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Dear Colleagues:

The healthcare industry is under enormous transformation and we are navigating through these changes. When I delivered our “State of the Hospital” update for the third quarter in early October, I stressed to employees and medical staff that this is happening industry-wide.

Today, healthcare providers and facilities are not being paid (reimbursed) to care for patients in the same way that we had been for many years.  The high cost model of care delivery in an inpatient setting is being constricted, and it is shifting to lower cost models delivered on an outpatient basis.  

Based on this new reality, we have to transform the way we provide care by reducing our operating expenses, improving operational efficiency, supporting growth areas, and continuing to improve the quality of care.

On the growth side – we are increasing talent, access and service – here on the main campus and in our growing network of community medicine sites.  We continue to add more experienced physicians and surgeons.  Our new practice site in Whitestone is growing every day, we just expanded specialty care services in Maspeth, and we are readying additional primary and specialty care practices in key neighborhoods.

To reduce costs and improve operational efficiency, we are focused on reducing waste, reducing infections and avoidable re-admissions, improving patient satisfaction, optimizing the power of our electronic health record, and adjusting inpatient/outpatient resources. We continue our effort to maximize revenue through effective billing and collection, and via purchasing contracts through NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. These well-considered changes will allow us to do the necessary reconfiguring of service delivery costs.

NYHQ will be here for many years to come. While re-shaping our operations is difficult, we cannot lose sight of the accomplishments that we make here every single day. This issue of the President’s Message is filled with great news – from performing new procedures and diagnostic tests, to attesting to Meaningful Use of our electronic health record, to an “A” from the Leapfrog Group.

For employees and medical staff who may have missed my State of the Hospital update, please make sure you have current and correct information about the implementation of our plan and what it means to you. You can reach out to me to answer questions, along with Stephen Rimar, M.D., John Sciortino and any member of our senior management team.


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

P.S. Now, this publication is only distributed electronically. Please contact Public Affairs & Marketing 718 670-1065 to be added to distribution lists.



  We welcome Gerard D. Robilotti, to our Board of Trustees. He has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Mr. Robilotti began working at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut in 1971 as the director of Medical Education. He later became the president and chief operating officer of Danbury Hospital and in 1994, became the executive vice president of the Danbury Health Systems (currently known as the Western Connecticut Health Network).


Upon leaving Danbury Health Systems in 2006, Mr. Robilotti became president and founder of Robilotti Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm for acute care hospitals. He is also an adjunct professor of Law at Quinnipiac University. Mr. Robilotti has 25 years of experience as a board member. He previously served on the Danbury Hospital Board of Directors, Western Connecticut State University Board of Trustees, Danbury Hospital Development Fund Board of Directors and the Connecticut Hospital Association Board of Trustees.

Mr. Robilotti achieved his master’s degree in Healthcare Administration at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and earned two bachelor’s degrees in Social Science and History at Manhattan College. He is a life fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. 

  Diane Sixsmith, M.D., chairperson, Department of Emergency Medicine, was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Theresa Lang Award. The Theresa Lang Dinner was held at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan on November 4. 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. Sixsmith was honored for her dedication to providing high quality medical care and education to the Queens community.

Dr. Sixsmith has nearly 40 years of experience in providing emergency medical care, 21 years of which she has served as chairman of Emergency Medicine at NYHQ. In addition, Dr. Sixsmith was chairman of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” dinner, for two consecutive years, supporting heart health awareness among women in Queens.

The Theresa Lang Dinner was introduced in 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of New York Hospital Queens. It is named in honor of the late Theresa Lang, a volunteer, philanthropist and leading member of the Board of Trustees.

