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Dear Colleagues:

Patients who come to New York Hospital Queens for heart surgery, a hip implant or gynecological surgery and so many other procedures are quite simply in good hands. Our surgeons are leaders in their fields who are backed up by an academic program that keeps clinical capabilities on the cutting edge of technology and advancing surgical protocols.

It is one thing to make this claim, and another to prove it. Most of us are familiar with the magazines that list the best hospitals and doctors. When you take a closer look at how those lists are compiled, the sources for those ratings vary from “popular vote” to apples-to-oranges comparison data. The ratings are as varied as the organizations’ agendas that publish those lists or use them to generate readership and revenue. So how do you sort out the hype and choose the best hospital for your patients or loved ones? The answer is to choose a hospital, like NYHQ, that measures surgical outcomes in a scientifically validated way.

The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, (NSQIP) provides a valid comparison of surgical outcomes, such as a reduction in surgical site infections and deep vein thrombosis, among hospitals. Participating hospitals and their surgical teams are provided with the tools, reports, analysis, and support necessary to make informed decisions about improving quality of care. Today, there are 268 hospitals enrolled in NSQIP, covering 40 states and six international sites. NYHQ has been participating since 2007 and we measure our performance for “routine” surgeries such as cataract and foot surgeries as well in more specialized surgery, such as orthopaedic and gynecological procedures.

NSQIP was established as a performance evaluation process in Veterans Affairs Hospitals in the 1990s.  Participating hospitals saw a 27 percent decline in post-operative mortality; a 45 percent drop in post-operative morbidity (illness), a drop in the average length of stay after surgery and increased patient satisfaction. In 2004, the American College of Surgeons extended the program to private hospitals. Studies in peer-reviewed medical journals found that hospitals that were members of NSQIP had similar (strengthened) outcomes.

NYHQ is one of only 19 hospitals in New York State to participate in the program and one of only a few community hospitals. The majority  of NSQIP members are larger hospitals, such as major academic centers, because it requires committing staff resources to meet their stringent reporting requirements. We began participating early on because we felt it was a good investment that would allow us raise the bar on the standard of quality surgical care we deliver, and that each surgical patient would benefit from our rigorous attention to performance.

NSQIP is becoming the gold standard for surgical outcomes. The Institute of Medicine (the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences) named NSQIP “the best in the nation” for measuring and reporting surgical quality and outcomes.  The Joint Commission now provides merit badges on their Quality Check website for hospitals that participate in NSQIP. The American Board of Surgery requires participation in a
national, regional or local surgical outcomes database, such as NSQIP, to satisfy one of its Maintenance of Certification requirements.

James Turner, M.D., Chairman of Surgery, serves as the hospital’s NSQIP surgical champion. He strongly believes, as do I, that our involvement in NSQIP demonstrates that we are committed to providing the highest quality of surgical performance as measured by scientifically accepted standards.

In short—select a hospital, and a surgery program that walks the talk of outcomes. For more information on NSQIP and the surgical program at NYHQ please contact Dr. Turner at 718-670-1566.


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


People News

We are pleased to announce the following appointment to the medical staff:

Avishai T. Neuman, M.D.,
attending anesthesiologist, comes to us from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he completed his residency in Anesthesiology. Dr. Neuman earned his Doctor of Medicine from Tel Aviv University, Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel.  He also achieved a Masters of Science in Physiology from Touro College School of Health Sciences.  

Congratulations to Marvin Leder, M.D., on being named the Theresa Lang Award honoree:

The Theresa Lang Dinner, named in honor of the life of Theresa Lang, a volunteer, philanthropist and leading member of the Board of Trustees until her death in 2008, recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of research, medical education or patient care.  It is presented each year to a member of our medical staff.  The 2010 recipient of the Theresa Lang Award is Marvin A. Leder, M.D., past president of the Medical Staff Society.  Dr. Leder has guided the medical staff through changing times and donated countless hours striving for excellence in our institution. He is being honored for his dedication and continued support of the medical center.

It is an honor for us when our hospital team members are recognized by other organizations:

Magdalena Cadet, M.D
., director, Rheumatology, was recognized for her support of arthritis research and bringing a wide range of educational programs and services to Queens residents, by the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation at the 16th Annual Queens Leaders’ Award Reception. Dr. Cadet recently hosted a fundraiser in September in support of the Arthritis Foundation. 

Patricia Woods Ph.D., Chief Learning Officer, was given the  annual “Wholeness of Life” award by the Healthcare Chaplaincy for demonstrating respect and commitment to others and for exemplifying body, mind and spirit, the values that bring “wholeness of life” to our patients.





Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman of the Department of Dental & Oral Medicine, and director, the General Practice Residency Program, was awarded the Dr. Isadore Caputo Physician of the Year Award by Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. Dr. Wasserman also serves as chairman, Department of Dental Medicine, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is a member hospital of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System. Dr. Wasserman is the first dentist to receive this prestigious award.

Roger Yang, M.D., attending physician, Jackson Heights Family Health Center, recently achieved a certificate of recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Diabetes Recognition Program. This signifies that he has been identified as a physician who delivers outstanding diabetic disease management.

