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President's Message New York Hospital Queens

 April/May 2013

Dear Colleagues:

The Joint Commission, the organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the U.S., surveyed NYHQ at the end of March.  We were well prepared and we fared extremely well – even better than we expected. 

With this success as the backdrop, I want to follow up on earlier communication about focus and strategy as we navigate the forces of health care reform, pressures on reimbursement and revenue, and escalating costs to deliver care.

We must continue to strategically invest in the future of this organization. And we are doing that. At the same time, we must ‘reset’ what it costs to deliver care and we need to do that without affecting quality or safety for our patients. Here are a few highlights of our strategy:

Expand Support for Primary Care Practice:
Increased support for community based primary care practices.  As well, we will attract more insured patients who are selective about where they seek care for complex illnesses or procedures. For example, our Whitestone Village practice site is off to a great start and we expect to open in Astoria by the end of this year. We have created flexible partnerships with Primary Care physicians. One size doesn’t fit all; so, we have options for those who want to be a part of our 1,700 + member medical staff.

Develop High Demand Service Lines:
We are a full service community hospital with a vast array of tertiary services and a large footprint for outpatient services. We continue to invest in specialized programs so that patients do not need to leave Queens for complex care. These include: Cancer, Bone and Joint, Heart and Vascular, Digestive and Liver, and Surgical Services.  

Improve Relationships and Communication:  
We have many people focusing on the real glue of our relationships with patients and physicians who refer patients here – communication, responsiveness and service.  With progress here, it becomes easier to provide excellence in customer service and a satisfying patient experience.  We want every physician to be confident that we understand and act upon what your practice needs from us, and for each patient to be glad s/he came here.

Maintain Positive Operating Margin:
It is no secret that revenue is under relentless pressure, and that after several years of declines in reimbursement we must ‘reset’ the cost of providing care. This is a critical juncture to better manage all expenses including our people resources and expenses that are other than salary-related. As we make adjustments to the reality of the evolving healthcare environment, there are programs and people resources we need to restructure to meet current demand. This multi-tiered effort includes: Value Analysis to manage pricing, supply utilization, enhanced skills and oversight for both coding and documentation, as well as improvements in billing and collection. Several longer-term initiatives are underway to trim costs and increase revenue, including a major push to reduce average length of stay – as shorter stays are healthier for patients and less costly for hospitals.

Yes, it seems that the healthcare delivery environment gets more complicated each day.  And, most days it does.  There’s much more involved than can be easily summarized in this letter, but I do want everyone to understand, at least, the broad strokes of what is changing and why.  The result of our Joint Commission accreditation survey speaks volumes about the progress and the future of NYHQ, and is just one of many reasons we continue to earn the trust of those who count upon us.


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


P.S.: This is the first electronic-only version of the President’s Message. As always, this message is available on our website www.nyhq.org. Please share this news with your colleagues and the Queens community. If you hear of someone who did not receive an email notifying them about the publication, they should contact Public Affairs & Marketing, 718 670-1065, to be added to distribution lists.

Read more about our preliminary Joint Commission results below in the Programs section.



We continue to build our base of medical talent and expertise so that members of this community and physicians practicing in the area have even more reasons to tap our services. Since the beginning of 2013, we have added six experienced medical leaders. Please take a moment to learn more about them:


Rajeev Dayal, M.D., chief, Section of Vascular Surgery, will join us on May 1. He comes to us from North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and prior to that, NewYork-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center where he served as assistant professor, Clinical Surgery and director, Carotid Stenting.

Ellen Cohen, M.D., is now our associate chairperson and residency program director in the Department of Medicine. She comes to us from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center where she served as vice chairman of Education and residency program director for the Department of Medicine.

Christopher Foglia, M.D., F.A.C.S., chief, Section of Colorectal Surgery, joined NYHQ from Danbury Hospital in Connecticut where he served as assistant program director for the General Surgery Residency Program. He is board certified in Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Justin A. Classie, M.D., medical director, Sports Medicine, joined the Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation program from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn where he served in the same role.

