Tag Archives: Flushing Hospital Medical Center

Flushing fifth-grader dubs $2M surgical robot ‘Leonardo Jr.’


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

The subject of this christening ceremony has a circuit board.

Fifth-grader Karla Barreta from Flushing’s P.S. 22 won a school-wide contest to name the newest da Vinci surgical robot at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. The final pick was selected by Flushing Hospital’s robotic surgeons and administrators, with “Leonardo Jr.,” beating out a flood of other submissions.

“I feel very proud of myself and also very excited because I’m representing my school and my class,” said Barreta.

Children from Barreta’s class were invited to enjoy a celebration with pizza donated from Trattoria 35 in Bayside, and a live demonstration of how to work the machine. Each child then got a chance to sit in the operating chair and experience what it would be like to perform surgery with the help of the $2 million robot.

“Some of the kids were so keenly absorbing every word that was being said about the robots. They’re fascinated by it,” said class teacher Jennifer Kim. “I can see some future surgeons in this class, I really can, and I think today’s experience is really going to cement that.”

The robot is used in the new robotic surgery division that opened at Flushing Hospital in October 2014. It can be useful in a wide array of different types of surgery, including general surgery, gall bladder procedures and bariatric surgery, among others.

“It’s a tremendous asset,” said Dr. Roberto Cantu Jr., who added that time with the machine is especially sought after because it is the only one of its kind owned by the medical facility. “There are certain situations in which it is the standard of care.”


According to the robot’s informational website, the da Vinci surgical system aims to enable surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control with the use of a magnified 3-D high-definition vision system and tiny instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. As a result, surgeons are able to operate through fewer and smaller incisions which can result in less blood loss and faster recovery times.

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Translation services company to open up first NYC office in Flushing Plaza


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Muss Development

Translation services company CyraCom has signed a 12-year lease for a ground-floor spot in the office and retail building Flushing Plaza.

The Arizona-based company, which provides translation services for healthcare industry clients, will occupy a 23,000-square-foot space, which it expects to open this summer.

It will be the first location in the city for CyraCom, which was represented by CBRE in the deal.

The nearly 270,000-square-foot Flushing Plaza is owned by Muss Development, and already houses a mix of tenants from Time Warner Cable and HSBC Bank to the New York State Department of Labor and Dunkin’ Donuts, among others.

Muss believes the incoming company will do well in the growing Asian community, partly because of nearby hospitals.

“The building’s close proximity to several major hospitals and medical centers, including New York Hospital Queens and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, also makes this an ideal outpost for the growing company,” said Muss Development Principal Jason Muss.

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Queens hospitals failing on patient safety, according to report


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Queens hospitals are well below the national average in patient safety according to a recent Consumer Reports investigation.

The report from the consumer advocacy group rated New York City-area hospitals in four measures of patient safety and found only five — none in Queens — above the national average.

The highest rated hospital in the borough, New York Hospital Queens, came in 43 percent below the national average.

“New York Hospital Queens is strongly committed to providing our patients high quality medical care outcomes and to constantly improving the hospital experience for patients and their families,” said Stephen S. Mills, the hospital’s president, adding there is a constant need for staff education and training regarding patient safety.

The safety measures rated were hospital infections, readmissions, discharge instructions and medication instructions.

“New Yorkers often assume that they have access to some of the best health care in the world,” said John Santa, M.D., director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “And in some ways they do, with many leading physicians and state-of-the-art facilities in the area. But our analysis suggests that, when it comes to patient safety, New Yorkers often receive sub-standard care.”

More than 1,000 hospitals were rated nationwide. Thirty hospitals in the New York City-area were in the bottom five percent, according to the survey.

The other Queens hospital measured were:

– St. John’s Episcopal Hospital-South Shore was 48 percent below the national average.

– Flushing Hospital Medical Center was 52 percent below the national average.

– Jamaica Hospital Medical Center was 57 percent below the national average.

– Forest Hills Hospital was 62 percent below the national average.

Forest Hills Hospital ranked third lowest in the greater New York area and all five Queens hospitals rated fell in the bottom third.

“Whenever information contained in the various ‘hospital report cards’ identifies a quality issue, we are already aware of it and working aggressively to resolve it,” Forest Hills Hospital said in a statement.

This is done routinely to provide the best patient experience possible, hospital officials said, adding it has experienced significant improvement in all quality metrics and they are confident this will be “reflected in the results of the next reporting period.”

Four borough hospitals — Elmhurst Hospital Center, Peninsula Hospital Center, Queens Hospital Center and the Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens — were not rated due to a lack of data.