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President's Message New York Hospital Queens

 November 2012

Dear Colleagues:

Resiliency and commitment abound in our organization. We cannot possibly do enough to thank our employees who cared for patients while their own personal situations may have been devastating. This personal dedication is how we continue to earn trust in this community and you have my utmost respect–now, even more than ever.

As I write this letter, the impact of Hurricane Sandy is still unfolding and has been complicated by the subsequent Nor’easter. While spending the peak of the storm with a number of our employees and medical staff, I was moved by the collective and individual commitment to patient care. We have a number of employees and medical staff whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm, and it is clear the recovery and rebuilding process will not be a quick one.

At NYHQ, we were fortunate to weather both storms without significant damage and remained fully operational on our main campus. During the storm, we did experience an outage of Allscripts, our electronic medical records system for our Emergency Department (ED), in-patient services and pharmacy. Our back-up plan was implemented successfully and the system was brought back online in approximately six hours. With the storm approaching, our satellite dialysis centers opened on Sunday (10/28) to make sure patients received essential services, and were able to remain open through Monday evening. After the storm passed, we evaluated each community medicine site and clinic for damage and reopened each location quickly.  

For all for the drills and preparedness planning we engage in regularly, this storm showed everyone that even when plans are implemented well, there are lessons to be learned and acted upon for the next time. A few observations from our leadership team, include:

  • Emergent conditions make it difficult to implement a robust discharge process for medically appropriate patients
    • In some cases, personal physicians, sub-acute facilities and patient families were mired in storm preparation
  • There truly is limited capacity in the immediate area for the sickest patients
    • A surge of high acuity patients coming to the ED coupled with an inability to discharge patients (in some case patients could not be discharged to a skilled nursing facility or home because of damage or power loss) added tremendous pressure to our already full in-patient units and ED beds
  • More support systems are needed for staff contending with the dual concerns of family and job
  • The geography of the city–the boroughs and many tunnels and bridges–can create physical isolation for facilities that need help, and difficulty with the timely delivery of supplies (suppliers use the same gas, bridges and tunnels as the rest of us)
  • Electronic records are here to stay, emergency plans must be activated in time to initiate back-up procedures and enable a conversion to downtime processes
  • The magnitude of the gas shortage following the storm continues to take a heavy toll
    • With many facilities and homes running on generators, public transportation limits, and the need for essential personnel to travel to work–the shortage is a wake-up call to our dependence on fuel

Our management team and clinical leadership are examining our response to the storm and looking at ways to better prepare for the unknowns. I urge members of our community to share thoughts with us at Your input will help us be better prepared for future challenges.

Despite the ongoing aftermath of the storm and the damage suffered by many, I was encouraged to see a strong voter turnout among our patients, employees and medical staff. On November 6 we helped admitted patients vote and encouraged our employees to take the time to make their voices heard. Whether your candidate won or lost, our elected officials–both the new and the incumbents–will be an important part of future disaster preparedness planning. 


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


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People News

Medical and Professional Staff Appointments:

Patricia Dramitinos, M.D., attending physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology, joins the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery as director.  She comes to us from Montefiore Medical Center where she held the same role.  Dr. Dramitinos achieved her medical degree from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Barnard College, Columbia University.  She completed her fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive pelvic surgery at Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Mass. and Boston Urogynecology Associates.
Alan Davis, M.D., director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit joins NYHQ.  Dr. Davis comes to us from the Saint Barnabas Health Care System in New Jersey where he served as director of Pediatric Critical Care and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  He achieved his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Vermont.  He completed his fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit also adds Franscene Oulds, M.D., associate director, Pediatric Intensive Care.  Dr. Oulds comes to us from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn where she served as assistant professor of pediatrics. She achieved her medical degree from University of Maryland and her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University of Virginia.  She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Professional and Personal Achievements:

  Gonzalo Sabogol, M.D., associate director, Pediatric Inpatient Unit, recently returned from his third medical mission with the Foundation for Community Assistance to Santiago in the Dominican Republic. During his latest trip he provided physicals and screenings for more than 250 children.  The Foundation is growing and needs to add pediatricians, internists, dentists, gynecologists and ophthalmologists.  If you are interested, please contact Dr. Sabogal at 718-670-1920.

