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Smithtown Fire Department Awarded at EMS Dinner

September 20th, 2018

On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center hosted its quarterly EMS Education Dinner at Stonebridge Golf Club. The event, open to all local emergency response departments was attended by 70 EMS personnel in the surrounding communities.

St. Catherine of Siena’s Medical Chief of Pediatrics Richard Ancona, MD, FAAP, lectured on “Pediatric Trauma”, and Stroke Program Coordinator Catherine Videtto, MSN, RN, ANP, CCRN, CPHQ, lectured on the “Field Assessment of Large Vessel Occlusion Strokes. Mrs. Videtto also presented the “Protector of the Penumbra” Award to the Smithtown Fire Department. The Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corp. was also acknowledged for the award of excellence, but was not in attendance.

The “Protector of the Penumbra” award was developed by St. Catherine of Siena as a patient initiative in partnership with the American Heart Association. The goal is to improve administration times for the “clot-busting” drug used in the treatment of patients who are brought to the emergency department with symptoms of acute ischemic stroke.

Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that stops the flow of blood and deprives the surrounding brain tissue of oxygen. In the absence of oxygen, the brain cells in the immediate area begin to die and release a cascade of toxic chemicals that threaten brain tissue in the surrounding area—the ischemic penumbra.  When a patient receives the drug within 40 minutes of arrival, emergency personnel are awarded for their diligence. Because of their timely care, they successfully aided in minimizing the long-term deficits from the ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize EMS members for their commitment to stroke care—due to their diligence and prehospital communication, St. Catherine of Siena is better able to treat our stroke victims,” said St. Catherine’s Chief Medical Officer Mickel Khlat, DO.  “The work EMS personnel provide, as well as the early notification to our Emergency Department, are the primary reasons why our stroke program delivers excellent patient outcomes—it’s all about teamwork.”

St. Catherine of Siena has been recognized with the 2018 Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus & Target Stroke Elite Honor Roll Award by the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association—a designation the hospital has maintained since 2010.

The quarterly EMS Education Dinners are hosted by St. Catherine of Siena’s Community Outreach Program. It is an initiative that fosters excellence in health care services through improved communication and education to support quality patient outcomes.

St. Catherine of Siena’s Community Outreach Program is committed to providing access and knowledge of health resources to the communities of Long Island. The program is grounded in the importance and value of emphasizing good health, fitness, safety and the promotion of early detection of illness or disease. Free events are sponsored throughout the year, for more information, please visit:

Photo (L-R): Dr. Paul Taglienti, St. Catherine’s Emergency Department Director Dr. James Ryan, St. Catherine’s Chief Operating Officer John Pohlman, Smithtown Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Diecidue, Jerry Firzpatrick, Jonathan LaRocco, Alexander Guliotta and Jeffrey Schwartz.

For more information about St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center or, please call (631) 870-3444.

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