A Degree of Difference

Robert Corona (D.O. ’86) leads a 30-member team at medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn in Skaneateles Falls, N.Y.

Graduates of NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine offer solutions that include their own healing touches

By Kathryn Stroppel

Breakthrough technologies and innovation are at the heart of Robert Corona’s (D.O. ’86) work. As vice president of clinical, medical, and scientific affairs and chief medical officer of Skaneateles Falls, N.Y.-based Welch Allyn, he oversees the manufacture of medical devices used by health care providers around the world. Yet, it comes as a surprise that Corona doesn’t think the most important thing in the modern medical office is the latest diagnostic equipment. He says it is a healing environment—something Corona sees as lacking today.

A board certified and practicing neuropathologist, Corona is among the thousands of NYIT/NYCOM graduates who provide health solutions by merging medical know-how, technology, and a passion for helping others. Corona says he first realized the value of osteopathic medicine as an undergraduate, when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. After seeking a second opinion from an osteopathic physician that ruled out Hodgkin’s, he says he was “totally enamored with this kind of medicine.”

After graduating from NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Corona completed his residency and fellowship at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. During his time at SUNY, where he served as physician director of medical informatics, laboratory informatics, and telemedicine, he was asked to join Welch Allyn. He had presented highlights of a case involving a telepathology consultation of a brain tumor and was garnering national attention from business leaders. They included Welch Allyn chairman Bill Allyn, who wanted to parlay Corona’s technical and medical skills to the business world and help the company transition from what Corona calls “optical-mechanical” to a more technical, digital, and computerbased operation.

Fourteen years later, Corona leads a 30-member team responsible not only for innovation and new product development but also for employee and occupational health, clinical testing, patient safety, quality and regulatory affairs, new business development, biostatistics, and providing general medical expertise to management and sales representatives.

Corona says he is passionate about the educational aspect of his job. A nationally recognized speaker with numerous teaching honors, he is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and family medicine at SUNY. He also holds faculty appointments at Albany Medical College and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine- Bradenton, and is a neuropathology consultant for the Central New York Region’s Forensic Sciences Center in Syracuse.

At Welch Allyn, he educates the sales staff on new products and helps international physicians make the most of the company’s technology. “Welch Allyn sees health care as a global issue and is organized around answers to practical issues all over the world,” he says.

Corona also serves as Welch Allyn’s corporate spokesperson, writing “Dr. Bob’s Biz Blog” and tweeting as Drbrainstorm on health care reform, the need for more primary care physicians, technology, and ideas for making health care better for patients.

In fact, his posts and tweets reflect not only a technological innovator, but also his roots as a compassionate D.O.

He someday would like to be more involved with osteopathic education, but says he has no plans to leave his current position, which provides a near perfect blend of his talents. “It’s a wonderful job,” he says. “I’m able to balance business, science, medicine, and engineering all together. It’s pretty neat.”

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