14 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • JANUARY 2021
HOSPITALS INNOVATE FROM COVID-19 TESTS TO TREATMENTS
Stony Brook University used 3D printers
to make face shields to protect healthcare
workers rather than only seeking to
“We are doing something positive
to protect the health of the medical
professionals that are helping the
community,” Charlie McMahon, Stony
Brook University’s interim senior vice
president and enterprise chief information
Amid a concern over a possible ventilator
shortage early on, Northwell
developed a system to convert BiPAP
machines used for sleep apnea into
“I knew we could develop a way to repurpose
and convert these machines,”
Dr. Hugh Cassiere, medical director for
respiratory care services at North Shore
University Hospital, said.
While hospitals sought to overcome
shortages, they also went full speed ahead
with clinical trials well beyond those they
announced in March.
Northwell’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical
Research (FIMR) created a Covid-19
Clinical Trial Unit that the system describes
as a 200-member rapid-response
clinical trial group to review and set up
therapeutic clinical trials.
FIMR launched more than half a dozen
clinical trials and programs including
those for famotidine, remdesivir and
monoclonal antibody sarilumab, and
joined the Mayo Clinic’s convalescent
plasma initiative. Northwell enrolled
more than 1,200 patients in Covid research
trials across the system
“The results of our research findings
were published in more than 200 manuscripts,”
said Matthew Libassi, a Feinstein
Hospitals also worked to ramp up, and
improve, testing. Northwell Health
Labs in September said that since the
pandemic hit it has spent more than
$30 million to increase Covid-19 testing,
boosting volume and improving
“Our goal has been to deploy at scale
as much testing as possible,” said Dr.
Dwayne Breining, executive director of
Northwell Health Labs. “As various supply
chain issues have emerged, maintaining
multiple testing platforms has been a
successful mitigation strategy.”
Northwell Labs is currently processing
about 7,000 molecular nucleic acid amplification
tests and an additional 3,000
antibody tests daily.
Northwell researchers also are seeking to
develop a new Covid-19 test that can process
three times the number of patients
“We hope that providing another testing
option to detect SARS-CoV-2 with a clinically
validated set of reagents will assist
in this effort at a time when supply chain
has been a major issue,” Gregory J. Berry,
director of Northwell Health’s Division of
Infectious Disease Diagnostics, said.
Northwell Health Labs also is part of a
multiyear Feinstein Institutes $11.3 million
grant to develop and deploy Covid
antibody tests, as the system seeks to scale
up to meet demand.
“We must develop more efficient and
accurate antibody tests and integrate
them with a deeper understanding
of the disease,” Dr. Peter Gregersen,
a professor of molecular medicine
and investigator at the Feinstein Institutes,
Healthcare providers also changed approaches,
finding that proning, placing
patients temporarily on their stomach,
can assist with breathing.
“We utilized proning in an efficient manner,”
said Dr. Sahar Ahmad, director of
ultrasound and critical care education at
Stony Brook School of Medicine. “Proning
is not beneficial to all patients with this
condition, but we started to get more
efficientwith those for whom we applied
continued from page 15
“We’re all living in a new reality,”
Michael Dowling said.
Why LI Homeowners Should Grieve Their Property Taxes
While it’s usually a good thing to be
on a Top 10 list, the fact that Nassau
County ranks fourth on the list of
highest property taxes in the country
makes homeowners cringe. Suffolk
County is slightly better, ranked at 12th.
Now the unprecedented Covid-19
pandemic and its devastating
economic ramifications have
created another cause for concern.
According to a recent Newsday
article, Nassau and Suffolk County
homeowners may be facing
property tax increases as high as 60
percent in 2021, as counties grapple
with budget deficits stemming from
the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has punched
a hole in all county and local
municipality budgets, and it will fall
on the shoulders of homeowners to
plug that hole. This means bracing
for a property tax increase.
Wading into the world of tax
assessment, market values and tax
grievances may have you shaking
your head. Sure, we all know what
property taxes are, but how are they
calculated and how can I challenge my
assessment and get them lowered?
WHAT IS A PROPERTY TAX
Your property’s assessment is one
of the factors used by your local
governments and school district to
determine the amount of your property
taxes. A property’s assessment is based
on its market value.
WHAT IS MARKET VALUE?
Market value is the price at which
a property would sell if offered for
sale under ordinary circumstances.
Market value is usually determined
by comparison with similar homes.
WHAT DETERMINES THE
AMOUNT OF A PROPERTY
To calculate the amount you
pay in property taxes, multiply
your property’s assessment (your
assessment minus any exemptions)
by the tax rates issued by your school
district, municipalities, counties and
special districts. Your tax bill can
change each year due to changes
in your school district or local
government budgets, revenue, total
assessed value, and tax rates.
Changes in your assessment or
exemptions can also impact your
Property tax bills: Tax bill calendars
differ in different counties, as well as
in some cities.
Rather than receiving tax bills, those
who have their property taxes held
in escrow receive receipts.
As a homeowner, you are entitled
to file a Property Tax Grievance. A
Property Tax Grievance allows your
assessment to be reviewed by the
Assessor to see if a reduction is
warranted. If the Assessor does not
reduce your assessment, an appeal
can be filed to have an impartial
hearing officer determine if your
house is overvalued for tax purposes.
As the founder and CEO of Property
Tax Reduction Consultants, I’m an
expert on property tax reductions.
I’ve successfully handled more than
335,000 property tax assessment
challenges over the past 30 years
in business, saving hard-working
homeowners millions of dollars.
While there has always been a path
to property tax relief through the
tax grievance process, it has never
been more critical than now. The
ability to hold on to your home and
ride out these tough economic times
will demand that you do all that you
can. That means scrutinizing your
tax bill for accuracy and considering
challenging your property taxes.
By Sean Acosta