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Sachem North HS Delivers: Students, Faculty, Staff Make Special Delivery to SBUMC Emergency Department


On Monday, December 14, 2009, the Sachem School District celebrated, in part, its Tree of Lights Festival, when 14 students accompanied by faculty and staff, led by Mr. Jose Cruz, Assistant Principal from Sachem North High School (pictured far right), delivered a fully decorated Christmas tree to the Emergency Department at Stony Brook University Medical Center as a symbol of gratitude for taking care of beloved teacher, Laura Clifford, who suffered a heart attack earlier this year while swimming laps in the pool at Sachem North High School. The District credits the quick actions of the SBUMC ER that saved her life. The attending emergency physician, Dr. Erika Newton, and ED nurse, Jeffrey Popp, who initially treated Ms. Clifford and were invited to the dedication, credited the first responders who administered CPR on the scene. "They saved her life," said Dr. Newton. "This is a wonderful surprise," she added. "We were not expecting it. It's not often that our patients think of the ED staff -- we treat them and admit them, the shorter amount of time they spend with us, the better."

Jeffrey Popp, RN and Erika Newton, MD are pictured in the group photo, left of the pole next to the Christmas Tree. In the smaller group image with the decorated tree, Dr. Newton and Mr. Popp are joined by one of Ms. Cliffords former students (far left), Valerie Sayage, RN, Emergency Dept.; Eric Niegelberg, ED Administrative Director; Dr. Mark Henry, Chairman, Dept. of Emergency Medicine; and Alison Rowe, RN, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department. Not pictured is Dr. Jennifer Stellke, Emergency Medicine Resident, who also assisted in Ms. Clifford's care.

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