President's Message New York Hospital Queens

 October 2012

Dear Colleagues:

The rubber has met the road on health care reform, and the election is upon us.  

October 1 represented the start of the Federal fiscal year 2013. With it comes an acceleration of the transformation of care delivery and reimbursement. The transformation isn’t simple and it challenges hospitals in some ways that seem to tie our hands rather than support change. On many fronts, the changes are necessary and will reap future benefits. It places a high degree of accountability for quality and the patients’ experience with health care – in our hands. Literally.

Available at is an excellent resource from the Greater New York Hospital Association. GNYHA’s Health Care Reform Timeline maps chronological changes occurring as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and from the recommendations of New York’s Medicaid Redesign Team.

Central to the ACA, Value Based Purchasing has begun – with CMS’ Medicare now paying hospitals based on performance against select quality measures that allow us to ‘earn back’ portions of withheld reimbursement for services we provided.  The Medicare Readmissions Penalty is being implemented for higher than expected 30-day readmission rates. As well, additional hospital acquired conditions are now included on the global penalty list. Beginning with this 2013 CMS fiscal year, hospital DRG payments will initially be reduced by 1%.  The reduction rises 0.25% each year ending with a 2% reduction in FY2017. Payments are based on performance (HCAHPS), 30%, and the clinical process, 70%.  

How the outcome of the presidential election will affect implementation of the ACA is unknown at this point. November 6 is less than a month away and every vote counts in the impending election. Whatever your personal preferences andpolitical affiliation, this is a critical moment to understand the healthcare stance of candidates on both the federaland state levels.  

I urge you to take the time to understand the issues, the possible impact of the actions or inactions anticipated by candidates.  Vote for the candidates that you believe will do what is necessary to improve healthcare delivery and quality patient care – not just for the short term, but also for the long term.

To make our voice heard, you can take advantage of The Healthcare Association of New York State Political Action Committee (HANYS–PAC). This is part of HANYS unified representation of hospitals on health care policy in the state and federal government. PAC dollars are used to help elected officials understand the challenges we face and advocate for the health care needs of New Yorkers. To make a voluntary donation, contact Debra Pagano Cohen at (718) 670-1586  or


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


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People News

We are pleased to announce the following appointments of our medical and professional staff:

Wehbeh Wehbeh, M.D., has been appointed associate chairman of medical and clinical services. In this additional role, Dr. Wehbeh assumes leadership for quality of care and patient safety programs within the Department of Medicine. He continues his clinical and academic roles in the Division of Infectious Disease under Dr. Segal–Maurer.

Tom Kao, M.D., joins the Anesthesiology team as an attending physician. He comes to us from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he completed his residency and served as operational chief resident.  Dr. Kao achieved his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, and his bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from the University of California at Irvine. Contact Dr. Kao at  (718) 670-1080.

It is an honor for us when our hospital team members attain professional achievements and when they are recognized by other organizations:

Marcia Levine, R.N., clinical director, Perioperative Services, Kan Yu, C.R.N.A., Pari Nader, R.N., and Grace McCarthy R.N., Ambulatory Surgery Unit, traveled to Machala, Ecuador, on a weeklong medical mission. They evaluated more than 350 patients and performed over 150 surgeries.

Congratulations to Diane Calero, R.N., Ambulatory Surgery Unit, for achieving her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from NYHQ’s on-site BSN Program.


Our physicians and clinical staff frequently present their work at medical conferences, in peer-reviewed publications and at community meetings:

Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine, served as a consulting editor for a new textbook, Treating the Dental Patient with a Developmental Disorder written for practicing and student pediatric dentists, general dentists and dental hygienists.

“Medication Error Case Settles for $8.25 Million Prior to Trial,” an article co-authored by Alvin Safran, director, Risk and Claims Management, was published in Healthcare Risk Management in the supplement titled “Legal Review and Commentary.”
Mr. Safran provided risk management commentary on a legal case outside of New York.

Ari Bunim, M.D., attending hepatologist and gastroenterologist, and patient navigators Miranda Xiaofeng Xu and Abigail Otero from our Endoscopy Unit visited Cathay Bank in downtown Flushing to help educate local residents on the importance of colon cancer screenings and risk factors for colon cancer.

