Jamaica Hospital’s ER Earns Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to announce that its Emergency Department recently received Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Clinical ultrasound is the real-time performance and interpretation of ultrasound by a physician at the bedside to diagnose, monitor, and treat medical conditions.

Jamaica Hospital’s emergency department physicians are now trained to utilize ultrasound to guide them during complex procedures and help them expedite the correct diagnosis for many life-threatening conditions such as abdominal aneurysms, ectopic pregnancies, and internal bleeding. This diagnosis can be made within minutes, ultimately resulting in faster treatment and better patient outcomes.

Accreditation by the American College of Physicians indicates that Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Ultrasound Program meets the high standards set forth by ACEP in the Ultrasound Guidelines: Emergency, Point-of-Care and Clinical Ultrasound Guidelines in Medicine.  The hospital’s program has met ACEP standards in all areas including administration, performing and interpreting ultrasound examinations, and patient confidentiality and privacy

In addition, accreditation required the hospital’s emergency physicians to be credentialed in emergency ultrasound – a process that requires extensive training and continuing education. There are currently 11 emergency physicians who meet these requirements. They are:

Celine Thum, MD
Morgan Chen, MD
Abujeet Kaur, MD
Susan Philipose, MD
Shi-Wen Lee, DO
Melvin Ku, MD
Wing Tom, MD
Lauryn Ksoturko, MD
Iain Jeffrey, MD
Anthony Almeida, MD
Austin Choi, MD

Jamaica Hospital was one of only a handful of hospitals in New York State, and the only one in Queens to obtain ACEP’s Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation.  This designation is a testament to the continued high quality of care provided by Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Department.  According to Celine Thum, MD, FAAEM, Director of Emergency Ultrasound, “Point-of-care ultrasound is an integral part of how emergency care is delivered at Jamaica Hospital and has already had a positive impact on our patients. Our doctors have used this technology to identify emergent pathologies in patients, which has resulted in positive outcomes and lives saved.”

Geoffrey Doughlin, MD, Chairman of Emergency Medicine added, “We are proud to have achieved this accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians as it demonstrates that Jamaica Hospital is among the best in the world at delivering point-of-care emergency ultrasound.”

Angels on the Bay

On Tuesday evening October 15th, Angels on the Bay held their 24th annual Anniversary Ball at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach.

Angels on the Bay is a non-profit corporation, founded by the Russo family the proprietors of Russo’s On The Bay and members of the community to raise funds for children’s programs and health care services.  The organization’s primary goal is to help make a difference in the lives of children who are challenged by physical limitations, developmental disadvantages, and life-threatening diseases. To date, they have raised over $3.9 million dollars to help these causes.

This year, Flushing Hospital Medical Center and other hospitals within our region were awarded checks to support initiatives that provide care to pediatric patients.

Over the years, Jamaica and Flushing Hospital Medical Center have received a total of approximately $720,000 in donations from Angels on the Bay.

We thank Angels on the Bay for their generosity and support.   The MediSys Health Network looks forward to continuing our mission to improve the lives of our pediatric patients.

Jamaica Hospital’s Dr. Gina Basello Receives National Caregiver of The Year Award

Dr. Gina Basello, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Vice-Chairperson and Residency Program Director of Family Medicine and Associate Director of the Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship, was recently presented with the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award.

The award was given to Dr. Basello at the conclusion of the Schwartz Rounds and came as a complete surprise.

According to the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care, the pioneering organization of the Schwartz Rounds, “Finalists represent healthcare professionals who make a profound difference through their unmatched dedication to compassionate collaborative care.” Dr. Basello was recognized for demonstrating a high level of compassionate care to patients and her devotion to creating “psychologically safe” spaces for healthcare providers to reconnect with themselves and the hospital’s mission.

Dr.  Basello’s passion for engaging patients and families in a culturally sensitive and person-centered manner is often reflected in her efforts to nurture the next generation of compassionate physicians.  Members of her team consistently receive high patient experience and satisfaction scores.

As a staunch advocate for providing a platform where healthcare workers can share their experiences in a supportive environment, Dr. Basello serves as a program moderator for the Schwartz Rounds at Jamaica Hospital.  The program was adopted by the hospital as part of its initiative to provide employees with a forum in which they could openly discuss emotional and social challenges encountered while caring for patients.

We recognize Dr. Gina Basello for all her achievements and congratulate her on receiving this well-deserved award.


Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) employees hit another grand slam last month, at their Third Annual Softball Tournament and Family Day.

Employees from  Flushing Hospital participated in playing ball, volunteering, cheerleading or just being a spectator. Teams of players from Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Healthfirst also participated in the day’s activities.

The event took place at Cunningham Park where employees and their families were treated to a delicious BBQ,  home-cooked specialties, face painting, balloons and healthy snacks.

“I take great pride in organizing this event.  It’s getting bigger and better each year. This year, even the weather cooperated! Coming together as a team is a true moral builder.” stated Rob Arbitello, the event organizer.

