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President's Message New York Hospital Queens

 December 2011/January 2012

Dear Colleagues:

The central mission for all hospitals is the provision of high quality care. We have developed effective internal systems, aligned stakeholders throughout the hospital toward common goals, and implemented programs and activities for optimal performance. As a result, we have achieved many patient quality and safety improvements in 2011.

We are particularly proud of our achievements, which have resulted in making our patient’s experience safer and more satisfying. We achieved the following:

  • Ranked in the top 10 percent by the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program for Orthopedic procedures (for low post-operative morbidity)
  • Reduced re-admissions for pneumonia, congestive heart failure and myocardial infection by 5 percent
  • Established the Office of Patient Experience and increased Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems ratings in all ten domains, qualifying us for CMS Value-Based Purchasing
  • Met or exceeded quality measures for end stage renal disease in our outpatient dialysis center
  • Improved our nursing quality outcomes, such as reduction in falls with injury and central line infections
  • Achieved nationally recognized Excellence Awards for Maternity Care and Joint Replacement by HealthGrades

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), The Joint Commission, and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) have put an emphasis on cardiac, surgical, and critical care patients, mortality, and patient satisfaction. New metrics focus on care coordination, emergency care, and nurse-sensitive measures that take into account how the nurse’s role and actions affect the outcome. Significant attention is being paid to measures associated with infections and complications occurring in health care settings.

Improving quality contributes to sound financial management. There is also a direct relationship to reaching “meaningful use” with the electronic health record, which leads to improving quality and safety.

In 2012, we know that numerous challenges lie ahead. We can anticipate that there may be more quality reporting requirements, an increasing cost to maintain the reporting structure and implementation of the technology/data support system; the necessity for more staff education and training regarding patient safety; and the work involved in implementing the technology/data support system.

We ask our entire team, including our employees, voluntary attending physicians and our leaders, to remain focused to meet these challenges. In January, I look forward to address these achievements in more detail in my 4th quarter State of the Hospital report. If you have particular questions about these achievements or have suggestions for improvement, please contact Stephen Rimar, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, at (718) 670-1549.


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


People News

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

George F. Heinrich, M.D., chairman, Board of Trustees, was presented the first Herbert Pardes, M.D. Leadership Award by the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System. The award is in honor of his dedication, vision and promotion of excellence in quality and patient safety. 

Charles M. Lombardi, D.P.M., has been appointed chair, Residency Review Committee, Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).  CPME approves residency programs throughout the United States and Canada. He is also a member of the Executive Committee, which evaluates, accredits and approves educational institutions, including the Colleges of Podiatric Medicine.

The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators announced that Barbara Pistone, R.D., Cardiac Health Center, achieved Certified Diabetes Educator status by successfully completing the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators. Achieving certification status demonstrates to people with diabetes that the health care professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for people with diabetes.

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

The Neonatology Division of the Department of Pediatrics presented two research projects at the Annual American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition Forum:

“Utility of Sepsis Screen Evaluation and Antibiotics Usage In Late Preterm Infants with Transient Tachypnea of Newborn” by Pinchi Srinivasan, M.D., director, Neonatology; Piyush Jain, M.B.B.S., research coordinator; and Michael Brandler, M.D., associate director, Neonatology.

“Umbilical Cord Blood and 24 Hour Postnatal Brain Natriuretic Peptide Levels and Postnatal Transition in Full Term Babies Born via Elective CS” co-authored by Lincy Cherian, M.D., clinical research investigator; Piyush Jain; Dr. Brandler; Elise Lavery, M.D., attending neonatalogist; Kim Williams, M.D., attending neonatalogist; Eli Koenig, M.D., attending neonatalogist; Minsoo Kim, M.D., clinical research investigator/ fellow in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology; and Dr. Srinivasan.

Pinchi Srinivasan, M.D., Director, Division of Neonatology, presented “Prophylactic CPAP in the Delivery Room to Prevent Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn Among Infants Born via Elective CS, A Prospective RCT” at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Research, held in Newcastle, United Kingdom. Also, four other research abstracts were presented:

“Effect of Delivery Room Ambient Temperature on Admission Temperature Among Late Preterm Infants Born At 34 to 36 Weeks Gestation,” authored by Dr. Srinivasan, Piyush Jain, and Dr. Brandler.

