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HALF HOLLOW HILLS Copyright © 2012 Long Islander Newspapers, LLC Online at VOLUME FIFTEEN, ISSUE 39 . . . . Tree Cleanup Almost Complete? Highway Super says town is making good progress By Jacqueline Birzon .. . . . . . .. DIX HILLS/MELVILLE Half Hollow Hills photo/Danny Schrafel . . 20 PAGES THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2012 . .IINSIDE N. SI.DE . N E W S P A P E R . . . The Town of Huntington Highway Department hopes that 100 percent of the debris from felled trees along the 780 miles of town roads will be completely removed by Dec. 21. Highway Superintendent William Naughton said the town has completed approximately 60 percent of the total cleanup required after Superstorm Sandy ripped out and destroyed hundreds of trees across town. In the days since the Oct. 29 storm, residents and cleanup workers have slowly been picking up the pieces, but in many cases that has meant leaving large stumps and tree branches at the curb, sometimes obstructing roadways. Huntington Station resident Diane Heck said that the volume of debris on her street, close to 5 feet, has become a problem because it affects drivers’ spatial perception of the roads. A neighbor across the street from her erected a sign in front of the debris saying “Slow Down Narrow” to warn unaware drivers. A sign supported by an assortment of tree limbs and debris warns oncoming traffic to slow down. Some town roads have become narrow due to impeding debris left by Superstorm Sandy. “It’s hazardous… People drive very fast. I just hope it’s gone by June,” she said. The highway superintendent said he anticipates a much “faster” second round of cleanup, since many of the utility poles and large trees have been cleared. According to the superinten- dent, the worst of the tree debris can be found in areas such as East Northport and Commack, which are at the north end and have higher elevations. Naughton said that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) covers the cost of the town’s cleanup, (Continued on page A15) TOWN OF HUNTINGTON Hospital Scores ‘C’ On Safety Report Card By Jacqueline Birzon A nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C. has assigned Huntington Hospital a score of “C” in patient safety. The grade, the agency says, is based upon records that measure the hospital’s ability to prevent avoidable errors, accidents and injuries while a patient is under the hospital’s supervision. The Leapfrog Group, an organization founded by large employers whose objective is to improve quality, safety and access to health care, published their second annual safety report card on Nov. 28. The agency used 26 measures to assess safety standards of 2,600 hospitals around the nation. According to Erica Mobley, program manager at Leapfrog, the 2012 study attained most data from public records published in 2011, and findings were broken down into two categories, including “outcomes measures” and “process measures.” “Outcomes measures” were based upon errors, accidents and injuries that a hospital has publicly reported, and are collected on behalf of the Center for Medicare Services (CMS). “Process measures” consider the management structures and procedures a hospital has in place to protect patients from errors, accidents and injuries, and gauged measures such as leadership structures and systems, nursing workforce and hand hygiene. Huntington Hospital chose not to respond to the Leapfrog survey that asked for these measures, therefore they were not used in processing the hospital’s final score. The agency said the hospital was not penalized for not responding. Mobley said that while a “C” designation should raise a red flag for con- sumers that this hospital may not be the safest, it by no means indicates that residents should avoid going there. “Hospitals with a score of C have shown they are not as safe as other hospitals in preventing avoidable errors, accidents and injuries….so these hospitals don’t have the low infection rates others have, or the necessary procedures in place to prevent errors from happening. We’ve seen from their data they are not as good as some other hospitals at preventing errors,” she said. Huntington Hospital scored its lowest on measures including “Death From Serious Treatable Complications After Surgery,” scoring a 115.57 when the average was 113.68, and “Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection,” which can occur when a narrow tube is improperly removed from a large vein and can lead (Continued on page A15) A nonprofit advocating for patient safety and access to healthcare has given Huntington Hospital a grade of “C” when it comes to preventing avoidable errors, accidents and injuries. IN THIS WEEK’S EDITION Basketball Season Picks Up A19 GET YOUR COPIES OF THIS EDITION AT LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY (see list on page 17) Register for free digital subscription at Hicksville, NY 11801 Permit No. 66 CRRT SORT US Postage PAID STANDARD RATE

Half Hollow Hills Newspaper - December 6, 2012

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