The Queensboro Council for Social Welfare honored NYHQ Board of Trustees member, the Hon. Claire Shulman, former borough president, and James E. Satterfield, M.D., surgery, past president of the Medical Society County of Queens for community leadership.  A luncheon and awards presentation took place October 26.

Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine, has been reappointed as the 2012-2013 site consultant to the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. He has served on the Commission since 1982.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practice selected New York Hospital Queens as a recipient of the 2012 Cheers Awards for its innovative electronic approach to the management of anti-coagulation therapy.  The Cheers Awards honor individuals, organizations, and companies that have set a superlative standard of excellence for others to follow in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.  

Congratulations to Regina Vayner, PharmD, Regina Cregin, PharmD, and the entire Anti-coagulation Task Force for the hard work and creativity that led to this honor.  The award will be presented at the Cheers Award Dinner on December 4, 2012 during the 2012 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Mid-year Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev.

  Veronica Tsang will serve as the new Chairperson for New York Hospital Queens Community Advisory Council. The NYHQ Community Advisory Council is a group of Queens business leaders and civic-minded individuals who assist the hospital in development, public affairs, community and government relations and make recommendations for the improvement of facilities and programs. Ms. Tsang is the Regional Vice President for Cathay Bank and the President of the Flushing Rotary Club. She will begin her term on January 1, 2013. 


NYHQ Shares Expertise at Medical Conferences, in Peer-reviewed Publications and in the Community:

David Chiang, M.D., co-director, NYHQ Community Medicine, OB/GYN Ambulatory Care Center in Fresh Meadows, was recently elected to the Board Directors of Flushing Chinese Business Association (FCBA).  Additionally, Dr. Chiang serves on the boards of directors of the Association of Chinese American Physicians (ACAP), the Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA), and the American Cancer Society Asian Initiative (ACS). 

In October, Dr. Chiang in his role on the board of directors of CAIPA, participated in a roundtable discussion on community medicine for Chinese patients living Chinatown, Brooklyn and Queens. Other CAIPA leaders as well as Laura Forese, M.D., M.P.H., group senior vice president, chief operating officer and chief medical officer, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center participated in the discussion. 


Suzanne C. Pugh, R.N., clinical director, Emergency Medicine, represented New York Hospital Queens and provided welcoming remarks to the New York State Healthcare Information and Management System Society Student Nursing Informatics Conference held November 9 at NYHQ.



On behalf of the trustees, administration, clinical leadership and all of the employees of New York Hospital Queens, we mourn the passing of Frank J. Randazzo. Mr. Randazzo was a beacon for New York Hospital Queens, our Cancer Center, and the patients we treat in this community – all beneficiaries through the years of his family’s generosity and his founding of The Frank Randazzo Jr. Foundation.




Queens Celebrates Expanded Practice with Online Broadcast Event

On October 17, the Bone and Joint Hospital of Queens at New York Hospital Queens celebrated the newly expanded orthopaedic and rehabilitation facility located at 163-03 Horace Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows. This expansion will help us meet the growing needs of our community. Members of NYHQ administration, medical staff and employees, community leaders and Senator Toby Stavisky (pictured center) gathered to celebrate our new orthopaedic and rehabilitation facility.

At the open house, Jeffrey Rosen, M.D., chairman,Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation; Paul Di Cesare, M.D., F.A.C.S., director, Total Joint Arthroplasty Services; and Tony Quach, M.D., attending orthopaedic surgeon, Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, took part in a special online broadcast event to help educate community members on dealing with joint pain. The broadcast was moderated by Camela Morrissey, vice president and chief marketing officer.

Participants who logged on our website, and 20 other websites, to watch the event asked our physicians questions and took an online survey to help decide how to deal with an aching hip, knee or shoulder.  Of those who watched the event, more than half said they would contact a specialist at NYHQ for their bone and joint care.

