Jamaica Hospital Cuts The Ribbon To New Orthopedic Surgery Center

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center cut the ribbon for its new Orthopedic Surgical Center not once, but twice on Thursday, November 11th.

Due to COVID sensitivities, festivities for the new orthopedic surgery center, located on the ground floor of the hospital’s Axel Building, were broken down into two separate events to allow for a maximum number of participants.

Those in attendance listened as Jamaica Hospital CEO, Bruce Flanz congratulated current and past Chairmen, doctors Sanjit Konda and Nader Paksima for their dedication to building one of the premier orthopedic surgical programs in the area and remarked on how proud he is to finally fulfill a promise made 23 years ago to build an ultra-modern facility to match the world-class care offered by our orthopedic surgeons.

Mr. Flanz went on to thank Jamaica Hospital’s Engineering team, who did an amazing job in completing the construction of the center using entirely in-house talent. Dr. Konda and Dr. Paksima echoed their appreciation of not only our Engineering Department but also hospital administration, finance and supply chain departments, as well as the many others who helped make their dream of building this center a reality.

After the speeches were over and the ribbon was cut, guests had an opportunity to tour the 4,800 square-foot facility, which features eight exam rooms, two procedure rooms, a cast room, and a state-of-the-art imaging room which will allow our orthopedic surgery team to provide on-site treatment for adult and pediatric patients seeking care for hip and knee replacements, sports-related injuries, upper extremity injuries, fractures, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, just to name a few. 

The new orthopedic surgery center is scheduled to officially open to patients in the very near future.

To see a montage of remarks from both ceremonies, click here:

Jamaica Hospital Trauma Service Highlighted By Local Media

Dr. Katherine McKenzie, Medical Director of the Trauma Program at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center recently shared her experiences over the course of the last year with a reporter at NY 1 News.

During the interview, Dr. McKenzie explained how Jamaica Hospital, like many other hospitals in New York City was confronted by two health crises in 2020.  The first is obviously COVID-19, but the other that had a major impact on Level 1 Trauma Centers such as Jamaica Hospital’s, is the drastic rise in gun violence.

Dr. McKenzie explained how she, and her fellow trauma surgeons were deployed during the height of the pandemic to treat COVID positive patients in Jamaica Hospital’s ICUs, a job that they were able to perform due to their critical care training.  As the first wave subsided and fewer patients were hospitalized due to the virus, the trauma team then refocused their attention to treat an increased amount of patients suffering from penetrating wounds, such as stabbings and gun violence. Since the late spring, the number of trauma patients with such injuries at Jamaica Hospital has nearly doubled.

During the interview, Dr. McKenzie took the reporter on a tour of the Emergency Department’s trauma bay and one of the O.R. suites dedicated to the trauma service.

Thank you to Dr. McKenzie and the entire trauma team for the valuable service they provide to our community.

To see the full segment, click here:

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.”

Jamaica Hospital Receives Stroke Center Designation

Stroke Center is Jamaica New YorkJamaica Hospital recently became a designated Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center,  an advancement in stroke care brought on by the evolving stroke system of care in New York City. This designation was received from the Department of Health, in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) Mission: Lifeline Project Stroke initiative. This designation signifies that Jamaica Hospital has met the rigorous standards for performing mechanical endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), a specialized surgical procedure used to remove a blood clot from the brain during an ischemic stroke.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States but remains to be the number one cause of disability. More than 87 percent of cases are ischemic strokes caused by a clot that cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain. These types of strokes are largely treatable if a patient gets to a hospital that can provide the right treatment in time.

Having this designation demonstrates that Jamaica Hospital is qualified to perform an EVT for all patients who experience a large vessel occlusion (LVO), which is an ischemic stroke that results from a blockage in one of the major arteries of the brain. Prior to having this certification, patients in the 911 system would have to bypass Jamaica and be brought to a thrombectomy-capable hospital, which could delay care and affect outcomes.

Now these procedures can be performed in Jamaica Hospital’s interventional lab.  Jamaica Hospital is one of only three hospitals in Queens to have this designation, meaning the hospital will be responsible to provide stroke care to patients throughout the borough and possibly beyond.

Receiving this designation was a major accomplishment that required a great deal of hard work by many.  Jamaica Hospital needed to meet strict guidelines, to receive this designation, including committing to neuro-interventional coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  In addition to securing around-the-clock coverage, the hospital had to train a number of our medical, emergency department, anesthesia, and nursing staff on new treatment protocols.  Abigail Hasan, Stroke Coordinator added, “The acquisition of the biplane unit in our new interventional suite was key in earning this designation. This technology allows our staff to see cleaner and more accurate images of the neurological anatomy, which results in better outcomes.”

