Sigma Pi Brothers and Family Making a Difference

Bert Hurlbut ’74 Vice President New Stanford Hospital Construction, SHC

Alum Bert Hurlbut finishes construction of the New Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto just before his retirement. The timing of the opening couldn’t have been planned any better. He led a construction team of over a thousand workers on site to the completion of the 368-bed facility. Stanford started treating patients in mid-November, about four months before the big crunch for hospital beds, and the facility is up and humming and doing well. Bert is now hunkered down at home, rebuilding a fence in his backyard, which, he jokes, might take as long as it did to finish the hospital.

Here is a link to some videos and photos of the building, and here is a link for the Topping Out Ceremony, held five years ago. The star of this video can be seen giving a speech to the public at the 2:45 mark.


William Forman ’76
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist
Mercy Medical Center

William Forman was both a Sigma Pi and a member of the Cornell lightweight crew team. He now works on the COVID-19 frontline in Brooklyn, and, like so many others in this crisis, is going above and beyond to help others in this time of crisis.

He writes:“Like the members of a racing crew, doctors and nurses and all support staff function as members of a team that have assigned roles and performed tasks that any one member alone could not provide with required speed, safety, and effectiveness. The risks are far more hazardous than anything I saw as an athlete, but the tasks were performed under the same feelings of stress and determination, against an opponent which, in this crisis, is microscopic. Like an athlete, physicians’ work involves the use of trained skills that took many hours to learn and practice until they became innate and were able to be applied and used with minimal wasted thought or motion.”


Nick Vojnovic ’81
president
Little Greek franchise

Nick has made it his mission to provide hot meals to students of the University of Southern Florida who are experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The university has supported my company so much, so I want to give back,” Vojnovic said. “When I saw an article about the Feed-A-Bull food pantry running short on food I said, ‘We can help that.’”Read the entire article from The Oracle.


John Schor ’83
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon; Chair, Dept of Surgery
Verde Valley Medical Center, Cottonwood, Arizona

Running low on PPE. First one is from Home Depot, second pic is home-made hat and mask, and the last pic is from the Darth Vader Collection. We are at a small community hospital in Northern Arizona. We’ve been busy with many patients from the Navajo reservation, which sadly has one of the highest infection rates in the US. As a side note, my wife has insisted that I wear my mask even while I’m home. Guess she’s had enough of my face the last 20 years. Take care all.


Alan Rosen ’91

As coronavirus sparked layoffs across the New York City region, the bulk of the first wave consisted of hospitality workers. Alan Rosen (on left in image), owner of Junior’s Restaurant, bumps elbows with an employee who picked up a paycheck.


Caroline Motschwiller ’14

Caroline Motschwiller ’14, a former Sigma Pi Sweetheart, is at NYU/Bellevue as a pulmonary and critical care fellow. She is spending all her waking hours in the ICU and ER, providing care to those patients infected with COVID-19. Caroline is a daughter of Mu Chapter brother Donald, and his wife Amy Motschwiller, who are both class of 1980 grads.


Nick Wint ’15

Below: Tania Gazarian, mother of Nick Wint ’15, giving the two thumbs up.

Tania works at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, which was the epicenter for the COVID-19 crisis in New York City. The hospital was hit so hard that President Donald Trump spoke about it in one of his daily COVID-19 briefings.


Joseph Manzi ’16
MD candidate, Class of 2021
Weill Cornell Medical College

My role has been based in research. I am working on three different projects:

  1. Prevention: BCG treatment used in patients with certain types of bladder cancer, as well as a TB prevention shot in other countries, has possible immune boosting effects that might prevent contraction of the virus/serious illness. Studying patient population who’ve received this medication and observing if they’re incidence of COVID illness is less than the normal population.
  2. Management: Correlating certain blood biomarkers with severity of covid ICU patients with potential applications to physician decision making in patient care.
  3. Treatment: You might have heard of the drug Remdesivir in the news as a potential treatment for the virus. My team and I are currently in clinical trials, giving the drug to patients at NYP and studying effectiveness and clinical safety of the drug. My job involves monitoring a handful of patients’ kidney, liver, and heart functions to assess the safety profile of the drug and ultimately to see if there is a mortality benefit.

Read about a clinical trial on Remdesivir that Joe was associated with.


Christian Zollner ’16
PhD Candidate, Corona Research
University of California, Santa Barbara

As COVID-19 continues to ravage global populations, the world is singularly focused on finding ways to battle the novel coronavirus. That includes UC Santa Barbara’s Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC) and member companies. Researchers there are developing ultraviolet LEDs that have the ability to decontaminate surfaces — and potentially air and water — that have come in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“One major application is in medical situations: the disinfection of personal protective equipment, surfaces, floors, within the HVAC systems, et cetera,” said materials doctoral researcher Christian Zollner, whose work centers on advancing deep ultraviolet light LED technology for sanitation and purification purposes. Read more . . .