Health reform is very much in play along several pathways.
On the Federal level, a few judges have found the 2010 legislation
unconstitutional. The House has symbolically voted to repeal the
legislation, and the Senate voted not to repeal the legislation: all
along party lines.
The important point is that health care reform is law. The
regulations have to be finalized, which will drive change in the way the
law is implemented over the next several years. We will see more people
insured and more “pay for performance” initiatives at the acute care,
long term care, personal care and physician practice levels.
Most immediately, acute care hospitals across the country will continue
to experience reduced Medicare reimbursement. State budgets in New York,
California, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and others are experiencing
extraordinary budget “indigestion.”
Here, in New York, Governor Cuomo published his 2011-12 budget,
recommending landmark reductions in Medicaid funding. These onerous
cutbacks are partial corrective action for a $10 billion budget deficit.
At the same time the Governor has appointed a Medicaid Re-design Task
Force with representatives from every sector of the State healthcare
community, co-chaired by Michael Dowling, President and CEO of North
Shore/Long Island Jewish Healthcare System, and Dennis Rivera from the
1199 SEIU Healthcare United Workers union.
The Governor expects this Task Force to make recommendations to him by
March 1 with the goal of achieving a reduction in Medicaid funding of
$2.85 billion in 2011-12 and an additional $4.6 billion in budget year
2012-13. These State Medicaid funding reductions automatically trigger
the Federal Medicaid matching dollars—ballooning the total dollar
reduction of Medicaid funding for all programs to $15 billion over the
With this omnipresent background of impending dollar reduction, what
does this mean to each person who provides direct care to patients or
who works diligently to support patient care at NYHQ; or for that
matter, at all acute and long term facilities, home care programs and
other agencies in New York State?
At our hospital it means continued focus on providing the best care, the
best service to the satisfaction of patients and families. Delivering
excellence in quality, satisfaction and safety works to keep us strong
in two very important ways. First, it demonstrates to the population of
our region that the best care is right here; the most satisfying
experience is here for patients and their families and nobody needs to
leave this borough to receive the best care available. Second, it
requires that our team of focused staff, all work efficiently, every
day, 24/7, in order to provide the best care to patients.
No question that the next few years are a challenge for this industry.
NYHQ is fortunate to be able to offer the best care with the best staff,
and it's our team mission to ensure our future.
Stephen S. Mills, F.A.C.H.E.
PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS
It is an honor for us when our hospital and team members are
recognized by other organizations and when they attain professional
The New York State Division of the American Trauma Society awarded
Mary Ellen Zimmermann, R.N., B.S.N., the “Trauma Coordinator of
Distinction Award,” for her contribution to trauma care excellence in
Congratulations to Christine Hollowat, R.N., Mother/ Baby Unit,
on passing her R.N. nursing boards. She has served as an L.P.N. on the
unit since 2001. She has been a member of the NYHQ patient care services
staff since 1993.
We are pleased to announce the following appointments to our medical
and professional staff:
M. Gustafson, M.D., has made a
transition to full time attending
interventional cardiologist in the
Division of Cardiology. He had
served as a voluntary member of the
New York Hospital Queens medical staff
since 1994. Dr. Gustafson is
board-certified in both Cardiovascular
Diseases and Internal Medicine by the
American Board of Internal Medicine.
Richard Gasalberti, M.D., an attending physiatrist and pain
management specialist, joins our voluntary attending staff. He achieved
his M.D. at Ross University School of Medicine, West Indies. He
completed his general surgery residency at our hospital. He did a
residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Medical
Center and a residency in orthopaedics at the Hospital for Joint
Diseases Orthopaedic Institute. He is board certified by the American
Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
Jane Morris, R.N., clinical care coordinator for palliative care,
is an advanced practice certified hospice and palliative nurse. She is
working alongside Cynthia Pan, M.D., medical director, Palliative
Care. She comes to us from the Hospice Care Network in Woodbury, N.Y.
Winter Storm Perseverance
Mother Nature has left her mark on New York City this winter, and the
season isn’t over yet. We have experienced record snowfall levels.
Travel to work has proven difficult. But, through it all, we remained
fully operational for patient care 24/7. Christopher Calandrella,
M.D., an attending physician in emergency medicine, serves as a role
model for perseverance. When public transportation was unavailable, he
made it to the hospital to cover his shift by walking eight miles in the
snow from his home - it took him two and a half hours. We have heard a
number of stories of dedication. We are grateful to all of our medical
staff, employees and volunteers for their commitment to our
Update on Gynecologic Robotics Program
The Gynecology Robotics Program has become the busiest benign
gynecologic robotic service in the NYC metropolitan area. In May 2010,
we performed the first da Vinci assisted gynecologic procedure.