FHMC leaders Bruce Flanz; President and CEO, Robert Levine; VP and COO, and Catherine Ferrari; Administrator, were, as always,  on hand to watch the game and encourage the teams, They joined employees’ family members in cheering for every run scored.

“I want to thank our hospital’s Administration for their support. Knowing they were on the sidelines really meant a lot.  The event takes time to prepare, but it is a labor of love.” stated Rob Arbitello. “Healthfirst is a true partner in this event and they are this year’s Champs!”

The Third Annual Softball Tournament and Family Day was an even bigger success than last year’s tournament.  The hospital is looking forward to the 2020 gathering and games.

In The News: Flushing Hospital’s Dr. Chad P. Gehani Elected President of The American Dental Association

Founded in 1859, the American Dental Association (ADA) is our nation’s oldest and largest dental association.  For more than 150 years the organization has been known nationally and internationally as the leading resource for all things related to oral health. Many of the oral care guidelines we are familiar with today were established by the American Dental Association and hundreds of dental care products that we use proudly bear the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance as a symbol of quality assurance.

Recently chosen to lead this globally recognized and influential American institution is Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s own Dr. Chad P. Gehani, Chair of Endodontics. Dr. Gehani was elected as the 156th President of the American Dental Association in September.

As President, Dr. Gehani describes his role as a servant-leader.   He will lead close to 200,000 members of the ADA while advocating for patients’ rights to access quality oral healthcare.

In addition to serving as President of the ADA, Dr. Gehani will continue to serve as a teacher and mentor to dental residents at Flushing Hospital.  “My religious place is teaching at the hospital,” shared Dr. Gehani in a recent interview with NY1 News.

“We are proud to have Dr. Gehani as Chair of Endodontics at Flushing Hospital and just as proud that he has been elected President of the American Dental Association.  Dr. Gehani abides by a strict code of ethics which is reflected in the work that he does.  He is community-oriented which is the culture promoted here at our hospital,” said Mr. Robert Levine, Executive Vice President and COO of Flushing Hospital. As Chair of Endodontics for the hospital, Dr. Gehani’s goal is to offer high-quality dental services to patients and provide resources that will benefit the community.

Each year, Flushing Hospital collaborates with the American Dental Association to promote the Give Kids a Smile Program, providing a day of free preventative dental care to children in the community.   The hospital’s dental department also offers free dental screenings, oral cancer screenings, and oral health education in schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and several local organizations.

Celebrating World Breast Feeding Week

During the summer, Jamaica Hospital and Flushing Hospital Medical Center joined a worldwide initiative to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s slogan was: Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding Now and for the Future.

Jamaica and Flushing Hospital raised awareness by holding a series of events such as hosting educational tables in the main lobby of each hospital to promote breastfeeding, participating at Jamaica Hospital’s farmers market, visiting libraries, and speaking at “Mommy and Me” classes about the importance and benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

Educating and supporting families about their choice to breastfeed is a long-standing priority at Jamaica and  Flushing Hospital. Each hospital provides breastfeeding classes and support groups to their communities and offers a Mother’s Nursing Room- a private room for mothers to breastfeed or express milk.  These rooms are located on the ground floors of the hospitals’ main lobbies.

Jamaica and Flushing Hospital are proud to be the recipients of the Baby-Friendly USA Designation.  The Baby-Friendly designation is a globally known and prestigious recognition awarded to our hospitals because we uphold the highest quality breastfeeding and maternal care guidelines.  The designation is only awarded to organizations that demonstrate a full commitment to providing the best possible support for breastfeeding mothers and ensuring a high quality of mother/baby care.

Family Medicine Mission to Kenya

On August 21st five physicians from Jamaica Hospital’s Family Medicine Department departed on a ten-day mission to Lare, Kenya as part of a coordinated medical effort.  The medical team was led by Dr. Kamica Lewis and Dr. Maria Perfetto-Tullo and also included three third-year residents,  Dr. Andrew Flowers, Dr. Melissa Bhikham and Dr. Colleen Hautzinger.

Lare is a small community located 4 ½ hours away from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The town does not have a hospital, only a small clinic, a medical assistant and a few midwives who provide care to the approximately 10,000 people who live in this area. The clinic is where people come to for most of their medical needs, but for more serious cases they must be transported by car or ambulance to the nearest hospital which is over an hour away.

In the short time that Jamaica Hospital’s medical team was in Lare, they treated over 1,000 patients. Some of the medical care provided included wound care, OMT, suturing, laceration repair and management of chronic illnesses such as unstable HIV, seizure management, diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Dr. Lewis estimates that 35% of the cases they treated were ER worthy.

The opportunity to send our Family Medicine team was made possible by former Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Dental program graduate, Dr. Joseph Pantaleo, who organized the trip. Dr. Pantaleo and Dr. Lewis are both graduates of St. Francis Prep in Queens. The school is run by Franciscan Brothers. They have a sister school in Lare, Kenya and that is how this community was selected as a place to provide medical and dental care.

The team also provided educational classes to the students at the high school in Lare.  In addition to providing care to the people that they saw, they also helped to get the government of Kenya to fund the rebuilding of a medical clinic which has vastly improved the conditions for the medical providers.

