Dear Colleagues:

Despite all my years in health care, I cannot say that I’ve ever seen such a challenging period.  And, the complexity that our care providers and administrators contend with in order to deliver high quality patient care and outcomes threatens to become even more so.

In 2009, each quarter brought a new mountain to scale, starting with the closing of two major hospitals mere miles from our doorstep. Immediately following those closings the H1N1 virus emerged.  Being located at the epicenter of that first outbreak put a great deal of pressure on our already taxed emergency room, along with those emergency departments of other area hospitals trying to absorb an influx of patients from the now-closed hospitals.

The second half of the year was filled with economic uncertainty for funding on the state and federal levels.  The end of the funding story isn’t written yet, but we are now certain that we cannot come through the state’s fiscal year without serious fiscal constriction.  Although as I’m writing this, the economy appears to have a few bright spots, until we really know what we must deal with on the budget and reimbursement front, we must stay on guard.

Regardless, those of us who serve patients have to be optimists as well as realists.  We cannot allow external conditions to take us too far off track or limit our drive to better serve the community.  I’m proud that we reached a number of milestones in our clinical programs and outcomes during this tough year as well, including bringing a number of new techniques, technologies and treatments to Queens so that this community has access to them -- right here.

In 2010, our plan for the hospital is realistic, and can be achieved if we stay focused and continue to have the support of elected officials, community leaders, medical staff, and the large number of people who each day choose to come here for their care.  Highlights of our priorities follow, and will be further detailed in upcoming presentations and publications for our care team and community leaders:

  • By mid-year we expect to open our seven-story “West Wing,” the result of a multi-year modernization program designed to help us better serve patients.  The construction is on time, and on budget, which is a great accomplishment in any program of this nature, and even more so in the current environment.
  • We must find ways to take pressure off of an already taxed Emergency Room and the impact of the crowding on the flow of patients onto the inpatient floors of the hospital.  By the same token, we need to work more closely with our referring physicians, and our patients’ family members to create discharge process that is more timely and convenient for all involved.
  • We will continue to grow our medical staff and make it as simple as possible for those physicians to work with our hospital and participate in the care of their patients, both in the hospital and in their offices. Of major importance is the development of electronic medical records compatibility with physicians’ offices to include prescribing and access to NYHQ clinical systems.
  • Continuing to build on our performance measures in quality of care and outcomes is also a priority.  Over the past several years, we have risen to the top percentiles nationally in a number of core measures for quality care.  We need to now take this momentum and accomplishment in clinical care and use it to improve each patient’s experience by better meeting their communication and emotional needs.  In 2010, ensuring the satisfaction of each patient, their family and their physician will be front and center for each of our employees.
  • In terms of our clinical programs, we continue to invest in building the specialty services and procedures.  We know that primary care physicians and internists (and their patients) count upon us for access to high quality programs including cardiology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, vascular surgery, GI, as well as the continuum of women’s health services, and a full spectrum of cancer diagnostics and treatment.

Our team is ready to tackle 2010 head on, and our growth, optimism, and drive continues to attract like-minded professionals who share our mission.

Sincerely,


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

 

Program News

We achieved numerous clinical milestones in 2009 and implemented new techniques, technology and treatments—in some cases making NYHQ the only hospital in the borough to offer them.

Medical History in Cancer Treatment at NYHQ
A 58-year-old man recently made medical history at our hospital as the first patient in the United States to be treated for lung cancer through the use of radioactive pellets placed directly in the tumor.  Dattatreyudu Nori, M.D., chairman, Radiation Oncology, along Paul C. Lee, M.D., vice chairman of cardiothoracic surgery, performed a surgical resection of the tumor and then implanted the tumor bed with radioactive Cesium 131 pellets – in a new type of radiation seed implantation procedure.  Radiation seed implantation has been successful in treating prostate cancer, but had never been used to treat this form of aggressive lung cancer.  Today, the patient’s recovery is going well.

