ALAN D. AVILES
HHC PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE
REPORT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
APRIL 19, 2012
HHC MEDICAL SIMULATION CENTER ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL INTEREST WITH COURSE TAUGHT BY SIMULATION GROUP FROM HARVARD
For the second year running HHC's Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning -- IMSAL -- will host a medical simulation instructor course taught by faculty from the Center for Medical Simulation, a global leader in the field of healthcare simulation. The course will be held next week -- April 24 to 27 -- at the IMSAL center located on the campus of Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. IMSAL first hosted the course in January 2011. Like last year's course, this one was sold out well in advance and has attracted attendees from around the world.
Titled "Simulation as a Teaching Tool," the course is a four-day intensive immersion in healthcare simulation for those educators seeking to create high-quality healthcare simulation programs. Drawing on the disciplines of aviation, healthcare, psychology, experiential learning and organizational behavior, participants will learn how to teach clinical, behavioral and cognitive skills through simulation. Participants will explore simulator-based teaching methods applicable across the healthcare education spectrum, including undergraduate and graduate medical, nursing and allied health domains. Daily formats include simulation scenarios, lectures, small and large group discussions, case studies and practical exercises with feedback.
As well as participants from HHC hospitals and other facilities in New York state, the course will be attended by simulation educators from Chile, Lebanon, Singapore and, in the US, California and Minnesota, including two attendees from the Mayo Clinic.
HHC will promote the visit by co-hosting a live Twitterview (interview on Twitter) to discuss the growing importance of healthcare simulation and its applications. Katie Walker, Director of IMSAL and Dr. Jeffrey Cooper, Executive Director at the Center for Medical Simulation will participate on Monday, April 23 from 12:30-1:30. People who are interested in following the conversation or asking questions can follow our Twitter handle @HHCnyc and the hashtag #medsim.
Starting Monday, March 26, the US Supreme Court heard three days of oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The arguments addressed the central issue of the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which requires nearly all individuals to buy health insurance, some getting economic subsidies to do so. The Court heard additional arguments on whether, if the individual mandate were ruled unconstitutional, other parts of the law must also fail. The Court also heard arguments on whether the ACA provision expanding the Medicaid program for the poor, by requiring all states to cover individuals at 133% of poverty or below, is constitutional. The Court is not expected to issue its decision until June.
On March 29, the House adopted Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposed Budget Resolution for Federal Fiscal Year 2013. This Resolution will not be taken up in the Democratically-controlled Senate. This week, House Committees are starting to work on details to achieve the budget cuts. As noted last month, the Ryan Budget would dramatically reshape the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Chairman Ryan would change Medicaid into a federal block grant program, giving the states more latitude in designing their programs but federal spending on Medicaid would be slashed by $810 billion over ten years, a larger cut than the $771 billion cut in proposals Ryan made last year. One estimate is that block granting Medicaid in this way would reduce New York State’s funding by $141 billion over 10 years and reduce hospital funding in NYS by 30 percent. The Ryan budget would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, including the Medicaid expansion components.
HHC TESTIFIES FOR CITY COUNCIL ON TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
HHC Senior Vice President LaRay Brown testified on April 3rd before the New York City Council Committees on Aging and Health about services provided in HHC hospitals for patients with Alzheimer's Disease. She covered HHC's extensive geriatric medical services, featuring special programs at Elmhurst, Lincoln, Woodhull, Metropolitan and Harlem hospitals. She also discussed the many programs to treat dementia-related symptoms at our nursing homes at Coler-Goldwater, Sea View and McKinney. She emphasized the importance of staff training as part of HHC's plan to provide compassionate care to all our patients. Her testimony ended with a few words about HHC's palliative care programs as an important resource for care to patients with Alzheimer's Disease.
HHC JOINS CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO ANNOUNCE CITYWIDE INCREASE IN COLONOSCOPY RATE
The New York City Health Department and HHC announced on April 5th that in just under a decade New York City’s colonoscopy rate has increased by 62 percent, signaling a major step forward in the fight against one of the most common – and deadliest – cancers. The city’s average colonoscopy rate is now 67 percent, up from 42 percent in 2003 when New York City first began tracking colonoscopy rates. During this time, a citywide push to increase screening rates has also eliminated racial disparities. In 2010, colonoscopy rates in the Asian community were on par with African-Americans, whites and Hispanics for the first time.
However, the colonoscopy rate among Russian-speaking New Yorkers trails behind the citywide rate and the City will work with community partners to better understand the reason for the lag and find ways to increase colon cancer screenings. The announcement was made at Coney Island Hospital, which serves many patients from the Russian-speaking community.
A colonoscopy procedure is considered the gold standard of colon cancer prevention, since it can detect precancerous growths in the colon or rectum and remove them before they become life-threatening. Since 2003, HHC has increased the number of colonoscopies provided to New Yorkers by almost 400 percent.
