2009-06-05 / Letters

A New St. Johns Hospital Emerges

Dear Editor,

Far Rockaway is a beautiful part of the borough of Queens. People have been enjoying the beautiful beaches nearby and the public transportation: subway, express bus, ferry, which can bring them to the heart of New York - Manhattan. Long Island is also close by. Our destination is St. John Episcopal Hospital, which recently changed not only the outside façade of the building but also the inside. I arrived to the hospital during a downpour. After just coming into the facility, you can pick up a nice plastic bag for your umbrella, which is kindly placed right here for convenience. Nearby, in the front lobby hanging on each wall you see hand sanitizers. The hospital looks very clean; a comfortable café is located on the same floor. But the most remarkable achievement of the hospital administration is gathering the best-qualified doctors, nurses, medical assistants, social workers and others. The residents of Far Rockaway know that in case of acute care of chronic needs, they have a place where help is always available immediately. People know that nobody will leave the facility without professtional assistance.

For the last year some positive changes occurred in all aspects of management at St. Johns Episcopal Hospital. A lot of new medical staff were hired, some departments are rebuilding their services (ER, pain management). Dr. Berklayd, MD, who patiently and proudly told me about the enlargement of the pain management facility for inpatient and outpatient function under t he leadership of Dr. Chen, MD, who himself is a new employee. He didn't have a difficult time to adapt to the hospital, which is new to him, new personnel. He proudly states that he was hired as a chairman of the department of anesthesiology after his predecessor already created a well functioning department, which grew tremendously during the last decade. Letters Dr. Berklayd sounds very enthusiastic when he talked about anesthesiologists, surgeons with whom he works closely. He emphasized that St. Johns Episcopal is very privileged and lucky to have a very high academically profiled medical specialists. St. John's is not only a hospital where residents can receive treatment; it is also a teaching center. Dr. Berklayd strongly believes that his department can be an excellent academic base for training podiatry residents, nurse anesthetists and other resident specialists who will rotate through his department.

Dr. Berklayd, himself, is an assistant professor at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He hopes that he can establish a strong bridge between scientists, physicians of both hospitals. St. Johns Hospital can be involved in intense research. Dr. Berklayd has an opportunity to bring St. Johns not only a high level of academic training but also a very interesting life experience by living, studying and working in Russia (graduated from a prestigious Moscow medical " year urology residency training program), U.S.A. (residency training in anesthesiology at NYU), Canada (fellowship in neuro-anesthesiology). He also worked as an anesthesiologist at Elmhurst hospital in Queens. Dr. Berklayd sees his goal as a chairman of anesthesiology department in brining more highly qualified physicians, offering help to people in need and helping in establishing a pain management modern department. After working long hours, when he came home he continued to participate in the rebuilding of his home. Dr. Berklayd concluded that the future of his department looks bright due to the excellent personnel working there and the help of a new leadership of the hospital.

These, without any doubt, is a guarantee to reestablish a reputation of St. Johns Episcopal hospital as a highly competitive, academically well functioning hospital of the XXI century. To rephrase a poet who said that discovery will come, science will flourish, because hard working, highly qualified specialists are working at St. Johns Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.

J. BELMAN

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