To watch a recording of the broadcast, visit  Learn more about how to relieve joint pain on our website or call 866-670-OUCH (6824).


New NYHQ Primary Care Facility Opens in Whitestone Village
NYHQ opened a new primary care facility in Whitestone Village. Ambrose Pipia, M.D. and Domenick Acquista, M.D., community- based internal medicine physicians, will practice in the new facility. The site will offer several specialty services beginning with cardiovascular care provided by Katherine Heretis, M.D. The facility, located at 14-02 150th Street, is part of New York Hospital Queens’ initiative to support the growth of primary care in the borough. To make an appointment, call (347) 625-6221.


  Flu Vaccination Campaign Underway
The hospital encourages all hospital employees and medical staff to receive a flu shot to reduce the risk of spreading influenza to family, friends and patients.  Employee Health Services is administering free flu shots to employees and medical staff.


Clostridium Difficile Research Study
Moshe Rubin, M.D., director, Division of Gastroenterology, is conducting a research study to test the safety and effectiveness of a single antibody infusion drug, given along with standard treatments, that may help prevent and/or reduce the number of Clostridium difficile (C.diff) recurrences in patients.

C.diff is an increasingly common and sometimes dangerous infection. It can develop in patients in health care settings such as hospitals and nursing homes, as well as in home settings. It can occur after receiving antibiotic treatment that disrupts the natural bacteria found in the intestines. C.diff can cause symptoms that range from mild to extreme cases of loose bowels that can last 3 months or longer.

An individual may be eligible to participate if he/she: is age 18 or older, and has C.diff. All study-related procedures and the study drug are provided at no cost.  For more information, contact the Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education at (718) 670-1827.


Dr. Wasserman Honored at Seventh Annual Theresa Lang Dinner
The Seventh Annual Theresa Lang Dinner on November 12 honored Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine.  The dinner took place at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan.  The Theresa Lang Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of research, medical education or patient care.  This is the highest award offered to a member of the NYHQ medical staff.  Dr. Wasserman was honored for his leadership and dedication to the medical center, where he has served for more than 50 years.

Dr. Wasserman founded the Department of Dentistry at New York Hospital Queens (then Booth Memorial Hospital) in 1962.  He is an avid educator, author and principal investigator for numerous government grants for the study of dental practice.  Dr. Wasserman examined dentistry in hospital settings, dental residency training programs, and the dental treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS and special needs throughout his career.  His contributions to dental literature include, research on the structure of dental residency training; medical issues relating to hospital dental care; and clinical topics in oral medicine.  Dr. Wasserman earned both his undergraduate and his dental degree from New York University.



Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Huge Success

  The Women’s Auxiliary Annual Luncheon held on October 3 honored Frank Macchio, past president, NYHQ Community Advisory Council, as this year’s Spirit Award recipient for his commitment to NYHQ and the Queens community. Close to 300 people attended the luncheon and more than $31,000 was raised to support the purchase of clinical equipment and benefit the expansion of programs for patient care at NYHQ.  Mr. Macchio is now a real estate manager for NYHQ.

Seventh Annual NYHQ Pediatric Miniature Golf Classic 


More than $103,000 was raised to benefit the Department of Pediatrics when 180 participants took to the “mini” links for the seventh annual NYHQ Pediatric Miniature Golf Classic. This year’s event broke records for the amount of funds raised and number of guests in attendance. All proceeds from the event support the Division of Pediatric Cardiology and will be used to purchase fetal echocardiography equipment. 


NYHQ Joins Assembly Member Grace Meng at Community Baby Shower

  On October 17, New York Hospital Queens joined Assembly Member Grace Meng at her fourth annual community baby shower. Ms. Meng recently won the election to represent the sixth U.S. Congressional District. NYHQ has participated in all four years of the program and again donated free baby supplies for pregnant mothers in need.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

The New York Hospital Queens team joined thousands at the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 21, at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The hospital was a corporate sponsor for the walk. Employees from across the NYHQ, including our Breast Center, walked and raised funds for the cause. Thank you to every person who participated by walking, selling items, baking and contributing towards this important cause.

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