We welcome James Wysock, M.D., attending urologist, Surgery. He comes to us from the New York University Langone Medical Center where he completed his fellowship in Urologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery. Dr. Wysock completed his residency in Urology and served as chief resident at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College and at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Wysock earned hisbachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey.
  We welcome back Manmeet Malik, D.O., attending breast surgeon, Surgery. She comes to us from Beth Israel Medical Center/St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center where she completed her fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology. She completed her residency in General Surgery right here at NYHQ. Dr. Malik earned her medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and her bachelor’s degree from New York University.
David Lau, P.A.-C., physician assistant, Department of Emergency Medicine, was named Physician Assistant of the Year by the New York State Society of Physician Assistants. He was honored at the Clara Vanderbilt Gala in early October.
Carl Urban, Ph.D., director, James J. Rahal Infectious Diseases Laboratory, was named associate professor of microbiology, Clinical Medicine, at Weill Cornell Medical College.  Dr. Urban is an internationally renowned micro-biologist and researcher. He published data about the first large North American outbreak of ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, which eventually led to a worldwide change in laboratory testing. Dr. Urban is recognized as a pioneer for his most recent work on combination antibiotic regimens for treatment of multidrug resistant bacterial infections. 
  Ken Ong, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical informatics officer, spoke at the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems’ Fall Symposium in Boston. He was one of several experts in clinical computing technology that presented best practice solutions. He also participated in the 2013 iHT2 Health IT Summit in New York City where his panel discussed “Does Meaningful Use Mean Meaningful Change?"

Dr. Ong wrote a chapter, “Technology and Patient Safety,” for a book that was recently published, titled Patient Safety: A Case-Based Comprehensive Guide.




MILD Procedure Offers Relief for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

NYHQ has introduced a new procedure, the Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD) procedure, to treat lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), a degenerative condition where the ligaments that hold one vertebra to another, thicken. The thickened ligaments cause narrowing of the lower spinal canal, which compresses the spinal cord and nerves. Symptoms may include pain and numbness in the lower back, legs and buttocks, which can affect the ability to stand or walk.

The MILD procedure treats LSS by removing the thickened ligament that causes the narrowing of the spinal canal. This restores space in the spinal canal, and, in turn, reduces pressure on the nerves. The procedure takes about one hour and is performed as an ambulatory surgery. After the procedure, patients may experience a reduction in pain and an improvement in mobility. For more information, call the Department of Anesthesiology at 718-670-1080.


Neurodiagnostic Test Now Available to Assess Patients for Movement Disorders

NYHQ is offering a new neurodiagnostic test, DaTscan, which uses a radiopharmaceutical agent to assess patients for movement disorders. This is the first unbiased test available to physicians that differentiates Parkinson’s disease from other movement disorders.

The radioactive agent makes the presence of dopamine transporters in the brain visible. A patient is injected with the contrast agent and then undergoes a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan. A SPECT scan examines brain function and can show changes in the brain’s chemistry. The scan captures detailed pictures of the brain’s dopamine system and can provide visual evidence of the presence of dopamine transporters. Scans of patients with Parkinson’s disease or another parkinsonian syndrome will show very low dopamine levels.

For more information about the procedure, please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 718-670-1075. Physicians can schedule a patient for this test by calling 718-670-1050.


Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation Receives Recertification

The Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation received recertification from the New York State Department of Health. The survey report indicated that the facility had no deficiencies.




NYHQ Receives “A” for Safety from the Leapfrog Group

In addition to our excellent Joint Commission survey results, NYHQ, once again, received an “A” grade for safety from the Leapfrog Group, an independent organization that advances and reports on patient safety.  This quality rating is just one of many reasons we continue to earn the trust of those who count on us to deliver a higher level of care right here in Queens. For more information on this safety score, visit:


NYHQ Successfully Attests to Medicare EHR Incentive Program

NYHQ has successfully attested to Meaningful Use Stage 1, Year 2 to the CMS Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. This program provides incentives to eligible professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

This latest attestation demonstrates our meaningful use of EHR technology for a 12-month period. By attesting, we are showing that the hospital consistently uses this EHR technology correctly. It is estimated that we will receive about $2.7 million in addition to the more than $7 million we have secured, thus far.