Beth Siegel, M.D., F.A.C.S., director, Breast Center, joined us from New York University School of Medicine where she served as assistant clinical professor for the Department of Surgery. 

William Rodgers, Ph.D., M.D., is our new chairman of Pathology and Clinical
Laboratories. Dr. Rodgers came to us from Lenox Hill Hospital (now part of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System) where he served in the same role.

For more information about the physicians above, click each name to follow the link. The link brings you to each physician’s profile, which includes contact information, in the Find a Doctor directory on www.nyhq.org. Or, browse the complete directory at www.nyhq.org/find-a-doctor-queens.


Medical Staff - Update your Physician Profiles


Mobile traffic to www.nyhq.org via a mobile device such as a smart phone or iPad — now accounts for 25 percent of our website visits and continues to grow as more people use our site as a tool from anywhere, anytime. 

Our online physician directory (Find a Doctor on www.nyhq.org) is fed by the database managed by the Medical Staff Society office. This Find a Doctor directory on nyhq.org was used more than 300,000 times in 2012- that’s nearly 1,000 times a day. The content is searchable by search engines such as Google.

You may have clicked the links above to view our new physicians’ profiles in our Find a Doctor directory. Each member of our medical staff has a profile and it is his/her responsibility to keep that profile current.  

Some users are looking for a doctor to make an appointment, and others such as physician practices are seeking your contact information to make a referral. For two examples of a well-done online profile, visit the profiles of Ambrose Pipia, M.D. and Todd Kerwin, M.D.

Please Update Your Information: 

  • Profile information in the hospital’s public online medical staff directory (nyhq.org) is supplied by a database managed by the New York Hospital Queens Medical Staff Society
  • Each physician controls the level of detail in his/her profile
  • Profiles can be updated by going to www.nyhqcme.org/login.asp
  • For username or password, call the NYHQ Medical Staff Office at (718) 670-1419
  • Updates will be reflected on the Medical Staff Society website, and will then appear on www.nyhq.org within 24 hours

Adding Photo to a Medical Staff Member Profile:

  • To submit a digital photo, please contact Allison Fleming, alf9034@nyp.org or 718-670-2374.   
  • Photos will be accepted that meet the directory format, including:
    • Formal headshot in a white coat or professional attire
    • Files must be .jpg, .eps, .tiff or .psd format (resolution of at least 300 dpi)
    • The image must be 1500 x 2100 pixels and a minimum of 800 KB file size
    • Note, Public Affairs & Marketing offers free photo sessions for medical staff at least twice a year. Sessions are announced in INSIGHT e-Weekly and by the Medical Staff Society office. Public Affairs & Marketing can help arrange photography at other times, as well.


Medical and Professional Staff and Appointments:

The Department of Emergency Medicine welcomes several physicians to our medical staff:

Rachael Slivka, M.D., joins NYHQ as an attending physician. Dr. Slivka earned her medical degree from Drexel University
College of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine right here at NYHQ.

Jenny He, P.A.-C., joins the Pediatric Emergency department as a physician assistant.

Varvara (Barbara) Fyntanidou, M.D., an anesthesiologist from Thessaloniki, Greece, joins us as the latest fellow participating in the Stavros Niarchos Foundation - New York Hospital Queens Hellenic-American Emergency Medicine Exchange Program. Dr. Fyntanidou plans to use the skills and observations she acquires to assist in the development of an emergency medicine specialty in Greece. This exchange program is coordinated by Michael S. Radeos, M.D., M.P.H., research director, Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians’ international ambassador to Greece.


Professional and Personal Achievements and Sharing Expertise to Medical Audiences and in the Community:

In May, Cynthia X. Pan, M.D., chief, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine and director, Geriatrics Fellowship Program, will attend the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Meeting in Grapevine, Texas. Dr. Pan is chair of the Ethnogeriatrics Committee and a member of the Steering Committee of the AGS.

Geriatrics fellows Archana Bushan, M.D., and Christopher Tan, M.D., will present at the AGS meeting. Dr. Bushan will present “An Educational Intervention to Improve Discussions About Resuscitation Decisions in a Community Hospital” and Dr. Tan will present “Cognitive Changes After Surgery in the Elderly: Does Minimally Invasive Surgery Influence the Incidence of Postoperative Cognitive Changes Compared to Open Colon Surgery?”

