Patient Testimonial: Patient Isaac Velez Tells Jamaica Hospital Team, “You Saved My Life!”

“I can’t sing their praises enough. They saved my life.” This is what Isaac Velez said after his heart procedure was performed at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Mr. Velez had been having pains in his chest while on his way to Columbia University where he works in maintenance and as a doorman. He had been experiencing pains on the left side of his chest for a while. There were times when the pain was so intense that he had to turn back around to go home. This is when Mr. Velez knew he had to do something.

Unfortunately, when he was having these pains he couldn’t see his primary care physician because they were unavailable. Mr. Velez decided to go to urgent care which gave him medication for the pain, but he was still in immense pain. The next option was to go to Jamaica Hospital which he admittedly had reservations about because of its past reputation but his wife insisted that they go anyway.

Thankfully, he came to Jamaica Hospital when he did. After an assessment, he was told that he was very close to having a stroke which could have cost him his life. Surgeons performed a procedure where they put three stents in the remaining vein from a previous CABG surgery because the other vein had collapsed. “It’s like night and day. It’s like when your car is misfiring and you change the spark plug”, he said describing how he feels after having the procedure. Mr. Velez now sees a cardiologist here at Jamaica Hospital. “They gave me such care. The cardiac nurses were amazing”, Mr. Velez said of his experience.

“Family is everything,” says Mr. Velez, which is why ensuring he got his heart problem taken care of was important. “I wanted to see my three grandkids grow up”, said Velez. He offers this advice for those who are hesitant to see a doctor for any pain or discomfort they may be feeling, “Don’t do what I did. Get to the hospital immediately. If you feel anything, go to the hospital.” Since the procedure, Mr. Velez says he is eating healthier and taking better care of himself. The experience has given him a new outlook on life. He says, “Slow down and enjoy what you have. You gotta enjoy life.”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Morteza Modaber

Dr. Morteza Modaber, Director of Neurology at Jamaica Hospital and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.We are pleased to introduce Dr. Morteza Modaber, the new Director of Neurology for both Jamaica Hospital and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Modaber obtained his medical degree at Shahid Behesti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, before coming to practice medicine in the United States. After four years of neuromodulation research at the University of California, Los Angeles, he completed an internship program in internal medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University from 2016 to 2017. He then completed a residency program in neurology at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell from 2017 to 2020, where he also completed a fellowship program in vascular neurology.

Part of what Dr. Modaber finds so engaging about his new role is the opportunity it offers to serve unmet needs for patients living in Queens. “There’s a massive need in the Queens community for neurological care,” said Dr. Modaber. “There isn’t enough access to medical professionals with a neurological background. I’m very excited to be able to help provide that care.”

Both the community he serves and the people that he works with bring joy and purpose to Dr. Modaber’s career. “Our hospitals and the communities they serve are melting pots of different cultures and different groups of people from a variety of backgrounds. I’m very happy to be working in an environment where diversity is celebrated,” said Dr. Modaber.

As Director of Neurology, Dr. Modaber plans to expand the Neurology Department in ways that will allow it to provide comprehensive neurological care to the Queens community. “I want to be able to offer people in Queens the best neurological care they can get in New York without having to take a long trip to Manhattan, Long Island, or somewhere else to get it,” said Dr. Modaber. “We’ve been recruiting a lot of highly-skilled people and are well on our way to achieving that goal.”

We are proud to welcome Dr. Modaber to our team and look forward to the work that he and the rest of the Neurology Department will do to provide high-quality neurological care to our community.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Qigong and Tai Chi Can Benefit Your Health

Qigong and tai chi are exercises originating in ancient China that focus on promoting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Both have long been known to offer a variety of health benefits such as improved energy, resilience, and calmness for people who are aging, as they typically consist of postures and gentle movements that are not physically strenuous to perform. However, according to Dr. Martin Ehrlich, an integrative health specialist who teaches patients qigong and tai chi techniques, they can be beneficial for people of any age and with any health condition, acting as an effective supplement to other forms of treatment.

