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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Grossman’s Medical Talents Get Worldwide Attention

The Honoree – Rising Star Dr. Peter Grossman Grossman Burn Center Dr. Peter Grossman can still remember the feeling he had when he was eight years old, accompanying his dad on hospital rounds. He can remember because those visits left such a strong impression, and because he still gets those same feelings today. Caring for burn patients, Grossman says, is different from many other kinds of medical practices. Treatment can take years, and patients become more like family. Indeed Grossman initially intended to focus his practice on cosmetic surgery, but the memories rooted from those childhood visits with his dad ultimately took over. “As I matured and went through medical school, I kind of thought I was going to work with my dad I’ll do some burn stuff, but I’ll focus on cosmetic surgery,” said Grossman. “Until I started doing it. Then I realized it was the burn reconstructive surgery that made me feel special. It gave me the feeling I had when I was eight years old.” About 30 percent of Grossman’s private practice now is devoted to cosmetic surgery. The rest focuses on burn reconstructive surgery in his own practice and at Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital where he is now associate director. A graduate of Northwestern University and The Chicago Medical School, Grossman completed a general surgery residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a plastic surgery residency at University of Missouri and a fellowship in plastic surgery at University of Alabama, before joining the Grossman Burn Center, which was named after his father, Dr. A. Richard Grossman. Since that time he has lectured and contributed to several books on burn care and reconstructive surgeries. Because of the complexity of injuries, burn patients may often undergo procedures for years, and the patients at Grossman Burn Center come back year after year for holiday parties, Grossman said. But there is one patient he remembers more than others, a young Afghan girl who he treated about one-and one-half years ago. Nine-year-old Zubaida Hasan had been hideously disfigured in an accident cooking with kerosene. She was sent to the Grossman Burn Center. She was not permitted to travel with her family (the Taliban was still in power); she spoke no English; and she could not read or write. With a number of surgeries still to go, the American family with whom she was staying could not continue to take care of her, and plans were made to return the child to her home when Grossman and his wife Rebecca stepped in. The Grossmans took Zubaida Hasan into their home where she stayed while she completed the 12 surgeries she needed. “She called me dad and my wife mom and she became our little daughter,” said Grossman. Zubaida has since returned home, and the Grossmans, who had been trying to conceive a child at the time, now have a baby daughter. But their adopted daughter still calls twice a week using a cell phone the Grossmans bought her. “And I have to say that Zubaida probably touched me personally more than any other patient I had,” said Grossman. The Finalists Susan Cohen California State University, Northridge California’s public universities and community colleges have been wracked by the fiscal uncertainty that has emanated from Sacramento and Cal State Northridge has been no exception. But by being creative, Susan Cohen, assistant director of CSUN’s Student Health Center has been able to weather these budgetary problems. “In the past few years, we’ve had a significant change in leadership and the new leadership has looked at old issues in new ways. We strategize on how to take the money we have and stretch it the furthest,” Cohen said. “It’s the out of the box thinking that looks at the bottom-line: caring for students.” One of Cohen’s foremost achievements has been her work in the creation of an internship program between CSUN and the Health Center. Now the health center is able to give students professional experience directly related to their academic studies, whereas formerly they had to leave campus. Additionally, Cohen chaired the Social Norms Marketing Campaign, a task force that educated fraternity and sorority members about how their rates of alcohol consumption exceeded that of non-Greeks. The campaign helped mitigate the amounts of binge drinking on the campus. Cohen has also been responsible other student programs such as sexuality and for HIV/STD prevention, nutrition counseling and CPR/first aid programs. Jeff Weiss G. Jay Westbrook, R.N. Valley Presbyterian Hospital G. Jay Westbrook’s inspiration came from the graveyard of more than 2,500 human beings Ground Zero. When the native New Yorker (by way of West Village) returned to the city for a round of volunteer duty in September 2001, he observed unique programs that he sought to replicate at Valley Presbyterian. Finding forward-thinkers at Valley Presbyterian was not a problem, apparently, as the program was launched almost instantly, modeling itself after palliative programs at Beth Israel, Calvary and Mt. Sinai hospitals in New York City. The Valley Presbyterian unit Westbrook has created, which helps through the death and bereavement process and helped nurture now has five full-time employees and makes visits throughout the hospital as necessary. “We work across the age span, from neonatal up through geriatrics,” Westbrook said. Now, after accolades have started to pour in for his efforts, Westbrook is finding himself in a new position. “A number of programs have modeled themselves after us,” Westbrook said. Slav Kandyba

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