Dr. Harry S. Soroff, whose legacy at Stony Brook University Hospital has been said to be "etched in stone," died Aug. 22 at the age of 86.
"He was a bold and dynamic leader. His legacy is etched in stone," Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a message to the campus faculty.
According to the university, Soroff's accomplishments were numerous over his 33-year career at Stony Brook. He was the founding chair of the School of Medicine's Department of Surgery, a position he held for 16 years. During that time, he established the Stony Brook Burn Center and Living Skin Bank, eventually forming a relationship between the Burn Center and Suffolk County's volunteer firefighters that led to the creation of the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center Fund.
During the Korean War, Soroff was the chief of metabolic research of the Army Institute of Surgical Research, where he led efforts to understand the nutrtional requirements of burn victims and the ways in which nutrition could help them recover.
According to the university, Soroff was a native of Nova Scotia, Canada, who grew up in Philadelphia and later settled on Long Island in Northport. He received his MD from Temple University in 1948, later completing residencies and fellowships at Western Reserve University Hospital of Cleveland and Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Soroff was also a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and a surgical faculty member at Tufts University, where he became chief of the Tufts University Surgical Service at the Boston City Hospital.
Soroff was buried in Israel. The Department of Surgery will hold a memorial service in October, during which it will launch the Harry S. Soroff MD Memorial Lecture in Burn Care and Reseaerch. An annual award in his name is planned for a resident or fellow at the burn center.
"We lost a gentleman and a scholar with the passing of Dr. Soroff," Stanley said.