Since earning this designation, the hospital team has already responded to many cases with positive results. Abigail recalls a particular case where a patient arrived partially paralyzed due to a stroke and thanks to the efforts of our team regained functionality and was able to eventually walk out of the hospital on their own. “It was truly a great save. The ability to reverse the disability and regain the quality of life inspires our efforts to get stroke patients where they need to be as quickly as possible.”

According to Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO of Jamaica Hospital, “We are very proud to have earned the Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center designation. This is yet one more example of Jamaica Hospital’s commitment to providing high quality, person-centered care to our patients.”

Jamaica Hospital Receives Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation

The average American is living longer now than ever before, and while this is very good news, it does require the healthcare industry to adapt to caring for a growing senior population.

Senior citizens utilize the hospital system at higher rates than non-seniors and they often require treatment for multiple chronic conditions. While seniors make contact with the healthcare system at many different points of care, the place where they most often receive their care is in the Emergency Department.

Understanding the special needs of its geriatric patients, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Emergency Department has made many special accommodations to treat them. In recognition of their efforts, the hospital recently received a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Jamaica Hospital is the only hospital in Queens to receive this accreditation.

“By receiving this designation, Jamaica Hospital has demonstrated a commitment to addressing the specific healthcare needs of our older patients,” stated Dr. Shi-Wen Lee, Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Jamaica Hospital.

To achieve this accreditation, Jamaica Hospital had to meet many criteria, including ensuring that physician and nursing staff receive focused education in geriatric emergency medicine. This training is aimed to help providers better understand and address the complex social and physical challenges of the geriatric patient.

In addition to receiving focused education, the hospital also needed to implement geriatric emergency care policies and guidelines, ensure geriatric patients received access to specific equipment and supplies, and even make accommodations to the emergency department’s physical environment.

According to Dr. Nathan Washburn, ER attending integrally involved in the accreditation process, “The process to achieve this designation was not an easy one; it required hard work and dedication by many, but ultimately we feel that it displays a commitment to elevating the level of care we provide to our geriatric patients.”

Jamaica Hospital Receives Patient Safety Award

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center recently received the Patient Safety Award at the opening of the 2020 Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) Learning Collaborative Spring National meeting, held in Chicago on May 3rd and 4th, 2019.

Stephanie Smith, Director of Care Management, was invited to be a keynote speaker at the meeting on “Steps to Take to Prepare for Bundled Payment Programs” on May 4th. This semi-annual meeting is attended by representatives from leading organizations from across the United States that are “true champions in healthcare redesign, spearheading efforts to improve quality, increase patient and provider satisfaction and decrease costs.”  Attendees benefit by learning from each other how to achieve the PSH quadruple aim, which is to increase quality of care, reduce care costs, engage patients in their care and improve patient and clinician experience.

Stephanie accepted the Patient Safety award on behalf of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The PSH Learning Collaborative (a joint initiative of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and Premier Inc.) recognized Jamaica Hospital with this award for their improved patient safety as part of their PSH efforts.

According to a PSH Collaborative representative, “The PSH Learning Collaborative was looking for members excelling in using the techniques of the perioperative home model to expand the patient care outcomes of their organization from the launch of their pilot. Jamaica Hospital has developed a model perioperative surgical home. Their work encompasses the breadth and aspirations of a surgical home: they work with their patients starting from the surgeon’s and patient’s decision for surgery and includes a home visit well before they enter the OR. They are truly a patient-centered coordinated care model, working beyond the silos we still see at many health systems.  The care of their patients is primary and they have used the model of the perioperative surgical home to achieve reduced readmissions and length of stay.”

Jamaica Hospital was the only hospital to receive this honor.

Jamaica Hospital implemented its Perioperative Surgical Home model in 2016 as a patient-centered, interdisciplinary, team-based system of delivering coordinated care to our patients.

According to Dr. Antoinetta Morisco, Chairperson of Anesthesia, “This award is an honor and represents the truly coordinated efforts of virtually all departments to keep an ongoing commitment to serve our patients and community, as well as to transform care delivery with the goal of service that is second to none.”


MediSys East NY Employees Organize Donation to Help Local Women

Many women enjoy purchasing and owning a variety of pocketbooks, so it’s not uncommon that after a few years, these accessories begin to accumulate in their closets. When this happens, some are faced with the decision of what to do with their unwanted bags.

Now, thanks to the thoughtfulness and hard work of some generous Jamaica Hospital employees, women now have a charity to donate their pocketbooks and support a good cause.

