President's Message New York Hospital Queens

 July 2012

Dear Colleagues:

The Supreme Court has upheld most of the provisions in the current federal health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Policies in the ACA have current and future implications for hospital reimbursement and new payment formulas. These payment models factor in a number of quality indicators, these now include patient perception of care and ratings of the hospital experience.

We knew that no matter how the Supreme Court ruled, these quality indicators would be here to stay and we prepared for it. In essence, the patient’s voice about the hospital experience has an impact on a hospital’s bottom line. The tool the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses to measure patient satisfaction is called HCAHPS (Health Consumer
Assessment of Health Provider Services).

So how are we doing? For the past several years we have worked on improving the patient experience and have now increased our HCAHPS ratings in each of the survey’s 10 domains, including communication about medication and discharge instructions. We continue to take steps to improve the patient experience, and there are several more questions that CMS has added.

Two of the best practices that we have instituted to improve the patient experience are patient rounds and discharge phone calls.

Rounding for Positive Patient Outcomes
Rounding is a multi-layered program that uses one-on-one meetings with different constituencies to gauge needs, perceptions and areas for improvement. At our hospital, we conduct senior leadership rounds on department heads, department heads rounds on frontline staff and support departments rounds on other departments. Central to that entire process, with the most impact for a positive patient outcome, is the nursing unit leader rounding directly on patients and their families at the bedside. Nursing unit leaders on their rounds can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.

Discharge or Post-Visit Phone Calls
Experience shows that connecting with patients after discharge can save lives. Confusion over discharge instructions can lead to a hospital re-admission. A discharge phone call within 72 hours of discharge allows nurses to ask key questions like “How are you feeling?” or “Are you having any pain?” Nurses also verify whether prescriptions were filled and if follow-up appointments were made. The nurse can identify any gaps or misunderstandings on the spot.

As you can see, we are very focused on enhancing the patient experience and expect to see that pay off in terms of quality care and satisfaction as measured by HCAHPS. Adding these methods required vast organizational changes. Still, there's a long road ahead. All nurses, doctors, caregivers and and those in hospital support roles must work in unison with the same priorities--  patients and their families. For more information about the hospital’s patient experience programs, please contact Helen Lavas, Chief Patient Experience Officer, at (718) 670-2278.


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


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

Welcome to Theresa Meany, R.N., M.S.N., P.C.S.A., administrative director, Department of Surgery. Ms. Meany comes to us from Western Connecticut Medical Group at Danbury Hospital where she served as operations administrator.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and master’s degree in Patient Care Administration Services from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. 

The hospital welcomes Changduk Lim, M.D., a junior Emergency Medicine resident at Kyungpook National University Hospital in Daegu, South Korea, and Eunah Han, M.D., a senior Emergency Medicine resident from Severence hospital, Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea for a one-month observership in the Emergency Room. This observership is coordinated by Edward Choi, M.D., attending physician, Emergency Medicine, and international ambassador to South Korea, American College of Emergency Physicians.


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

Pinchi Srinivasan, M.D., director, Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, was promoted to the faculty of Weill Medical College of Cornell University as associate professor, Clinical Pediatrics, New York Hospital Queens.

Paul Freedman, D.D.S., director, Oral Pathology, was elected President of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine, joined 28 physicians and three dentists at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to participate in the “Army Medicine Experience,” which included a combat exercise with Army medics.

Dr. Wasserman serves as the chairman, Advisory Board for Medicine and Dentistry, U.S. Army, Greater N.Y.

Angela Petrousos, D.P.T., physical therapist, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation recently earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from SUNY Stony Brook.

Wesner Thenor-Louis, M.D., director, OB/GYN Medical Student Education, was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the medical students of Weill Cornell Medical College.


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

Rachel Waldron, M.D., medical director, EMS; Nidhi Garg, M.D., Emergency Medicine resident, and former residents Deborah Mogelof, M.D., and Cheri Finalle, M.D., co-authored “Effect of Gender on Pre-Hospital Refusal of Medical Aid,” which was published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Sanjey Gupta, M.D., assistant chairman, Emergency Medicine, presented “Wilderness Ultrasound: Where are we now?” at the Northeast Wilderness Medicine Conference in Syracuse, N.Y., and “The Rationale and Roadmap for Establishing Medical Student and Resident Wilderness Medicine Electives in Academic Emergency Medicine Education” at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Eight research abstracts co-authored by 12 physicians from Emergency Medicine were presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill. Presenters and authors included Dr. Garg; Dr. Waldron; Dr. Gupta; Alison Suarez, M.D., assistant director, residency program; Michael S. Radeos, M.D., M.P.H., research director; Bradley Li, M.D., former resident; Anita Datta, M.D., R.D.M.S., director, Emergency Medicine Ultrasound; Anjali Bharati, D.O., attending physician, Meena Pai, M.D., resident; James G. Ryan, M.D., director, residency program; Poonam Desai, D.O., resident; and Carmela Youmtoubian, M.D., resident.

Five research studies conducted by Emergency Medicine were presented at the Regional Ultrasound Symposium held at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, N.Y.

