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The Clarence Dennis Papers

Conversation with Dr. Harry Soroff at the Boston Harvard Club June 15, 1974 pdf (162,068 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Conversation with Dr. Harry Soroff at the Boston Harvard Club June 15, 1974
Item is a photocopy.
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3 (162,068 Bytes)
1974-06-15 (June 15, 1974)
Dennis, Clarence
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Exhibit Category:
SUNY Stony Brook and Retirement, 1975-1996
Metadata Record Letter from Clarence Dennis to Harry S. Soroff (June 17, 1974) pdf (52,023 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 10
Folder Number: 1
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Series: State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook/Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC), 1943-2003
SubSeries: Administration Files, 1973-2003
SubSubSeries: SUNY Stony Brook, 1973-1989
Folder: SUNY Stony Brook [job offer and retirement benefits], 1973-1989
Conversation with Dr. Harry Soroff at the Boston Harvard Club
June 15, 1974.
I clarified my reasons in considering a move to Stony Brook as follows: a wish to return to some teaching, some care of patients, some investigative work in laboratories and on the wards, and finally a wish to do something more constructive than provision of an oblique input into a national program with paper work of doubtful significance.
The matter income was discussed, and Dr. Soroff indicated that a salary of approximately $50,000 can be offered. The implications of this are not yet clear, that is, whether this could be simply added to the 20 and a half years at Downstate with the ultimate retirement income enhanced by the longer years of service and the higher level of state-salaried income. This latter point raises questions that Mr. Milton Miller at Downstate could not answer for me in a conversation with him on June 17; his point was that C.D. has been away from Downstate more than one year. There is apparently no precedent for this type of appointment of someone who has retired and achieved an emeritus status. A letter will be sent to Mr. Levitt.
It was understood that the bulk of the clinical contacts will be at the Northport V.A. Hospital. Arrangements have been made so that the resident staff at Huntington Hospital is appointed by the Department of Surgery of the Medical School. It is presumed that some teaching of students may be done there also presently. Pilgrim State Hospital and Central lslip Hospital are near Northport and Kings Park Hospital is about 4 minutes from the Medical School. These State Mental hospitals may provide an opportunity for some teaching and for some fluid source of funds for the enhancement of the effectiveness of the Department of Surgery. The Nassau Hospital is nearly as far away as the Long island Jewish Hospital, and C.D. expressed some doubt as to the likelihood of effective participation of either on account of that distance.
We discussed programs within the Department of Surgery.
Metabolism - There is some likelihood that John Kinney may be recruited.
Endocrinology - No specific individuals were noted.
Biomedical Engineering - There seems to be a strong potential nucleus in the offing, including Soroff, Birtwell (with an appointment in the Department), Sumner Levine, Dennis, and conceivably Harry LeVeen.
Gastro-Enterology - H.S.S. thinks hopefully in terms of Mike Eisenberg.
Oncology - Dennis suggests that Bernard Gardner be borne in mind. (His C.V., list of publications, and recent Tumor Registry Report are being mailed directly to Dr. Soroff from D.M.C.)
Trauma - There was agreement that this should properly be handled in General Surgery and that the Orthopedic contribution should be made by consultation. Gerald Shaftan was suggested by Dennis as a possible candidate.
Plastic - Several candidates were mentioned, none very strongly as yet.
Vascular - C.D. came away with no names for the moment.
Cardio-Thoracic - Drs. Heroy and Dos are already there and Drs. Soroff and Dennis might contribute.
Transplantation - Dr. Soroff is looking for a sum of some $5000 to use as a planning grant to develop this activity. This has been offered to Tony Monaco, but Dr. S. is not sure that he will take it. Others who might be considered are Paul Russell, Bunny Barnes, and John Bergan. The program is still a year away in any case. (Dr. Lyndon Lee had told C.D. that the V.A. Hospital with the best program in the metropolitan area would get the nod, although no V.A. hospital will be certified in the System as a Transplantation Center. He had also said that he did not wish to toy with such items as open heart surgery or transplantation in advance of the establishment of a strong service in general surgery.)
Education - Strong teachers are essential. C.D. unintentionally left out of the conversation the names of George Miller and others who had made the art of teaching into a career. The first year will include exposure to trauma, with Dr. S. directly involved. The second year will find the Department of Surgery heavily involved in systems teaching. The third year will include 8 or 9 weeks of general surgical clerkship. The fourth year will offer deeper involvement in the specialties on an elective basis.
Basic Sciences - Surgical involvement in the teaching of anatomy (Gabor lnke and Maynard Dewey) and physiology (Sidhart). Dr. Dos could also participate.
There was discussion of Dr. Pitzele. H.S.S. was concerned that there were to date only 18 publications, but it became apparent that the list was that used in obtaining his appt. to NHLI 2 years ago. A meeting among Drs. Pitzele, Soroff, and Dennis will be set up in Washington shortly.
There was discussion of H.H. LeVeen and the role he might play. This will be cogitated with the information in hand.
There was discussion of Dr. Akutsu, and it was made clear that the intent of bringing his name into the discussions was simply to note that he is likely to become available. He is not essential to consideration of performance of work on circulatory support or an artificial heart.
We parted with duplicates of the C.V.'s of Pitzele, LeVeen, and Akutsu with HSS for cogitation. C.D. will get an opinion from Albany about the mechanics of appointment and the relationship to ultimate retirement income and communicate when it is available. When H.S.S. comes to Washington to see Lyndon Lee shortly, an effort will be made to have a conference among him, Pitzele and C.D.
Clarence Dennis
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