President's Message New York Hospital Queens

 August/September 2013

Dear Colleagues:

On October 1, applications become available for health insurance coverage via the New York Health Benefit Exchange. Then, on January 1, 2014, individual and small group policies will take effect, along with New York State’s Medicaid expansion, facilitated in part through the Exchange.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states are required to create Exchanges — online marketplaces for consumers to compare and contrast health insurance benefits and costs, and to purchase coverage. Consumers can also check eligibility for health care programs including Medicaid; and enroll, if eligible. Existing and new payor entities are repackaging and/or customizing products for this online marketplace.

As I have discussed in previous letters, we support increased access to timely primary care for New Yorkers (and all U.S. residents). The delivery of increased access has significant potential for expanding the covered population in Queens County; and, along with this expansion can come higher utilization of services for prevention and primary care.

As we know, uninsured individuals are more likely to wait to seek care, and then visit an emergency room when they are very ill, or a condition has become debilitating. Usually, the sicker the patient seeking care, the higher the cost of treatment. Now, with coverage, new beneficiaries will have options and can choose when and where to receive care.

According to estimates from the Healthcare Association of NY State (HANYS), there will be nearly 300,000 potential newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries and newly eligible insurance exchange beneficiaries – right here in Queens County. With NYHQ’s leading market share in Queens, we have the potential to gain a significant number of them as insured patients.

As the pool of insured individuals expands, it is important that we bring them into the mainstream of preventive and primary care, and provide education so that they know they can find a high level of care in Queens. With our hospital’s ongoing strategic investments and excellent Joint Commission survey results as well as, with the support of our voluntary physicians, I feel confident that we are prepared to deliver a brand of care and medical results that will improve the health and well being of many newly insured people – right here.


Stephen S. Mills, F.A.C.H.E.

P.S.: Now, this publication is electronic-only. If you hear of someone who did not receive an email notifying them about it, they can contact Public Affairs & Marketing, 718-670-1065, to be added to distribution lists. As always, please share this news with your colleagues and the Queens community.


Medical and Professional Staff Appointments:

The Department of Anesthesiology welcomes two physicians to our medical staff:

Galina Borodulina, M.D., attending physician, comes to us from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn where she served as chief resident in Anesthesiology. She earned her medical degree from Stony Brook School of Medicine.
Yakub Abrakhimov, M.D., attending physician, comes to us from NYU Langone Medical Center where he completed his residency in Anesthesiology. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn.

Professional and Personal Achievements, including Sharing Expertise with Medical Audiences and in the Community:

Congratulations to all members of the NYHQ Medical Staff who were named as “Best Doctors 2013” in NY Magazine. The magazine uses excerpts from the Castle Connolly 2013 Top Doctors Guide. For NY Magazine’s Best Doctors listings and methodology, visit and

Joseph Abularrage, M.D., chairman, Pediatrics, was elected vice president for Chapter 2 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents more than 1,600 pediatricians in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties.
  Paul C. Lee, M.D., chief, Thoracic Surgery, was named Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
  Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental & Oral Medicine, was named Clinical Professor of Dentistry at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. 
Kenneth Kurtz, D.D.S., was named Clinical Professor of Prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry. 

Susan Lee, M.D., attending surgeon, The Breast Center, was inducted as the president of The Brooklyn/Long Island Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.



NYHQ Named Official Hospital of The New York Cosmos

We have exciting news from the Bone and Joint Hospital of Queens - right here at New York Hospital Queens! NYHQ has been named the official hospital of The New York Cosmos soccer club. The Cosmos are returning to the North American Soccer League, and NYHQ (in an exclusive partnership) will serve as the team’s official medical and orthopaedic consultants. Our orthopaedic and sports medicine specialists are thrilled to have this opportunity to keep the team healthy on the field, and to raise awareness for bone and joint health among all area athletes (including the weekend warriors). For a schedule and to purchase tickets visit:

Crohn’s Disease Clinical Research Study Underway at NYHQ

NYHQ is seeking individuals to take part in a Phase 2 clinical research study of adults with active Crohn’s disease, a chronic gastrointestinal disease with no cure. The OPERA study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of an investigational drug and its effect on the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, particularly those related to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Moshe Rubin, M.D., director, Division of Gastroenterology, is the principal investigator at NYHQ.

Crohn’s disease can affect individuals at any age. The disease alternates between periods without symptoms and “flares,” which is when the disease is active. People with active Crohn’s disease experience a range of symptoms caused by inflammation of the intestines, including painful abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding, which at times can be severe.

Individuals may be eligible to enroll in the study if they are between 18 and 75 years old, and have active Crohn’s disease. Individuals are unable to participate if they are pregnant or breast-feeding, have short bowel syndrome due to multiple small bowel resections, or if a stoma is present.

