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Constantine Ioannou, MD Joins the Faculty as Director of Adult Inpatient Services

Constantine Ioannou, MD

June 16, 2014 - When Constantine (Charlie) Ioannou, MD became Director of the Adult Inpatient Unit on June 9, he arrived with a clear vision of the role of Stony Brook in the regional mental health system, a commitment to making chemical dependency services central to the department’s mission and a decidedly collaborative approach to the unit’s administration.

“Dr. Ioannou was the ideal candidate for the position,” said Department Chair Ramin Parsey, MD, PhD. “He is a capable administrator with experience in the local community. He is a good teacher with a deep knowledge of psychiatry and addiction medicine. And he has the skills to bring our inpatient services into line with today’s mental health system, lowering costs while improving the quality of care for our patients.”

Dr. Ioannou came to Stony Brook from Nassau University Medical Center, where he was the Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs and Medical Director of Substance Abuse Services in the Department of Psychiatry. He oversaw the operation of 127 adult and child inpatient beds, 50 chemical dependency beds, the hospital’s emergency psychiatric services and an outpatient clinic. He came to Stony Brook, he said, “to be part of a vibrant academic medical center that helps establish standards for the practice of psychiatry.”

Dr. Ioannou described the role of the inpatient unit on 10 North in terms of the larger mental health system. “Inpatient treatment is only one small step in the process of recovery,” he said. “Its role is to prepare patients for the much longer part in the community by stabilizing them medically and creating linkages with on-going services.” Noting that 30% of people with mental illness have a chemical dependency and that 30% of people who are chemically dependent have a mental illness, Dr. Ioannou expressed his determination to make the prevention and treatment of substance abuse more central to the department’s mission. “Both addiction and mental illness are diseases of the brain,” he said, “but the psychiatric community is less comfortable dealing with substance abuse. One of my goals is to bring addiction research and practices into general psychiatry.”

In his role as Director of the adult inpatient unit, Dr. Ioannou envisions his role as coordinator of a multidisciplinary team of caregivers. “The staff of 10 North is excellent,” he said, “but change is in the air and we need to adapt. We need to reduce costs and increase access by shortening the length of stay. We need to make transfers from CPEP and C&L go more smoothly. We need to establish closer ties with community agencies. How we will accomplish these goals will come from the team. My job is to urge and cajole, then to listen and foster their ideas.”