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Heartbeat The Magazine g of St. Francis Hospital p The Heart Center庐 A Member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island

Bypassing Open-Heart Surgery Revolutionary CoreValve system offers new hope for minimally invasive aortic valve replacement

Plus: 路 U.S. News Ranks St. Francis Among the Best for Fourth Consecutive Year New 路 Advances in Treating Back Pain 路 SFH Nurses Rated among Top 10 Percent in Nation

(From left to right): George Petrossian, M.D., Newell Robinson, M.D., Andrew Berke, M.D., and Roberto Colangelo, M.D.

Winter 2010-2011

From the


In this Issue From the President 2

Healing Patients Today, Finding Better Treatments Tomorrow

In the News St. Francis/Good Samaritan Hospital Open-Heart Program NFL Hall of Famers Say “Know Your Stats”

St. Francis Hospital’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in America is based on several factors. Chief among them are the large number of patients who come to us for cardiac care and our low mortality rates. One of the benefits of this scope of experience is that it makes St. Francis an ideal setting for cardiac research. Our staff of nationally renowned experts leverage the power of a full complement of state-of-the-art cardiac imaging modalities to pursue their own research to better understand the underlying mechanisms of heart disease. Our staff also participates in national clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of innovative new procedures and devices. This issue’s cover article focuses on our participation in one of the latest and most promising studies of this kind, the Medtronic CoreValve National Trial. The study is assessing the CoreValve system for catheter-based implantation of aortic valve replacement. It is intended for patients who have symptomatic, severe aortic valve stenosis or narrowing, and who are at high risk or ineligible for open-heart surgery. St. Francis was one of the first sites to be activated in the trial, and our medical team has recently begun the process identifying and implanting the device in patients. This trial is noteworthy because it brings together a firstrate team of cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, research and nursing staff, and offers a glimpse of the future where the cardiac ORs and the catheterization labs move closer together, both literally and figuratively. The trend toward less-invasive treatments – sparing more patients the rigors of traditional open-heart surgery – is unmistakable. It is further reflected in the current renovations to our cardiac ORs, one of which will be outfitted as a high-tech hybrid room where complex surgical and interventional procedures can be performed simultaneously. This is just one remarkable example of how the work being done in research and practice at St. Francis is translating into better outcomes for our patients. We would like to thank the friends of the Hospital for their generous support of our efforts, and for helping us to provide the highest quality care today and even better treatments tomorrow.

Alan D. Guerci, M.D. President and CEO

Heartbeat Winter 2010-2011

St. Francis Hospital’s Stroke Center Receives Silver Plus Award


U.S. News & World Report Ranks St. Francis One of the Nation’s Best Hospitals


New York Magazine reports St. Francis Has More Top Doctors for Cardiac Care


U.S. News: St. Francis Nurses among the Top 10 Percent


Modern Healthcare Magazine Rates St. Francis One of the Best Places to Work


JAMA Study Shows Value of Coronary Calcium Score in Improving Risk St. Francis Hospital Offers New MILD® Program Summit Award Update




Features The Minimalist 8 Newell Robinson, M.D., discusses minimally invasive heart surgery at St. Francis, the CoreValve Trial, and the introduction of the latest generation cardiac assist devices page 8

Cover Story

Bypassing Open-Heart Surgery 10 Revolutionary CoreValve system offers new hope for minimally invasive aortic valve replacement

New Developments in Neurosurgery 12 Richard Johnson, M.D., the new Director of Neurosurgery, discusses recent advances in brain and spine surgery.

Hospital Specialists Focus on Patient Care 13 St. Francis Hospital establishes new Hospitalist program page 10

Giving Back A Second Chance to Live—and Give


14 The Giver that Keeps on Giving 15 Meet Edna Pasquale 15 Master Facilities Plan Update

Vital Signs Following His Lead: Lawrence Durban, M.D.

16 17

Experienced Hands: Roberto Colangelo, M.D. page 12

South Bay Cardiovascular Joins St. Francis to Extend Excellence in Cardiac Care


A Mission of Mercy in Haiti: Jeffrey Wolf, M.D. Cultivating Leadership for Tomorrow’s Nurses Arrhythmia Center Symposium

18 19


Staff News 19


is published by St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center®. Questions or comments can be directed to St. Francis Hospital, Office of Development and Public Affairs, 100 Port Washington Blvd., Roslyn, New York 11576. (516) 705-6655. Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved. St. Francis Hospital is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island, the healthcare ministry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Editor: Paul Barry. Writers: LaShieka Hunter, Rosemary Gomez. Editorial assistant: Debra Tischler. Contributing photographer: William Baker. Designer: Roger Gorman, Reiner Design.

