MediSys Reopens & Successfully Transitions To The ‘New Normal’ In Healthcare

In response to the consistent decline in COVID-19 cases and admissions, New York City has begun to strategically reopen businesses and facilities.

As our City moves forward, The MediSys Health Network has reopened several healthcare services to meet the needs of patients. This includes among others, the Wound Care Center at Flushing Hospital and the Ophthalmology Department at Jamaica Hospital; as well as the Psychiatry Departments, Radiology, Women’s Health, Outpatient Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centers at both hospitals.  The Network will also resume elective surgeries, as the order to halt these types of procedures was recently lifted in all five boroughs by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In preparation for the reopening of services, MediSys has implemented strict safety measures in accordance with CDC guidelines to protect the health of patients, visitors and employees. Safeguards include offering patients the option of pre-registering remotely to avoid spending unnecessary time in waiting areas, limiting appointment schedules to avoid overcrowding, screening all patients upon arrival for COVID-19  symptoms, frequently sanitizing areas and requiring patients and hospital staff to wear appropriate PPE.

In addition to implementing the preceding initiatives, the MediSys Health Network is aiming to address many of the fears patients may have about seeking non-emergent care. This is being achieved by encouraging employees to inform patients about policies put in place to protect their health, and emphasizing “safety” in messaging shared across each hospital’s websites, newsletters and social media platforms.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the hospital industry delivers healthcare services, the MediSys Health Network embraces what can potentially be the ‘new normal’ with great confidence.  As the Network progresses, our focus on providing the highest quality patient care will always remain constant. It is this philosophy that has helped our hospitals to successfully overcome challenges and continue to be trusted healthcare institutions in their communities.

MediSys Health Network Employee Wellness Support Group Program

In times of crisis, it is common for healthcare workers to feel afraid and anxious. These emotions can become overwhelming and affect mental health. The emotional wellbeing of our employees is very important and it is our goal to provide support during difficult times.

Therefore, the MediSys Health Network’s Department of Mental Health Services has created a Wellness Support group telephone line. This program is staffed by a team of over one dozen wellness- support clinicians.

The Wellness Support group telephone line will allow our experts to monitor and assess the mental health and wellbeing of employees across the network and provide them with useful tips on how to get through this crisis. Employees will also be offered information about individual support services if needed.

The wellness support group line will be in place daily Monday through Friday, from noon to 1:00 p.m. Those interested can call 917-962-0650, and enter conference code 957954. Callers can remain anonymous.

We hope that this service will help our employees to deal with emotions that may develop as a result of the challenges they face each day, and give them strength as they continue to provide high-quality care to our patients.

Jamaica Hospital Makes America’s 250 Best Hospitals List

There are over 5,000 hospitals in the United States, so to be listed as one of the top 250 in the country is quite an accomplishment.

Healthgrades, a leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems, announced its list of America’s 250 Best Hospitals for 2020 and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center was one of only a select few in New York City to be recognized.

This accomplishment places Jamaica Hospital in the top 5% of hospitals in the nation, demonstrating the hospital’s commitment to delivering superior patient care outcomes year after year.

To determine America’s Best Hospital recipients, Healthgrades analyzed the performance of all participating hospitals nationwide. Clinical quality outcomes for 32 conditions and procedures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, respiratory failure, sepsis and stroke were evaluated over a three year period. Healthgrades recognized only those hospitals that “consistently exhibit exceptional, comprehensive quality care.”

Healthgrades has concluded that hospitals receiving this award provide significantly better care and, the most important measurement of any hospital, superior outcomes to its patients.

In addition to the recognition as one of America’s Best Hospitals, Healthgrades also awarded Jamaica Hospital with the following:

  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals For Coronary Intervention Award – 2020
  • America’s 100 Best Hospital for Stroke Care Award – 2020
  • Neurosciences Excellence Award – 2020, 2019
  • Patient Safety Excellence Award – 2018, 2017

“We are honored to be recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s Best Hospitals. This achievement signifies Jamaica Hospital’s commitment to delivering the highest quality care to our patients,” stated Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Over the years we have initiated many programs and services that focus on providing patient-centered care to our community, knowing that it would ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.  This acknowledgment by Healthgrades reaffirms that we are on the right path to becoming a high-reliability organization.”


