Andrea Vambutas, M.D., North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

Andrea Vambutas

An Open-Minded Culture

Editors’ Note

Dr. Andrea Vambutas is also Vice Chair of Academy Affairs the Department of Otolaryngology at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. In addition, she is Director for the Center of Hearing & Balance at the New York Head & Neck Institute, Medical Director of LIJ Medical Center’s Apelian Cochlear Implant Program, and Professor of Otolaryngology & Molecular Medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. Vambutas was instrumental in developing the Apelian Cochlear Implant Center, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011. She is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Institution Brief

Northwell Health (northwell.edu), formerly the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is the nation’s 14th largest healthcare system and the largest in New York State, with annual operating revenue of $9.5 billion. Northwell includes 21 hospitals and more than 450 outpatient physician practices throughout Long Island, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Westchester, and a vast network of skilled-nursing, long-term care, home care, rehabilitation, and hospice care services and urgent care. Northwell is making powerful breakthroughs in research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, which is at the forefront of a new field of research called bioelectronic medicine. By developing nerve-stimulating technologies that regulate the molecular targets underlying disease, this revolutionary approach promises to deliver therapies superior to pharmaceuticals in terms of efficacy, safety and cost, without significant side effects. Northwell is training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine – New York State’s first allopathic medical school in about 40 years – and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. In addition, Northwell offers premium health care insurance to individuals, families, and businesses through the CareConnect insurance company. Northwell is New York State’s largest private employer, with a workforce of more than 61,000. The health system’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,600 beds, employ more than 15,000 nurses, and have affiliations with nearly 13,600 physicians.

What progress has Northwell Health made in addressing ear, nose, and throat issues?

The strength of the health system is the breadth of hospitals and number of patients treated. The health system screens over 20,000 infants per year for newborn hearing. Prior to the New York State law requiring newborn hearing screening, our center was part of the New York Demonstration Project to do newborn hearing screenings to prove their value.

It was recognized that for infants with hearing loss, if they’re fit with hearing aids and given speech therapy by six months of age, their ability to develop expressive language is dramatically improved.

Fifteen years ago, we started a cochlear implant center here where we provide services for adults and children. For the children, we go into schools and help map the cochlear implant and we provide services to the school. It’s a comprehensive program we’re quite proud of.

Similarly, within head and neck cancer, we have partnered with The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and we have a new affiliation with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for early stage clinical trials, trying to do everything possible to advance cancer care in the health system.

We have a large group of pediatric otolaryngologists that also treat these patients and we have entered into a clinical affiliation with ENT & Allergy Associates, which is a very large single specialty group for otolaryngology in the tri-state area.

Are there opportunities you see for women to lead at senior levels within the industry?

While I would I like to see more females in senior leadership roles across the system, there are currently a good number of them in this institution and they’re respected, which is huge.•