Best wishes,




St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

In the News St. Francis Brings Nationally Renowned Open-Heart Surgery Program to Good Samaritan The New T e Yo Y rk r Sta tate Heal alth Comm mmissioner ha h s give v n Good Sam a ar a ita tan Hospita tal Medi d cal a Cent nter th t e go ah a ead to t begin i an a open-hear a t sur urgery r pro r gram a th that wi w ll ha have a vi v ta tal conn n ect ction t St. Fran to a ci c s Hospita tal,Th T e Hear a t Cent nter®.Th T e ap a pro roval a low al o s St. Fran a ci c s to t brin ing its nat ational a ly l re r cogn gnized an ad award-wi aw winning open-hear a t sur urgery r pro r gram a to t re r sident n s of Suf uffolk l Coun unty. As memb m ers of Cat atholilc Heal alth Servi v ces, Good Sam a ar a ita tan a d St. Fran an a ci c s ha have a long n hi h sto t ry r of collab a orat ation.Th T e tw two hospita tals ha have been re r cogn gnized fo f r perf rformi ming a hi high lev evel of car a di d ac pro r cedu dures, wh while achi h ev eving th t e hi highest lev evel of car are a d pat an atient n saf afety t av availab a le, wi w th t sup u erior cl clinical a out utcomes. Both t hospita tals al a so hold th t e cov ovete t d Mag agnetAw Award fo fr nursin nu ing excellence. “As a pre r mi m er hear a t in i stittu tution, St. Fran a ci c s seeks opportu tn tites to ni t offffer its servi v ces to t th t e comm mmunity ty. Pa Partn t erin ing wi w th t an a oth t er memb m er of Cat atholilc Heal alth Servi v ces al a low o s us to t re r ach ev even more r people,” say a sAlan a D. Guerci c , M.D., Pre r sident n an a d CEO. “We W look fo f rw rward to t cont ntinuing our u collegial a par a tn t ersh ship wi w th t th t e nat ational a ly l re r now owned St. Fran a ci c s Hospita tal in i th t e dev evelopment n of our u open-hear a t sur urgical a pro r gram a ,” say a s Lar a ry r Altlschu hul, M.D., Good Sam a ar a ita tan’s Dir irect ctor of Car a di d ology gy. T e pro Th r gram a is schedu duled to t open in i th t e fa fall. Fo F r more r in informat ation on car a di d ac servi v ces at a St. Fran a ci c s, cal a l (516) 705-6657.To T fifind out u more r ab a out u Good Sam a ar a ita tan’s new e open-hear a t sur urgery r pro r gram a , cal a l (631) 376-44 4444. Enhancing Treatment for Stroke Patients: The late Nancy Kostel-Donlon, R.N.BC/CEN/CPAN/CCRN (pictured with Paul Wright, M.D., Director of the Stroke Center) was instrumental in helping the Center win its latest award for excellence.

St. Francis Hospital’s Stroke Center Receives Silver Plus Award St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center® has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes the Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

Know Your Stats: Urologist Keith Bloom, M.D., (standing), DeMatteis Marketing Manager Robert Spina (l.), and Community Health & Education Coordinator Joanne Kuplicki, R.N., talk with participant in the NFL’s Prostate Screening Program.

SFH Takes Part in NFL’s “Know Your Stats” Prostate Screening Program St. Francis Hospital held a free prostate screening program in conjunction with the NFL’s “Know Your Stats” national prostate cancer awareness campaign. Led by Pro Football Hall of Fame player and prostate cancer survivor Mike Haynes, the nationwide program is designed to educate men and their loved ones about the importance of prostate health. Keith Bloom, M.D., urological surgeon, and Robert Spina, prostate cancer survivor and robotic surgery patient, were available to answer questions during the screening event at the DeMatteis Center. The American Urological Association co-sponsored the highly publicized campaign, which ran during Prostate Awareness Month.

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



In the News U.S. News & World Report Ranks St. Francis One of the Nation’s Best Hospitals for Fourth Year in a Row For the fourthh consecutive year, St. Francis Hospital, The Heartt Center® has been recognized by U.S. Newss & Worldd Report as one off the bestt hospitals in the nation and the only hospital on Long Island to be ranked in more than one of the magazine’s 12 adultt medical and surgical specialty categories. The magazine’s prestigious annual ranking off medical institutions honored St. Francis once again as a leader in heartt and heartt surgery, geriatrics and for the firstt time, neurology and neurosurgery. “To receive this recognition for four years in a row is truly a greatt testamentt to the physicians, nurses and stafff who have worked tirelessly to make us among the very bestt medical institutions in the nation, nott only for cardiac butt noncardiac care,”” said Alan D. Guerci, M.D., Presidentt and CEO

off St. Francis Hospital. “Their continued pursuitt off excellence has helped us to reachh another first, to be top ranked nationally for neurology and neurosurgery.” According to U.S. News, the mission off its annual Best Hospitals rankings has nott changed in 21 years. Its purpose is to guide patients who need an unusually highh level off hospital care.While other “best”” lists factor in routine procedures and unthreatening conditions, Bestt Hospitals judges medical centers on their competence in complex, demanding situations, often withh highh riskk patients. Off the 4,852 hospitals surveyed in 16 differentt specialties, St. Francis Hospital was one off only 152 medical centers to be honored. The ranking in heartt care places St. Francis among the top four medical centers in New Yorkk State. St. Francis was also one off only a dozen hospitals in the state to be ranked in any specialty rating overall.

