Queens Hospital Center hosts annual forum, highlights needs and achievements

queens hospital center
Photo by Athena Dawson

Representatives from the Queens Hospital Center, also known as NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and originally called Queens General Hospital, a public hospital located in Jamaica, hosted their annual legislative forum on Friday, Mar. 1.

Attendees included legislative representatives and hospital administrators, along with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Assemblymember David Weprin. The forum covered various hospital updates including the hospital’s newest surgical robot  and capital requests.

Neil Moore, the hospital CEO, highlighted some of the center’s achievements over the past three years, including an expansion of patient services, weekend colonoscopy screenings, access to hip and knee surgeries, and tele Stroke services. The hospital is part of the NYC Health + Hospitals network that consists of 11 public hospitals citywide.

“Our mission is clear, it is to provide safe affordable high quality medical care to the diverse and rapidly growing population of our borough,” he said. “In 2021, 2022 and 2023 our achievements have been exceptional despite the COVID-19 period. We were awarded advanced primary certifications from the joint commission. We also became the first NYC Health + Hospital facility to implement tele Stroke…an advancement in medical technology where a patient can be evaluated and treated 24/7 by a neurologist.” he said.

Moore made note of the hospital’s various awards including the ICU’s gold medal award and the hospital’s “highlight of 2023, the almost flawless bi-annual joint commission review.”

Dr. Mary Phillip, director of nursing peri-op, described the hospital’s newest surgery robot Quincy, unveiled in 2023. “I am very happy to announce that the future has arrived at Queens Hospital. To date we have successfully completed thirty cases [surgeries] in two months. This is in collaboration with expert surgery physicians, and our highly trained nursing team that we were able to accomplish flawless surgeries with no returning back,” she said.

Phillip expressed the need for even more robotic technology to provide even better patient care. “We have things that we can look into and grow. One way to do that is to establish very highly skilled robotic rooms and highly specialized training for our staff and surgeons,” she said.

Following Dr. Philips, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dave Holson highlighted the hospital’s capital improvement requests, totaling $10.9 million. The requests include a new PET scan, fetal monitor and surgical bed replacements.

“The PET scan is important to help the physician to know exactly where they need to biopsy. We want technology here in Queens, our community deserves it. Investing in advanced imaging technology is going to help reduce disparities in cancer outcomes and improve the overall quality of care in cancer diagnosis,” he said.

Towards the end of the forum, attendees heard an emotional testimony from former patient Marva Dudley about her time being treated by the Queens Hospital Center.

Director of Community Affairs Emaan Moosani addressed the audience to draw attention to the hospital’s need for higher Medicaid reimbursement to match the cost of care. “We really do need the new Medicaid rates to reflect the costs of care. Right now Medicaid rates are 30% less than the actual cost of care.”