Peter Wasserman, R.D., M.A., metabolic support clinician, HIV/AIDS Specialty Care Center; Sorana Segal-Maurer, M.D., director, Division of Infectious Disease; and David S. Rubin, M.D., medical director, HIV/AIDS Specialty Care Center, were published in the second edition of the textbook Adult Nutrition Support Core Curriculum (in a chapter on “Nutrition and Metabolic Support in Patients with HIV Infection.”)

This month, Kathy Huang, M.D., director, Minimally Invasive Robotic Gynecological Surgery, is a guest speaker at the Queens Medical Society’s October meeting. Dr. Huang will present an overview on the latest minimally invasive surgical procedures for women with infertility, fibroid tumors and endometriosis to Queens physicians.

On October 24, Adam Weinstein, F.A.C.H.E., vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Compliance, will participate in a panel on “The Office of the Inspector General & Office of the Medicaid Inspector General – The Current Compliance Environment” for the Metropolitan New York Chapter, Healthcare Financial Management Associations’ Fall Academy. He joins New York State Assistant Medicaid Inspector General Matthew Babcock, officials from other hospitals and legal counsel as part of the moderated discussion.




Program News

NYHQ Ranks Among Top 10 Percent of Hospitals in the Nation for Maternity Care

For the sixth consecutive year, New York Hospital Queens ranks among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the HealthGrades multi-state evaluation for maternity care. HealthGrades provides rankings of nearly 5,000 U.S. hospitals and hospital care using records obtained by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. At the recent Maternity Care Excellence Award presentation, Assembly Member Grace Meng shared her experience with NYHQ’s Labor and Delivery and Mother Baby services.

Department of Dental and Oral Medicine Receives Federal Grant
The Health Resources and Services Administration—a federal agency aimed at improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured or medically vulnerable—awarded the Department of Dental and Oral Medicine nearly $79,000 from the Ryan White Dental Reimbursement Program. Under the leadership of Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine, NYHQ has received grants from this program for more than 20 years.   

Continued Growth at the Bone and Joint Hospital of Queens

NYHQ celebrates the expansion of the Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation physician practice (located at 163-03 Horace
Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows, on the fourth floor). The new facility, which doubles our practice space, includes new
patient exam rooms and physician offices. Contact the Bone and Joint Hospital of Queens at: 866-670-OUCH (6824).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the baby boomer population ages, the demand for total joint
replacements is expected to grow an estimated 175 percent by 2030. To meet the growing need for joint replacement in our community, Paul Di Cesare, M.D., director, Total Joint Arthroplasty, joined the Bone and Joint Hospital of Queens at NYHQ. He has performed more than 2,000 hip and knee replacements and more than 300 total joint replacements. Watch for our new ad campaign targeted to joint pain sufferers.

Outpatient occupational therapy extends its services to a location on-site at the hospital. Occupational therapy focuses on maximizing an individual’s ability to regain their functional independence in activities of daily living at work, home and within the community following a debilitating disease, trauma or injury. To schedule an appointment at the hospital or the Fresh Meadows location, call 855-377-REHAB (3422).

Continuing Medical Education Programs for November 2012
Our Continuing Medical Education Department works with clinical departments to coordinate symposia to help medical staff stay current with advances in medical practice. Contact the Continuing Medical Education Office at (718) 670-1419 or go to Upcoming symposia for medical professionals include:

Breastfeeding 2012 –November 1, 2012
The Department of Pediatrics presents a symposium for pediatricians, neonatologists, obstetricians, lactation specialists and other related health care professionals on how to provide evidence-based breastfeeding support to new mothers of healthy babies as well as those born premature, with jaundice or other complications.

The 9th Annual Thoracic Symposium – November 13, 2012
The 9th Annual Thoracic Symposium focuses new therapies, as well as novel approaches to screening and diagnosis for lung cancer. Topics will be presented by thoracic surgeons, pulmonary specialists and oncologists from NYHQ.


