Tag Archives: hospitals

City to shell out $500 million to repair schools, hospitals damaged by Sandy


| brennison@queenscourier.com

To hasten the process of restoring city schools and hospitals to pre-Sandy conditions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $500 million emergency plan to repair buildings damaged during the storm.

The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation will receive $300 million while $200 million will be appropriated to the Department of Education.

More than $130 million has already been approved for emergency spending in disaster relief.

The announcement was made at P.S. 207 in Howard Beach, one of 23 school buildings that remain closed after Sandy.

“These school buildings and public hospitals are resources that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers rely on every day — and we are not waiting for federal aid to begin the work of repairing and re-opening them. This emergency capital spending is vital investment in our recovery and future,” Bloomberg said.

Comptroller John Liu said the city’s finances can withstand the payment, but that he will work to recover the funds from FEMA.

The city council will vote on the plan tomorrow.

 

Hospitals prepare for influx of hurricane injuries


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Hospitals across the city are ready for Hurricane Sandy.

“We know that [the storm] is for several days,” said Terry Lynam, a spokesperson for North Shore LIJ Health System. “This is going to cause some major challenges for us.”

The eastern Queens facility, linked with 16 city hospitals in the same network, raised its staff by 150 percent during the hurricane to accommodate an increase in storm-related injuries and those transferred from evacuated hospitals, including Eastern Long Island Hospital and Long Beach hospitals on Long Island. Providing extra beds and supplies for the expanded staff has provided a challenge, said Lynam.

To alleviate doctors’ schedules, all elective surgeries have been postponed and all non-acute patients were dismissed over the weekend, according to Lynam. However, the hospital’s emergency room has continued to see a steady stream of cases, including hurricane-induced falls and cuts. Lynam said that so far no serious injuries from the storm have been reported.

According to Atiya Butler, a spokesperson from Elmhurst Hospital, the western Queens medical center has stopped accepting patients from other hospitals.

“Things are ugly outside but calm inside” said Camela Morrissey, a spokesperson from New York Hospital Queens.

The Flushing hospital, which spent the past few days preparing for the storm, remains fully operational, following almost the same protocol as North Shore LIJ.

“You stop doing some of the non-essential stuff so that you have the potential to to the unexpected stuff,” said Morrissey.

When asked if she was concerned that patients might not get the service they need, Morissey replied “absolutely not.”

Queens Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: “Akeelah and the Bee” 

With an aptitude for words, 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is determined to spell her way out of South Los Angeles, entering scores of local contests and eventually landing a chance to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

[Click here for more info] or to [submit your own events]

UPDATE: Two arraigned after kidnapped man found in NYPD officer’s home 

A New York City Police Department detective has been suspended without pay as internal affairs tries to figure out if he was involved in a kidnapping scheme in Queens. Authorities say a 25-year-old man was kidnapped at gunpoint on Friday while walking down 234th Street and that his captors called people looking for a ransom. Read more: [NY1] 

UPDATE:Pals of cop involved in abduction come to his defense

Friends and neighbors are defending an NYPD detective suspended without pay after a kidnapped man was found bound in his home. Four men were busted in the home of veteran cop Ondre Johnson, 45, Friday after a call demanding a $75,000 ransom was traced there. Read more: [New York Daily News]

One man dead, one injured in Corona bar stabbing 

Two men were stabbed — one fatally — during a fight outside a Queens bar Sunday morning, police and witnesses said. The melee between several men erupted outside the Manila Bar and Restaurant on Roosevelt Ave. in Corona just before 4:30 a.m., said cops. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Mayor Bloomberg pushing NYC hospitals to hide baby formula so more new moms will breast-feed

The nanny state is going after moms. Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed. Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation. Read more: [New York Post] 

National Pastimes: Immigrants bring Kabaddi to Queens fields 

It looks like a good old-fashioned game of tag. But this is no traditional American game. It’s Kabaddi, a mix of rugby, tag and wrestling. It’s a favorite among Punjabi immigrants who play at Victory Field. “We have a lot of fun playing this,” said player Sembeep Singh. “That’s our cultural game.” Read more: [NY1] 

 

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.

 

Preventing Hospital Readmissions


| editorial@queenscourier.com

By Stephen S. Mills

As you may have heard in the news, recently-enacted health care reform legislation will assess penalties starting in 2013 against hospitals with higher than average readmission rates for certain conditions, such as heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. Reducing hospital readmission rates has emerged as a core strategy at both state and federal levels to reduce health care costs.

All hospitals need to work on reducing readmissions, because it is the right thing to do for patients. Most patients look forward to going home and staying there to recuperate. A readmission can have a negative impact on a patient’s health outcome, which affects the overall hospital experience.