The Women’s Auxiliary honored Peter Kwiath, EMT-P, assistant supervisor, EMS Services, at its annual fundraising luncheon for New York Hospital Queens. He was selected as the luncheon honoree for going “Above and Beyond,” (this year’s luncheon theme), for his work related to FreeMAT. FreeMAT is a group of volunteers he co-founded in 2003, which provides materials and gifts to support the families of the U.S. troops serving overseas.

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

A team of researchers the NYHQ Cardiac Health Center presented their work on “Does Ethnicity Play a Role in Female Patients’ Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation?” at several American Heart Association conferences. The researchers involved in the study included Bharathi Reddy, M.D., Nancy Rullo, M.S., M.A., Kiseok Lee, M.S., John P. Nicholson, M.D., Donna Cheslik Candy, R.N., M.S.N. The research found that despite strong referral patterns, 92 percent of Asian women that were referred for cardiac rehabilitation fail to enroll for it.

“Making Fit Kids: The Evolution of a Hospital-Based Childhood Obesity Program in New York City,” written by Anthony Porto, M.D., attending pediatric gastroenterologist and director, Fit Kids program, was published in the journal Childhood Obesity. The abstract is helpful for other institutions that are contemplating the start of a childhood obesity program.

“The Significance of the Wall Echo Shadow Triad on Ultrasonography: A Case Series,” authored by Anita Datta, M.D., director, Ultrasound Education, Penelope Chun Lema, M.D., director, Ultrasound Fellowship, and Nidhi Garg, M.D., Emergency Medicine resident, was published in the Critical Ultrasound Journal.

A case report on the "Novel Use of a Urine Pregnancy Test Using Whole Blood" co-authored by Joseph Habboushe, M.D., M.B.A., emergency medicine attending physician, was published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Amit Chandra, M.D., emergency medicine attending physician, and Shauna Conry, M.D., emergency medicine resident, authored "Be Prepared for In-Flight Medical Emergencies," which was published in the American College of Emergency Physicians' publication ACEP News.

Jose D. Torres, Jr., M.D., emergency medicine attending physician, presented “Devices for Facilitating Difficult Airway Management” to an audience of paramedics, emergency medicine physicians, and anesthesiologists at a workshop held at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Craig Spencer, M.D., emergency medicine chief resident, and Sanjey Gupta, M.D., emergency medicine attending physician, presented their work on "The Utilization of Chemical Hand Warmers and Multiple Insulation Methods for Warming of Normal Saline in a Cold Environment" at the Wilderness Medical Society's Annual Meeting in Snowmass, CO.

Sandhya Ganti, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine attending physician, gave a Grand Rounds presentation to the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, titled "Understanding Radiation Risk from Diagnostic Imaging in the Pediatric Population."

Dr. Chun Lema spoke on the topic of "Ultrasound and Infection Control" at the Citywide Emergency Ultrasound Grand Rounds, held at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.


Program News

New Technology in Pediatric Emergency Room Assists in Clinical Treatment
Our Pediatric Emergency Department recently obtained the Accuvein handheld device, which is used to assist emergency room clinical staff in pinpointing the location of veins under the skin. This device is easily portable for use in a very active Emergency Room. It uses a special light source that greatly enhances vein visualization. It is intended to reduce the number of needle sticks required in finding intravenous access to a patient. Its use has been extremely helpful especially for finding tiny veins, primarily in the care of very small or dehydrated children.

This technology is closely related to the VeinViewer technology we acquired two years ago. It serves the same purpose, however its portability makes it less cumbersome  to move from one patient to the next.

Our Response to “Something is Killing Our Hospitals” 
Many of us read the cover story of New York Magazine (10/25/10) “Something is Killing Our Hospitals.” And, we nodded our heads in recognition as the paragraphs unfolded.  

It is a stark depiction of the multiple (and often competing) forces at work that are changing the industry of patient care, and in some cases threatening the viability of the hospitals and health care systems that serve both as part of our region’s lifeblood and as a public safety net.  My reaction to the article was that is aptly describes the factors that coalesced in the closure of four hospitals in Queens in the past two years, plus that of St. Vincent’s.  All the rest face these risks. Right now.  Even the best management team and white shoe restructuring consultants can’t guarantee a turnaround if a precarious situation is allowed to go too far.

For New York Hospital Queens, remaining on the plus side of the balance sheet means continual investment in our three time-tested priorities: high quality care, patient satisfaction, and safety. And our fourth priority—literally managing each dollar— allows us to have a future even as reimbursement rates continue to be constricted in ways that can strangle a medical practice or full service institution. Fiscal scrutiny is not in conflict with our growth plans; it is the reality of trying to sustain a high-achieving health care institution in this time of upheaval and uncertainty.  