St. Francis M.D.s Top-Ranked for Cardiac Care on LI in Latest New York Magazine Best Doctors List St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center® has more top doctors for cardiac care than any other hospital on Long Island in this year’s New York Magazine Best Doctors list. Nine St. Francis physicians made the list, six of them in the cardiac specialty category. The popular, yearly list is generated by Castle Connolly, the publisher of America’s Top Doctors, which is widely recognized as one of the most authoritative guides to the best physicians in the nation. The magazine’s complete list can be accessed at Congratulations to all of the doctors who made the 2010 list in both cardiac and noncardiac specialties: • Sean Levchuck, M.D. (Pediatric Cardiology) • Joseph Levine, M.D. (Cardiac Electrophysiology) • George Petrossian, M.D. (Interventional Cardiology)


Heartbeat Winter 2010-2011

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

• • • • • •

Newell Robinson, M.D. (Thoracic Surgery)) Steve Rucker, M.D. (Internal Medicine) Michael Setzen, M.D. (Otolaryngology) Richard Shlofmitz, M.D. (Cardiovascular Disease) James Taylor, M.D. (Thoracic Surgery) Michael Ziegelbaum, M.D. (Urology)

St. Francis Nurses Ranked among the Top 10 Percent in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

Modern Healthcare Magazine Rates St. Francis Hospital One of the Best Places to Work in the U.S. for the Second Year in a Row

St. Francis Hospital has been recognized as one of the

St. Francis Hospital has not only been ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, it has also been rated one of the best hospitals in the nation for nursing care. Among the elite medical centers cited on the U.S. News “America’s Best Hospitals” website, St. Francis was ranked among the top 10 percent for patient satisfaction. Based on the findings of a nationwide survey, St. Francis had one of the highest percentages of patients who said their nurses were “always” courteous, listened carefully and gave clear explanations. The Hospital was the only medical center in New York and one of only 17 in the U.S. to receive the prestigious ranking for nursing care. “Our nurses continually strive for excellence in patient care,” says Ann Cella, R.N., Senior V.P. of Patient Care Services and CNO (pictured). “Their level of dedication and professionalism is unsurpassed and their U.S. News ranking is a reflection of this fact.” The top rating is just of one of many recent accolades for the department. Its highly recognized nursing staff holds the prestigious Magnet Award, earned by only five percent of hospitals Sterling Treatment for Stroke Care in the U.S. Team: The late Nancy Kostel-Donlon (pictured) was instrumental in To read more about the U.S. News rankings, log on to helping the Stroke Center win its latest award for excellence.

nation’s best places to work in healthcare by Modern Healthcare, the leading industry magazine. It is the second consecutive year that the Hospital made the select list, and again it was the only hospital in New York State to be recognized. “To receive this national recognition for the second year in a row is a tribute to our highly dedicated physicians, nurses and staff who work hard to create an environment that emphasizes teamwork, professionalism and respect,” said Alan D. Guerci, M.D., President and CEO. “It is also gratifying because providing high quality medical care depends on our ability to attract and retain the best healthcare professionals in our region.” Modern Healthcare partnered with Best Companies Group, a PA-based firm that administers “best places to work” programs nationwide. The program collected information from both employers and employees and was open to companies with at least 25 employees. Winners were recognized by industry segment (provider, payer and vendor) as well as the number of employees. According to the magazine, “from economic development to employee retention, being named one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare benefits individuals, organizations and the healthcare industry.” For more information, visit For a consultation with any of the physicians in this publication, or any other member of the St. Francis Hospital medical staff, please call 1-888-432-7869.

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



In the News JAMA Study Shows Value of Coronary Calcium Score in Improving Risk Assessment for Heart Disease Includingg a coronaryy artery calcium m scoree inn a riskk assessmentt forr futuree heartt disease events, suchh ass heartt attacks, providess a betterr estimatee in somee populationss thann a standardd coronaryy riskk factors assessment, accordingg to researchh publishedd byy the Journall off thee Americann Medical Association (JAMA) andd supportedd byy thee Nationall Heart, Lung, andd Bloodd Institute (NHLBI), partt off thee Nationall Institutes off Health.Thee findingss weree basedd on dataa from m a studyy coauthoredd byy Alan D. Guerci, M.D., Presidentt andd CEO off St. Franciss Hospital,Thee Heart Centerr®. A coronaryy arteryy calcium m scoree was mostt helpfull forr peoplee consideredd to bee att intermediatee riskk off a heartt diseasee – defin definedd ass those h e withh a 3 too 100 percentt chancee off developingg heart diseasee overr thee nextt fivee yearss – accordingg too thee reportt inn JAMA. Alan D. Guerci, M.D.