Innovative Cardiac Catheterization Technique Now Available
Our hospital is leading the way with an innovation that uses a small incision near the wrist to make a common, but often urgent, cardiac catheterization procedure easier for many patients. The radial (wrist) catheterization procedure has been shown in studies to lower bleeding and vascular complications from 58 %-73 %.   However, despite these statistics, the radial procedure is only used in the United States 1% of the time while it is used about 50% in Europe, Canada and Japan.

Chong Park, M.D., director, cardiology, and director, cardiac catheterization laboratory, now performs about 70 percent of catheterization procedures through the wrist. The radial approach results in reduced bruising, bleeding, and complications. Most patients can sit up and walk immediately after the procedure and may have a faster recovery period overall. NYHQ is one of a select number of heart centers in the U.S. that offer this approach—one that requires a high level of physician proficiency.

Heart & Vascular Center Celebrates a 100th Case
A special reception was held in December to recognize the achievements of our Heart and Vascular Center cardiac surgery team, which recently completed their 100th successful surgical case. The team is led by Samuel J. Lang, M.D., who rejoined NYHQ in March as chairman, Cardiothoracic Surgery.

New Orthopaedic Treatments Now Available Here
We are offering new orthopaedic procedures that are minimally invasive, allow shorter recovery times and can reduce the risk of infections and other complications. These procedures are only offered at select hospitals in the United States, and in Queens—only at NYHQ.

The procedures include joint resurfacing, which allows appropriate patients an alternative to total knee or hip replacement; robotic and computer-assisted knee replacement; and hip arthroscopy, a minimally invasive hip surgery. This procedure can provide an advantage for younger patients with arthritic problems and older active adults.

Our surgeons are also leveraging newer techniques that provide an effective alternative to traditional open surgery.  One of the most exciting of these techniques is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP therapy works by injecting a person’s own plasma into an injury site to re-create and stimulate the body's natural healing process.

The treatment has been shown to be effective and safe in treating stubborn injuries such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis and knee tendonitis.

Advancements in Gastrointestinal Medicine
The U.S. government estimates that gastrointestinal problems are the cause of hospitalization for more than 10 million people each year at a cost of nearly $40 billion.
The gastroenterology team offers cutting edge procedures that can provide quicker diagnosis and treatment and may reduce the need for surgery.

The Spyglass endoscope system allows physicians direct views of the bile ducts. In the past, the only way to see these ducts for the removal of stones or for cancer diagnosis was to inject a dye and take multiple X-rays. The Spyglass is a more effective way to provide diagnosis and treatment.

Double balloon endoscopy is revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of intestinal diseases. It allows for a more accurate view into areas such as the small bowel, which previously was hard to see, diagnose, and treat without performing major surgery.

HALO 360 Ablation Therapy System that enables treatment of Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition associated with acid reflux disease. With the aid of a standard endoscope, the HALO system can find the diseased tissue in the esophagus. HALO then uses short burst of energy to burn away the diseased tissue.

New York Hospital Queens faculty provides continuing medical training to our physicians, medical residents and fellows. Through community outreach, our clinical staff and employees help the general public learn more about health issues. 

Through Symposia We Help Others Expand Knowledge 
Three recent symposia were held for the continuing medical education of our physicians and those from the tri-state area. Our physicians and visiting presenters collaborated to host the Third Annual Pediatric Emergency Medicine Symposium, 6th Annual Thoracic Symposium: Diagnosis and Treatment of Upper Airway and Interstitial Lung Disease, and the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Conference. Each of these sessions were approved by the American Medical Association for continuing education credit for physicians.

Orthopaedics Lecture Program for the Community Coming Soon
The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation is hosting their first symposium for the public on January 25 in the hospital’s Lang Auditorium to share the latest information about arthritis, joint problems, joint resurfacing, non-surgical pain management, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Heart Month Preparations for February
New York Hospital Queens co-sponsored the American Heart Association’s Executive Breakfast, which served as a kick-off for the AHAs Annual “Go Red Day” initiative for American Heart Month in February. Hospital participants at the event included John Enright, vice president, Cardiac Services, and Debra Cohen, director, Community & Government Affairs. They joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and the “Go Red” committee as the start of this year’s initiative was announced in Queens.