In March, Susan Lee, M.D., attending surgeon, Breast Center, was a guest speaker at the Brooklyn Hospital Breast Symposium where she presented an update on breast cancer.

Anita Volpe, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P., director, Perioperative Patient Safety and Quality, was appointed to the international Editorial Review Board of Clinical Nursing Studies. As a member of the review board, she will receive abstracts for clinical review and analyze the relevance of the work, the methodology and results.  

Steven S. Wright, M.D., assistant residency director, Emergency Medicine, presented a lecture to medical students from the New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. on the topic of “How to Navigate the Emergency Medicine Waters.”

Nidhi Garg, M.D., emergency medicine resident, presented her work entitled “Derangements of mean arterial blood pressure, pulse oximetry and hematocrit as predictors of 28 day mortality in adult Emergency Department patients with suspected infection” at the INDUS-EM conference in Nashik, India. Her work was supported by the TeamHealth INDO-US Grant Award for Global Emergency Medical Sciences.

Dr. Garg and Alison E. Suarez, M.D., associate residency director, Emergency Medicine had a manuscript, “The Shock Index and Early Recognition of Sepsis in the Emergency Department – A Pilot Study,” published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Garg, Dr. Suarez and Dr. Radeos were published in the Academic Emergency Medicine for the study “Hyperlactatemia Affects the Association of Hyperglycemia with Mortality in Non-Diabetic Adults with Sepsis.”

Dr. Suarez and Dr. Slivka were published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine for the study “Acute Superior Vena Cava Syndrome After Rupture of Kommerell’s Diverticulum: A Case Report.”

Congratulations to Alex Stessin, M.D., fourth year resident, Radiation Oncology, on receiving the 2013 ASCO Young Investigator Award from Conquer Cancer Foundation. He received a $50,000 grant for lab research on the study "Evaluating FTY720 as a selective neuroprotector during cranial irradiation."

  Marilyn Galler, M.D., associate director, Dialysis Facilities and director, Renal Fellowship program, was selected as one of the 2013 Top Women in Business in Queens by the Queens Courier.


Excellent NYHQ Performance on Joint Commission Accreditation Survey
In March we completed the five-day unannounced accreditation survey by the Joint Commission. The results are truly excellent! We were well prepared and had hoped to do well. Each and every person at NYHQ worked hard to perform in ways that made sure the survey would reflect our very real progress, and our rightful place as a high quality source of trusted expertise and care.  The surveyors were impressed by our passion and excitement for elevating the quality of care we give our patients. Questions? Adam Weinstein, vice president, Regulatory Affairs & Corporate Compliance, 718-670- 2101.

American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-3
NYHQ will be an enrollment site for the American Cancer Society Study-3. This study will examine who gets cancer and why,
in the hopes of eliminating it. NYHQ was asked to be an enrollment site because of our diverse community and employee population.

Enrollment will take place on May 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in our Lang Lobby. Please share this information with friends, family and members of the community. To make an appointment for enrollment, employees can go to www.nyhq.org/For_Employees and members of the community to www.cps3queens.org. Questions?  Camille Paredes, 718-670- 2365 or cap9074@nyp.org.    

7th Annual Residents and Fellows Research Day
The Theresa & Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education will hold the 7th Annual Residents and Fellows Research Day on May 29, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Lang Auditorium. This program was created to foster research among NYHQ physicians in training. This year will feature 13 oral and 68 poster presentations in 14 specialty areas. Awards for excellence will be given at 1 p.m., following the presentations. No RSVP is necessary to attend the oral and poster presentations. All are welcome. For the presentation schedule, contact the Lang Research Center at (718) 670-2914.

NYHQ Joins Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network
The Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education joins the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network with Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). As a satellite of CUMC, we are one of 14 clinical centers in the network.  As part of the network, Daniel Skupski, M.D., director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, will conduct two studies: a Randomized Trial to Prevent Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection and an Observational Study of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Pregnancy.