“Umbilical Cord Blood and 24 Hours Postnatal Reference Values of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide among Elective CS Born Healthy Full Term Neonates,” authored by Dr. Srinivasan; Piyush Jain; Dr. Cherian; Dr. Minsoo Kim; Dr. Brandler; Dr. Lavery;  Dr. Koenig; and Dr. Williams.

“Correlation Between Cord Blood, 24 Hour Postnatal Brain Natriuretic Peptide Values and Postnatal Transition in Elective CS Born Full Term,” authored by Dr. Srinivasan, M.D., Piyush Jain, Dr. Cherian, Dr. Brandler, Dr. Lavery,  Dr. Koenig, and Dr. Williams.

The staff from the Division of Speech Pathology and Swallowing, Angela Melkonian, M.A., C.C.-S.L.P., and Michelle DiMattia, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P., co-authored the abstract titled “Utilization of Speech and Language Pathologists Services and Feeding Therapy Interventions in Late Preterm Infants,” with
Dr. Srinivasan and Piyush Jain.

Six abstracts from the Department of Emergency Medicine were featured at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly Research Forum in San Francisco:

“Bedside Carotid Ultrasonography to Risk Stratify Patients With Chest Pain in the Emergency Department,” authored by Anita Datta, M.D., director, Ultrasound Education; Anjali Bharati, D.O., attending physician; former emergency ultrasound fellows Michelle Pearl-Davis, D.O., and Kenneth Perry, M.D.; Sanjey Gupta, MD, attending physician; resident Nidhi Garg, M.D., and former director, Ultrasound Fellowship, Penelope Chun Lema, M.D.

Resident Zeeshan Ahmed, M.D., and former resident Craig Spencer, M.D., presented their work on “Pre-hospital warming of intravenous saline in an austere environment.”

Drs. Garg and Gupta authored “Barriers to cardiac health screening as a preventive health measure among adult patients presenting to the Emergency Department.”

A study of “Emergency Physician Awareness of Pre-hospital Procedures and Medications” was presented by Rachel L. Waldron, M.D., medical director, Emergency Medicine Services, and Diane Sixsmith, M.D., M.P.H., chairman, Emergency Department.

James G. Ryan, M.D., residency director, and David Barlas, M.D., associate residency director, authored two education-themed presentations, “Analysis of faculty evaluation metrics and their impact on the summative evaluations of Emergency Medicine residents,” and “The relationship between in-training examination performance, faculty assessment of medical knowledge, and level of training of emergency medicine residents.”

Phyllis August, M.D., M.P.H., Theresa Lang director, Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education, and Daniel Skupski, M.D., associate chairman, Obstetrics and Gynecology, led a full-day course for medical professionals on “Preeclampsia: From Bench to Bedside,” at Weill Cornell Medical College, where they each hold professorships.

At the annual NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System Quality Review Symposium, six initiatives from New York Hospital Queens were recognized and reviewed for efficiencies in cost and quality:

  • “A Best Practice Model for Improving the Care of Patients Presenting with Feeding Tube Problems,” by Mark Kindschuh, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.E.P., associate chairman, and director, Clinical Operations, Emergency Medicine; Jack Pasquale, M.D. physician nutrition specialist; Al Caligiuri, M.B.A., P.A.-C.,
    director of Urgent Care; and Daniel Russo, M.D., C.M.D., medical director, The Silvercrest Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation.
  • “The Employee as Patient - Our Prescription for a Hospital Based Employee Health Service & Wellness Program,” by Dr. Kindschuh; Norine Avrams, director, Human Resources; Danielle Gulinello, Wellness Program Coordinator; Ken Praga, M.S., F.N.P., administrative director, EHS; Linda Brennan, R.N.,
    occupational health nurse, EHS; Mr. Caligiuri.
  • “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Managing Medication Alerts Using EHR Functionality,” by Regina Cregin, M.S., B.C.P.S., PharmD; Dennis Hoang, B.S.E.E., PharmD; and Kenneth Ong, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical informatics officer.
  • “The Transition From One EHR to Another in the Emergency Department: Cerner FirstNet to Sunrise Emergency Care,” by Dr. Sixsmith and Mr. Caligiuri.
  • “Getting to Meaningful Use: One Hospital’s Journey,” by Dr. Ong, Geeta Nastasi, R.N., M.S.; Catherine Suspenski, MPA; Teresa McCormack, R.N.; Philip Myones, M.S., chief information officer; and Stephen Rimar, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer.
  • “To Meaningful Use and Beyond: Physician Documentation,” by Dr. Ong, Wendell D. Forde, clinical analyst II; and Victoria MacKey, clinical analyst II. 