Inn thee Multi-Ethnicc Studyy off Atherosclerosiss (MESA), researchers usedd cardiacc CT T scans, whichh detectt speckss off calcium m inn thee wallss of thee coronaryy arteries. Thesee specks, indicatingg calcifications, aree ann early signn off coronaryy arteryy disease. Coronaryy arteryy diseasee iss thee causee of anginaa (exertionall chestt pain) andd heartt attacks, andd itt killss aboutt 25 percentt off Americanss everyy year. “Thiss latestt studyy reinforcess thee messagee thatt iff youu aree att intermediatee riskk off cardiacc diseasee basedd onn thee standardd measures, yourr riskk can bee betterr assessedd iff youu alsoo havee a calcium m score,” sayss Dr. Guerci. “Basedd onn resultss off thiss test, doctorss cann betterr determinee appropriate treatmentt andd thee necessityy off cholesterol-loweringg medications.” Thee studyy drew w from m 5,878 MESA A participants, agess 45 too 84, who initiallyy didd nott havee knownn cardiovascularr disease, andd includedd both menn andd womenn whoo weree white, African-American, Hispanic, orr of Chinesee heritage. Interviewerss telephonedd participantss orr a family memberr att intervalss off ninee too 12 monthss too inquiree aboutt interim m hospitall admissions, diagnosess off cardiovascularr disease, andd deaths. Participantss weree followedd forr almostt sixx years. Overr thee follow-up period, 209 participantss experiencedd a heartt diseasee event, suchh ass heart attack, deathh from m heartt disease, orr cardiacc arrest. Usingg thee coronaryy arteryy calcium m scoree inn additionn too standardd risk factors, a remarkablee 55 percentt off intermediatee riskk studyy participants weree reclassified, withh 39 percentt reclassifiedd intoo thee low-riskk category andd 16 percentt intoo thee highh riskk category.

Straight from the Heart: Melinda Murray (third from left), who lost her 17-year-old son Dominic to sudden cardiac arrest, joins Sean Levchuck, M.D., Chairman of Pediatric Cardiology, at a recent Student Athlete Cardiac Screening at The DeMatteis Center in Greenvale. Family members, fellow classmates, and friends of the SUNY Farmingdale basketball player participated in the St. Francis program to help raise awareness about the importance of early cardiac screening.


Heartbeat Winter 2010-2011

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

St. Francis Hospital Offers a New, MILD® Procedure for Treating Chronic Back Pain It mayy be hard forr some off us to imagine being g able to walk k onlyy a halff a blockk without feeling chronic pain. But it’s an ordeal patients who sufferr from spinal stenosis experience everyy day. The debilitating g condition is caused byy an abnormal narrowing g off the spine that can make everyy step a nightmare. Now, St. Francis Hospital is offering g a new w procedure called Minimallyy Invasive Lumbar Decompression orr MILD®, that’s anything g but, when it comes to relieving g the pain. Patrick k Annello, M.D., recentlyy performed the first MILD® procedures at St. Francis, with amazing results. The procedure is performed underr a mild local anesthetic with light sedation. Using g an image-guided probe the size off a pen, doctors can locate and remove a small portion off tissue and bone that pinch yourr spinal cord and cause pain. “Traditional backk surgeryy can involve a three to fourr hourr procedure with a lot off blood loss,” says Dr. Annello, a board certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician. “A A MILD® procedure takes about an hour, requires no sutures, and patients can often be released from the hospital the veryy same day.” Dr. Annello says patients typicallyy have a 50-50 chance off feeling g relieff following g backk surgery. ® He recommends MILD to people who don’t want to face those odds orr who have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk k forr surgery. Forr 74-year-old Clayton Johnson, an insurance sales executive, and 79-year-old Theresa Bova, a retired secretary, the doctor’s recommendation reallyy paid off. Theyy were the first two patients to receive MILD® surgeryy at St. Francis and said theyy felt almost instantaneous relief. “I’ve tried everything g from chiropractors to physical therapyy to epidural steroid injections, with no relief,” says Mr. Johnson. “Now, I’ve gone from extreme pain to no pain at all. I lookk forward to being g able to walkk the neighborhood school track k where I used to run.” “It’s a miracle. I feel like a new w person,” says Mrs. Bova. “The thought off spinal surgeryy scared me, but this was remarkable. I am actuallyy able to walkk without pain.” Forr more information on the procedure, please call 1-888-432-7869.