Here’s how we invest our dollars:

  • In high quality care  The people of Queens must be able to find the high level medical services they need where they live, work and play. Today, there is no need to leave this borough for great medical results…and this is by our design. We offer the right medical talent and technology and results right here. From joint replacement to robotic surgery for gynecology to obesity surgery - We have a medical staff of more than 1,600 physicians, dentists and podiatrists.  Many of these talented men and women maintain medical practices in the community, and some of them are full time employees of NYHQ.  We continue to invest in additional talent. For example in the last two months we have added a new pain management specialist, a robotics-trained prostate cancer specialist, and an orthopedic trauma specialist.

  • In satisfaction  We must focus on our patient’s experience. We devote time and resources to accommodate the needs of our diverse community, and to understand how those needs are heightened when an individual becomes a patient, or becomes the loved one of a patient. We have an advantage in terms of ‘cultural competency’ as many of our employees hail from this borough and they represent the many cultures we serve. We work hard to give our patients the service that they deserve. In turn, that engenders loyalty and word-of-mouth endorsement from one patient, to the next.  As the government program takes hold that will either penalize or make whole hospitals that achieve certain levels of satisfaction ratings, we fully intend to be in the plus column.

  • In safety  Even as operating margins get slimmer, we invest in technology that increases safety and quality within our facility, for our patients, and for our own employees and medical staff. This goes well beyond our progress in implementing electronic medical record capability. For example, last month in our recently opened West Building we unveiled 10 state-of-the-art operating rooms, mostly for same-day surgery. By performing more surgeries by using a minimally invasive approach versus traditional ‘open’ incisions, we can lessen a patient’s time spent in the
    hospital, decrease the rate and risk of infection, decrease pain, and improve on
    quality measures that save dollars and are better for patients.

This is not to say that this is easy, or that we hold a ‘magic bullet.’ We don’t.  The risk is palpable. For NYHQ, it is our focus on these three (and now four) priorities that will ensure we remain and remain strong as the economic reforms and market forces deliver pushes and shoves to the industry that are difficult to predict or plan for, and certainly daunting to manage through.  



New Ambulatory Surgery Unit Opens in the New West Building
New York Hospital Queens opened 10 new state-of-the-art operating rooms equipped with advanced technology to handle the most complicated surgeries. The new surgical area includes 33 beds for recovery and a luxurious waiting area bathed in sunlight. The operating rooms feature more space for better navigation for surgeons and the rest of the surgical team, and the recovery area offers more privacy for patients. Most same-day, outpatient surgeries will take place in this new surgical area.

Sam Maida, 84, of Fresh Meadows, New York, was the first patient to have an operation in the new unit. His procedure was performed by Albert Tarasuk, M.D., attending urological surgeon. Following surgery, the patient and his wife praised the new unit and Mr. Maida’s post-operative recovery.


Fundraising for Pediatrics
The 5th Annual Pediatric Miniature Golf Classic in October was host to 130 attendees and raised $91,000 for the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. and Mrs. George F. Heinrich served as tournament sponsors.  Breaking records from previous years, support from our pediatricians grew with dozens more pediatricians and their families in attendance, as well as an increase in financial support by 380 percent.  The success of the event can be attributed in part to the enthusiasm of Joseph J. Abularrage, M.D., chairman, Pediatrics, and Ruby Malva, M.D., vice president, Medical Staff Society, and attending pediatrician, for their efforts in increasing participation and raising funds.



Surgery and Gynecologic Oncology Offices Move to West Building

Gynecologic Oncology relocated to new patient exam rooms and offices on the lower level of the West Building, Suite 100. It was formerly located in Fresh Meadows at the Weinstein Building at 163-03 Horace Harding Expressway. The Department of Surgery/ CRT Associates moved to the lower level of the new building, Suite 300, vacating the space the practice occupied on the second floor of the main building.


NYHQ High Visibility in the Queens Community

Pediatric Asthma Outreach in Long Island City
The Pediatric Asthma Mobile Center visited Long Island City to offer free asthma screening to community children. Hadi Jabbar, M.D., director, Pediatric Asthma Center, and Pediatric Asthma Center staff joined electric company, TransCanada, in the free health event.  

Making Strides Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness
October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. New York Hospital Queens participated in the Making Strides Walk in Queens and served as a flagship sponsor. Proceeds raised for the event were given to the American Cancer Society for cancer research and community education programs.

FreeMAT Partnership with the Community
FreeMAT kicked-off an annual holiday toy drive for the families of U.S. troops in partnership with New York City Comptroller John Liu at a press conference held at our hospital. Comptroller Liu was instrumental in promoting the growth of FreeMAT since its inception seven years ago, when he served as the City Council-member for our district. To find a toy drop-off location near you, call (718) 670-2091.

NYHQ Flu Vaccine Campaign
NYHQ partnered with New York State Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn in a community flu vaccine campaign. Our hospital staff visited the Assemblywoman’s office and vaccinated Queens residents who participated in the flu vaccine drive.

NYHQ hosts Flushing Chamber of Commerce Luncheon    
The Flushing Chamber of Commerce, which includes members from the business, civic, religious and health care community in the Flushing area, for a luncheon, presentation and tour of the new West Building. Speakers included our physician leaders from Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Ambulatory Surgery.


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