Tag Archives: New York Hospital Queens

Driver crashes into Queens auto body shop, killing 1, injuring 2

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A car slammed into an auto body shop near Citi Field Tuesday, leaving one dead and two injured.

The vehicle’s 52-year-old driver was heading southbound on 126th Street between 35th and 36th avenues around 11:40 a.m. when his 1992 Toyota Corolla rear-ended another car, said police.

After the impact, the Toyota veered across the northbound lanes into New Pamir Auto Body Shop, located at 35-01 126th Street. The car struck a pedestrian in front of the shop and two men inside of it.

All three victims were taken to New York Hospital Queens, said police

One of the victims, a 33-year-old who was standing in the auto shop, was pronounced dead.

The pedestrian, identified as a 30-year-old man, is in serious condition with severe body trauma. The third victim, 34, is in stable condition with body trauma.

According to published reports, the man killed was a worker at the auto body shop. Another victim and worker may have his legs amputated.

Both vehicles involved in the accident remained at the scene and the investigation is ongoing.



NYHQ ranked tops in maternity six years in a row

| MKirk@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Mitchell Kirk

For the sixth year in a row, New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) was awarded the Maternity Care Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a national health care rating company.

During a ceremony in the hospital’s lobby, NYHQ received the top two rankings given by HealthGrades for maternity care — the Excellence Award for being in the top 10 percent of ranked hospitals and the five-star rating for being in the top 15 percent.

“Awards are very important, particularly when you win one six times in a row,” said NYHQ president and CEO Stephen S. Mills. “Five stars from HealthGrades is a remarkable feat.”

HealthGrades currently rates maternity care for hospitals in 19 states based on several different criteria, including infant mortality rates and the number of complications that arise from deliveries. The information is evaluated from patient records by doctors and biostatisticians.

The ceremony garnered an appearance from Assemblymember Grace Meng, whose two sons were born at the hospital.

“I’ve had firsthand experience in how much this hospital deserves this award and I’m proud to represent it,” Meng said. She went on to describe giving birth at NYHQ as “an amazing experience,” praising it particularly for the orientation program it provides for new parents.

Members of the hospital’s staff said they plan on performing just as well in the future.

“We will continue to strive for a seventh time,” said Mills. Then, addressing the hospital staff sitting before him, he said, “Everybody in front of me deserves praise for the jobs that they do.”

Dr. Gary Eglinton, chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who accepted the award, agreed with Mills’ remark.

“It’s a matter of continuing to do more of the same,” Eglinton said, “as all members of the team particularly maintain focus on the patient and continue to provide safe, quality care.”


9/11 anniversary events around Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

New York Hospital Queens
There will be a 9/11 remembrance service with moments of silence and a salute at New York Hospital Queens Emergency Services Memorial Site located at Booth Memorial Avenue near the Emergency Room entrance from 8:40 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. on September 11.

Remsen Memorial Park
There will be a candlelight ceremony at Remson Memorial park at Alderton Street at 6:30 p.m. on September 11. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at American Legion Hall, 107-15 Metropolitan Avenue.

Bayside Hills
The Bayside Hills Civic Association will be holding a 9/11 observance on Horace Harding Expressway and Bell Boulevard at 7:00 p.m. on September 11.

Juniper Valley Park
There will be a candlelight vigil at Juniper Valley Park, between 77th and 78th streets, at 7:30 p.m. on September 11. Bring a candle and chair.

Astoria Heights
The United Community Civic Association together with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is having a 9/11 memorial candlelight vigil at McManus Memorial Park at 81st Street and Grand Central Parkway at 7:30 p.m. on September 12.

Stavisky and Messer face off in 16th Senate District debate

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Terence Cullen

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and opponent John Messer agreed job creation was a priority in the 16th State Senate District as the two stated their platforms and fielded questions at a Wednesday, August 29 forum before hundreds of residents in the district.

Despite agreeing on general issues such as employment, energy and bilingual signage, the six-time incumbent and Senate hopeful found themselves on opposite sides on gay marriage and charter schools.

The forum, held at New York Hospital Queens and hosted by Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association, was co-moderated by Queens Courier reporter Melissa Chan and a TimesLedger reporter Joe Anuta.