St. Francis Hospital’s DeMatteis Center Wins National Top Performer Award Press Ganeyy Associates, Inc. has namedd The DeMatteis Centerr for Cardiacc Researchh and Educationn a 2010 Summitt Awardd Winner. The companyy currently partners withh more than 10,000 healthh care facilities – includingg 50 percentt of U.S. hospitals – to measure andd improve the qualityy off theirr care. The company’s databases are the largestt inn the industry, andd allow w facilities nationwide to benchmarkk their results againstt peerr organizations. The Summitt Award recognizes top performingg facilities thatt sustainn the highestt levell off customerr satisfactionn forr three orr more consecutive years. The DeMatteis Centerr inn Greenvale is one off 80 Press Ganeyy clientt facilities to receive this honorr inn 2010. Richardd B. Siegristt Jr., CEO off Press Ganey, noted, "We are proudd partners off St. Francis Hospital. Its DeMatteis Centerr continues to maintainn a highh levell of patientt satisfactionn overr the pastt three years. Their efforts benefitt the Longg Islandd communityy andd leadd to improvedd deliveryy off healthh care." “This honorr reflects the hardd workk andd dedicationn of the stafff att the DeMatteis Centerr andd theirr unwavering focus onn highh qualityy patientt care,” says Alann D. Guerci, M.D., Presidentt andd CEO off St. Francis Hospital. “Itt is gratifyingg to see theirr efforts reflectedd inn these excellentt results.” The DeMatteis Centerr off St. Francis Hospitall is locatedd approximatelyy fourr miles eastt off the main campus off the Hospitall inn a beautiful, park-like environment.The Centerr is home to Cardiacc Research andd Education, Cardiacc Imaging, theWomen’s Center, Cardiacc andd Pulmonaryy Rehabilitation, the Congestive Heartt Failure Program, the Diabetes Care Center, Conference Managementt andd manyy otherr community programs.

A MILD® Way of Treating Chronic Back Pain: Pain management physician Patrick Annello, M.D., (center), explains a procedure that’s anything but mild in terms of relief to Clayton Johnson and Theresa Bova, the first patients to undergo it at St. Francis.

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



Q&A The Minimalist Newell Robinson, M.D., Chairman of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, talks about the evolution of minimally invasive surgery and other exciting developments in cardiac surgery at St. Francis Hospital


e is one of the country’s leading experts in minimally invasive cardiac surgery, including heart valve repair, and has been a top researcher on a number of national clinical trials at St. Francis

Hospital. So it’s no wonder that Newell Robinson, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, is one hard person to catch up with. But when we finally managed to get on his extremely busy schedule, it was well worth it. Dr. Robinson spoke to us about the development of minimally invasive surgery, the benefits of cardiac assist devices and how the expertise of the staff at St. Francis Hospital speaks volumes about excellence in patient care. Newell Robinson, M.D., Chairman of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Heartbeat: Can you talk to us about the evolution of minimally inva v sive heart surgery r at St. Francis Hospital? Dr. Robinson: Minimally inva v sive heart surgery r as a concept has been around fo f r some time. It has evolv l ed fr f om work that took place in the early 1990s, which was designed to perfo f rm the standard operations through smaller incisions with the same or better results. To T day, y we are perfo f rming somewhere in the neighborhood 20 to 30 percent of our v lv va l ular heart procedures in a minimally inva v sive approach. The principal adva v ntage of minimally inva v sive surgery r is that the cosmetic outcome is better. r Also, the recovery r is generally fa f ster and less debilitating. That combination of fa f ctors works k together to give patients a better sense of their well being, and they’re disconnected fr f om their normal life f style fo f ra shorter period of time. Heartbeat: Te T ll us about the new hybrid operating room that St. Francis will have soon. What new capabilities will the Hospital have as a result of having this new OR? Dr. Robinson: The hybrid OR, which will be ava v ilable later this year, r will allow us to ext x end the utility of minimally inva v sive techniques into more complex procedures because we can treat many more fa f cets of a patient’s ’ problem. For example, a va v lv l ular problem can be treated with a minimally inva v sive operation. Then, if that patient has concomitant coronary r artery r disease, that condition can be treated simultaneously with less inva v sive techniques including stent therapy. y The room will be appropriate fo f r TEVA V R or thoracic endova v scular aortic replacement, and EVA V R, which is


Heartbeat Winter 2010-2011

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

endova v scular aortic replacement, because the hybrid room will allow fo f r more complex procedures to be perfo f rmed in a shorter period of time with better visualization, and therefo f re better outcomes. Also, the hybrid room is well suited to percutaneous, or through the skin, catheterr delivered va v lv l e replacements that we are currently exploring, as well applications releva v nt to arrhythmia surgery ry. There are also adva v ntages in imaging in a hybrid OR fo f r the treatment of lung cancer. r Heartbeat: Yo Y u will be working on the national CoreVa V lv l e clinical trial. How will this trial benefi f t patients at St. Francis? Dr. Robinson: CoreVa V lv l e is a selff expanding aortic va v lv l e that is used to treat aortic va v lv l e disease in very r high risk patients who are otherw r ise not candidates fo f r surgical va v lv l e replacement. This product has been used ext x ensively in Europe. The expectation is that we will be able to treat many patients that otherw r ise we could not have treated, and be able to improve their life f styles so they can stay out of heart fa f ilure fo f r a longer period of time even though they aren’t a candidate fo f r surgery ry. It’s ’ a percutaneous procedure and the device is implanted using a catheter, r so in most cases, it doesn’t require surgery r or implantation. Heartbeat: How would you describe the signifi f cance of the CoreVa V lv l e trial? Dr. Robinson: It’s ’ going to be a very r signifi f cant study because it will be the fi f rst U.S. trial fo f r a selff expanding percutaneous va v lv l e. And we are one of over 40 centers selected to participate in the trial which will result in

Dr. Robinson performs a lifesaving open-heart surgery.

