March 2011

Dear Colleagues:

Earlier this month, I presented the annual State of the Hospital update to our employees and medical staff. We reviewed highlights from 2010, the impact of the changing health care landscape, and our plan to meet those challenges in 2011 and beyond.

We are particularly proud of several advancements that enable our hospital to provide even better quality care, and a safer, more satisfying experience for our patients. These include the creation of a formal palliative care program that offers patients and families a high level of communication surrounding pain relief and comfort - at any stage of a person’s life or illness. As well, our highly trained specialists in gynecology and urology are finding great success using state-of-the-art robotic technology for procedures.  

It is more important than ever that hospitals such as NYHQ have a clear focus and plan that balances the need to grow with the need to remain fiscally sound.  Our plan for 2011 and beyond is designed to help us create a nimble health care institution for a future that is likely to be even more challenging than today.  Our plan includes these priorities:

  • Improve the patient care experience, and outcomes (results) of that care, including measures of patient safety, patient & family satisfaction, and quality improvement in core clinical measures 
  • Complete the build of our Electronic Medical Record - use information technology to connect caregivers and patients in ways that increase quality, communication and outcomes
  • Physician integration - more closely align the hospital with physicians practicing in the community for the good of our mutual patients; this will strengthen loyalty and help us become more integrated with the primary care physician base
  • Maintain and improve financial viability and continue to manage a closely calibrated budget; as we plan for unforeseen challenges and push ourselves to do more with less, we will continue to make strategic decisions that will allow us to serve the greater Queens community for decades to come – as a hospital and employer of choice

As always, there is so much more happening here than we can possibly include in the State of the Hospital presentation.  We urge you to learn more by using our robust find-a physician directory, our calendar of events and educational programs, and our up-to-the minute news that can benefit you, your colleagues and our community. And as always, we ask our employees and medical staff to serve as ambassadors to help us spread the word about what is available right here and right now.


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

PS: A video presentation of the State of the Hospital message will be available on the hospital’s Intranet, NYHQNET (accessible within the hospital), by the end of the month. An update State of the Hospital session for the community is coming soon. If you missed the employee session, join us for the community meeting. Please look for future announcements for the date, time and location.


People News

We are pleased to announce the following appointments to our medical and professional staff:

David N. Rose, M.D., F.A.C.P., has been appointed chairman, Department of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and is board-certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Rose comes to NYHQ from Baystate Medical Center, in Springfield, Mass., where he was chief, General Medicine and Geriatrics, and vice chair, Department of Internal Medicine. In addition, Dr. Rose served as professor of medicine, Tufts University.

After achieving his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Dr. Rose earned his Doctorate in Medicine degree from New York Medical College. He completed his post-graduate training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan and did a residency in Preventive Medicine and Public Health at Mount Sinai Medical Center.  



The Department of Medicine welcomes two new physicians, Lingpin Hung, M.D., hospitalist, and Suja Johnkutty, M.D., A.B.P.N., attending neurologist. Dr. Hung is board certified in Internal Medicine. He is fluent in Mandarin and Taiwanese. He completed his internal medicine residency in 2009 and a geriatric medicine fellowship in 2010 at New York Hospital Queens. He achieved his M.D. from Chung-Shan Medical & Dental College, Taiwan.

Dr. Johnkutty is board certified in both Neurology and Psychiatry. She achieved her M.D. from State University of New York at Stony Brook. She completed her medicine and neurology residencies at Montefiore Hospital/Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. She completed a neuromuscular fellowship at Neuromuscular Institute/Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

The Department of Emergency Medicine welcomed Stylianos Velonis, M.D., the first physician to come to us from Greece as a result of the NYHQ Hellenic American Emergency Medicine Exchange Program funded by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Dr. Velonis achieved his medical degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School. The exchange program, directed by Michael Radeos, M.D., M.P.H., research director, Emergency Medicine and American College of Emergency Physicians’ Clinical Ambassador to Greece, seeks to teach Greek physicians how emergency medicine is practiced in the United States. The ultimate goal is to help develop the specialty of emergency medicine in Greece.