Plans for Willets Point would bring thousands of permanent jobs to the area, Stavisky noted, and economic activity to Queens. She went on to say that as chair of the Higher Education Committee, she’s pushed for private/public partnerships between colleges in the state and businesses — giving the example of the developing tech-campus on Roosevelt Island.

Messer, a small business owner himself, said the problem was that too many businesses were leaving the city, and state, because of fines and the inability to grow.

“We should be supporting our small businesses,” he said. “Most importantly we need a long-term strategy to keep our businesses here and stop sending them out of the state.”

At the same time, both said, albeit through different plans, that they would work on increasing minimum wage. Messer said he would propose a two-tiered approach: first increase minimum wage to $7.85; when the economy was better he would push to raise it to $8.50.

Stavisky said she is co-sponsoring a bill that would base minimum wage on consumer-price index.

“It seems to me that you can’t live on $15,000 a year,” Stavisky said.

Through the terse time each had to field questions from moderators, each faced boo’s and calls from the audience.

It especially became so when either answered a question that upset members of the increasingly rowdy crowd.

On gay marriage, Messer fielded first by saying that gay marriage was state law, but recognized that “many people in my district oppose…” The answer was met with boos, and the Senate hopeful sat down passing the microphone to Stavisky.

Stavisky, the first woman from Queens in the state Senate, said she supported gay marriage and was adamantly against discrimination.

“You can’t pick and choose who you’re against,” she said.

Charter schools, a recently debated issue in the city, were presented on both sides by the candidates. Stavisky, formerly a teacher, said she had seen research showing students at charter schools did not do any better than public school students.

“I am not a big fan of charter schools and I must be very honest, it is my opinion the mayor would like to see an end of public schools,” she said.

Messer, however, said charter schools had potential to ease the burden of overcrowding in schools and could create competition in the public system.

“Charter schools are an option where we can alleviate some of the overcrowding and also they make our public schools more competitive and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Messer said.

Democrat voters will decide on Thursday, September 13 if Stavisky or Messer will face off against Republican J.D. Kim. in the November 6 general election.

Star of Queens: Stefan Stanjevic

| GGiaconelli@queenscourier.com


Stefan Stanjevic
New York Hospital Queens

Community Involvement: Stefan Stanjevic is currently a volunteer member at New York Hospital Queens, where he is involved with the patient hospitality program. Stanjevic’s job at the hospital is to greet and converse with patients and ask them if they would like a book, magazine or newspaper. Stanjevic also works in the lab, mailroom and pharmacy in order to help keep the nurses and other health care professionals from having to leave the patients for deliveries.

Personal: Stanjevic originally lived in Ridgewood and eventually moved to Glendale. He attended Forest Hills High School and is currently a double major in biology and sociology at Stony Brook University. One of Stanjevic’s favorite hobbies is drawing, which he began doing in his senior year of high school.

“I try to keep with my hobby through college, but I find it difficult to make time” said Stanjevic. Before he started to draw he was a big fan of TV and the computer.

Currently he works for Hostess where he is a merchandiser/stock boy. This is his first “real” job and he feels lucky to have it.

Inspiration: When it comes to inspiring people in his life, Stanjevic finds a lot of them in his favorite TV shows. Stanjevic believes that characters facing extreme hardship or characters that are extremely altruistic really inspire him to be the same.

“You can always find at least one character in any of your favorite TV shows that makes you think, ‘I want to be just like that’ or ‘What they did was so kind, I wish to be more like that,’ and then you’re inspired,” said Stanjevic. “Especially when you’re growing and defining yourself, you can find inspiration to be the best version of yourself through something as simple as a TV show.”

He also says his parents set a good example for him.

Challenge: Stanjevic feels that the main challenges he faces are at school. The competition at Stony Brook is stressful. “You want to be above the curve, to ensure that ‘A,’” said Stanjevic. In one of his classes, it is all about being at the top of the class. “You could be third in the class of 20, but the only As that are given are to the first two,” he said.

Other than trying to do well at school, his other challenge is finding a way to deal with the stress that comes along with being in college.