Dr. Lewis finds this work very rewarding. She has participated in 12 overseas medical missions and intends to continue to increase the program. A Grand Rounds is being planned in the Fall to present the findings of the most recent trip.

Flushing Hospital Receives Grant To Continue Efforts To Prevent Congenital CMV

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that can affect people of all ages. In fact, over half of all adults have been infected with CMV by the age of 40, but in most healthy adults, the immune system will prevent the virus from causing illness while some may experience mild symptoms such as fever or sore throat.

Although CMV is not considered a serious problem for most, when CMV is passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child, this is referred to as congenital CMV. One out of every 200 children are born with congenital CMV each year, making it one of the most common viral infections in the United States. While 10-15% of infants with congenital CMV have clinical symptoms at birth, some babies with congenital CMV without clinical symptoms at birth develop health problems later in life. Children born with congenital CMV may develop permanent medical conditions and disabilities, such as hearing loss detectable after birth or even later in life, developmental and motor delay, vision loss, and seizures.

Understanding the importance of preventing congenital CMV, Flushing Hospital Medical Center recently initiated a newborn screening protocol for all babies born at the hospital who are suspected of having a hearing impairment. This screening program is interdisciplinary as it involves the coordinated efforts of the Pediatric, Neonatology and Audiology Departments. If a suspected newborn is diagnosed with congenital CMV, the hospital can provide referral to Early Intervention, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Pediatric ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat specialists) to help improve complications associated with hearing loss and other potential neurological and developmental outcomes.

In addition to the screening program, Flushing Hospital has also concentrated its efforts on providing education and support to the community about CMV.  The hospital now also offers multi-lingual materials explaining how to prevent infection during pregnancy as well as early warning signs for CMV in newborns. This information is available in the prenatal and pediatric outpatient waiting areas of Flushing Hospital.

For their efforts, Flushing Hospital was recently awarded an $8,000 grant by the National CMV Foundation. Flushing Hospital is one of only three hospitals nationally to receive this grant.   With the additional funds, the hospital plans to increase awareness through a series of community-based and digital initiatives.

Thank you to Dr. Shirley Pinero-Bernardo, Vice-Chair of Pediatrics, Dr. Lourdes Cohen, Director of Neonatology, and Maria Smilios, Director of Nursing-Maternal and Child Services and their staff for organizing this effort and improving the outcomes of patients and families with congenital CMV.

Congratulations To This Month’s Jamaica Hospital GEMS

Every month, employees at Jamaica Hospital who go above and beyond to help coworkers, patients and visitors are nominated for the G.E.M award.

G.E.M stands for Going the Extra Mile and recipients are recognized for their hard work, team spirit, kindness, and professionalism.

This month’s G.E.M recipients are:

Frank Block – Security

Ana Pacora – Administration

Congratulations to you both. Keep up the excellent work in helping us to serve our community.

Flushing Hospital Receives Healthgrades 2019 Women’s Care Excellence Awards

Healthgrades, a leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, recently revealed its list of recipients for their 2019 Women’s Care Excellence Awards – and Flushing Hospital Medical Center is among the privileged and few recipients.

These awards recognize hospitals across the nation that demonstrate exceptional outcomes and excel in women’s healthcare services. The awards were broken down into three separate categories, including:

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award – This award highlights hospitals for exceptional clinical outcomes while caring for women in childbirth, as well as during and after gynecologic surgeries and procedures.
  • Labor and Delivery Excellence Award – This distinction recognizes the top 10 % of all hospitals evaluated for the exceptional care provided to mothers during and after labor and delivery.
  • Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award – This award recognizes the top 10% of hospitals evaluated that provided outstanding performance in gynecologic surgery, including hysterectomy and surgery related to the female reproductive system.

Flushing Hospital received all three awards and was the only hospital in Queens to receive the Gynecologic Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence awards.

According to Maria Smilios, Director of Nursing, “Flushing Hospital has done many things that have contributed to earning these awards, including creating standards to prevent inducing labor before 39 weeks gestation to reduce the chances of complications at birth.” Maria added that “providing our patients with continuity of care throughout their pregnancy and stressing the importance of maintaining proper prenatal care have also been major factors in our success.”  Other reasons to cite the hospital receiving these accolades include having dedicated gynecologists and gyn specialists on staff, as well as the addition of the daVinci robotic surgical system,  which has improved gynecological surgical outcomes for Flushing Hospital patients.

Approximately 3,000 babies are delivered at Flushing Hospital every year. The gynecology division performed over 1,500 procedures in 2018 and the hospital’s Women’s Health Center had nearly 14,000 outpatient visits last year.

“We are honored to receive these awards” stated Dr. Hajoon Chun, Chairman of Ob/Gyn at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. “It signifies the hospital’s dedication to providing the highest quality care to women in our community and is another example of why Flushing Hospital is the hospital of choice for so many seeking obstetrical and gynecological care.”

Congratulations to all of the physicians, nurses, and support staff responsible in earning this recognition.