24th Annual Frank Randazzo Jr. Golf and Tennis Classic


More than 250 participants attended the 24th Annual Frank Randazzo Jr. Golf and Tennis Classic at the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club on September 10, 2012. This year, we raised more than $350,000, with proceeds going toward the upgrade of the Radiation Oncology recovery room for patients receiving treatment at our Cancer Center.

Join the Women’s Auxiliary
The Women’s Auxiliary is recruiting new members to help raise money to purchase equipment and deliver programs that benefit New York Hospital Queens patients and the Queens community. The Auxiliary has supported our hospital since its opening in 1957. Contact: Jody Eglinton, president, Women’s Auxiliary, (718) 670-1249.


Showing WE CARE —
Every Patient, Every Time

A patient’s experience begins as soon as he or she enters our facility. Whether an employee provides direct health care or opens a door for a patient, everything we do forms an impression. Here is an example of an exemplary NYHQ employee who exhibits these values every day.
Raymond Aran has served as the hospital’s security doorman for seven years. For the last three years, he has also personally escorted a patient* who frequently comes to NYHQ for treatment.  

One morning, Mr. Aran noticed the patient was having a particularly difficult time walking, and she was carrying several bags with her. To ensure that she made it to her appointment safely, Mr. Aran offered to help her to the doctor’s office.

Mr. Aran made such an impact on this patient that now she tries to schedule her medical appointments on days when she knows Mr. Aran is working at the hospital.

“I bring her in a wheelchair or assist her as she uses her walker,” said Mr. Aran. “My mission is to impact as many people who walk through our doors. I always try to give a positive attitude and show that I care about our patients’ well-being. If you can impact our patients’ lives and make them feel appreciated and cared for, it makes their day. Even if it’s one person a day, it’s all worth it.”

*The patient in this story preferred to remain anonymous

Our Visibility in the Community

Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Staff Volunteer at Brooklyn Knights Soccer Games
This summer, staff from the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation helped prepare soccer players by leading stretching exercises and taping up players’ ankles, knees and wrists at home games for local soccer team, the Brooklyn Knights. The department also offers similar services to the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and the Development Academy of Youth.

Flushing Rotary Club Learns More about Palliative Care

Cynthia Pan, M.D., chief, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine, spoke about palliative care and end-of-life decision-making options to business leaders and members of the Flushing Rotary Club.

September 11 Memorial and Prayer Services

On September 11, 2012, the eleventh anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the hospital remembered those who selflessly gave their lives. An honor guard ceremony was held at the New York Hospital Queens Emergency Services Memorial Site to commemorate the times that the World Trade Center towers were struck and fell.

NYHQ Participates in Press Conference and Health Fair in Downtown Flushing
Victor Chen, D.P.M., attending podiatrist, and Yiu Chung Pang, D.D.S., dental resident, represented NYHQ in a press conference to announce a community health fair being sponsored by the Association of Chinese American Physicians. NYHQ provided free foot and dental care screenings at the health fair.

NYHQ Hosts Candidate’s Forum for State Senate 16th District Race
New York Hospital Queens hosted a Candidate’s Forum for the State Senate 16th District primary election for candidates John Messer and Senator Toby Stavisky. (Results from the primary on September 13 claimed Senator Toby Stavisky the winner.) The Senator will now run against J.D. Kim, the Republican candidate, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Queens Chamber of Commerce Adds NYHQ to Hall of Fame
The Queens Chamber of Commerce will add New York Hospital Queens to the Chamber’s Hall of Fame in a special awards ceremony on November 8. The prestigious honor is in recognition of the hospital’s service to the Queens community since 1957.


Please join us at these upcoming events.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
New York Hospital Queens is a flagship hospital supporter of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Queens. Support the battle against breast cancer and register to participate in the American Cancer Society’s walk on October 21, at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Join the NYHQ Health & Wellness team or make a donation online at Contact: Danielle Gullinello at ext.7219 or

NYHQ Celebrates Cultural Diversity
October is International Month at NYHQ. To celebrate, “International Day” will take place October 24 in the hospital cafeteria. All employees, medical staff, patients and visitors are invited to share international food, music, dancing and games.

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