Favorite Memory: Stanjevic’s recent favorite memory was going to Six Flags for the first time during the end of the summer before his freshman year. He had to be convinced by his friends to go due to his fear of heights. He recalls being on line waiting to go on the first ride and he was extremely nervous. When it was over he realized it was not so bad and that he actually enjoyed it.

“The day was filled with a lot of anxiety, but it was such a fun day and I really appreciated the support of my friends,” said Stanjevic.

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: Summerstage WR/Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue 

With over forty years in the music industry, their music and history transcends generations of pop culture and has a universal appeal to parents, grandparents, and children across the world. Also featuring DJ Felix Hernandez mixing in soul, Motown, funk, salsa and disco dance classics.

[Click here for more info or submit your events]

New $500,000 New York Hospital Queens Center for  Wound Healing at Silvercrest opens in Briarwood  

New York Hospital Queens and Silvercrest Center For Nursing and Rehabilitation celebrated the opening of the NYHQ Center for Wound Healing at Silvercrest with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 10. The new $500,000 center, at 144-45 87th Ave., in Briarwood, addresses the increasing need for more aggressive wound treatment for people with hard-to-treat chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers and radionecrosis, officials said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Queens high school principal Caril Hudson Jr. arrested for possession of methamphetamine 

A Queens high school principal was nabbed just a block away from his school when cops found a baggie of methamphetamine in his car during a traffic stop, police said. Carl Hudson Jr., 33, was around the corner from Flushing High School on Northern Blvd. about 8:35 p.m on Tuesday when police discovered the meth in the bag in the car’s center console, police said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Far Rockaway man pleads guilty to JFK luggage thefts 

A Queens man is facing three to six years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of thefts from passengers in the terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Wednesday that 46-year-old Frederick McDonald of Far Rockaway, N.Y., had pleaded guilty to grand larceny in connection to six thefts. Read more: [1010wins] 

Bicyclist killed in hit-&-run 

A cyclist was fatally struck in Queens last night by a speeding car whose driver fled the scene, cops and witnesses said. The victim, who was carrying a bouquet of flowers, was struck at around 10:50 p.m. at Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Place in Sunnyside. Read more: [New York Post] 


NYHQ wound center helps patients heal

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

CFWH Ribbon Cutting


Clarence McKay loves planting tomatoes, beets and carrots, doing yard work and other odd jobs around his home.

Unfortunately, a diabetic ulcer on his left foot means the 75-year-old retired hospital worker is unable to do the things he loves.

But that could change.

McKay has a better chance than ever at recovery thanks to New York Hospital Queens Center for Wound Healing at Silvercrest in Briarwood, which opened on June 26.

The facility features two hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers, the second facility in Queens to offer this type of therapy.

The project, located at Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, costs about $500,000, and helps patients with chronic wounds achieve high healing rates in shorter times. It is open to everyone in the community.

There are about 5 million people in the U.S. suffering from chronic wounds, and the number is rising, officials said.

“People are living longer and unfortunately there is a higher rate of diabetes and obese people in the country. I’m hearing about the cancer rate increasing and with that comes an increase in radiation injuries,” said Cari Dabak, the center’s program director.

Dr. Victor Chen, a specialist in wound care at the center, believes there is a current trend to open more wound care centers.

“Wound centers have a lot to offer,” Chen said. “Many will be at risk for amputation. And centers can offer an advanced level of care.”

While the facility treats all types of wounds, only 11 percent of patients qualify for hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment.

Examples of patients who benefit from the chamber therapy include those with diabetic wounds, and those suffering from soft tissue damage due to radiation treatment.

McKay is one of those patients.

During treatment, McKay lies down in the transparent bed-like chamber for about two hours a day, Monday through Friday. His treatment will last up to six weeks. In the chamber, patients breathing in 100 percent oxygen under pressure, about two times the regular atmospheric pressure.

Humans normally breathe air consisting of 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen.

“When patents come out (of the chamber), they say the feel ‘okay,’ ” Dabak said. “We check their sugar, lungs, blood pressure. . . and there can be some ear pain when you come right out. It’s like getting off of a plane.”