HHC AND ST. GEORGE'S MEDICAL COLLEGE ANNOUNCE CITYDOCTORS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
On April 4th, I joined Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and St. George’s University Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica to announce the CityDoctors medical scholarship program that will, over the next five years, provide tuition based scholarships worth more than $11 million to New York City residents who aspire to become doctors. Those who otherwise meet the academic admission criteria to St. George’s and who commit to give back to the community by practicing primary care medicine at one of our hospitals may be eligible for a scholarship. The first class of CityDoctors scholarships will be awarded this summer and fall to 25 New Yorkers who have demonstrated academic excellence and financial need. Dr. Ira Jay Bleiweiss and Dr. Tita Castor, alumni of St. George's who currently practice medicine in New York City, joined us to announce the scholarship program at Metropolitan Hospital Center.
The CityDoctors scholarships are part of a renewed five year agreement, effective January 2012, between SGU and HHC to support a medical student clerkship program. As HHC’s exclusive international medical school affiliation partner, SGU’s future annual payments to HHC for the training of third and fourth year medical students is expected to exceed the $6 million paid in 2011.
HHC’S STAFF AND PATIENTS DEDICATE THEIR LIFE-SAVING MAMMOGRAMS TO LOVED ONES
Nearly every woman at HHC knows or knew of someone with breast cancer and throughout the month of May, HHC’s staff and patients will participate in an education campaign to increase awareness about the benefits of mammograms. Our 2012 Mammogram Campaign asks, "Who do you dedicate your mammogram to?" and features photos of staff and patients with their loved ones along with a compelling message about their individual dedications. To increase participation, we will designate a wall or bulletin board in our facilities for patients and employees to post a note about their dedications, and invite women to post their dedications on Facebook or Twitter. We will also place posters and postcards in high-traffic areas of the facilities promoting the importance of mammograms. The HHC Mammogram webpage will be updated to include powerful videos and written testimonials from our patients and employees about the importance of mammograms. All year long, birthday cards will be mailed directly to the homes of female employees when they turn 40 to remind them about the benefits of breast cancer prevention, screening and early detection.
Breast cancer kills about 1,260 women in New York City every year and still 23% of women 40 and older have not had a recent mammogram. HHC recommends that women 40 years or older get a mammogram every 1-2 years.
HEALTH HOME CERTIFICATION FOR HHC
HHC was one of three Health Homes certified in Queens by NYSDOH this month. The other two certified providers in Queens are Community Healthcare Network and North Shore/Long island Jewish. DOH has not yet announced the providers selected to operate Health Homes in the borough of Manhattan.
While negotiations for care coordination rates between HHC and NYSDOH have not been finalized, HHC has received a list of Health Home eligible patients for the boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx from DOH. A preliminary analysis indicates that about 41% of the patients on the list have touched HHC's Medical Homes and that 24% have been in contact with our Behavioral Health services. In addition, 65% of these patients have touched HHC Emergency Services and 70% have been admitted to HHC hospitals in Brooklyn and the Bronx. An estimated 6-10% are homeless.
Outreach and engagement services for this group of eligible patients will be initiated after rates have been finalized and a contract between the State and HHC has been executed.
SOCIAL WORK MATTERS
During Social Worker Awareness month in March, HHC acknowledged the work of the more than 800 social workers in our hospitals, health centers and nursing homes. We rely on social workers to provide counseling, develop safe discharge planning, and connect patients with needed services when they return to their families and communities. As we enter the era of healthcare reform, HHC will be focused on transforming the way we deliver care in a way that demands a holistic approach to the needs of every individual who seeks our services. This will require more care coordination across our own facilities and among other community providers to ensure we can connect patients to a whole array of needed support services. We have always relied on our social workers to meet these needs, and now the need for them is greater than ever.
What social workers do and how they do it really does matter a great deal to HHC and the communities we serve. I know that the Board joins me is saying to all the social workers in HHC hospitals, health centers and nursing homes -- thank you. Your work on our healthcare teams is a vital part of our commitment to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care to all New Yorkers.
HHC VOLUNTEERS -- PEOPLE IN ACTION
This week, HHC joins the entire country during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, to celebrate and thank the volunteers whose efforts help so many. More than 8,000 volunteers in our hospitals and nursing homes donate more than 1 million hours each year to provide care and comfort to our patients.
It's hard to imagine a more fitting description than this year's National Volunteer Week theme, "Celebrating People in Action." HHC volunteers are not people who simply talk. They really step forward and act on their desires to give back to community, freely donating their time and expertise each day. Our volunteers serve as foreign language interpreters, offer spiritual comfort, transport patients to religious services, and perform important personal services for patients, like reading aloud or writing letters. Their example of service is truly an inspiration to us all.
DOCTORS' DAY RECOGNITION
On Tuesday, I was honored to attend a breakfast at which HHC recognized 28 physicians for their leadership and commitment to advancing the mission of our public hospital system and providing the highest quality healthcare to New Yorkers.
Awards were presented at the annual HHC National Doctors’ Day Ceremony at Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan. The award winners, some of whom have served their communities for several decades, mirror the rich ethnic diversity of our City. The testimonials to their compassion, empathy and commitment to patients remind us that patient-centered care begins with a deep human connection between the caregiver and patient.