FDA approva v l of this device fo f r treatment of patients with aortic va v lv l e disease. We are very r excited because we believe it is a major adva v nce in the treatment of heart disease and a sign of things g to come. Heartbeat: Let’s ’ talk about cardiac assist devices. Yo Y u have been a proponent of the use of devices such as the Ta T ndem Heart®. How do you view these devices in the evolution of the program here at St. Francis? Dr. Robinson: We currently have both an inpatient and outpatient program fo f r treatment of chronic and acute congestive heart fa f ilure. T ndem Heart® and the Impella device are certainly less invasive stepTa ping stones in the treatment of patients with both acute and chronic end-stage heart fa f ilure. They are also stepping stones and bridge devices to more complex therapy such as permanently implanted assist devices, and fo f r patients under consideration as a bridge to transplantation. Over the next year, r we are pursuing expansion of our program so that we can permanently implanting assist devices fo f r both bridge transplant as well as destination therapy. y This would be an important adjunct to the expansion of our program and treatment of congestive heart fa f ilure over the next 12 to 24 months. Heartbeat: So how exactly do these devices work? Dr. Robinson: They consist of small pumping mechanisms that mechanically assist the circulation of blood through the main chamber of the heart that has lost its ability to fu f nction normally. y The implanted long-term devices are selff contained and allow fo f r patient portability. y These are fo f r

atients who are not considered to be candidates fo f r heart transplantation, but are candidates fo f r continued support using that device. Those patients are characterized as ‘patients fo f r destination therapy, y ’ meaning they can live with the device fo f r an ext x ended period of time. The other use is as a temporary r measure to bridge the patient to heart transplantation, where the device is then removed and a new heart is transplanted. Heartbeat: What makes the cardiac surgery r program at St. Francis such a success? Dr. Robinson: It’s the team eff ffort that brings together the expertise of multiple disciplines across the spectrum of the Hospital. We have outstanding physicians and staff f and tremendous support from ancillary services, including the nursing staff f and administration. In addition to the collaborative team approach, there is a skilled team of surgeons who, in over a decade of experience together, r has perfo f rmed over 20,000 operations – coupled with outstanding outcomes that are annually the best in New Yo Y rk State. The final element is our ability to quickly master and adapt to leading-edge technology g fo f r better outcomes and treatment options. We’re increasing our fo f otprint by expanding to other areas of service other than cardiovascular care and by helping to promote the St. Francis brand of care in other areas of surgery. y We’re also expanding our geography by fa f cilitating the growth of a new program fo f r cardiovascular services and cardiac surgery in Suff ffolk County at the Good Samaritan Hospital. These are exciting developments fo f r St. Francis Hospital and fo f r Catholic Health Services. St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



Cover Story

Research Team: (clockwise) Andrew Berke, M.D., Newell Robinson, M.D., Roberto Colangelo, M.D., and George Petrossian, M.D., are looking forward to the possibilities the new CoreValve device (inset) will bring to St. Francis Hospital and its patients.


Heartbeat Winter 2010-2011


St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ÂŽ

St. Francis Takes Part in Major Nationwide Study on Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement New CoreValve system gives patients promising alternative to open-heart surgery


t. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center® has been selected as one of 40 centers nationwide to test a device that may offer new hope for patients with symptomatic, severe aortic stenosis. The Medtronic CoreValve system for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has recently received conditional approval from the FDA for clinical trials. St. Francis is one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to be activated as a site and cardiologists have begun the process of implanting it in patients who are at high risk, or are ineligible, for open-heart surgery.

Appro roximately 300,000 people worldwide (1 ( 00,000 in the

Pro r cedure r s. He is part of a fo f ur member clinical team that

U.S.) . hav ave been diagnosed with the condition, which pre r -

includes: Newell Robinson, M.D., Chairman of the

v nts the va ve v lv lve fr from opening completely, y there r by pre r ve v nting

Department of Card r iothora r cic & Va V scular Surg rgery r ; Andre r w

healthy blood fl f ow fr from the aorta to the re r st of the body. y But

Berke, M.D., interventional cardiologist; and Roberto

about one third r of these patients are r deemed at too high a

Colange g lo, M.D., card r iothora r cic surg rgeon.

risk fo f r open heart surg rgery ry, the only thera r py with signifi f cant

“Core r Va V lv lve has been used ext x ensive v ly in Euro r pe. The

clinical eff ffect that is curre r ntly av available in the United States.