Physicians who have a patient who may qualify for the study can contact Dr. Rubin at 718-350-8715. Interested individuals can learn more about the OPERA study and can see if they qualify for enrollment by taking a survey via The Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education at NYHQ is providing support for this study.

Trude Weishaupt Memorial Satellite Dialysis Center Receives 5 Diamond Designation

The NYHQ Trude Weishaupt Memorial Satellite Dialysis Center has earned a 5-Diamond Designation from the Island Peer Review Organization (IPRO) End Stage Renal Disease Network of New York. The Network’s 5-Diamond Approach to Patient Safety Program helps dialysis facilities implement patient safety principles among staff and patients.

To earn this designation, NYHQ staff applied five patient safety modules to the center’s practices. The completed modules were on topics that include patient safety principles, hand hygiene, stenosis surveillance, transplantation and venous needle dislodgement. The center’s staff developed the venous needle dislodgement assessment tool that evaluates and scores a patient’s risk for dislodgement and implements preventative measures.


NYHQ Named Gold Fit-Friendly Company

For the second consecutive year, The American Heart Association recognized NYHQ as a Gold Fit-Friendly Company. Receiving the gold level award means that NYHQ has recognized the importance of a healthy work place by creating a culture of physical activity in the work place and providing support to employees. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, take action today:

For Employees: Join the Queens College Knights Fitness Center at a Discount

The Queens College Knights Fitness Center offers discounts for our employees. Discount packages are offered for individuals, couples and families, and for parking. The facility offers aerobics, spinning, yoga, zumba and personal training. To receive the discount, you must show a valid NYHQ employee ID. Questions? Queens College Knights Fitness Center, 718-997-2740, or visit

For Everyone: Join the Weight Management Program

If you want to look and feel better, consider joining the next session of the Weight Management Program. Participants will learn how to eat healthier, receive workout guidance from exercise experts and be supported by a team of professionals including a doctor, dieticians, nurses and exercise physiologists.

Orientation is mandatory and will be held Monday, September 9, at 6 p.m. at the Cardiac Health Center (174-03 Horace Harding Expressway in FreshMeadows). The program starts Monday, October 7. To register, call (718) 670-1695. The cost for employees is $158.91; $397.27 for non-employees. Pre-payment is required. Questions? Cardiac Health Center, 718-670-1695.

Pilot Program to Provide Patients with Religious Support

NYHQ has partnered with the HealthCare Chaplaincy and local houses of worship, to create a pilot program to assess if spiritual and religious support have a positive effect on the patient experience. It will also evaluate if this support prevents aging community members from hospital re-admission.

This pilot program will focus on patients who are 65 years of age and older who are hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia or heart failure. While hospitalized, a patient will be referred to the chaplain to provide spiritual support and at that time the patient has the option to consent to joining this program. Once discharged, the patient receives follow up phone calls and/or home visits from the clergy member who will identify any issues and alert the appropriate person(s) at NYHQ. After one month, NYHQ and the HealthCare Chaplaincy will analyze this data to see if this program had positive results. This pilot program is expected to launch in the Fall.

  Patient Praises NYHQ Employees and Medical Staff at Hospital Meeting

Marc Young (pictured, left), a former patient at NYHQ, attended an interdepartmental meeting to share his experience at our hospital and personally thank the employees and medical staff who cared for him, including EkCatherine Corona, sonographer. Read more about this story in an upcoming issue of the INSIGHT newsletter.

*The patient granted written permission, in accordance with HIPAA, to use his name, photo and information.


On June 27, Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental & Oral Medicine, presented a lecture to the Flushing Rotary Club on new trends in dentistry.

On July 17, Ari Bunim, M.D., attending gastroenterologist and hepatologist (pictured above), presented a lecture on chronic hepatitis at Flushing Library.

NYHQ was a proud sponsor of the 23rd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The NYHQ Baby Catchers with Team Captain David Chiang, M.D., attending physician, Obstetrics & Gynecology, participated in the races. This team has participated in the festival for more than 10 years! Approximately 200 teams participated in the event, which attracts close to 50,000 attendees each year.

Please join us at these upcoming events.