NYHQ is First Hospital to Meet Mayor’s Carbon Challenge
On April 22, NYHQ celebrated Earth Day by hosting a fair that showcased the hospital’s green initiatives that benefit the community, patients and the bottom line. The hospital’s green program has grown to include waste and energy reduction strategies, a recycling program, infrastructure projects and a “green roof” installation of plants to reduce water runoff.

Many of these initiatives came to fruition after Mayor Bloomberg challenged area hospitals, universities and businesses to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in ten years. Last month, the Mayor announced that NYHQ is the first participating hospital to meet and exceed that target in only two years with a reduction of 31 percent to date!

Emergency Department Observation Unit (EDOU) Opens
The Emergency Department Observation Unit (EDOU) is now open. The 15-bed unit is located within the Early Treatment of Admitted Patients (ETAP) Unit. It is for patients who may not require an extended inpatient hospitalization but are in need of eight to 24 hours of stabilization and treatment beyond what is usually provided in the ED prior to discharge.  A team of health care providers, including a physician, nurse and case manager, assess and manage patients with a focus on prompt diagnostic testing, consultation, re-evaluation, and disposition. The attending physician in the EDOU can be reached for consultation or questions at 718-670- 2361.

The following physicians work in our new Emergency Department Observation Unit:

Mikhail Yakubov, D.O., director of the unit, has served as an attending physician here for five years. He earned his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Forest Hills Hospital.

Lali Levi, D.O., attending physician, comes to us from Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y. where she served as a hospitalist.  She earned her medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine right here at NYHQ.

Neubert Phillippe, M.D., attending physician, completed his residency in Family Medicine at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, where he served as chief resident. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Albany School of Medicine.

Ken Truong, M.D., attending physician, comes to us from Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y. where he served as a hospitalist. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and completed his residency at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.



NYHQ Community Advisory Council Installs Veronica Tsang as New Chairperson

Members of NYHQ administration and the Community Advisory Council as well as Assembly Member Nily Rozic and Senator Toby Stavisky gathered for the installation of Veronica Tsang, senior vice president, Branch Administration, Eastern Regions, Cathay Bank and president, The Rotary Club of Flushing, as the new chairperson of the 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.

The council has taken on five new initiatives that include:

  • Fundraising for the cancer center expansion
  • Assessment of community needs
  • Recruitment of multi-lingual volunteers
  • Neighborhood relations
  • Decision maker/influencer relations to support clinical programs

First United Methodist Church in Flushing Donates Funds to Cancer Center Expansion
The First United Methodist Church in Flushing has generously donated $500 toward the expansion of our cancer center. Terence Park, member of the NYHQ Community Advisory Council, assisted in building this important relationship between his church and our hospital.

A Spring Night Gala to Honor Georgia and Dimitrios Kaloidis
We will host our annual fundraising event, A Spring Night Gala, on Wednesday, June 5, at the American Museum of Natural History. Building on the momentum from last year’s gala, proceeds will benefit the continued development of our comprehensive cancer program that integrates all the current diagnostic and treatment modalities into an expanded Cancer Center.

The 2013 Pacesetter Award, the highest honor given by the hospital, will be presented to Georgia and Dimitrios Kaloidis. They will be honored for their charitable work benefiting educational, religious and health care institutions both in the U.S. and Greece. We will also honor Mr. and Mrs. Kaloidis for their longstanding leadership and generous support of the NYHQ Heart & Vascular Center. Contact Julie Varghese, director, Special Events, at juv9007@nyp.org or (718) 670-1564 for tickets, underwriting opportunities, sponsorship information or to be added to our mailing list.

Web Traffic to NYHQ.org Grows

In the first quarter of 2013, we had a total of 750,000 page visits to www.nyhq.org.  To get the most out of our website, and maximize search engine opportunities, we must keep the content updated and continually build and freshen it.

To provide an update, or make a suggestion about something to be included, contact your department’s trained website content manager. If you are unsure about who is the appropriate content manager ask a director, vice president or clinical chairman for that area. If you would like to be trained as a content manager, contact our web manager, Beth Granger, at webmanager@nyhq.org.

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