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Northwell appoints Richard Braunstein, MD, to lead ophthalmology

Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Dr. Braunstein will direct the Northwell Health Eye Institute

Richard Braunstein, MD, has been appointed senior vice president and executive director of Northwell Health’s ophthalmology service line. Dr. Braunstein succeeds Ira Udell, MD, who led ophthalmology services at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) and Long Island Jewish Medical Center over the last 24 years. 

Dr. Udell will continue his consultative medical and surgical cornea practice and remain as chair of ophthalmology at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell until July 1.

Dr. Braunstein, who joined the health system in 2012, previously served as the vice president of ophthalmology services and executive director of the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH). He helped establish MEETH’s Eye Center. Dr. Braunstein will also assume Dr. Udell’s role as chair of ophthalmology at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/ Northwell come July 1.

In his new role, Dr. Braunstein will oversee efforts to brand and expand the Northwell Health Eye Institute, which plans to open a destination eye center in Bethpage in the fall and recently added seven physicians to its Independent Physician Association (IPA). The subspecialty IPA has brought together 51 physicians – both employed and voluntary specialists – along with eight practices at 20 locations into a clinically integrated network stretching from Manhattan and the Bronx to Queens and Long Island.

New ophthalmology leader

“We are excited about Dr. Braunstein broadening his areas of responsibility. His success at MEETH has made him the perfect person to lead our entire Ophthalmology service line,” said Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, executive vice president and physician-in-chief at Northwell Health as well as dean of the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. 

Dr. Braunstein spent 18 years at Columbia University, where he rose to become a professor of clinical ophthalmology and directed the ophthalmology residency and cornea fellowship training programs. He also served as the department’s chief of anterior segment and refractive surgery, and vice chair for clinical services.  

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