2009-04-24 / Top Stories

PHC CEO Talks About Joining Medisys Network

By Nicholas Briano

Robert V. Levine, CEO and president of Peninsula Hospital Center, sat down this week to discuss the joint effort announced last week with MediSys Health network and the impact it could have on the community and the services it provides.

The addition of Peninsula marks the fourth hospital and a third nursing home to join the health network, which includes Jamaica Hospital, Flushing Hospital and Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn.

It is the relationship with Jamaica Hospital, which serves as the Level One Trauma Center for the entire region that helped the deal come to between that hospital and PHC come to fruition.

Peninsula Hospital realized they already had a relationship with Jamaica Hospital and decided it was time to expand on it and bring better services to the people of both areas. By being in the same network, services can be shared that would not have necessarily been available to either hospital in the past, Levine said.

The bottom line, Levine says, is that the merger means more choices in health care and better service options for the peninsula. Something the people of Rockaway have long been calling for.

That's where MediSys comes in. The partnership actually began last fall with Jamaica Hospital sharing clinical programs with Peninsula.The partnership has the benefit of expanding graduate and medical education opportunities. Each hospital in the network also has unique services that can be referred to patients, such as neurological services that Peninsula Hospital currently doesn't have.

"This partnership provides a link to advance services while continuing to be independently operated while part of the MediSys team," Levine said. "Our goal with this partnership is to look for opportunities to improve our services."

"We feel extremely positive about this because it gives us a chance to grow with the peninsula," Levine said. "We can't be more thrilled. Our community is growing and we know that as the community grows, our services will be in demand more."

As part of maintaining their operating independence the Peninsula Hospital Center governing bodies, which includes the Board of Directors and the Community Advisory Council, will remain in place to ensure that the needs of the community are still heard despite being part of a larger health care network.

Levine didn't comment specifically about whether this partnership with MediSys would mark the end of a potential merger with St. John's Episcopal Hospital, as suggested by the 2007 New York State Berger Commission report.

"We will continue to work with St. John's and have a very open relationship with them as well as the Addabbo Center," he said.

But Levine says he envisions in the near future, an improved emergency room to accommodate the rising population on the peninsula. The emergency room was last upgraded five years ago, but since the population is rising at such a rapid pace, Levine feels this is an essential element that will have to be addressed in order to keep pace with the growing community.

A key component to the network is the idea of expanding and sharing services offered to patients. Existing shared services include the clinical rotation of Peninsula's graduate students at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. Other areas will be explored, clinical and non- clinical, such as improving the Information Technology of Peninsula Hospital Center, with possibilities of significant upgrades in the aspects of their health care management.

MediSys Health Network is a not-forprofit organization.

It is made up of 10,000 employees, 1,200 acute care beds, including 129 psychiatric beds and 652 long-term care beds, 16 ambulatory care centers, and an Advanced Center for Psychotherapy, as well as the Trump Pavilion and Schulman Schachne Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers.

The network is one of only four centers for Bioterrorism Preparedness in New York City and boasts the first and only Transitional Care Unit in the metro area, three state designated stroke centers, two Level One Trauma Centers, and TJH Medical Services, the eighth largest physician group. MediSys currently manages more than $1.3 billion in annual revenue.

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