People in the News

Monday, October 22, 2018

Delaney Unger meets with Stony Brook Medicine orthopaedic surgeons.

13-year-old Delaney Unger who had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, in her left distal femur recently reunited with Stony Brook Medicine doctors, Fazel Khan, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics, Jason Ganz, MD, Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Nicholas Divaris, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics. The purpose was to discuss the technically complex surgery to remove the cancer by surgically amputating her diseased knee, then rotating the lower leg 180 degrees and attaching it to the remaining thigh.

Unger danced lyrical, hip hop and jazz in a recital in May 2018. Inspired by Stony Brook doctors, Unger has come to the conclusion that she wants to be a pediatric oncologist for her future career.


Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Professor Valentin A. Pavlov, PhD, received a five-year, $1.65 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the vagus nerve’s role in the inflammation and metabolism associated with sepsis. Having a better understanding of the nervous system’s signaling during sepsis could lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets within the scope of bioelectronic medicine.

Sepsis is a body-wide immune system reaction to an infection that is responsible for more than 300,000 deaths in the United States each year and leaves many survivors profoundly disabled. Deregulated immune function is recognized as an important component of sepsis; however, we need to understand more about the mechanisms involved to fully understand how dysregulation occurs to design therapeutic approaches.

Previous research conducted by Pavlov and Feinstein Institute President and CEO Kevin J. Tracey, MD, found that the brain and the vagus nerve are involved in controlling immune responses and inflammation — this discovery has been called the inflammatory reflex. In this new study, Pavlov will examine the role of the vagus nerve originating in the brainstem in the regulation of immune responses and metabolism during sepsis.

Both the Feinstein Institute and Northwell Health have identified major research as a way to combat sepsis. To help shorten the diagnosis time — a key element to preventing loss of life — Northwell Health’s Sepsis Task Force, headed by Martin Doerfler, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Development, and its associate chief medical officer, along with researchers at the Feinstein Institute, reviewed previous cases to identify the key signs for sepsis. Through this work, they identified a protocol, which includes early administration of fluids and antibiotics, to implement across Northwell Health’s 23 hospitals. As a result, sepsis-related mortalities at those facilities have been reduced by almost 70 percent.



Lalaine Torreblanca Que, MD

Lalaine Torreblanca Que, MD, has joined St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center’s Primary Care Group in St. James, New York. Dr. Que, a board-certified Family Medicine provider, has been practicing since 1989.

Dr. Que earned her medical degree from Far Eastern University College of Medicine in Manila, Philippines. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Far Eastern University Hospital, followed by another residency in clinical and anatomic pathology at the University of Illinois. She then transitioned into the role of chief resident at the University of Illinois in the Family Medicine Department.

Prior to joining St. Catherine of Siena, Dr. Que was an attending physician at Hudson River Health Care in Shirley. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Que’s clinical interests are adolescent health, women’s health, geriatrics, public health and minor dermatologic procedures.

Dr. Que’s office is located at 403 Lake Ave. in St. James. She joins Bruce Thompson, MD, and Neenah Chaudhari, MD.



Scott R. Capustin, MD

Scott R. Capustin, MD, has joined the Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders Program affiliated with St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. Dr. Capustin is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine.

Dr. Capustin earned his medical degree from New York Medical College, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. He also completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at New York University–Bellevue Hospital Center and at the Manhattan VA Medical Center.

Dr. Capustin’s office is located at The St. Catherine and St. Charles Center for Health and Wellness Center, 500 Commack Road, Suite D150, in Commack.



Althea Mills, RN, named Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital

Althea Mills, RN, has been appointed Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Vice President of Patient Care Services of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Robert S. Chaloner, Chief Administration Officer, made the announcement.

Over the past few years, Mills successfully led the hospital’s nursing team through two joint commission visits. She also worked closely with the cardiac specialists at Stony Brook Medicine to train staff for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s new Electrophysiology Lab, which opened in August, as well as the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Since opening in 2017, the cardiac cath lab has had more than 300 successful cases.

As a nursing student in Trinidad, West Indies during the early eighties, Mills was advised by her nursing professors to become a nursing educator. She moved to the United States in 1990, and after receiving a master’s degree in Nursing Education from Molloy College, taught at Suffolk Community College where she is still an adjunct professor.

Mills joined Southampton Hospital in 2014 as a per diem nursing administrative supervisor and became full-time in 2015. In January 2017, she was made director of nursing education and later that year was promoted to associate director of nursing. From April 2018, Mills served as Interim CNO, replacing Patricia Darcey who retired after holding the position for 13 years.



Frank Bonura, MD, FACOG, NCMP, CCD

Frank Bonura, MD, FACOG, NCMP, CCD, has been named Director of Menopausal Health and The Osteoporosis Programs at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center — divisions of Siena Women’s Health.

Dr. Bonura, a recognizable physician in the Smithtown community, is dedicated to the practice of menopausal medicine, gynecology and bone health. Prior to this new appointment, Dr. Bonura previously served as director of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, a position he held for more than 30 years, where he delivered generations of babies in the region.

In addition, Dr. Bonura is an Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stony Brook University. He is a Credentialed Menopausal Practitioner, certified by The North American Menopause Society and is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist, a professional designation awarded by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. An accomplished expert in his specialty, Dr. Bonura has published various articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and women’s journals on menopause and osteoporosis, as well as in an acclaimed textbook on osteoporosis.



Keith Downing, MD, MS, MPA, FACOG, FPMRS

Catholic Health Services (CHS) has appointed Keith Downing, MD, MS, MPA, FACOG, FPMRS, Division Chief of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. A urogynecologist, board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Downing specializes in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders, which the National Institutes of Health estimates nearly 25 percent of U.S. adult women suffer from.

Dr. Downing recently served as urogynecologist at Montefiore Medical Center and was an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has worked internationally, providing gynecologic surgical care to patients in Haiti and West, and is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons, in recognition of his abilities as a gynecologic surgeon, researcher and educator.

Earning his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Downing completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. His research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals, and he was named an emerging clinician-scientist by the American Urogynecologic Society in 2012.

Dr. Downing’s office is located at 661 Deer Park Ave. in Babylon.