Dr. Ehrlich has previously hosted in-person workshops with patients that incorporated qigong and tai chi. “Those patients are still following the practices we introduced to them last year,” said Dr. Ehrlich. “All of them report that those techniques continue to make them feel healthier and have actually reduced their need for pain medication to improve their symptoms.”

Qigong and tai chi can improve symptoms caused by physical wear and tear, which often affects people who are aging, have chronic pain due to conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis, or frequently perform physically demanding tasks. According to Dr. Ehrlich, these improvements occur because qigong and tai chi exercises cultivate qi, a form of energy that supports the body’s self-healing functions.

“If you cut yourself, your body is going to close the wound and heal. If you have an infection, your body is going to fight it,” said Dr. Ehrlich. “What qigong and tai chi do, along with other integrative health approaches, is teach people how to elicit and improve this inner healing capacity.”

Qigong and tai chi can also improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress. To maximize their benefits, Dr. Ehrlich recommends having access to fresh air, sunlight, and plants while performing these exercises; if you are indoors, look for a naturally well-lit area, such as near an open window. It also helps to participate in a group setting with a teacher, where participants can receive clear guidance for their exercises and support one another through the learning process.

Dr. Ehrlich will be hosting a series of virtual qigong and tai chi sessions starting on September 12th and running through October 24th. Joining these sessions will require access to a computer and the Internet. They will take place on Tuesday evenings from 7 P.M. to 8 P.M. If you would like to join or receive more information about these virtual sessions, please call (718) 206-6914.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Provides On-Site Services at Jamaica Jams 2023

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center recently participated in the 2023 Jamaica Arts & Music Summer Festival (Jamaica Jams), an annual event that promotes family, senior, and youth-centered activities and showcases the diverse cultural talents, foods, and arts of the Queens community.

Jamaica Jams draws an estimated 150,000 people to the area’s central business district each year, stretching across 10 blocks of Jamaica Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 170th Street. Jamaica Hospital was stationed in the Healthfirst Pavilion, located on 165th Street between Archer Avenue and Jamaica Avenue, which is primarily designated for senior health and wellness.

Teams from several of Jamaica Hospital’s departments provided a variety of on-site services during the event, including:

  • Nutrition counseling
  • Vascular screening and education
  • Trauma prevention education
  • Podiatry screening
  • Mental health and wellness education
  • Mindfulness and exercise Information
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Pulse oximetry screening
  • Respiratory and asthma education
  • Dental and oral screening

We were also joined at this year’s event by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This team provided genetic risk assessment screenings and educational information.

All of us at Jamaica Hospital are thrilled to have been able to participate in this year’s Jamaica Jams. We look forward to seeing our community at this event next year!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Hosts ER Groundbreaking Ceremony with Governor Kathy Hochul

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Emergency Department (ED) on Friday, June 16th. This is the first major expansion of the hospital’s ED to occur in over three decades.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined the hospital in commemorating this momentous occasion as a special guest speaker. The Governor awarded Jamaica Hospital $150 million in funds for the expansion as part of the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program.

The new ED will double in size and have the capacity to treat over 150,000 patients annually. In addition to increased space, the ED, designed with efficiency and safety in mind, will incorporate a layout that allows for better patient privacy, experience, and safety.

The new Emergency Department design features more isolation rooms with negative air pressure to prevent the spread of airborne diseases such as COVID-19. State-of-the-art trauma rooms equipped with the latest technology will also be added to support the demands of the busiest trauma center in New York City.

Another component of the expansion includes the addition of 22 intensive care unit (ICU) beds. The need for an increase in ICU beds was made apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic when Jamaica Hospital found itself at the epicenter of the outbreak treating a surge of critically ill patients.

Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Department expansion project is expected to be completed by 2027. The expansion will greatly improve access to quality emergency care in Southeast Queens and neighboring communities. “We thank Governor Hochul for supporting and investing in New York Hospitals. Her commitment to building a strong and equitable healthcare system will undoubtedly help our organization and others to provide the highest quality care to the communities we serve,” said Jamaica Hospital President and CEO Bruce J. Flanz.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Healthgrades Ranks Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Among Top 5 in New York For Surgical Care

We are pleased to announce that Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has been ranked number two in New York for surgical care by Healthgrades in 2023. Additionally, our hospital is the top-ranked hospital in Queens County for surgical care and has also received recognition for being among the top 5% in the nation for this area of expertise.

To determine this year’s rankings, Healthgrades evaluated clinical performance for nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide focusing on 18 key specialties across a mix of chronic, urgent, and surgical specialty areas.

Hospitals recognized as among the top five in their states by Healthgrades are providing patients with consistently better-than-expected clinical outcomes.

Jamaica Hospital offers a wide range of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient surgical services. Our surgeons utilize cutting-edge techniques and sophisticated instrumentation to deliver the best possible outcomes. Jamaica Hospital’s commitment to providing high-quality care to our community and our pursuit of clinical excellence is reflected in our many achievements. We are proud to have earned the distinction of being ranked number two in New York for surgical care.

“Being recognized as one of the top 5 in New York for Surgical Care is a tremendous achievement that speaks to MediSys Health Network’s ongoing commitment to high-quality care. Hospitals receiving a #2 ranking in their state have a proven track record of delivering superior outcomes for the patients in their community,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science, Healthgrades. Bowman added, “For almost 25 years, our mission has been to provide consumers with clear and accessible information to make more informed healthcare decisions. Patients can feel confident knowing that they have access to top-ranked care for Surgical Care at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Jamaica Hospital also received the 2023 America’s 250 Best Hospitals award from Healthgrades.  The award places our organization in the top 5% of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital EMS Team Receives NAEMSP Quality and Safety Award

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s dedicated emergency medical services (EMS) team has received the Quality and Safety Award from the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP). The Quality and Safety Award is given to participants in the NAEMSP’s year-long Quality and Safety course who demonstrate “outstanding contributions in quality improvement of prehospital emergency care,” bringing the fundamentals of quality improvement to their communities.

The award was presented to Joshua Kimbrell, Paramedic and Quality Improvement Coordinator for Jamaica Hospital’s Department of Prehospital Care, as well as paramedics Mikiel Lala and Dheuris Rodriguez at the NAEMSP Conference in Tampa, Florida. However, this award recognizes the efforts of our entire team of EMS personnel.

The NAEMSP counts over 2,000 physicians, paramedics, nurses, administrators, educators, researchers, and EMS personnel among its members. The organization hosts events, publicly advocates, and provides resources for education and networking among emergency medical personnel.

As part of the NAEMSP’s Quality and Safety course, members of Jamaica Hospital’s EMS staff completed a capstone project on improving cardiac arrest care and patient survival among patients in the local Queens community. This project involved developing a strategy to improve chest compression fraction, return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), and patient survival in advanced life support (ALS) cardiac arrest responses. The team presented their case at the conference with a published abstract in the Prehospital Emergency Care journal.

“The strategy our team developed resulted in significant improvements in patient outcomes,” said Joshua Kimbrell. “This award was an achievement for our entire department.

Congratulations to all members of our EMS staff!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Xun Li

This month, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center would like to tell you more about Dr. Xun Li. He is a full-time attending neurosurgeon at both Jamaica and Flushing Hospital Medical Center who treats patients experiencing various brain and spine problems. Dr. Li is a dual-trained spine surgeon, meaning that he is able to perform surgeries within the spinal cord itself in addition to the bones, joints, ligaments, and discs around the spinal cord.

Dr. Li’s interest in neurosurgery stems from the effects of aging on the brain and spine. “As we age, most of us develop problems with our necks and backs due to being creatures that walk upright on two feet,” said Dr. Li. “However, the good news is that spine surgery has advanced so rapidly over the past couple of decades that we now have simple and effective surgical solutions for many problems. The days of simply accepting that neck and back pain is part of getting older are, thankfully, long gone.”