Program News

New Antibiotic Infusion Unit Open
Outpatient intravenous antibiotic services are an increasing necessity for the treatment of infectious diseases; however, many health care facilities cannot offer this option because of the time and planning involved. At NYHQ, we created the Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy Unit (OPAT) as a high quality and convenient alternative treatment option for ambulatory patients who are healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital but need to continue receiving once-daily intravenous antibiotics. Once discharged, patients return to NYHQ each day to receive intravenous antibiotics.

The benefits of the unit include enabling patients to be discharged more efficiently and have shorter hospital stays. The unit is also more convenient for patients who no longer need to enter short-term rehabilitation, do not wish to self-administer intravenous antibiotics at home or have health insurance that does not support home infusion of antibiotics. Patients now have the freedom to schedule their ongoing treatment at a time that is convenient for them, with complimentary parking available.

Case managers and infectious diseases practitioners determine patient eligibility for intravenous antibiotic therapy. Once assigned to the unit, patients receive treatment by a nurse and have a weekly visit with an infectious diseases specialist to treatment efficacy.

Infusion nurses administer the antibiotics seven days a week in the Infusion Unit – on 3 North, Room 337. For more information, contact Sorana Segal-Maurer, M.D., director, Infectious Diseases, at ext. 1525. To see if a patient is eligible for the Infusion Unit, contact Caroline Keane, senior director, Case Management/ Social Work, at ext. 1305.

Operating Room Expansion
The DaVinci robot, the device we use for robot-assisted surgery, has expanded in capability. A second console has been added, which allows two surgeons to perform surgery together. To accommodate the second console, two of our main surgery operating rooms are being combined to form one, significantly larger, OR. During a dual console operation, each surgeon sits at his or her individual console and can see the same high definition images of the anatomy from the 3D endoscope (flexible tube with a camera and light at the tip).

Nursing Scholarship Fund
More than 200 employees and medical staff raised $10,000 at a fundraising event hosted by the nursing staff from the Department of Emergency Medicine. The funds will go toward the Virginia Metacarpa/Felicia Grant Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is awarded each year to a nursing student, who is a NYHQ employee, former clinical assistant, or nursing student completing a clinical rotation of at least 110 hours at the hospital. Several past recipients of the scholarship are now working at our hospital. The scholarship will be awarded at Nurse’s Week in May 2012. Felicia Grant, R.N., and Virginia Metacarpa, R.N., spent most of their careers as emergency nurses, and each held leadership positions at New York Hospital Queens. Both died of cancer; Ms. Grant in 2005, and Ms. Metacarpa in 2007.

2011 Caring Hearts Awards Celebrates Community Organizations
Our Blood Donor Center hosted the annual Caring Hearts Award reception in honor of 46 organizations in the Queens community that have participated in a blood drive in 2011. Twenty-six people were also recognized for donating blood four times within a year. And, 13 blood donors were recognized for donating a gallon of blood within a year.  All blood collected by our Blood Donor Center remains in our hospital to help our patients. To make an appointment or to schedule a blood drive for your organization, please call the Blood Donor Center at (718) 670-1007. For further information on donating blood and to view our community blood drive calendar, visit

Women’s Auxiliary Donates Steinway Piano
A new Steinway Grand Piano, donated by our Women’s Auxiliary, is in our hospital lobby. This new addition is part of a hospital-wide effort to make the patient and visitor experience as calming and soothing as possible.

NYHQ and the Women’s Auxiliary will be partnering with local music conservatories to arrange for talented students to voluntarily perform in the lobby at specified dates and times. Steinway & Sons has installed a new Piano Disc iPad player system. Using iPad technology, the player can play piano play lists and download
music selections when no one is available to perform.


Department of Pediatrics Improves Patient Experience
The Department of Pediatrics increased their overall patient satisfaction score in Inpatient Pediatrics by a remarkable 7.9 points. The increase is based on scores received from patient/customer surveys for Pediatrics. The jump in the Inpatient Pediatrics patient satisfaction score is a statistically significant increase from the second quarter of 2011.