expectation is that we will be able to tre r at patients that oth-

Although the Core r Va V lv lve sys y tem has been implanted in

erw r ise we could not hav ave tre r ated, and be able to impro rove

12,000 patients worldwide, it has not been av available to

their life f sty t les so they can stay out of heart fa f ilure r fo f ra

patients in the U.S., until now. w

longe g r period of time eve v n though they are r n’t a candidate fo f r

The new va v lv lve re r placement pro r cedure r channels a tube called a catheter

surg rgery ry,” says y Dr.r Robinson.

with a pro r sthetic va v lv lve thro r ugh the fe f mora r l artery r to re r ach the heart. The

The Hospital’s ’ Chairman of Card r iology gy, Richard r Shlofm f itz, M.D., was instru-

Core r Va V lv lve Sys y tem is designed with selff expandable technology gy, deploying

mental in bringing the study to St. Fra r ncis. He sees a time in the fu f ture r when

the new va v lv lve inside the diseased aortic va v lv lve without open-heart surg rgery r or

the benefi f ts of these innov ovative v devices will be av available to a bro r ader seg-

surg r ical re r mov oval of the native v va v lv lve.

ment of patients who are r not a high risk fo f r surg rgery ry. “This new appro r ach is

“This is the most re r vo v lutionary r device I’v ’ve seen in my more r than 20 years r of being a card r iologist. Nothing that I hav ave witnessed in the past can change g the way we pra r ctice interv rventional card r iology g in such a dra r matic way, y ” says y George Petrossian, M.D., Director of Interventional Cardiovascular

like k ly to hav ave the same impact on the tre r atment of va v lv l ular disease as stenting did on coro r nary r artery r disease.” F r more Fo r info f rmation about the study, y log on to ww www.clinicaltrials.go gov. Fo F r more r info f rmation about enro r lling in the study, y call (5 ( 16) 6 562-6790. St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



New Developments in Neurosurgery at St. Francis Richard Johnson, M.D., the new Director of Neurosurgery, discusses the latest advances in brain and spine surgery


hen Richard Johnson, M.D., hears the popular expression, “This isn’t brain surgery,” he can’t help but smile. For Dr. Johnson, it actually is. The highly regarded St. Francis physician directs a team of more than 15 neurosurgeons who specialize in treating debilitating conditions that affect the brain and spine.

Under Dr. r Johnson’s leadership, St. Francis was recently recognized by U. U S. News w & Wo W rl r d Report as one of the nation’s top hospitals fo f r neurology g and neurosurgery. y “We were ecstatic to hear the news,”


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St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

says Dr. Johnson. He credits his team off top-notch neurologists and surgeons, the Hospital’s Magnet Award-winning g nurses, and the acquisition off leading g edge technology forr helping g to make St. Francis a choice destination forr brain and spine surgery. “The most common problem we see are patients suffering g from dislocated discs in the neckk and lowerr back,” says Dr. Johnson. “It’s a very common ailment that affects people off all ages and socioeconomic classes. Ourr mission is to work k in tandem with ourr pain management physicians, neurologists and physical therapists to provide the best level off care.” Forr patients dreading g the thought off undergoing g traditional spinal surgery, Dr. Johnson and his team are offering g some new, minimally invasive alternatives. X-STOP P has been introduced at St. Francis for patients suffering g from lumbarr spinal stenosis (LSS). The condition is caused by a narrowing g off the spinal canal that can result in pinched nerves that cause pain, tingling g orr numbness in the lowerr back k and into the legs. Through a small implant known as an X-STOP P Spacer, doctors can reopen the space to “unpinch” the nerve, helping g to relieve the pain when a patient stands up and walks. The department is also offering g newer, minimally invasive therapies that can decompress and fuse the spine forr patients suffering

from chronic back k pain and herniated disks. Forr patients with cervical myelopathy orr a compression off the cervical spine, St. Francis surgeons can now operate through the front off the neck k to remove, bone, ligaments orr discs that press against the spine. Using g pieces of bone orr a carbon fiberr composite, they can reconstruct and stabilize the spine. Dr. Johnson also credits Jack k Soterakis, M.D., VP P off Medical Affairs, and hospital administration forr helping g to bring g the latest technology to his department. The new equipment includes a microscope and brain navigational system that uses a stereotactic apparatus with MRI to localize brain tumors. Lee Tessler, M.D., has recently begun using the high tech probe that’s been dubbed the “magic wand” off neurosurgery forr its pinpoint accuracy. According g to Dr. Johnson, cases have increased twenty-fold in his department from last yearr alone. “Ourr goal is to let the community and local physicians know that we can take care off theirr patient’s spinal and cranial problems at St. Francis and that they don’t have to send them to the city to get the same level off care. It’s right here in theirr own backyard,” says Dr. Johnson. Forr more information, orr a physician consultation, please call 1-888-432-7869.