McKay doesn’t mind.

“I get to watch T.V. and they say I sometimes doze off,” he said.

After one week of outpatient treatment, McKay said he’s already noticing a difference. His pain has lessened and he sees more circulation in his foot.

“If I could get back to gardening and doing things around the house, well, I’d be jumping up and down,” he said.

The center is part of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System. Silvercrest Center is a 320-bed skilled nursing facility at 144-45 87th Avenue, Briarwood.

For more information about the center, call 855-480-HEAL.


NYHQ celebrates ER expansion

| sarahyu@queenscourier.com


New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) just keeps growing.

On Monday, June 25, hospital administrators and elected officials such as Senator Toby Stavisky, Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmember Peter Koo proudly cut the ribbon to celebrate the completion of the latest expansion of the emergency room.

Earlier this year, NYHQ celebrated the opening of its Urgent Care Center, which allowed the emergency department to expand community access to health care by making more beds available.

HEAL-NY (Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers), a state grant-funding program that supports the restructuring of New York’s health care system, funded the expansion of the emergency room and the completion of the Urgent Care Center for the hospital.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to open this emergency component and we were very fortunate to receive HEAL-NY money for this,” said NYHQ president and Chief Executive Officer Stephen S. Mills. “We try to take advantage of opportunities to provide more access for the population that needs it.”

To go along with the additional space, Marshall is giving NYHQ $300,000 from her capital budget toward the purchase of essential patient care equipment.

“We have increased the number of inpatient beds, have expanded community access to ambulatory care and opened a new urgent care center and today we cut the ribbon,” Marshall said. “I’m thankful to have this medical institution in the borough of Queens and I’ve continued to show my support and appreciation by awarding funding through my capital budget.”


NYHQ celebrates life

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

NYHQ 02w

Curtis Sliwa, radio personality and founder of the Guardian Angels, recalled being shot four times in 1992, then he told of his more recent struggle — prostate cancer.

Sliwa was the keynote speaker at the New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) Celebration of Life, which sought to bring together cancer survivors who were once patients of the hospital and are either in, or on their way to being in, remission.

The event featured cancer information talks from some of the hospital’s doctors on how far treatment has come, along with tales from survivors.

AN emotional Helena Falletta, who only three weeks ago had surgery for stage-4 lung cancer, told the auditorium of fellow survivors about her several bouts with different cancers and how the staff at NYHQ had been there every step of the way.

“Since 2010, I have been fighting every day of my life,” she said.

Janice Zaballero, who survived her bought with breast cancer about 15 years ago and now works to help those who cannot afford screening or treatment, also spoke about the strength every one of the survivors had in making it through treatment.

“And I say to all of you, we are amazing,” Zaballero said to a roar of applause.

Sliwa, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, said the disease was something men shy away from discussing. He encouraged all men age 40 and up to get PSA testing and be more open to discussing the disease.

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rangel, Long, Meng, Jeffries, Velazquez Declared Winners In Primaries 

According to AP numbers as of 12:30 a.m., Meng had 51 percent of the vote with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Assemblyman Rory Lancman had 28 percent, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley had 16 percent and Dr. Robert Mittman had 5 percent. Read more: [NY1] 

Rapper 50 Cent Involved in LIE Crash 

Rapper 50 Cent is out of the hospital after an accident with a tractor trailer. The accident happened just before midnight Tuesday on the Long Island Expressway. A spokesperson for the rapper, also known as Curtis Jackson, said he was treated for minor back and neck injuries at New York Hospital Queens. Read more: [NY1] 

Congregation Ahavath Shalom Synagogue in Forest Hills loses relics in burglary 

Religious artifacts were swiped from a Queens synagogue sometime in the past week, and the thief is still on the lam, cops said. The four objects — including a silver pointer, Torah breast plate, silver-coated plate and a ritual wine cup — were discovered missing Monday from the Congregation Ahavath Shalom Synagogue on 113th St. in Forest Hills, according to officials. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Students once again learn to cook with acclaimed chefs as web show ‘Culinary High TV’ debuts its third season

A Queens producer is in talks to turn a popular web series, that teaches at-risk teens how to cook in some of the city’s top restaurants, into a television show. The third season of “Culinary High TV” debuts Friday on the show’s website. Read more: [New York Daily News] 


Cancer center to become a reality at NYHQ

| sLieberman@queenscourier.com

New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) has begun the five-year process that will culminate in the opening of a new cancer center.