Upcoming Symposia for Medical Professionals
Our Continuing Medical Education Department coordinates conferences and symposia to help medical staff stay current with advances in medical practice. Upcoming symposia include:

  • 8th Annual Neonatal Symposium:
    Thursday, September 26, 8 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. in the Lang Auditorium
  • 3rd Annual Orthopaedic Symposium:
    Friday, October 4, 7 a.m. – noon in the Lang Auditorium
  • 1st Annual Geriatrics Symposium:
    Tuesday, October 8, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Lang Auditorium
  • 3rd Annual Neuroscience Symposium:
    Tuesday, October 15, 8 a.m. - noon, in the Lang Auditorium 

Register with Pamela Williams at 718-670-1419 or

25th Annual Frank Randazzo, Jr. Golf & Tennis Classic
NYHQ will host the 25th Annual Frank Randazzo Jr. Golf and Tennis Classic on Monday, September 9 at Old Westbury Golf & Country Club. Guests will enjoy a full day of golf or tennis, a cocktail reception and dinner banquet. This year, proceeds will benefit the continued expansion of our comprehensive cancer program. For tickets, underwriting opportunities and sponsorship information, please contact the JFM Group LLC at (914) 235-1490, ext. 13 or

Women’s Auxiliary to Honor Jody Eglinton at Annual Luncheon
The Women’s Auxiliary Annual Luncheon will be held on October 2, at The Inn at New Hyde Park. The luncheon will honor Jody Eglinton, former president, Women’s Auxiliary as this year’s Spirit Award recipient for her commitment to NYHQ and the Queens community. Tickets are $75 per person or $750 for a table of ten. To purchase a ticket, contact the NYHQ Women’s Auxiliary at 718-670-1249. All proceeds raised by Women’s Auxiliary events fund the purchase of clinical equipment and benefit the expansion of programs for patient care and the community.


Omnibus Rule Strengthens HIPAA Regulations

As we have transitioned to using the electronic health record, protected health information is now stored electronically. This is more convenient and efficient for hospitals as well as patients. However, this also makes patient information vulnerable. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued the Omnibus Rule, with sweeping changes to HIPAA, which provides individuals with increased protection and control of his/her personal health information. This rule affects many areas of the healthcare industry including:




  • A patient can ask for his/her electronic medical record in an electronic form
  • A patient who pays by cash can have treatment information kept from his/her health plan
  • Genetic information is protected health information and cannot be used for underwriting purposes except for long term care


  • New protective requirements for business associates of health care providers, health plans and other entities that process health insurance claims that are involved with patient information
  • Penalties have increased for noncompliance to a maximum of $1.5 million per violation


  • Individuals’ ability to authorize the use of his/her health information for research purposes is streamlined
  • New limits on how information is used and disclosed for marketing and fundraising purposes
  • Prohibits sale of an individuals’ health information without authorization

How Does the Rule Affect Us?

NYHQ has measures in place to protect our patients’ information. As part of the Omnibus Rule, we expect to be audited on these security measures by the Office for Civil Rights. To help safeguard patient information, employees and medical staff are asked to:

  • Never share your password with anyone
  • Never enter your login or password in a website or email you are unfamiliar with
  • If a USB key, laptop, tablet or cell phone is lost or stolen, report it immediately
  • Avoid storing any sensitive patient information outside of hospital electronic health record software
  • Call our Compliance Hotline to report all suspected breaches: (718) 670-2492

Information Security Concerns/Questions? Contact Keith Weiner, IS Security Officer,


NYS Public Health Law: Get Flu Vaccine or Wear Surgical Mask During Flu Season

New York State public health law has mandated that health care personnel (including but not limited to all NYHQ employees, voluntary and attending medical staff, nursing staff, contract staff, students and volunteers) who do not receive the flu vaccine to wear surgical masks in areas of the hospital where patients may be present (on campus and off-site) during the flu season. This law will help reduce the risk of spreading influenza to patients, visitors, colleagues and our own family members.

The hospital has created a policy to enforce the new legislation:

Getting Vaccinated:

  • All health care personnel should receive the influenza vaccine provided by NYHQ or provide written proof of receipt of required influenza vaccine from a private provider
    • Documentation of the vaccination administered by a private provider must include the name and address of the provider and the date of vaccination
  • Employee Health Services administers free flu shots to employees and medical staff outside of the cafeteria and at the Employee Health Services office during business hours
  • Individuals who receive the vaccine will be given a sticker to adhere to his/her ID badge

Medical exemptions:

  • Severe allergic reaction after a previous dose or to a vaccine component (e.g. eggs)
  • History of Guillain- Barré syndrome
  • Current moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever (until symptoms subside)
  • If exempt, a medical exemption form must be submitted to your supervisor

Click here to print the form:

Personnel who are not vaccinated (including those who are medically exempt):

  • Must wear surgical or procedure masks (provided by NYHQ free of charge) during flu season as determined by the NYS Commissioner of Health
  • Must wear surgical or procedure masks where patients may be present, including but not limited to outpatient clinics, patient rooms, nurses' stations, lobbies, waiting areas, hallways, elevators and the cafeteria
  • Should change masks after leaving a patient room and/or whenever it is soiled


  • Employee Health Services will document salaried personnel who received the influenza vaccine or are required to wear a surgical or procedure mask during the influenza season
  • Documentation and compliance for non-salaried personnel will be the responsibility of the specific department he/she works in

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Employee Health Services at 718-670-1256.

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