“Renal Colic in Pediatric Emergency Medicine” by Omar Corujo, M.D., Emergency Ultrasound fellow; Dr. Datta; William Apterbach, M.D., resident, Gregg Rusczyk, M.D.,
director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Dr. Gupta; Marie-Laure Romney, M.D., R.D.M.S., associate director, Emergency Medicine Ultrasound and Dr. Radeos.

“Assessment of Emergency Medicine Residents’ Competency in the Use of Bedside Emergency Ultrasound” by Cara Brown, M.D., Emergency Ultrasound fellow; Dr. Datta; Lea Salazar, M.D., Emergency Medicine, resident; Dr. Desai and Dr. Ryan.

“Simulation Model as an Adjunct Method for Transvaginal Emergency Ultrasound Teaching” by Eric Tran, M.D., resident; Dr. Corujo; Dr. Brown; Dr. Radeos; George Benedetto, Jr, M.P.A., E.M.T.-P.; Dr. Romney and Dr. Datta.

“Resident Education in Ultrasound – Improving Identification of Abdominal Anatomy and Pathology after a Multimedia Tutorial” by Peter Bluvas, M.D., resident; Dr. Bharati; Dr. Datta; Dr. Gupta and Dr. Ryan.

“Common Bile Duct Measurement on Bedside Ultrasound in the Emergency Department” by Alla Bardash, M.D., resident; Dr. Romney; Dr. Brown; Dr. Corujo; Dr. Radeos; and Dr. Datta.

Marta Kazandjian, C.C.C.-S.L.P., director, Speech Pathology, co-authored, “Verbal Communication for the Ventilator-Dependent Patient Requiring an Inflated Tracheotomy Tube Cuff: A prospective, Multicenter Study on the Blom Tracheotomy Tube with Speech Inner Cannula,” which was published in the journal Head & Neck.

“Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Yields $15 Million Verdict,” co-authored by Alvin Safran, director, Risk and Claims Management, was published in the premiere issue of Physician Risk Management in the supplement titled Physician Legal Review & Commentary. Mr. Safran serves as president, the Association for Healthcare Risk Management of New York.

The Division of Neonatology from the Department of Pediatrics presented four research projects at the 2012 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass. The abstracts were published in the journal Pediatric Research.

“Delivery Room Prophylactic CPAP to Prevent Transient Tachypnea of Newborn in Elective CS Born Infants, a Prospective RCT” authored by Lincy Cherian, M.D. clinical research investigator; Piyush Jain, M.B.B.S., research coordinator; Elaine Green, N.N.P., neonatal nurse practitioner; Marie LoBuglio, R.-P.A.;Joseph Abularrage, M.D., M.P.H., chairman and Pinchi Srinivasan, M.D., director, Neonatology.

“Risk Profile for Antibiotics Usage in Late Preterm Infants with Respiratory Distress Based on Sepsis Screen Evaluation” authored by Dr. Jain; Aleksandra Iuchyk, R.-P.A. and Dr. Abularrage and Dr. Srinivasan.

“Feeding Skills Achievement with Feeding Interventions in Late Preterm Neonates” authored by Dr. Jain; Dr. Cherian; Julianne Staskowski, R.-P.A., and Dr. Srinivasan.

Dr. Srinivasan served as the site principal investigator for the clinical trial, “Nasal Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation Trial in ELBW infants (<1000 grams birth weight and <30 weeks gestational age)." New York Hospital Queens was one study center in one of the largest international, multicentric trials with participation from 10 countries and 36 centers.



Program News

Transitional Care Unit Opens on 7 South
In partnership with Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, the hospital opened a new sub-acute transitional care unit on 7 South. Operated by Silvercrest staff, the 16-bed unit provides care for patients who no longer require acute care but are not ready to move home or to a skilled nursing facility. Patients in this unit can stay up to 20 days.  The transitional care unit is one of 13 approved units for a New York State demonstration project.

Emergency Room Expansion


Since 2006, five hospitals have closed in Queens. To address hospital overcrowding, we continue to expand our services and access to care.  We recently celebrated the completion of the latest expansion of the Emergency Room with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The expansion includes 10 walled, treatment bays, a new nursing station and the Urgent Care Center (which opened in January). In attendance were Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, NYS Senator Toby Stavisky, Council Member Peter Koo, representatives from the Department of Health and the community, as well as members of the Board of Trustees. Both the expansion of the Emergency Room and the completion of the Urgent Care Center were funded by a $4 million HEAL-NY (Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers) grant.

NYHQ is an FDNY-Designated Hypothermia Center
In May, NYHQ became a Hypothermia Center as designated by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). In 2009, FDNY created an initiative called “NYC Project Hypothermia.” The project was created as an effort to improve the neurological outcomes of resuscitated patients who have suffered from cardiac arrest.  As a Hypothermia Center, our hospital has hypothermia devices and special training to use hypothermia therapy to slow down the brain’s demand for oxygen. In a cardiac arrest, hypothermia therapy has been shown to prevent damage to brain cells. NYHQ is one of only a few hospitals in Queens to be a designated Hypothermia Center.  For more information, contact Darlene Merceica, administrative director, Emergency Medicine, at ext. 1430.

