Local News

Monday, May 14, 2018

Phelps Hospital was one of 19 Northwell Health hospitals designated a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2018 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The HEI is a national benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities by examining patient, visitation and employment policies to measure inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community at large.


From left, Robbins Gottlock, MD, and Patricia Espinoza

The 11th annual survey saw Phelps score top marks from among the more than 1,600 facilities nationwide that either actively participated or were independently researched by the HEI.

“It is incredibly important to us at Phelps that we make every effort to reach all the communities we serve in a meaningful way,” says Robbins Gottlock, MD, Vice President and Associate Medical Director for Phelps. “It’s good public health policy, it’s good medicine, and it’s a signal to our community that we care.”

Dr. Gottlock works with physicians to improve quality of care and patient safety for Phelps. As part of the hospital’s LGBTQ initiative, he leads their LGBTQ committee, made up of physicians, nurses and support staff who meet regularly to promote LGBTQ competencies and services.

Dr. Gottlock also developed Phelps’ LGBTQ Center of Excellence, an outpatient office where he and his colleagues specialize in primary care services to the LGBTQ community with special competence in transgender care. It is the only advertised service of its kind in the Westchester area.

To earn Leader designation, the hospital had to satisfy a multilayered set of protocols that included anti-discrimination and staff training, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, patient and community engagement; support LGBTQ-related events; and engage in inclusive marketing and advertising.

“The effort doesn’t stop with this designation,” Dr. Gottlock adds. “Being truly inclusive and competent, especially in transgender care, is a process, not an arrival. With this designation, we affirm that we are on a pathway committed to constant improvement.”


Representatives of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System (GHVHS) accepted one of only seven World’s Most Ethical Companies Awards, at the Ethisphere Honoree Gala held in New York City.


From left, Trish Manna,Timothy Erblich, Harriette Muir, Stephen Sugrue, Scott Batulis, Rolland Peacock and Natasha Mele

GHVHS, made up of Catskill Regional Medical Center, Orange Regional Medical Center, Catskill Regional Medical Group and Orange Regional Medical Group, has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

In 2018, 135 honorees were recognized, spanning 24 countries and 57 industries. The honorees had record levels of involvement with their stakeholders and their communities around the world. Measuring and improving culture, leading authentically, and committing to transparency, diversity and inclusion were all priorities for honorees.


The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) adopted the following gun control resolutions at its annual House of Delegates meeting:

MSSNY will support legislation that blocks the sale of any device or modification — including, but not limited to, bump stocks — that functionally convert a firearm into a weapon that mimics fully automatic operation. In addition, MSSNY voted to support legislation that would ban the sale and/or ownership of high-capacity magazines or clips and high-speed, high-destruction rounds.

MSSNY will support legislation that requires a waiting period and background checks prior to the purchase of all firearms, including the person-to-person transfer, internet sales, and interstate transactions of all firearms.

MSSNY believes that gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis and will support legislation that would reverse the ban that prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun-related injuries, deaths and suicides related to this violence.

MSSNY will create a task force to study and make recommendations regarding how healthcare providers can play a role in safely sequestering a patient’s firearms to reduce the risk of suicide during a vulnerable time.


The New York Times article regarding proposed healthcare mega-mergers such as CVS-Aetna and Walmart-Humana highlights concerns many physicians have with the significant encroachment of corporate interests into medical care delivery.

“It is imperative that our state and federal investigatory agencies carefully review the impact of this cross-sector consolidation on patient care delivery and access before any such consolidation is permitted to move forward,” says Thomas Madejski, MD, President of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “We also urge the enactment of measures that would enable independently practicing physicians to counter such consolidation by being permitted to come together to negotiate on behalf of their patients against these corporate behemoths.”


Calvary Hospital recently hosted a screening of highlights from the groundbreaking documentary Defining Hope for more than 70 people. The film prominently features Diane Ryan, RN, a nurse who works at Calvary’s 200-bed Bronx campus. Immediately following the screening, Patricia “Pat” Farnack, WCBS Newsradio 880 Radio anchor and host of the WCBS Health and Well Being Report, moderated a thought-provoking panel discussion.

Defining Hope is a story about people weighing what matters most at the most fragile junctures in life, and the nurses who guide them. It follows patients with life-threatening illnesses as they make choices about how they want to live, how much curative treatment they can tolerate, what they hope for and how that hope evolves when life is threatened. It reminds us that we have choices.


Thomas Madejski, MD, President, Medical Society of the State of New York, has issued the following statement:

“The latest report identifying New York as the third worst state in the country to be a physician shows that we have a long way to go to improve New York’s practice climate. Once again, New York’s exorbitant malpractice insurance costs combined with low insurer payments creates an untenable squeeze that makes it exceedingly difficult to continue to be available to deliver patient care. Make no mistake — physicians, residents and medical students make decisions about where to locate to deliver patient care based upon perception of the practice environment. It is imperative that the Legislature and the Governor work together to advance initiatives to make New York physician-friendly by reducing hassles with insurance companies, controlling medical liability costs, and providing opportunities for meaningful loan repayments. Patients who depend on physician availability deserve nothing less.”


Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital recently received re-verification of the hospitals’ Level I trauma statuses — the highest level awarded by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons — for both its adult and pediatric trauma centers.


Members of the multidisciplinary adult and pediatric trauma team

Both members of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital are the only Level I trauma center in the Hudson Valley to serve both adult and pediatric patients. The two WMCHealth facilities care for the most severely injured adults and children in the region and beyond and are among the premier providers of Level I trauma care nationally.

In New York state, trauma centers are categorized as regional trauma centers, the highest designation serving the highest acuity of patients, or area trauma centers. Trauma centers are assessed and undergo an extensive review every three years to earn and maintain Level I trauma designation. Criteria for Level I trauma verification status include academic research, outreach and injury-prevention efforts. The re-verification review for the Valhalla campus showed exemplary performance, with zero deficiencies reported.


Students, parents and staff from Resurrection School in Rye visited Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers with a generous donation of 25 “welcome bags” for families of Pediatric Center residents. Resurrection School received support from Liebman’s store in New Rochelle to make this project a reality. The bags include the comforts of home, such as toothbrushes, moisturizers and blankets. Items such as these can mean so much to parents who may have thought they’d be able to bring their child home from the hospital but instead must have the child admitted to the Pediatric Center for post-acute care. When this is the case, many parents arrive at the Pediatric Center with nothing more than the contents of their purse or pockets.

The Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center is a not-for-profit, post-acute medical center that is nationally recognized as a leader in the care of technology-dependent and medically complex children. The Pediatric Center offers vital medical, nursing, therapeutic and educational services that these children need to reach their greatest potential. The children who live at the Pediatric Center receive short-term interventions, as well as long-term care during which the Pediatric Center becomes a “home.”