Dr. Li was born in Beijing, China, and grew up traveling around the world as part of his father’s career. He attended many local schools and learned a variety of languages during this time, but at home, he and his family only spoke Mandarin Chinese. “I am very thankful for that now,” said Dr. Li, “as I have not lost my mother tongue like so many other people in my shoes.”

After attending schools such as Allegheny College, Temple University, Brown University, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as completing his education in neurosurgery and a subspecialty fellowship in orthopedic spine surgery, Dr. Li found that the opportunity to work at Jamaica and Flushing Hospital in Queens allowed him to take advantage of his bilingual fluency in Mandarin Chinese and English in a way he had always wanted.

“When the opportunity to work in Queens presented itself, I embraced it enthusiastically. It has been very fulfilling to be able to speak with my patients in our native language; it creates a stronger bond and deeper sense of trust as we discuss various brain or spine surgeries that are often inherently high risk, but that also come with high reward,” said Dr. Li.

In addition to performing emergency neurosurgery at Jamaica and Flushing Hospital, Dr. Li also treats routine simple and complex neurological problems for patients during regular business hours.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center First Hospital in Queens to Utilize Ceribell Rapid Response Technology

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is the first hospital in Queens to utilize the most advanced technology to detect and diagnose seizure activity for critically ill patients to ensure they receive the most appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Millions of Americans live with seizures, which are defined as sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain. Seizures may occur after a stroke, a head injury, an infection such as meningitis, or another illness. They can take on many different forms and affect different people in different ways, and in some cases, may not generate any physical symptoms. Seizures can cause changes in behavior, movements or feelings, and in levels of consciousness. If untreated, seizures can have a lasting negative effect on brain function.

Traditionally, to detect and treat seizures, doctors need to rely on electroencephalography (or EEG) monitoring, which is not always readily available. Now, Jamaica Hospital can provide immediate detection of seizures through the application of the Ceribell Rapid Response EEG program. The Rapid EEG is the first of its kind and provides a vital sign of harmful brain patterns that do not produce observable signs in the patient and can only be diagnosed using EEG.

The Ceribell Rapid Response device is comprised of a simple headband with integrated electrodes, a pocket-sized recorder with intuitive software and an online portal for remote viewing. The system can be set up by a healthcare provider in a matter of minutes. Clinicians and nurses with no prior background in EEG can triage a seizure quickly and with a high rate of accuracy, and the technology’s remote capabilities allow a specialist to review the EEG data, assess response to treatment and optimize care, all in real-time, from nearly anywhere.

“This technology is now being offered in our Emergency Department and in our Intensive Care Units,” said Dr. Aashish Patel, Director of Neurology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Our entire team has been trained to use the Ceribell device and everyone marvels at its ease of use and diagnostic accuracy. This advancement will greatly benefit our most critically ill patients and help us provide immediate and appropriate care.”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Monkeypox Vaccine

Monkeypox cases have emerged across most of the United States. Symptoms of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms

Most people with monkeypox also experience a rash that’s typically located near the genitals or anus. It may also be present on other parts of the body, including the face, hands, feet, and chest.

Two vaccines are now available that may effectively offer protection against monkeypox. JYNNEOS is the only vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for anyone at risk of contracting the virus. Another vaccine, ACAM2000, may also be used to prevent monkeypox under the Expanded Access Investigational New Drug system, but is not recommended for people with a weakened immune system, an exfoliative skin condition like eczema, or people who are pregnant.

Studies have shown side effects such as myocarditis, pericarditis, brain or spinal cord swelling, and infection in patients who received ACAM2000. These reactions have not been observed in patients who received JYNNEOS.

Your doctor can help you determine which vaccine is right for you, but vaccination in general, combined with practices like safe sex, maintaining distance from infected people and animals, and disinfecting your home when an infected person has been there, can help protect most people against the virus. Children in particular may benefit from vaccination, as their symptoms are likely to be worse than those of infected teens and adults.

You can make an appointment for monkeypox treatment and prevention at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s on-site Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.