Our Trauma Chief Recognized as Asset for Suffolk County and Our Community
James A. Vosswinkel, MD, chief of our Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care Division, and medical director of the Stony Brook Trauma Center, has been chosen the 2017 Times Beacon Record News Media "Person of the Year."
Published last Friday, the TBR article announcing the high honor, titled "Stony Brook Trauma Care Surgeon Is an Asset for Suffolk County," opens this way:
When they come to him, they need something desperately. He empowers people, either to help themselves or others, in life and death situations or to prevent the kinds of traumatic injuries that would cause a crisis cascade.
Dr. James Vosswinkel, an assistant professor of surgery and the chief of trauma, emergency surgery and surgical critical care, as well as the medical director of the Stony Brook Trauma Center, is driven to help people through, or around, life-threatening injuries.
Vosswinkel speaks to people in traffic court about the dangers of distracted driving and speeding, encourages efforts to help seniors avoid dangerous falls and teaches people how to control the bleeding during significant injuries, which occur during mass casualty crisis.
For his tireless efforts on behalf of the community, Vosswinkel is a Times Beacon Record News Media Person of the Year.
"If you are transferred because of the seriousness of your trauma or the location of your trauma and you end up at Stony Brook, you can be well assured that you'll receive state-of-the-art care."
Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, senior vice president, health sciences, and dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, says: "Dr. Vosswinkel is the quarterback for developing all the resources and making sure the quality of those individuals is up to very, very high standards.
"He's a very fine trauma surgeon, who has assembled a team of additional fine surgeons. If he's ever needed, he's always available, whether he's on call or not."
Mark A. Talamini, MD, MBA, professor and chairman of surgery, and chief of surgical services, Stony Brook Medicine, says: "Dr. Vosswinkel will come to the hospital to help a member of his team at any hour of the night. When his people need help, he's there."
Scott Coyne, MD, chief surgeon and medical director of the Suffolk County Police Department, has only good things to say about Dr. Vosswinkel, who recently was promoted to chief consulting police surgeon by the SCPD:
"He's a very valuable adjunct to our police department. If you are transferred because of the seriousness of your trauma or the location of your trauma and you end up at Stony Brook, you can be well assured that you'll receive state-of-the-art care. Dr. Vosswinkel is one of the leaders in the delivery of that surgical care."
Born and raised on Long Island, Dr. Vosswinkel received his medical degree from the SUNY Upstate Medical University in 1995, and completed his residency training in general surgery at Stony Brook. Subsequently, he gained fellowship training in trauma/surgical critical care at Yale University.
As a resident here, Dr. Vosswinkel in 2000 was the first to receive the David J. Kreis Jr. Award for Excellence in Trauma Surgery, an annual award given to a senior (fourth-year) surgical resident by the Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care Division in honor of the late Dr. Kreis, the founding chief of our trauma and surgical critical care service, who served with distinction on our faculty from 1986 until his untimely death in 1989.
On completing his training at Yale, Dr. Vosswinkel returned to Long Island and joined the faculty of our Department of Surgery in 2002 as a traumatologist and general surgeon. Over the next decade, he distinguished himself with his clinical skills and leadership, and in 2013, he was appointed chief of the Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care Division.
Dr. Vosswinkel was instrumental in overseeing Stony Brook's recent verification as a Level 1 Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (read more). Stony Brook is Suffolk County's only Level 1 Trauma Center for both adults and children, which is the highest level of trauma care possible.
Over the last few years, Dr. Vosswinkel has earned recognition from several groups. He was named the Physician for Excellence in 2016 by the Suffolk Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (read more).
Last September, for his exceptional leadership at the Trauma Center, Dr. Vosswinkel was invested as the Lillian and Leonard Schneider Endowed Professor in Trauma Surgery — the first endowed professorship in the Department of Surgery (read more).
"What's different about Dr. Vosswinkel," says Jane E. McCormack, RN, BSN, our trauma program manager, is that "a lot of people talk about working harder, but he does it. He's an intense guy who is very passionate about what he does."