The project was put into motion by a gala benefit on May 30 that raised $1 million towards the expansion of the center. The benefit honored Prabha and Kanak Golia who, in conjunction with Dr. George F. Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Debra, spearheaded the movement.

“We would like a comprehensive center so that patients can have access to one location,” said Stephen S. Mills, president and CEO of the hospital.

The idea is to put the three modalities of cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation) under one roof so that patients will receive treatment in a more organized and expedient way.

In addition, the creation of the cancer center will bring new social workers and support structures for patients and their families. It will allow the hospital to generate clinical trials, fellowship programs and a major research program, as well as increase educational screenings for cancer prevention.

“We will have much more access to some of the latest and best drugs with the hospital system backing us,” said Dr. Barry Kaplan, NYHQ’s director of Medical Oncology.

Because of its location in the middle of Flushing, the hospital is faced with a unique variety of cancers needing to be treated. For example, it has created a center that is focused on the treatment of liver cancer, the most prevalent cancer among the Asian population.

“We want to give people the confidence that NYHQ is the place for them to get treatment,” said Golia.


Queens man hacks wife with meat cleaver

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

A Queens woman is fighting for her life after her husband apparently bludgeoned her with a meat cleaver. The 54-year-old wife fought with her spouse in their Flushing home on Parsons Boulevard, near Ash Avenue, before running out into the street at about 5:55 a.m., cops said. Kang Wang, 53, allegedly stabbed her repeatedly on the sidewalk, while her son tried to break up the fight, cops added. She was rushed to New York Hospital Queens in very critical condition.

Police arrested the husband at the scene. Wang has not been charged yet. Wang’s adult son used a 2×4 and chased the dad off his mother, police said. The woman suffered severe head wounds from the meat cleaver, which was recovered from the scene, police said.


Committed to excellence in health care

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

By Stephen S. Mills

President & Chief Executive Officer

New York Hospital Queens


New York Hospital Queens is strongly committed to providing our patients high quality medical care outcomes (results) and to constantly improving the hospital experience for patients and their families — right here in Queens.

Over the years, New York Hospital Queens has implemented performance programs that have resulted in many quality and safety improvements.

In 2011 alone, this hospital achieved results that include but are not limited to:

• Ranked in the top 10 percent by the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program for Orthopedic procedures (for low post-operative morbidity)

• Reduced re-admissions for pneumonia, congestive heart failure and myocardial infection by five percent; New York Hospital Queens reduced readmissions below the New York State average of 20.9 percent.

• Increased Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings in each of 10 domains, including communication about medication and discharge instructions; HCAHPS is the patient satisfaction measurement survey for acute care hospitals and is run by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

• Met or exceeded quality measures for end stage renal disease in our outpatient kidney dialysis center

• Improved nursing quality care outcomes, such as reduction in falls with injury and central line infections

• Achieved nationally recognized Excellence Awards for Maternity Care, and for Joint Replacement by HealthGrades

• Became one of the first hospitals in the N.Y.C. area to achieve a completely electronic health record throughout the Emergency Room and inpatient care units

• The adoption of an electronic health record system provides clinicians a longitudinal view — an easier chart view over the span of time— that can lead to improved patient outcomes—both in quality and safety—as well as a patient’s satisfaction with their care. Now, the hospital is in transition to an electronic health record system throughout multiple ambulatory care centers in the community as a way to improve continuity of patient care and provider communication.

In 2012, we can anticipate that there may be more quality reporting requirements by regulatory agencies and there is a constant need for staff education and training regarding patient safety.

Managing persistent issues such as infections – whether acquired in or out of the hospital – is extremely complex and requires constant vigilance and attention from both medical professionals and patients. An educated and aware patient and family are an important part of prevention and safety.


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

By Queens Courier Staff | 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