New York Hospital Queens has been actively working to reduce preventable readmissions for several years. Over the past year, New York Hospital Queens has reduced readmissions below the New York State average of 20.9 percent.

Hospital Plan of Curbing Readmissions

To curb readmissions, New York Hospital Queens has a five-point plan developed by our medical team of nurses, doctors, case managers and community partners (such as the Visiting Nurse Service and local nursing homes).

• The medical team coordinates and prepares a patient’s discharge plan early during the patient’s stay and makes arrangements for after-hospital care.

• The medical team educates the patient and family by explaining medication information, such as which medications the patient will need, and the time to take the medication and the appropriate dosage.

• The hospital’s palliative care team counsels a patient and empowers them to communicate how they would like to handle future health care plans.

• New York Hospital Queens has a discharge phone call program that helps identify patients at risk for readmission. On those follow-up phone calls, nurses ask about patient symptoms. Nurses can identify patients who may think their symptoms are “abnormal” but in actuality, those symptoms can be expected, and vice versa.

• The hospital also identifies help the patient may need after discharge. Options may include going to a skilled nursing facility after discharge, getting in-home “visiting nurse” assistance, or, now, a new option, the “Transitional Care Unit” at New York Hospital Queens. The soon-to-open unit was developed for patients needing up to 20 days of post-acute care, which is run by a skilled nursing team from the Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

As illustrated, there are many ways for a hospital and a patient’s medical care team to reduce readmissions. However, this responsibility does not lie with the hospital and medical care team alone.

The patient, with the help of family, will need to closely heed discharge instructions, manage medicines correctly, abide by follow-up doctor visits and communicate concerns immediately back to the primary physician or hospital. Check if instructions given are complete and repeat-back those instructions to the hospital caregiver. Finally, ask, “Do I have this right?” and make sure the patient and family members know the danger signs to look for, so as to avoid an overreaction or underreaction.

New York Hospital Queens is strongly committed to providing our patients top quality outcomes and improving the patient and family experience—right here in Queens. By incorporating the hospital’s responsibilities along with patient/family responsibility in the after-hospital care of the patient, we hope to reduce the risk of readmission even further and make the patient’s health care experience more satisfying, with even better outcomes.

Stephen S. Mills is President &Chief Executive Officer of New York Hospital Queens

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/11/2011: Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes

William F. Boyland Jr., a Democratic assemblyman from one of Brooklyn’s most prominent political families, was acquitted on Thursday of conspiring to take $175,000 in bribes in return for using his influence on behalf of a health care organization that runs hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Barbara Sheehan sentenced to five years in prison

After dodging a murder conviction for the death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan has been reportedly sentenced to five years behind bars on a second degree weapons charge related to the case. Sheehan, who faced up to 15 years in prison prior to her sentencing, was acquitted of murder after a jury determined she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant, 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Councilman Pleads Guilty To Charges Stemming From 1996 Larceny Case

Just two days after winning re-election, a City Councilman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a 15-year-old larceny case. Queens Councilman Ruben Wills admitted to stealing items and damaging a Manhattan office building in 1996. The case will be closed without jail time or probation if he does three days of community service and pays $2,500 in restitution. Wills said the incident arose from a business dispute. An outstanding warrant was issued for his arrest after he missed court dates. Read More: NY1

 

10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for American Airlines Flight 587 on Saturday

Saturday, November 12 American Airlines Flight 587 10th anniversary memorial ceremony

Beach 116th Street, Belle Harbor – 9 a.m.

There will be a moment of silence at 9:16 a.m. at the time of the crash, followed by a reading of the victims’ names. The ceremony will be held at the memorial site, which was unveiled for the fifth anniversary. More Event Details: Queens Courier

 

Stalled Road Construction Keeps Forest Hills Residents From Getting Sleep

Forest Hills residents are complaining they cannot get any sleep because of the noise stemming from cars driving over a work site on 71st Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

City surrenders in long battle to turn historic St. Saviour’s site into Maspeth park

The city has given up its long fight to acquire the land where a historic Maspeth church once stood and turn it into park space. But the city and now looking into purchasing a City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) are smaller parcel of land from the nearby Martin Luther School as an alternative to the St. Saviour’s site. Read More: Daily News

 

Woodside monument honoring World War I heroes gets face-lift for Veterans Day

The majestic statue that stands at the foot of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Woodside was created to honor local soldiers who paid the ultimate price in World War I. The female figure, sword in one hand and shield in the other, stands sentry over the tiny plaza in the neighborhood formerly known as Winfield. Read More: Daily News