Flushing Hospital Awarded Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA)

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, Flushing 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. Flushing Hospital is one of the only hospitals in Queens to receive this accreditation.

“By receiving this designation, Flushing Hospital has set itself apart from other health care facilities by demonstrating a real commitment to the health and well being of our geriatric community,” stated Dr. James Giglio, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Flushing Hospital.

To achieve this accreditation, Flushing Hospital had to meet many criteria, including ensuring that physicians and nurses received focused education in geriatric emergency medicine. This training was 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.

Congratulations to Dr. Giglio and his staff for conveying to their patients, colleagues and the geriatric community that Flushing Hospital Medical Center cares about the healthcare they provide to their geriatric patients.

Congratulations To This Month’s Jamaica Hospital GEM

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 recipient is Jonathan Rohit- Case Manager

Congratulations Jonathan and thank you for everything that you do to help us serve our community.

NYPD Recognizes Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Trauma Service

Last month, the NYPD Patrol Borough South recognized the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Trauma Department for its many years of service to the community and to the NYPD.  A plaque of appreciation was presented to the hospital by Assistant Chief Ruben Beltran the new Commanding Officer of  Patrol  Borough Queens South and his predecessor Chief David Barrere. Both Chiefs lauded the hospital’s personnel for their unyielding commitment to serving the public and the men and women of the NYPD. Chief Barrere stated “I’ve been at this hospital for officers with ankle injuries and wrist injuries and I’ve also been here for officers with gunshot wounds to the head. There are officers who are walking around today and who are still serving as police officers because of the work you do here.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Jamaica Hospital were Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO and Dr. Katherine McKenzie, Medical Director of the Trauma Department. Mr. Flanz stated “ I’ve been working at the hospital for 44 years and throughout that entire time the collaboration we’ve been doing with the police department is just second to none. Everybody, our entire team is privileged to serve you and what you do every day to keep us all safe is just amazing and words cannot adequately thank you and your team.” Dr. McKenzie commented that “It is not only our great privilege to care of police officers who become our patients but to also care for patients that are victims of crime and we frequently interact with the police department here in providing care for those patients.”

Jamaica Hospital Trauma Recognition In the News:


Congratulations To Flushing Hospital’s Good Catch Recipients

Flushing Hospital employees who go above and beyond to ensure the safety of our patients are recognized and awarded a certificate of excellence for their Good Catch.

Good Catch nominees receive recognition based on their actions in preventing accidents from occurring. These actions may include correcting a medication order, preventing a patient from falling or reporting a significant change in a patient’s status.

Please join us in congratulating the following  employees on their  Good Catch:

Kwong Lau -Pharmacist

Qing Li -Physical Therapist

By identifying a problem before it became a patient safety issue, our nominees have helped Flushing Hospital to provide patients with excellent care.

To our Good Catch recipients, thank you for being exemplary members of our team and contributing to our goal of being a High-Reliability Hospital.

MediSys Mental Health Team Deployment – Update

The Island of Puerto Rico continues to deal with constant tremors and aftershocks from the recent earthquakes that devastated the area. These recent events continue to have a profound effect on local residents.

The six MediSys Mental Health providers, who are part of the team of 26 professionals assembled by the Greater New York Health Association are now deployed and have begun to do their part to assist. The team has remained in contact with our hospital leadership and the Department of Emergency Management to provide daily updates on their efforts.

Their initial reports indicate that the mission is very well organized. The team shares that they depart from their hotel early each morning and head to their relief effort assignments on the Island.

One team, led by Dr. Martha Edelman has been assigned to camp settings in various locations. This team has also lent their support at a park that is currently being used as an informal school for the children.

The other team, led by Dr. Attilio Rizzo, has been deployed to different neighborhoods, especially in the mountainous areas, where they conduct door to door canvassing and provide home visits to those in need.

Both teams describe a great deal of destruction to homes and properties but feel that those they have encountered are very appreciative of their efforts. They report that morale is high and everyone is working well together.

We commend the MediSys team for the work that they are doing and the support that they are giving to the people of Puerto Rico.

MediSys Mental Health Team Departs to Puerto Rico

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the deployment of 26 bilingual health professionals to Puerto Rico.