This effort from our clinicians, the Management Information Systems team and the Grants team, demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to improving quality, safety and effectiveness of care.


Department of Dental and Oral Medicine Receives Federal Grant

The Health Resources and Services Administration —a federal agency aimed at improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured or medically vulnerable — awarded the Department of Dental and Oral Medicine nearly $80,000 from the Ryan White Dental Reimbursement Program. Under the leadership of Burton Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine, NYHQ has received grants from this program for 24 consecutive years.   


NYHQ Recognized for Hosting NYPD World Trade Center Monitoring Program Health Screenings

The New York City Police Department held a ceremony to recognize NYHQ for hosting the World Trade Center (WTC) Monitoring Program’s 10th Anniversary Follow-Up in October 2012. The screening program helps determine what health issues affect police officers and what more can be done to support their health. NYHQ provided week-long support, allowing the program to use our facility and ancillary services. NYHQ also provided the same support for this program in 2007. The NYPD program is inc onjunction with the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System.


Caren Weinberg, R.N., Receives Wholeness of Life Award

  Congratulations to Caren Weinberg, R.N., case manager, on receiving the Healthcare Chaplaincy’s annual “Wholeness of Life” award. Ms. Weinberg was recognized for demonstrating respect and commitment to others and for exemplifying body, mind and spirit — the values that bring “wholeness of life” to NYHQ’s patients and employees.


Eighth Annual Pediatric Miniature Golf Outing

The Eighth Annual Pediatric Miniature Golf Outing was held on October 6. Participants, including physicians, employees, pediatric patients and supporters of the hospital, helped raise $75,000 in pledges to benefit the Pediatric Asthma Center, the Theresa Lang Children's Ambulatory Center and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.




Patricia Dramitinos, M.D., director, Urogynecology, Ellen Gutkin, D.O., attending gastroenterologist, and Abigail Otero, patient navigator, Gastroenterology, participated in the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s 2013 Health Fair. They provided educational materials to and answered questions from more than 500 people who attended the fair.



Medical Staff: Update Your Photo & Profile Information for NYHQ “Find A Doctor” Directory

If you missed the last free photo shoot, there is one more session scheduled in 2013 for all medical staff (employed
and voluntary):

  • Wednesday, December 4, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., in the Medical Staff Lounge
  • Please wear a clean, ironed lab coat (lab coats will also be available on-site)
  • These photos will be uploaded to physician profiles in the “Find-a-Doctor” directory on

With the launch of “New York State of Health,” increased access to insurance or Medicaid coverage has significant potential for expanding the insured population in Queens County who may utilize our services. Our online “Find-a-Doctor” directory on provides potential patients and referring physicians with contact information for our entire medical staff. We encourage all medical staff to keep your online profile current. For instructions, click here.


Get Flu Vaccine or Wear Surgical Mask During Flu Season

New York State public health law has mandated that health care personnel (including but not limited to all NYHQ employees, voluntary and attending medical staff, nursing staff, contract staff, students and volunteers) who do not receive the flu vaccine must wear surgical masks in areas of the facility where patients may be present (on campus and off-site) during the flu season. This law will help reduce the risk of spreading influenza to patients, visitors, colleagues and our own family members.

The hospital has created a policy [NYHQ Personnel Influenza Vaccination Program 2013-2014, # 9200-398] to enforce the new legislation. A summary of the policy, including information about getting vaccinated, medical exemptions, declination of the vaccine and compliance, can be found here.

The flu vaccine is still available for health care personnel, as listed above and in our policy, via Infection Preventionists or practitioners in the Employee Health Services. The Infection Control office is located in the basement of the North Building, room N010. Please call ahead to ensure that an Infection Preventionist is available: 718-670-1256. The Employee Health Services office is located at 139-09 58th Avenue, Suite 302 in Flushing. Please call ahead to ensure that a practitioner is available: 718-670-1280.

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