Our hospital will have a full schedule of heart month events for the public, our physicians and employees, including our second annual symposium for the community, February 24 in our Lang Auditorium.

Our community activities strengthen our ties to our neighborhood and residents. By developing new relationships and building its community partnerships, the community learns more about the high-quality medical care available right in its own backyard.

Holiday Party for YMCA Children
We hosted a holiday party for more than 200 children from the Flushing YMCA and our pediatric services. The event featured entertainment, a visit by Mr. Met and a free gift from Santa Claus (performed by Frank Macchio, president, NYHQ Community Advisory Council). This year we opened the event to the children of employees, which was a big hit for our extended NYHQ family.


Presentation of Gifts to the U.S. Army

FreeMAT Delivers for the Holidays
In December, the hospital presented more than 600 toys to the 99th Regional Readiness Command of the U.S. Army. FreeMAT, a volunteer group of NYHQ paramedics and EMTs, organized the toy collection. Council Member and Comptroller-elect John Liu, Council Members-elect Peter Koo and Dan Halloran, and community leaders from Community Board #7, the Flushing Rotary, the Flushing Business Improvement District joined us for the presentation of toys to the Army. We are grateful to all who contributed to the collection effort. 

Speaking Out about Arthritis
Magdalena Cadet, M.D., director, Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation’s Spring Fashion Preview. Dr. Cadet addressed several aspects of arthritis, including the long-term management of the disease, for this foundation’s fundraising event.


People News

We are pleased to announce a the newly elected vice chairman of our Board of Trustees, new clinical leadership selections, and the 2010 president-elect of the American Trauma Society, New York chapter.

   Arthur Dawson, Ph.D., member of the NYHQ Board of Trustees since August 1998, was recently elected vice chairman of the Board. Dr. Dawson chairs the Board’s Major Modernization Committee and is a member of many other committees, including Executive, Audit and Corporate Compliance, Finance and Real Estate, Development, Patient Safety and Performance Improvement, and Risk and Claims Management.

 

His direct involvement with our hospital began 13 years ago when he became a member of our hospital advisory board. He already had strong ties to our institution through his father-in-law, Ned Arnold, a Life Trustee, who served our hospital for 40 years until his death in 2001.

Dr. Dawson was elected to the Healthcare Trustees of New York State Board of Governors in 2006 and serves on the Education and Advocacy committees. A vocal advocate against budget reductions in state health care funding, he represents our Board in Albany by meeting with legislators to make the case for more funding and sensible regulations. 

A graduate of Temple University with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, Dr. Dawson is a registered patent agent, is retired from medical supplier Becton Dickinson, and serves as an intellectual property consultant.

Additionally, Dr. Dawson is an elected councilman in his hometown of Glen Ridge, NJ. He is a founding trustee of the Glen Ridge Educational Foundation, and serves as its secretary.

Charles A. Mack III, M. D., director, Surgical Arrhythmia Program, was named director, the Cardiovascular Recovery Unit.  He joined our hospital in 2003 and is an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He has conducted research on a range of topics including the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and gene therapy; has been published in peer reviewed cardiovascular journals; and has presented papers at the scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Surgeons and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Lois Nembhard, R.N., B.C., M.S.N., new nurse manager for our Pediatrics inpatient unit, comes to us from Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, where she had served as the nurse manager of the pediatrics unit. She is a certified pediatric nurse. Her prior hospital experience includes assistant director of nursing, the pediatric unit, Elmhurst Hospital, and staff nurse, the pediatrics unit, Flushing Hospital. She achieved her master’s of science degree in nursing at Long Island University and bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from City College of New York.

Mary Ellen Zimmerman, R.N., trauma coordinator, a member of the executive board of the New York State American Trauma Society, was selected as president-elect of the organization for 2010.  She will become president in 2012.


We recently celebrated one physician’s lifelong contribution to patient care, as well as the merits of one employee, who serves as a model for each and every one of us. 