Subsequently, our program led by Kathy Huang, M.D., has provided
the robotic option to more than 100 women with strong outcomes—zero
conversions to laparotomy, zero transfusions, an EBL of less than 100 ml
and an average length of stay less than 6 hours.
Clinical Research Studies for HIV
New York Hospital Queens is participating in several clinical studies of
investigational treatments for people with HIV. The studies are being
conducted through our Special Care Clinic with the support of the Eugene
and Theresa Lang Center for Research and Education under protocols
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Enrolled patients
receive free medication and medical evaluation from our medical
specialists. Individuals and physicians can learn more about these
studies by calling (718) 670-2530.
February is “Heart Month”
As the Heart Hospital of Queens, we have made it our responsibility to
educate the community about preventing and treating heart disease. As
part of this, we celebrate “Heart Month” during the month of
Throughout the month, we are hosting events for the community to
spread awareness of heart disease risk factors and how to live “heart
healthier.” On February 4 at our “Go Red” event, employees and medical
staff, who gathered, dressed in red, for a large group photo as a show
of support for heart health awareness. For a comprehensive list of all
our “Heart Month” events, please download our complete
schedule of Heart Month events.
The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation has developed a
newsletter, Department News "Cast" that provides useful information
about orthopaedics and related services at New York Hospital Queens as
well as highlights on department progress, medical staff news and events
being held by the department. To view the newsletter, visit the Informational
page for the Department of Orthopaedics and
A Spring Night Gala Set for May 23
Please save the date for Monday, May 23, at the Lincoln Center for the
Performing Arts in Manhattan. That night we will host our annual
hospital gala with entertainment by Grammy Award winner and legendary
performing artist, Patti LaBelle. For more information, please
contact Julie Varghese, director, Special Events, firstname.lastname@example.org
or (718) 670-1564.
New Care Room Unveiled for Pediatric Patients
New York Hospital Queens welcomed New York Mets Jose Reyes
(shortstop), Josh Thole (catcher) and Terry Collins (manager) to the
Pediatrics Unit last month for the unveiling of the New York Mets-Themed
Starlight Site Care Room. The new care room is colorfully decorated with
New York Mets memorabilia, thanks to a sponsorship by the Starlight
Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT.
Mets players visited with children who were too ill to join the
festivities. Local elected officials also participated, including:
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, State Senator Toby Stavisky,
Assembly Member Grace Meng, Assembly Member Edward Braunstein and
Council Member Peter Koo. Mets TV was on hand to record the event as
were journalists from mlb.com (the Web news site for Major League
Baseball), NY 1 News, the Queens Tribune, Queens Chronicle, the Times
Ledger Newspapers and the Global Chinese Times.
Best Hospital of 2010
NYHQ was recently featured as one of the best hospitals of 2010 in the
Hospital Newspaper (December 2010), a regional industry publication. A
full page story about NYHQ included highlights from the opening of our
new West Building and featured the expansion of patient access to
high quality care in Queens.
Our Participation in Lunar New Year Events
Throughout the month of February we are celebrating the start of
“Year of the Rabbit.” Each Lunar New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of
midnight, we give the first baby a $1,000 savings bond from our
hospital. We will participate in the annual Lunar New Year
parade in downtown Flushing. Our other activities to
honor this festive time include dragon dancing,
singing, gift-giving and an Asian-style lunch to pay homage to
Implementing a “Medical Home” at NYHQ
Medicaid is a big topic in health care, especially here in New York,
where the governor is trying to close a $10 billion budget gap. Real
reform of the health care system is necessary. It requires strategy not
just deeper cuts. A promising approach, and not just a quick fix, is the
“Patient-Centered Medical Home” incentive program.
Since the enactment of health care reform legislation, the “Medical
Home” concept is being adopted nationwide as a model for health
care delivery. This concept was developed as a way to coordinate a
Medicaid patient’s care across the continuum of care – from wellness
and primary care services to hospital and subspecialty care, as
well as long term nursing or rehabilitation.
A physician leader and team of providers are responsible for management
of all aspects of a patient’s care, which encourages a robust and
endearing relationship between the primary care physician, the patient
and patient’s family. Care management is facilitated by information
technology and health information exchange to assure that at every point
in the continuum, all providers have real time access to a patient’s
As a result, the Medical Home model enables better coordination of care,
communication and a higher degree of responsibility for managing a
patient’s full spectrum of care over time.
We are well on our way to implementing the Medical Home model, right
here. Primary care access is a foundational tenet of the Medical
Home. In addition to more than 1,200 voluntary NYHQ physicians
throughout our entire market, many of them practicing internists, our
hospital has primary care centers in Queens. I’m
pleased to report that the National Committee for Quality
(NCQA) designated our Jackson Heights Family Health Center, which
provides primary care and medical services for adults and children, as a
Level 1 Patient-Centered Medical Home with accreditation for three
years. We are seeking Medical Home status for our other primary care and