The recent partnership between NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) and Catholic Health Services (CHS) to advance patient-centered, community-based health care on Long Island is “the perfect marriage,” according to Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy (D.O. ’99). O’Shaughnessy should know: he not only leads CHS, but he is also a graduate of NYITCOM.
“There is a primary care shortage,” says O’Shaughnessy. “This new collaboration will give NYITCOM students much-needed postgraduate primary care training at CHS and enable these young doctors to build their practices and stay in Long Island.” Students can also draw on CHS’s robust facilities, including six hospitals, three skilled nursing facilities, and a home nursing service and hospice.
Putting down roots in Long Island is important to O’Shaughnessy. He studied emergency medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center and worked at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and hospitals in New Jersey before returning to Long Island, where he served as assistant director of emergency medicine for St. Charles and CMO for St. Catherine of Siena. He landed at CHS in 2013. Despite the pressure of his career, O’Shaughnessy even managed to pick up an M.B.A. in business administration and a master’s degree in population health along the way.
O’Shaughnessy is also focused on helping his community beyond CHS. As a member of the Suffolk County Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force, he contributed to revamping emergency department protocols for overdose victims and provided recommendations to reduce the overprescribing of opioids at hospitals.
The NYITCOM/CHS partnership fits well into O’Shaughnessy’s vision of the future of health care, which he believes relies on how we educate the next generation of health-care providers. “Quality, safety, effective teamwork, change management, and patient-centeredness are all key aspects to medical and nursing education that we will look to support as part of this relationship,” says O’Shaughnessy.
Medical students, says O’Shaughnessy, are the future for how health care will be delivered, and the new NYITCOM/CHS program will benefit the students and the community of Long Island and the region. “We’re in the business of healing. We’re here to ease the suffering.” His wise words to medical students are: “Every patient you touch, you have an impact on their lives, their outcomes, on multiple levels.”
This profile originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of NYIT Magazine