Dr. David Hirschwerk takes over from Dr. Michael Gitman, who has...

Dr. David Hirschwerk takes over from Dr. Michael Gitman, who has been named executive director of Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Credit: Credit Northwell Health

North Shore University Hospital has named an infectious disease specialist who has helped guide the hospital through the COVID-19 pandemic as its new medical director.

Dr. David Hirschwerk was appointed to the new role at the Manhasset hospital on Monday, New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health said. He has been a leader at the health system throughout the pandemic, serving as executive vice chair of the Department of Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park and at North Shore, according to Northwell.

Hirschwerk, whose focus includes infections in immunocompromised patients, takes over from Dr. Michael Gitman, who was named executive director of LIJ in November.

Hirschwerk, 50, said that, as North Shore and other hospitals throughout the region cope with the rise in COVID cases during the omicron surge, "my priority is helping to support us through this current surge, and then really focusing on all the other outstanding opportunities that we have within the hospital."

His long-term goals include growing the hospital's advanced programs in organ transplants, cardiac and neurosurgical care, he said. "I really do walk into the position with an executive team that is incredible and has been performing at just such a high level for a long time," Hirschwerk said. "My goal is to continue the outstanding work that they've been doing and look for opportunities to move our hospital forward."

For now, North Shore has been rescheduling some procedures that are not urgent, such as elective orthopedic surgeries, to make room for a growing number of COVID patients, he said. Hirschwerk said his hope is that the New York region's surge will end within a few weeks, and then the hospital can return to a normal schedule.

Having a medical director who specializes in infectious diseases "is incredibly helpful during this time, especially one as accomplished, knowledgeable and skilled as Dr. Hirschwerk," Jon Sendach, executive director of North Shore, said in a statement, calling Hirschwerk "a well-known, collaborative and respected leader."

An associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hirschwerk received the 2021 Goldstein Physician Executive Leadership Award at Northwell. He has completed fellowships in clinical quality and infectious diseases and is a graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Brown University. He lives in Port Washington with his wife, Rebecca, who is manager of school programs at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, and their two children, who are college students.

Latest Videos