On The Beach
With Beverly Baxter
PHC: Quality Health Care Close To Home
We’ve all been reading a lot lately about the difficulties facing our current healthcare system, particularly on the statewide level. There has been quite a “buzz” about how our Governor’s severe budget cuts will impact quality healthcare. Fortunately for those of us who reside in Rockaway, we can be assured that Peninsula Hospital Center is meeting these challenges in order to meet and maintain its presence as a provider of quality healthcare... that’s close to home. From personal experience, I am pleased to tout all that the hospital has to offer and how it is constantly and pro-actively exploring new ways to improve its services to the community.
Although indeed there are daunting times in the healthcare industry which necessitate hospitals to seek other alternatives to meet these fiscal challenges, PHC is unique in that it has a diverse and fiercely committed benefactor base, dedicated leadership; and since PHC is the largest employer on the peninsula with many of its doctors, nurses, and staff residing here, nearly everyone recognizes (and should!) that we all have a personal stake in Peninsula Hospital Center.
Since much of life is happenstance, there may be an occasion when you will rely upon its services. Although you may have a specialist with a gilded Park Avenue address, he or she may not be available to treat you at four o’clock in the morning, in a snowstorm, or on a long Memorial Day weekend. In the event your child has an acute asthma attack in the middle of the night, or your husband has symptoms of a stroke, or you have fallen on the ice, Peninsula Hospital Center is where you will go for your emergency medical needs. It is imperative that in addition to your Park Avenue specialist, that you also have a primary care physician who
is based in Rockaway. I never cease to get such a kick out of seeing Dr. Lichtenstein around town—in the restaurants with his family, or on a horse in our St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Or Dr. Peter Galvin, who is the Chief Medical Officer at PHC, also out and about with his family or practicing his bagpipes on the beach! We have remarkable gifted people among us, who reside within our midst like MaryBeth Brunner, Laura Rayder, Mary O’Rourke (Nurses in the ICU); Janet McGowan, Nursing Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit; Vicky Bachus, Emergency Department Nursing Director, and Liz Sulik, who has over the years given her heart and soul in one capacity or another to everything Rockaway and who now serves as the hospital’s Director of External Affairs. From the esteemed Board of Directors, the Benefactors Club, the Advisory Board, the Auxillians to the technicians, food service personnel, and security staff; most live here; and because they do, they bring to their positions the keen understanding that they themselves may be the “next patient” to be treated through the doors of the hospital. We will all, at one time or another, rely on its services as we do our local precinct and firehouse.
As the population on the peninsula is projected to swell with the construction of communities like Arverne-By-The-Sea, Peninsula Hospital Center is keeping up with medical and technological advancements. It proudly boasts its designation as the only official Stroke Center in the south Queens area. That means, that in the event of a stroke, the ambulance will be automatically dispatched to PHC where a stroke team will already be activated to immediately treat you upon your arrival. This is crucial when minutes and even seconds can determine the difference between life and death. There is also an on-site Traumatic Brain Injury Unit (TBI) where patients who have endured brain trauma are treated through multi-disciplinary methods. In addition to its state-of-the-art Oncology and Radiology Departments and the acquisition of new mammography equipment (and the current construction of a new Mammography Suite), PHC, through the philanthropy of generous benefactors like the Eisenstadt, Russo, Vardakis, and Mure families, has a newly renovated emergency room, waiting room with a private pediatric area; as well as a Pediatric Unit (Angels-on-the-Bay), and a Diabetes Treatment Unit to treat both adults and children.
Perhaps its most major credential is its recent re-accreditation by the J.C.A.H.O. (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), which conducts reinspections and surveys hospitals every three years for its quality of care, cleanliness, and staff. PHC met all criteria and exceeded with “flying colors”.
While many of us are engaged in fast-paced frenetic lives that necessitate convenience, it’s of consolation to know that there are many doctors who have offices within the hospital. That means that you can have an office visit, and then go downstairs for tests or procedures... all under one roof! Among the Physicians who have offices on the fourth floor are: Dr. Alvin Slovin (Vascular/Thoracic Surgery); Dr. Mitchell Kurk (Family Practice); Dr. Pierce Ferriter (Orthpedics); Dr. Jonathan Silver (Orthopedics); Dr. Michael Barkin (Podiatry); and Dr. Marc Behar (Gynecology). In the Ophthalmology Department, located on the second floor of the Extended Care Unit, there are the offices of Drs. Nicolas Trotta, Joseph Fishkin, and Richard Russell. While the hospital recognizes the many seniors in our area who are ambulatory, PHC offers a courtesy van (free of charge) that will pick you up at your home and bring you to and from the hospital for out-patient tests or procedures.
The “health” of a community hospital depends very much on the community which it serves. The community gains when it gives—and there are a myriad of ways to give. Whether it be through extraordinary financial endowments or in the form of “money equivalents” such as volunteering your time with The Auxillians, every endeavor and everyone is important to the whole. Since March is Diabetes Awareness Month, there will be informational presentations held in the lobby on March 22. On May 11 the hospital will host its Spring Luncheon at Russo’s-on-the-Bay in honor of its exemplary nursing staff. Carolyn Feltham, RN of the PHC for Extended Care (Adult Day Health Care) and Murrene Glenn-Hauser, BSN (3 North) will be honored. Tickets to the event are $75 and may be obtained by calling the office of External Affairs (Liz!). Whether you wish to participate at its annual July Golf-Outing
or its annual October Ball at The Sands, you are warmly invited to come and join the Peninsula Hospital Center family.