/General Surgery
Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery
Hofstra North Shore/LIJ School of Medicine
President/ LIJ Staff Society