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.

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.

Honoring A Son’s Legacy

One day in 2016, Jacqueline Messina received a phone call no mother wants to receive.  Her son Anthony was in the ICU and she needed to come to Jamaica Hospital.

When she arrived she couldn’t believe her eyes. Anthony was sedated and on a ventilator. He was not the 24-year-old boisterous young man she knew; he was unresponsive. While they hoped and prayed daily with Father Andre that he would wake up and return to his family after rehabilitation, the prognosis grew worse as the days past.  His brain injuries were escalating versus improving.  The hospital’s Palliative Care team came to visit her in the ICU and she completely went silent.  Jacqueline had no idea what the words “palliative care” even meant.

“It was an extremely difficult moment for our family. Who anticipates palliative and hospice care? We sat his brothers down and explained the next steps, but in our hearts, we were still confused about how his life was ending, a parent never imagines this.” One additional factor was Anthony’s grandmother.  “They were so close and she was diagnosed with breast cancer the day of his accident,” shared Jacqueline.  “I remember us trying to be strong for her despite my heart breaking because I was worried about how losing Anthony would affect her health and upcoming treatment.”

“I am not sure we could have endured this experience on our own. Thankfully we had the support of everyone on Jamaica Hospital’s hospice unit. They did so much to help my husband and boys as well as Anthony’s grandmother. They made sure the rest of our family and friends were well cared for,” she said.

Hours before his passing, Anthony was admitted to Jamaica Hospital’s Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care after being transferred from the ICU.  Jacqueline did not know what to expect,   “I was anxious at first.  I must have asked a million questions.”

Jacqueline’s anxieties subsided when she was greeted by a warm staff that addressed her concerns and treated her with compassion. They ensured her that Anthony was in good hands and they would do everything they could to make him comfortable. “The level of service we received was outstanding. The staff did more than what was needed during his time with us and after. They were amazing,” said Jacqueline.

Jacqueline Messina

The staff’s devotion to Anthony and his family inspired Jacqueline to give back. She donates to the hospice every year in honor of her son’s legacy.  “When Anthony died, I wanted to make sure others had the same comfort that he did.  This is why I work hard every year to accumulate volunteer hours of which my company Bloomberg L.P.  converts into funds for charity.  The program is called “Dollars for Your Hours” and I proudly support the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care with this gift,” shared Jacqueline.

The Ferrara Family for Hospice Care provides comfort care for those with life-limiting illnesses. Great pride is taken by their staff in providing patients and families with quality medical services as well as the emotional and spiritual support needed to help them through a challenging time.

To donate to the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, please visit

Grand Rounds Presented by Mr. Dennis Wagner

In an effort to reach our goal of becoming a patient-centered, high reliability healthcare system, the MediSys Health Network has implemented several initiatives to help us as we continue to transition into a patient-centered care delivery model. One such initiative is inviting influential health care leaders to be keynote speakers at our network grand rounds.

On Friday August 2nd MediSys welcomed a very special guest to present at  Grand Rounds,  Dennis Wagner, MPA – Director of Quality Improvement and Innovation Group Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (CMS), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The title of this program was: Choosing to Lead – Leadership Mindsets to Generate Results for Yourself and Others.

During his discussion, Mr. Wagner identified various key CMS objectives and ways that leadership can utilize each one to create a highly successful patient-centered model of care. These objectives included:

  • Empowering patients
  • Focusing on results
  • Unleashing innovation

Mr. Wagner also spoke about having effective questions that will help all of us to invent our own pathways to change. We should be asking questions like:

  • What is working?
  • What is causing it to work?
  • What are our objectives?
  • What should we do more of, better or differently?
  • We should not be asking “Why did you do that?”

Mr. Wagner ended his Grand Rounds presentation by thanking MediSys Health Network’s leadership for their commitment to building and strengthening relationships with patients, providers, quality improvement organizations and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He also thanked other attendees for doing their part to improve and transform our nation’s health care system.

The Grand Rounds presentation was given to a packed auditorium of Jamaica Hospital doctors, nurses, and administrators. The Flushing Hospital staff was able to participate via video conference as well. Everyone in attendance greatly appreciated and benefitted from Mr. Wagner’s presentation.

Congratulations to Flushing Hospital’s Good Catch Recipients

Every month, Flushing Hospital Medical Center recognizes employees for their contributions to patient safety.

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.

Join us in congratulating:

Janet Reiss- Psychiatry

Mary Halder- Blood Bank

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

By identifying a problem before it became a patient safety issue, our nominees have helped Flushing Hospital to improve our quality in patient 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.