Tortolani Foundation Helps Us Build Cancer Resource Center

The Beth C. Tortolani Foundation awarded our hospital $10,000 to help build a cancer resource center in the lobby of the Arnold Center for Radiation Oncology. The resource center will have a computer with Internet access to research cancer treatment options and informational materials from trusted sources. The resource center will be available to patients, their families and caregivers. The Tortolani Foundation supports programs and services that provide resources, knowledge and skills to woman with breast cancer to enhance the quality of their lives.


Informational Sessions on Cancer Held for the Community
Manolis T. Tsatsas, M.D., attending physician, Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Javier Roca, M.D., attending physician and medical oncologist, Queens Medical Associates, presented informational sessions for the community on ovarian/cervical cancers and leukemia/lymphoma cancers, respectively. The event was sponsored by the Borough of Queens Interfaith Advisory Group's Cancer Task Force, in collaboration with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the New York City Department of Health, the Queens Library HealthLink.

Forum on State of Health Care in Queens
Our hospital recently participated in the Queens forum on “Health Care Delivery in Queens: Challenges and Opportunities, An Executive Response.” John Sciortino, F.A.C.H.E., senior vice president and chief operating officer, served as a panelist. Topics included the challenge of chronic illness, budget cuts, access to care and inpatient versus outpatient care for health care facilities.

Value of Accountable Health Organizations
Stephen Rimar, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, served on a panel to discuss the value of accountable health organizations for the 2011 Health Care Conference hosted by the Guyanese-American Business and Professional Council.

Flushing Rotary Donates $10,000 to the Save-A-Life Campaign
The Flushing Rotary Club donated $10,000 to the hospital’s Save-A-Life campaign. The campaign was developed by the Women’s Auxiliary and Community Advisory Council during the summer to raise funds to purchase cardiac equipment for the hospital ambulances. Each top-of-the-line cardiac monitor/defibrillator costs approximately $30,000. The new cardiac machines are designed to bring the Emergency Room physician—virtually— to the patient. Raffle tickets were sold as part of the fund raising efforts for this campaign. Winners were selected on November 23. To make a donation, to help save a life contact Jody Eglinton, president, Women’s Auxiliary, at ext. 1249 or visit the hospital’s website

Corona Lions Club Donates Funds for Patient Simulation Center
The Corona Lions Club awarded $2,500 to our Women’s Auxiliary, who has given the funds to the New York Hospital Queens Patient Simulation Center. The funds will be used to purchase a new simulation mannequin. Residents, nurses, paramedics, nursing students and allied medical staff use simulation mannequins for hands-on training in a simulated and realistic patient environment. The Lions Club is an international organization; the Corona chapter donates money to charities and businesses that serve the people of Queens.

  Holiday Party for Children

The Department of Pediatrics in collaboration with George Heinrich, M.D., chairman, Board of Trustees, and the Division of Public Affairs and Marketing, hosted a holiday party for 180 children of NYHQ employees, pediatric patients and children from the community. The party included a free gift, photo with Santa and fun activities

FreeMAT Holiday Toy Drive
This year New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) reached another milestone in an annual presentation of toys to representatives from the U.S. Army at the ninth FreeMAT (The Freedom Medical Aid Team) ceremony. The number of toys distributed to children of those soldiers who are stationed overseas at holiday time has now reached over 11,000 in the nine years the hospital has held the collection.

Pictured left to right are Debra Pagano Cohen, director, Community & Government Affairs; Assemblymember Edward Braunstein; John Sciortino, senior vice president & chief operating officer; Peter Kwiath, founder of FreeMAT; N.Y.C. Comptroller John Liu; N.Y.S. Senator Toby Stavisky; Assemblymember Grace Meng; Terrance Holliday, commissioner, Veterans Affairs; N.Y.C. Councilmember Peter Koo; and members of the Francis Lewis High School – Junior ROTC and U.S. Army.


Skills Update for Medical Professionals:
Clinical Breast Examinations

Registered nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and physicians currently administering clinical breast exams to women are invited to a free program offered by the New York State Department of Health Cancer Services Program. The free Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) Skills Update Training will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at NYHQ’s Arnold Center for Radiation Oncology. For more information, please call Denise DiNoto, Cancer Services Program, at 518-474-1222.

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