After seeing a similar program on TV, Margaret Novoa, Executive Secretary at MediSys East New York,  recently came up with the idea of taking her gently used pocketbooks and filling them with various toiletries to create a “hygiene kit” to donate to local women in need. She shared her idea with her co-workers at MediSys East New York and the “Pocketbooks Full of Love and Encouragement” was born.

With the permission of Vanessa Lavienas, Manager at MediSys East New York, Margaret and her co-workers set out to collect pocketbooks and financial contributions to buy hygiene products to fill them. Georgeretta Williams, Patient Access Representative, was the organizer of the effort. She collected all the donations and made contact with a local women’s shelter where the pocketbooks could be given to displaced residents. Dozens of employees at MediSys East New York contributed and through their efforts, the group was able to secure enough resources to collect and fill 93 pocketbooks.

On Saturday, May 11, Georgeretta went to the Women’s Help Center in Brooklyn to distribute the pocketbooks. The women at the center were very appreciative of the gesture. Many personally thanked Ms. Williams and expressed how this donation would help them achieve their goals.

Thank you to the team at MediSys East New York for thinking of those less fortunate in our community.

The Jamaica Hospital Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Dinner

In April, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center celebrated National Volunteer Week by hosting its annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Dinner.

The theme for this year’s celebration was “Volunteers – Every Moment Making a Difference,” chosen to highlight the many hours of service dedicated by the hospital’s volunteers.

Volunteers have provided 43,600 hours of service over the last year to departments throughout Jamaica Hospital. Their high level of commitment is greatly appreciated by patients and staff alike. This sentiment was expressed by the hospital’s Executive Vice President and COO William Lynch in a powerful message of thanks. He was later joined by Arlette Cunningham, Assistant Director of the Volunteer Department, to present awards.

Over ten volunteers were selected to receive awards of distinction, including Frances Hicks, who received Jamaica Hospital’s first ever Honoring Our Patients’ Expectations (HOPE) award- specially created to recognize volunteers who exhibit a profound commitment to the hospital. Frances was lauded for devoting nine years as an Ambulatory Surgery Patient Navigator Volunteer and helping to provide a supportive environment to chemotherapy patients.

Jamaica Hospital’s 6-South nursing unit also received special recognition and was presented with this year’s Team award for providing support to the Breastfeeding Volunteer Counselor Program. This program recruits, educates and trains volunteers aspiring to become lactation consultants.

Overall, Jamaica Hospital’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Dinner was a success. Many deserving individuals and teams were highlighted for their devotion to the hospital and the community.

Jamaica Hospital thanks all volunteers for their continued dedication and service to our patients and community.

Jamaica Hospital Recognizes National Donate Life Month

April was National Donate Life Month and once again Jamaica Hospital displayed its commitment to this very worthy effort by participating in a series of events.

As is tradition, the hospital raised a flag to increase organ donation awareness and on Friday, April 12th, employees across Jamaica Hospital celebrated Blue and Green Day by proudly wearing the official colors of Donate Life Month. Many photos were taken and shared on Jamaica Hospital’s and LiveOnNY’s social media accounts for thousands to see.

On April 30th, Jamaica Hospital invited members from LiveOnNY to visit and speak with hospital employees. The LiveOnNY team was accompanied by kidney recipient Kenneth Teasley. Mr. Teasley shared his personal experience with employees on many of the hospital’s nursing units and urged them to enroll to become organ donors.

The month-long observance culminated with a moment of gratitude which was held at 3:00 pm on April 30th.  At this time, a LiveOnNY representative read a brief statement to pay tribute to those individuals who saved lives through organ donation.

Increasing awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation remains an important cause to Jamaica Hospital and we are proud of the collaborative efforts on LiveOnNY and our employees.

MediSys Celebrates National Doctors’ Day

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed a proclamation that recognized physicians for the work that they do. This day, now known as National Doctors’ Day, is celebrated on March 30th and was created to thank physicians for their tireless contributions to our well-being as a society.

This year, the MediSys Health Network celebrated this national observance by hosting a special breakfast to honor our doctors. On Wednesday, March 27th, doctors at Jamaica Hospital were treated to a feast and the following day, Flushing Hospital doctors received a morning meal in their honor. Both events were hosted by Bruce Flanz; President and CEO, Dr. Sabiha Raoof; Chief Medical Officer, and many other hospital administrators who all showed their appreciation to our physicians. In addition to being treated to a delicious breakfast, every doctor at both hospitals received a gift for their hard work and dedication.

The MediSys Health Network is grateful to the hundreds of physicians who work in many different areas and contribute to the wellness of the men, women, and children in our communities.