The Island was hit by a series of earthquakes that occurred nearly every day for several weeks.  The quakes have left thousands of people displaced and many are fearful of returning to their homes.

Natural disasters of this magnitude can greatly affect a survivor’s mental health.   It is common for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder to develop after such events.

In response to the great need for mental health support in Puerto Rico, the MediSys Health Network delegated six employees from Jamaica Hospital’s Mental Health Department to serve on a team deployed by the Greater New York Hospital Association(GNYHA).  Dedicating their time and expertise to this mission are Attilio Rizzo, Jr., Director, Psychiatric Social Work (Administrative Team Lead); Martha Edelman, M.D., Psychiatrist (Clinical Team Lead); Frank Lopes, Social Worker; Denise Osorto, Psychotherapist; Alberto Palomino, Clinical Manager and Jennifer Santos, Psychologist.

The MediSys Health Network team members were invited to attend a special press conference coordinated by the office of Governor Cuomo during which he shared the objectives of the GNYHA deployment to Puerto Rico. According to the Governor,  “Mental health professionals will be integrated into the work of the Puerto Rican Mental Health Agency- the Mental Services Administration Health and Addiction- and deploy to shelters in Guanica, Guayanilla and Ponce.”  The collective goal is to address the long-term mental health issues that can affect residents, especially children.

Jamaica Hospital’s mental health team departed for Puerto Rico on Monday, February 3rd and is scheduled to return on Monday, February 10th.  “Our team is proud to serve on this mission and hope that by supporting the victims, we can help them to recover from these traumatic events and rebuild their lives” shared Anthony Maffia, Jamaica Hospital’s Vice President of Psychiatry.


MediSys Health Network Coronavirus Preparedness and Safety Update

The MediSys Health Network is currently monitoring the emergence of the Coronavirus. It is important that our employees are informed about the details of the virus, and are aware of our level of preparedness and safety guidelines.

The Coronavirus is a new and potentially serious virus that originated in Wu Han City, in the Hubei province of China and is closely being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other global health authorities.  The symptoms of the virus most closely resemble Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and include shortness of breath, cough, sputum production, fatigue, body aches and in many (but not all) cases fevers.  Many international airports are currently screening passengers from this region of the world for symptoms. However, because the incubation period for the Coronavirus can be up to 14 days, there is a possibility that infected travelers can pass through without being detected.

Both hospitals in the network are presented with unique challenges. Jamaica Hospital is the closest hospital to JFK International Airport and Flushing Hospital serves one of the most culturally diverse populations in the country, with many of its residents having close ties with the epicenter of the Coronavirus. These challenges place our hospitals in a constant state of readiness.

The safeguards we have put into place to protect everyone include closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the CDC and NYS Department of Health (DOH). We also created a new travel screening tool in Epic specific to 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS. It asks all patients if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with this virus AND have been to Wu Han City within the last 14 days OR have come in contact with a person under investigation (PUI).

The MediSys Health Network’s Emergency Management and Prehospital Care Departments have also been working closely with authorities at JFK and the CDC to identify any potential patients that are brought to Jamaica Hospital from the airport.  In such a scenario, a fever travel notification will be triggered and a plan to safely guide patients into an isolation room will be activated.

In the event that one of our hospitals identifies a patient through the screening process, the following steps should be taken:

  • “Mask first, ask questions later” (Provide a patient with a surgical mask)
  • Have the patient perform hand hygiene with soap and warm water
  • After performing hand hygiene employees should immediately don the following PPE: N95 mask, gloves, isolation gown, face shield or goggles
  • “Don’t wait, isolate” – (Escort patient into an Airborne Isolation room. If one is not available, use a private room and obtain a HEPA filter from Engineering and keep the door closed).
  • Use standard/contact/airborne precautions
  • EVS will maintain the use of routine disinfectant and routine procedures

During this time, visiting may be restricted and all visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask along with isolation gown and be instructed regarding correct donning and doffing and hand hygiene. A visitor and staff log must also be maintained.

The MediSys Health Network has a great deal of experience providing care to potentially contagious patients.  The infection control and safety measures that we have put in place are a reflection of our dedication to providing a safe environment for our patients, visitors, and employees.