Bringing Fun to the Bedside of Sick Children
Unfortunately, some young patients at New York Hospital Queens are too sick to leave their rooms. Now, these patients can play games and watch their favorite cartoons and movies at the bedside with a mobile fun center. Sponsored by Dunkin Donuts, the Starlight Children’s Foundation has donated an all-in-one portable monitor, DVD player and Wii game system, to the Pediatric Department at New York Hospital Queens. Providing entertainment for young patients can help ease anxiety during hospitalization. The Child Life Program at NYHQ is dedicated to easing the stress of the children and their families.

Expansion of Cancer Services for Queens Residents
Each week in Queens, 64 individuals die from cancer and 192 individuals are diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The number of people diagnosed with cancer each week could fill every seat of our hospital auditorium. New York Hospital Queens is on the frontlines of cancer, providing treatment, cancer education and free screenings. In May, our hospital held its annual A Spring Night Gala that helped raised nearly $1 million towards an expansion of cancer care. Through the leadership of Prahba and Kanak Golia and George Heinrich, M.D., chairman, NYHQ Board of Trustees, and his wife, Debra, the hospital is looking at ways to expand our Cancer Center services.

Celebration of Life Community Program for Cancer Survivors

The hospital held “A Celebration of Life” program for the community including a presentation by keynote speaker, Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, radio personality and prostate cancer survivor. Cancer specialists from New York Hospital Queens presented advances in cancer treatment, including Paul Lee, M.D., director, Thoracic Surgery; Susan Lee, M.D., acting director, The Breast Center; Akkamma Ravi, M.D.; clinical director, Radiation Oncology; and Gabriel Jung, M.D., medical oncologist.

Automated Inventory Management Pilot Program in Interventional Radiology
In high-cost supply areas like Interventional Radiology, tracking the use of products and maintaining accurate inventory needs to happen as efficiently as possible. Interventional Radiology is participating in a new inventory tracking pilot program. The hospital uses high-tech storage monitoring, such as radio frequency tags on products, and automated reporting to track inventory usage and to reorder supplies. The Materials Management Department now has plans to use this technologically advanced tracking and reporting system in other areas, such as interventional cardiology and the hybrid OR.



Congratulations to Best Doctors in New York Magazine

  Congratulations to all members of the NYHQ Medical Staff who were named as “Best Doctors 2012” in New York Magazine. The magazine extracted a best doctors list from Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.’s “top doctor” guides. The guides are composed of physicians who were nominated by other physicians for being clinically outstanding. For a complete list of New York Magazine’s best doctors, visit: http://nymag.com/bestdoctors. For Castle Connolly’s listings and methodology, visit: http://www.castleconnolly.com.

NYHQ Recognized for Employee Wellness
The American Heart Association recognized New York Hospital Queens as a Gold Fit-Friendly Company. Being a gold level award recipient means that NYHQ has recognized the importance of a healthy workplace through creating a culture of physical activity in the work place and providing support to employees. Among its many initiatives to encourage healthy living, the hospital established a partnership with Weight Watchers, developed a Walking Club and offers a  complimentary Healthy Lifestyle Assessment for all employees.

Emergency Medicine Team Serves as Medical Support for Marathon

As a way to extend their community service, physicians from the Emergency Medicine Department, Sanjey Gupta, M.D., Alison Suarez, M.D., James G.  Ryan, M.D., Cara Brown, M.D., Emergency Ultrasound fellow, and Emergency Medicine residents William Apterbach, M.D., Alvin Bulahan, M.D., James Franklin, M.D., and Cindy Usher, M.D., provided on-site medical support for athletes at the Allstate 13.1 Marathon at Flushing
Meadows Corona Park.

Patient Experience Office Initiative- Musical Performance in Main Lobby

The live piano music that greets patients and visitors in the hospital main lobby is an initiative managed by the Patient Experience Office to enhance the visitor experience. Special thanks to a partnership with Queens College, Sergey Prokofyev, violinist, and Wei-Hsien Lien, pianist, from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, provided a lobby performance.

National Night Out Against Crime
This year, the National Night Out Against Crime will take place on Tuesday, August 7, 2012. The event is a crime prevention fair with free giveaways and health and safety information hosted by the New York City Police Department and community organizations. New York Hospital Queens plans to participate in the following events:

• 109th precinct event in Bowne Park, Flushing
• 110th precinct event in Flushing Meadows Corona Park
• 107th precinct event at the Elechester Shopping Center

All events start at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Public Affairs at ext. 1065.


New York Hospital Queens Day at CitiField - Sunday, August 12, 2012
New York Hospital Queens is hosting a day of fun for the family and friends of hospital employees and physicians. Discounted tickets are on sale now for Sunday, August 12, on the Field Level in Centerfield, as the New York Mets take on the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, August 12. For more information, contact Julie Varghese, director, Special Events, at (718) 670-1564.
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