Local News

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Certification.

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital Stroke Team, from left: (First row) Monina Baldo, RN; Lisa Dellipizzi, RN; Deborah O’Brien, RN; Samantha Pullium, RN; (Second Row) Rose Paul, RN; Darin Wiggins, MD; Janet Woo, RN; Catherine Baccelliere, RN; Olga McAbee, MD

To achieve the Primary Stroke designation, the hospital underwent a rigorous on-site review. During the visit, a team of reviewers from The Joint Commission conducted observations and interviews and evaluated compliance with certification standards that show hospitals are providing the critical elements needed to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. The Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts and providers, measurement experts and patients.

“Primary Stroke Certification recognizes healthcare organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, Chief Operating Officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and Chief Nursing Executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”

“We congratulate Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for this outstanding achievement,” says Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer, the American Stroke Association. “This certification reflects its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for stroke patients.”

“Our hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients,” says Fredric I. Weinbaum, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. “Our programs and resources feature a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients who are admitted to the emergency department, which allows for better outcomes.”

The Joint Commission’s designation is in addition to SBSH having been recognized by the New York State Department of Health as a Primary Stroke Center every year since 2007. In 2021, 99 Primary Stroke Centers statewide were designated with the mission of improving the standard of quality and access to care for patients with a presumptive diagnosis of stroke. The Emergency Medical Services community also plays an important role in the implementation of these Primary Stroke Centers, as it does with state-designated Trauma Centers.

Cardiac care at Mather Hospital took another step forward this week with the opening of the Electrophysiology (EP) Lab to assess and repair the heart’s electrical system and diagnose abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmia).

“The Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab is an exciting addition at Mather Hospital that expands our ability to provide comprehensive cardiac care to all our patients,” says Rajat Goyal, MD, EP Lab Director. “The EP Lab allows us to perform implants of all kinds, from common devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators to advanced technologies such as leadless pacemakers, subcutaneous defibrillators, and conduction system pacing. We also treat common rapid arrhythmias such as supraventricular tachycardia and atrial flutter via a procedure called catheter ablation. The addition of EP services at Mather Hospital complements our top-notch Cardiac Consultation and Interventional Cardiology teams to provide the best cardiac care for our patients.”

Nicole Hoefler, BSN, RN, CVN, Nursing Director for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, says the Lab’s staff have been trained at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital in addition to undergoing in-house electrophysiology education with Dr. Goyal. Theresa Nicosia, NP, an experienced electrophysiology nurse practitioner from North Shore University Hospital, also joined Mather’s staff, Hoefler says.

The EP Lab is part of Mather’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, which opened in May 2021 and performs procedures 24/7 to visualize the heart’s arteries and chambers and treat any stenosis or other abnormality.

Northwell Health has received the 2022 I AM Patient Safety, Nationwide Warriors award for excellence in perioperative surgical care. The honor recognizes the advancements, outcomes and commitment to patient safety made by the healthcare system. The Nationwide Warriors is presented by the Patient Safety Authority, an independent state agency based in Pennsylvania.

Northwell’s patient safety award recognizes a pilot program initiated in operating rooms at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Northwell’s patient safety award recognizes a pilot program initiated in operating rooms at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. It extended across the perioperative service line. The program uses remote video auditing to ensure compliance with elements of the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist for enhanced patient safety.

“We are honored to receive this award for the project, which was a team effort,” says Mark Jarrett, MD, Senior Health Advisor for Northwell and former Chief Quality Officer for the health system. “Surgical checklists have been promoted for over 10 years, but like all checklists, just checking the box does not achieve the culture of safety we want. The innovation of using real-time video monitoring of the time-outs helped drive engagement by the operating room staff with this safety protocol. When used appropriately, real-time monitoring produces an environment in the operating room where patient safety is everyone’s job.”

The I AM Patient Safety Awards are judged by national and regional healthcare executives, patient safety advocates, and patient representatives from government and universities. The Patient Safety Authority was founded in 2002 by the Pennsylvania Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act.

Catholic Health’s St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center earned prestigious three-star overall ratings in several cardiac surgical categories from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). Three stars for overall quality is the highest rating awarded.

St. Francis received three stars for aortic valve replacement (AVR), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), mitral valve repair and replacement (MVRR), AVR plus CABG, and MVRR plus CABG. The hospital also received three stars for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) from STS and the American College of Cardiology.

Historically, only 4%–8% of participants receive a three-star rating for AVR, about 20% of participants receive a three-star rating for CABG and only 4%–7% of participants receive a three-star rating for AVR plus CABG, according to STS. These ratings are part of the organization’s public reporting initiative that began in 2010 and is voluntary.

St. Francis’s participation highlights the hospital’s continued dedication to transparency and to offering patients the best cardiac care in the New York metropolitan area.

“These top ratings from STS affirm St. Francis Hospital’s expertise in cardiac care,” says St. Francis President Charles L. Lucore, MD, MBA. “Our dedicated team of board-certified surgeons are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care using the latest treatments available.”

Led by Co-Directors Newell Robinson, MD, and George Petrossian, MD, St. Francis performs more TAVR procedures than any other hospital on Long Island.

“These three-star STS ratings assure patients that our team and outcomes are exceptional. We have the expertise to provide solutions specific to their conditions,” Dr. Robinson says.

Dr. Petrossian adds, “I’m proud to work with an elite team of physicians who played a major role in St. Francis earning three-star ratings. This award demonstrates that we offer world-class treatment that allows our patients to return home safely.”

The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Report analyzed data from participants over a three-year period, from July 2018 to June 2021, the most recent reporting data period available. The ratings are calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures.

The high marks from STS are the latest in a long line of honors received by St. Francis for its cardiac care. U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Francis a top hospital for cardiology and heart surgery. Additionally, the hospital was ranked as high performing in aortic valve surgery, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure and TAVR.

Catholic Health continues to increase access to the quality care provided by St. Francis cardiologists through the expansion of the St. Francis Heart Center across Long Island. Current locations include Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre and St. Catherine of Siena Hospital in Smithtown.

Eight months to the day after her successful heart transplant, Nanci Kurz returned to Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital, joined by doctors and members of her transplant team, to urge women to keep close watch on their cardiac health.

Eight months to the day of her heart transplant surgery, Nanci Kurz urges women to monitor their heart health and keep up with all necessary tests. From left: Samit Shah, MD, Zachary Kon, MD, and Nanci Kurz

Kurz, a 55-year-old resident of Oakdale, Long Island, began her journey to heart health four years ago when she suffered a major heart attack. Kurz wanted to use the occasion of Women’s Heart Month to join forces with all the doctors, surgeons, nurses and transplant coordinators who brought her back to health.

“I hope my presence here today will serve as a catalyst in urging women to keep a close watch on their cardiac health,” Kurz says. “I do consider myself to be a walking miracle — that’s true. That’s why I’m hoping everyone will listen to my story. Please don’t be afraid. Get regularly scheduled tests and screenings. It’s up to us to take care of ourselves.”

Share your story in the next issue of MD News. For consideration, please email your press releases to Press@LexMediaGroup.com.

Source: MD News March 2022, Long Island Edition