It is an honor for us when our hospital and team members are recognized by other organizations and when they attain professional achievements:

Cosmo LaCosta, senior vice president, Administration, received special recognition by Nirav Shah, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner of Health, the New York State Department of Health, for his 16 years of dedicated service as chair of the board, Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators. Mr. LaCosta retired from this board earlier this year. Commissioner Shah said of his service, “With your help, we have set New York’s health care system on a new course, one which will serve us well for the foreseeable future.” 





For the second year in a row, a gastroenterology fellow from NYHQ won a top award from the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the largest regional GI endoscopy society in the United States. Ellen Gutkin, M.D., gastroenterology fellow, was awarded the Dr. David B. Falkenstein Memorial Award for Endoscopic Research for “Pillcam ESO® Is More Accurate Than Clinical Scoring Systems in Risk Stratifying Emergency Room Patients With Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding.” Last year, Albert Shalamov, M.D., another of our GI fellows, was named the honoree.

In a recent editorial commentary in Clinical Infectious Disease, the journal published by the Infectious Disease Society of America, David L. Paterson, M.D., a prominent author, researcher and physician in infectious disease, credits New York Hospital Queens clinicians James Rahal, M.D., director, Infectious Disease, and Carl Urban, Ph.D., director, Infectious Disease Lab, for their pioneering work studying antimicrobial combination therapy. 

Congratulations to Alisha Rappaport, director, Child Life, Department of Pediatrics, for being named “Child Life Director” of the week (March 7-11), in celebration of Child Life Month in March by the Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT. 

Our physicians and clinical staff frequently present their work at national medical conferences and in peer-reviewed publications:

We are pleased to announce that the second edition of a book edited by Ken Ong, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical informatics officer, Medical Informatics: An Executive Primer, has been published by the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). HIMSS is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting a better understanding of health information and management systems. Additionally, Dr. Ong spoke at the Student Informatics Conference hosted by HIMSS in February regarding lessons learned while establishing a health care information technology system. 

Burton S. Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman and program director, Dental and Oral Medicine, presented a lecture in St. Lucia, W.I., on "Pre Malignant Lesions of the Oral Cavity." The audience included 60 family practice physicians and specialty physicians from the New York City and Philadelphia areas, as well as medical students from Spartan Medical School, St. Lucia.

Peter Wasserman, R.D., M.A., metabolic support, Infectious Disease, and Sorana Segal-Maurer, M.D., Wehbeh Wehbeh, M.D., and David S. Rubin, M.D., attending physicians, Infectious Disease, published an article, “Wasting Disease, Chronic Immune Activation, and Inflammation in the HIV-Infected Patient,” in the journal Topics In Clinical Nutrition.    

Dental resident, Lee Gherman, D.D.S., spoke to a class of pre-schoolers in Flushing about proper tooth brushing techniques and nutritious foods. He also addressed parents and teachers about children’s dental hygiene.

Steven Reichert, M.D., F.A.C.P., program director, Internal Medicine Residency, and director, Quality Assurance for the Department of Medicine, will present “Patient Care and Educational Innovations Evolving from a Hospitalist Program” at the national spring meeting of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. 

Program News

Grant for Horticultural Therapy Program for Children
The Child Life Division of the Department of Pediatrics was awarded a $2,000 grant from the Laura Vogler Foundation for the establishment of a horticultural therapy program in collaboration with the Queens Botanical Garden. The program will be used to teach pediatric inpatients and their families about growing, planting and the benefits of gardening. When a child leaves the hospital, they will leave with a planted seedling as a memento from their hospital experience.  

Pediatrics Department Seminar on Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The Pediatrics Department developed a seminar for parents, adolescents, children and pediatricians on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on March 16. The seminar includes presentations by the pediatric gastroenterology team, a registered dietician, exercise physiologist and a child life specialist.