Robert Post, M.D., receives Theresa Lang Award

Robert Post, M.D., chairman emeritus of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, was honored at the Theresa Lang Dinner for his lifelong contributions to patient care and for hospital leadership skills that raised the bar for our OB/GYN program.  He officially retired from our medical staff in 2005, after 42 years of service. 

During his tenure as a leader of the department, he was involved in the establishment of three subspecialty divisions: Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; and Gynecologic Oncology. Those divisions carry on today as strong, vital programs that meet a great community need.

We are in the business of healing the sick. Clai Rocha, a cook who prepares patient meals, works in an area where we expect to keep germ free—the kitchen. And, in the 28 years since he has being working here, he has never taken an unplanned day off or a sick day. He’s structured his life with a focus on keeping healthy. He credits a positive mindset focused on wellness, a daily walking regimen and tai chi exercise for his healthy disposition.

Many of our physicians and clinical staff also serve as researchers and educators, and they publish and present their research for the benefit of the international medical community.

Pinchi Srinivasan, M.D., director, Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, presented his clinical research work titled “Value Of Sepsis Screen Evaluation In Neonatal Respiratory Distress Secondary to Transient Tachypnea of Newborn In Late Preterm Infants” in Hamburg, Germany at the 50th annual meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Research. The diverse audience consisted of top pediatric experts from around the world who gathered to discuss the latest developments in pediatric research, treatment and patient care.

A study by Amit Chandra, M.D., emergency medicine attending physician, Todd Mastrovitch, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine attending physician, and Michael S. Radeos, M.D. MPH, emergency medicine research director, titled “The Utility of Bedside Ultrasound in the Detection of a Ruptured Globe in a Porcine Model” was published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Sanjey Gupta, M.D., emergency medicine attending physician, briefed the membership of the FDR Democratic Club in Bayside, Queens, on the topic of H1N1 “Swine Flu” virus. Dr. Gupta was invited to speak to the club at the request of member State Senator Toby Stavisky.

Penelope Chun, M.D.,co-authored a publication in the December 2009 issue of Critical Ultrasound Journal entitled “Can emergency medical services personnel identify pneumothorax on focused ultrasound examinations?”

“A rolling stone gathers no moss,” is an expression that can extend to all those who continue to pursue academic achievements and continuous learning. We are proud to now call two of our physical therapists, “Doctor.” 

Alex Chandra, P.T., Ph.D., physical therapist, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, and Nicole Manfield, P.T., Ph.D., physical therapist, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, achieved their doctorates in physical therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y. The topic of Dr. Chandra’s doctoral thesis was “The effects of high-intensity, high-velocity exercise program following a total knee arthroplasty.” Dr. Manfield’s thesis was titled “Using the Nintendo Wii to improve upper extremity motor function and quality of life post stroke.”

PROGRESS

Emergency Department Awarded Grant for Clinical Research
The Department of Emergency Medicine was awarded a two-year Empire Clinical Research Investigator (ECRIP) grant to develop a clinical decision rule to predict occult hypoperfusion in potentially septic emergency department patients. The grant came as a result of a project developed by Jeffrey P. Green, M.D., Assistant Residency Director, Tony Berger, M.D., Chief Resident (Class of 2008), Michael S. Radeos, M.D., M.P.H., Research Director, and Nidhi Garg, M.D., Clinical Research Coordinator.

New patient rooms are taking shape

Major Modernization Update
We are drawing closer to the opening of the 190,000 square-foot (seven story) west wing, which will include two patient floors of 40 beds each and bring our total number of certified patient beds to 519. The new building will house an attractive main entrance for patients and visitors with a canopied, patient drive-up drop off. It will also feature an Ambulatory Surgery Center with 10 state-of-the-art operating rooms and the full spectrum Heart and Vascular Center service will be contiguously accommodated on one floor.

As for the progress of the construction, installation of the new service elevator cabs has begun. A New York City Department of Buildings inspection for the operation of the two new elevators was conducted on December 18.  A fire hydrant that would have interfered with the new drive-up patient entrance was relocated on Main Street. Con Edison electric tie-in to the main grid has been completed and the distribution of permanent electric service for the building is awaiting final inspection.

 


 

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