A former Long Islander will become chief executive of Stony Brook University Medical Center and vice president for health systems, the university said Wednesday.

Dr. Reuven Pasternak, 62, who grew up in Hempstead, comes to the medical center from Inova Health System in Falls Church, Va., where he had been chief executive of the 883-bed Inova Fairfax Hospital campus for the past four years. He officially takes over Sept. 1.

"He really understands academic medical centers where you have the research component," said Stony Brook University president Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. "This is a really dynamic, highly energetic person."

Pasternak replaces Dr. Steven Strongwater, who resigned as chief executive in November from the 597-bed medical center, the largest hospital in Suffolk, with 5,500 employees.

Pasternak said he is intrigued to meet so many people who are committed "to making the medical center a premier academic center. It just resonated. It's a very collaborative culture."

Fred Sganga had been serving as interim chief executive and will return to his position as executive director of the Long Island State Veterans Home, according to Stony Brook.

Pasternak's role as vice president of health systems is new. He will work closely with deans of the schools of dental medicine, health technology and management and nursing and social welfare.

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Stanley said the deans will continue to report to Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president of health sciences and dean of the school of medicine.

Specializing in pediatric critical care medicine and anesthesiology, Pasternak spent most of his career in academic medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

He also served with the Navy Medical Corps during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and retired from the Navy Reserve in 1998 as a commander.

He has a bachelor's degree in international studies and economics from Johns Hopkins and earned his medical degree from Duke University.

He also has a master's in public health from the University of North Carolina and a master's in business administration from Loyola College in Maryland.