NYHQ Launches Employee Wellness Program
A healthier workforce is a better workforce. Healthier employees have a better quality of life for themselves and their families. “Spring into Fitness” is a three-month fitness program for all NYHQ employees. Through an intra-hospital competitive challenge, the program will encourage employees to get moving and get in shape. The overall goal of the program is to reduce disability and worker’s compensation claims, the cost of benefits and the need for “backfilling” staff.

Save the Date: 2nd Annual Symposium on Bones, Muscles and Joints
On March 29, 11 a.m., in the NYHQ Lang Auditorium, our Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation staff will host its 2nd Annual Symposium with informative lectures on the prevention and treatment of bone, muscle and joint problems. The emphasis of this year’s symposium will be on hips and knees. The free event is open for the community, employees, medical staff, as well as family and friends. Register by calling (800) 282-6684.


Update on the NYS Medicaid Program
On April 1, the NYS Legislature will approve or reject recommendations by the Medicaid Reform Team (MRT) on how to redesign and restructure the state Medicaid program. Governor Cuomo charged the team with "reducing costs through program redesigns rather than traditional rate or formula reimbursement.” On March 1, the MRT submitted a package of Medicaid savings and reforms that contained 79 proposals. We are in favor of many of the MRT proposals and sent a letter to our state legislators to show our support

Educational Sessions about Physician Integration and Accountable Care Organizations  
We are looking at ways to more closely align the hospital with physicians practicing in the community and developing new models of care. 

  • Physician Integration Sessions: Members of our medical staff, the interdepartmental management team and Community Advisory Council are encouraged to join us for educational presentations by leading national experts on physician alignment and clinical integration. The first of several sessions was held in February. Three more are scheduled for April 4 at 6:30 p.m., April 5 at 8:30 a.m. (part of Medicine Grand Rounds), and April 5 at noon.  All presentations will be held in the Lang Auditorium. Southwind, a division of The Advisory Board Company, will lead the one-hour session on the pressures and trends driving physician/ hospital alignment, a synopsis of the various models of alignment and a focused segment on clinical integration as a potential solution. 
  • Program on Establishing an Accountable Care Organization: One hundred and fifty health care leaders representing the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester attended a Healthcare Leaders of New York (HLNY) program held at New York Hospital Queens to learn more about “How Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) Could Cut Costs and Improve Quality.” ACOs are integrated care systems with physicians and hospitals working closely together to handle patient care. Panelists included Kenneth J. Abrams, M.D., M.B.A., senior vice president, Clinical Operations, and associate chief medical officer, North Shore-LIJ Health System; Marc A. Bard, M.D., managing director, and healthcare chief innovation Officer, Navigant Consulting; and Stephen Rosenthal, M.Sc., M.B.A., president and chief executive officer, The Care Management Company, and corporate vice president, Network Management, Montefiore Medical Center. 

Our Visibility in the Queens Community

NYHQ Sponsors Queens Chamber of Commerce Event
New York Hospital Queens was a major sponsor for the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Queens Borough President’s breakfast featuring Borough President Helen Marshall. 

Community Lecture on Multiple Sclerosis
David Snyder, M.D., director, Multiple Sclerosis Center, New York Hospital Queens, presented a lecture about multiple sclerosis at the Annual Lions’ Symposium on February 20 at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. The audience consisted of members from the Lions’ Clubs from throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Following the lecture, he was presented a certificate of appreciation.




Health & Business Alliance Meets at NYHQ
New York Hospital Queens hosted a meeting of the Health and Business Alliance on March 4. More than 50 business leaders from Queens and Long Island gathered to discuss business leadership and health care issues. 

Lunar New Year Celebration
As part of a month-long schedule of events in honor of Lunar New Year, we held an event with lion dancing, kung fu demonstrations and Chinese calligraphy artwork that was attended by our local elected officials.  

Senator Toby Stavisky, Members of the Assembly Grace Meng and Edward Braunstein, and Council Member Peter Koo, as well as Peter Tu, executive director, Chinese Business Association were in attendance. The event was jointly sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.


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