Also included among our Doctors’ Day Award winners is a group of seven primary care physicians who work with our patients in the communities we serve. They represent HHC’s relationship with doctors outside the public hospital system who work closely with us to manage the care of our patients. These doctors embrace and advance HHC programs that improve patient safety and improve the effectiveness of our treatment of prevalent chronic diseases, such as asthma and diabetes, in children and adults.
These exceptional men and women contribute significantly to the well-being of our city and are helping to make HHC a national model of safe, efficient, and patient-centered health care delivery. They represent the remarkable talent among the several thousand HHC doctors who are committed to excellence and deeply care about our mission to serve New Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status.
DR. IRWIN BERLIN -- OUTSTANDING HHC MEDICAL LEADER
It is with great sadness that I acknowledge the loss that HHC suffered when Dr. Irwin Berlin died unexpectedly on Friday, March 30th.
Dr. Berlin was the Chief of the Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Division at Elmhurst Hospital Center. He was not only a compassionate care-giver but also a spirited public health advocate, especially on issues related to tobacco control and clean air. He took great pride in his work with first responders following September 11th, both as a physician and as an advocate for their care. He was one of the guiding lights of our WTC Environmental Health Care Center, and provided care to New Yorkers affected by 9/11.
Dr. Berlin was also the Chair of HHC's Critical Care Task Force and served as a leader in many national and local organizations. Dr. Berlin was a volunteer for the American Lung Association for over 30 years, and held both national and local positions. Some of his recent activities included his work as Board Chair of the New York chapter of the American Lung Association, and Chair of the Government Relations Committee of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). He was active in health care reform and regulatory issues that affect physicians and their patients, and spoke out assertively on these and other important issues.
He will be greatly missed.
HHC IN THE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Lincoln Art Exchange Program, Iris R. Jimenez-Hernandez & Edith Garcia Velazquez, Lincoln Hospital, WABC-TV, 4/15/12
Colonoscopy Awareness Campaign in Russian Community, Dr. Terence Brady, Coney Island Hospital, News 12 Brooklyn -TV, 4/5/12
$11M in Medical School Scholarships for Prospective Primary Care Docs, HHC, 1010WINS - Radio, 4/5/12
NYC Colonoscopy Rates
More New Yorkers Getting Checked for Colon Cancer, Alan D. Aviles, HHC, Norwood News, 4/11/12
NYC colonoscopy rate jumps 62%, saving lives, HHC, Staten Island Advance, 4/5/12 (Also covered in Sheepshead Bites, Becker’s ASC Review)
Colonoscopies Save Lives, Arthur Wagner, Dr. Terence Brady, Coney Island Hospital, Komsomolskaya Pravda in America, 4/13-19/12
Cancer is Not a Joke: Have you had a Colonoscopy?, Arthur Wagner, Coney Island Hospital, V Novom Svete (In the New World), Russian-language newspaper, 4/17/12
To preserve and prolong our lives: Colonoscopy as an early diagnostic tool, Coney Island Hospital, Yevreiskiy Mir (Jewish World- Russian newspaper), 4/12-19/12
Colon Cancer: Early Detection Can Save Your Life, Dr. Sulaiman Azeez, Lincoln Hospital, The Bronx Free Press, 3/14/12
City Hospitals Reach $11 Million Scholarship Deal With Medical School in Grenada, The New York Times, The New York Times, 4/4/12 (Also covered in DNAinfo.com, Wall Street Journal/AP, World Journal, Crain’s Health Pulse, WFUV Radio)
HHC Appoints New Director to Lead Learning Institute, Katie Walker, IMSAL, Advance for Nurses Magazine, 3/26/12
El Diario's Distinguished Women 2012, Iris R. Jimenez-Hernandez, Generations +/ No. Manhattan, Lincoln Hospital; Elizabeth Guzman, Metropolitan Hospital, El Diario, 4/15/12
Minority executives and their peers tout the benefits of broader representation in the C-suite, Modern Healthcare, Dr. Raju, HHC , 4/7/12
HHC Receives Funding for Affordable Housing for Patients, Crain's Health Pulse, 4/16/12
What's Your Multilingual Online Strategy, HHC, Health Leaders, 3/21/12
$3.5 million allows hospital to purchase linear accelerator, Kings County, Nurse.com, 3/19/12
Call it doctor-doctor privilege, Lincoln Hospital, New York Daily News, 3/22/12
Ceremony salutes "Black Angels" of Sea View, Sea View Hospital, Staten Island Advance, 3/26/12
Diabetics on firm footing, Diabéticos con paso firme, Dr. Ivan Gonzalez, East NY D&TC, El Diario, 3/26/12
Communication and Teamwork Are the Steps to Patient Safety, HHC, NAPH, March 2012
Health Problems Plague City Cab Drivers, Marcelo Villagran, Maria Ramos, Lincoln Hospital, Gotham Gazette, March 2012
NYC Council Members Present Check to Cancer Care Center, Kings County Hospital, Advance for Nurses Magazine, 3/26/12
MetroPlus injects health into HHC's bottom line, Crain's Health Pulse, 3/30/12
Take care with asthmatic children, Cuidado con niños asmáticos, Dr. Luis Rodriguez, Woodhull, El Diario, 4/2/12
Lincoln's Art Exchange Program, Lincoln Hospital, MD News, April 2012