Hospitalist Program Set to Begin in an Effort to Enhance Patient Care In a move designed to enhance and better coordinate the care of hospitalized patients, St. Francis is launching a Hospitalist Program at the start of 2011 and has recently appointed its director, Marianne Hamra, M.D. (pictured). Dr. Hamra comes to St. Francis with extensive and diverse experience in hospital medicine, most recently at St. Luke’sRoosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, and prior to that at Staten Island University Hospital. Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. Most are trained in Internal Medicine and typically do not have outpatient practices. They spend most of their time in the hospital, and are available to attend to medical issues that arise throughout the day. In this way, they are able to coordinate all aspects of a patient’s hospitalization. “Hospitalists are trained to take care of the sickest patients, with the expertise to provide top quality care while promoting patient safety,” says Dr. Hamra. “We know hospital procedures and processes and we are on-hand, round-the-clock, to anticipate changes and address them in a timely manner.” Hospitalists are always available to come back to the

bedside to explain test results and answer questions for patients and family members. Hospitalists are also a vital link in coordinating care among several specialists and in communicating with a patient’s primary care physician throughout the hospitalization. Hospital medicine is the fastest growing medical specialty in the nation and is rapidly becoming a mainstay at many medical centers. According to Marvin Tenenbaum, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Associate Medical Director at St. Francis Hospital, there are two primary reasons for this trend: the increasingly heavy outpatient caseload of primary care physicians and the fact that today’s hospitalized patients tend to be more acutely ill and therefore require more specialized care. “We were asked by our own doctors to start this program,” says Dr. Tenenbaum, “because they saw it could help them, the Hospital, and, most importantly, their patients.” Dr. Hamra clearly relishes the challenge of creating a brand-new program. “It is an exciting opportunity to start something fresh that promises significant benefits,” she says. “And it is rewarding to know that you can have a real impact on the quality of patient care.” Dr. Hamra is currently interviewing to hire an initial team of six physicians and is aiming to launch the program early in the new year. She says the program will be a natural fit for St. Francis. “There is such a tightlyknit, community feeling here, with everyone focused on the patient,” she says. “In this kind of environment, you really know you can succeed.”

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



Giving Back Meet the Gallatins

A Second Chance to Live – and Give Why have Ron Gallatin and his wife Meryl been donating to St. Francis Hospital for the past 13 years? It’s very simple. “Because St. Francis saved my life,” says the former Lehman Brothers managing director. And one of Ron’s closest and dearest friends, Fred DeMatteis, played a central role as well. In 1997, the DeMatteis Center for Research and Education in Greenvale installed a new ultra-fast CT scanner for cardiac imaging. Fred, who served as Chairman of the Hospital’s Board from 1985 through 1987 and was a longtime St. Francis friend and benefactor, encouraged all of his pals to take the test. Ron, an avid runner, was in tip-top shape and believed that the test was not necessary. But because of Fred’s insistence, Ron obliged. And it was a good thing he did. The test revealed that nothing was wrong with Ron’s heart, but a smudge picked up during the test turned out to be Stage-3B lung cancer. “I was totally asymptomatic. The chance of my taking a chest x-ray or anything like it would have been zero because nothing appeared wrong with me,” remembers Ron. “And based upon what the oncologist told me afterwards, had I not taken that test exactly when I took it, by the time I became symptomatic, which would have been a matter of months, I would have been dying.” Ron went in for surgery shortly afterwards and fully recovered. He credits St. Francis and his dear friend “Freddy” for the fact that he is alive today. So ever since, Ron and Meryl have been dedicated supporters of the Hospital, annually sponsoring the cocktail reception and/or dinner at the Golf Classic in memory of Fred and in honor of Alan D. Guerci, M.D., St. Francis Hospital President and CEO. They recently pledged $1 per square foot of the Master Facilities Plan (a $150,000 pledge) in memory of Fred DeMatteis, longtime Chairman of The DeMatteis Organizations and visionary of the St. Francis expansion project. Ron mused at the time of his pledge that he matched the gift amount to the square footage of the project because Fred would have

appreciated its significance. The couple, who permanently relocated from Lattingtown, New York, to Boca Raton, Florida, five years ago, flew in just for the day to attend the DeMatteis Pavilion opening in July 2008. Ron and Meryl were very pleased with the renovations at St. Francis. “I wouldn’t have missed the DeMatteis Pavilion opening for the world. The renovations are magnificent and the Hospital is in a class of its own,” he says. “The people are a credit to Dr. Guerci and the organization he put together – top cardiologists, caring nurses and the new wing, which will continue saving many, many lives.” Ron has spent most of his life giving to charities. “A friend made an interesting statement at his retirement party. Quoting his father, he said, ‘A person should spend one third of their life learning, one third of their life earning, and spend the last third of their life returning.’ So when I heard those words, I decided that that worked for me. I graduated school at an early age and retired early, so I changed the math a little. I made it a quarter, quarter, half.” Currently, Ron is a director at RTI International Metals, but also finds time to serve on the executive committee of three other charitable organizations, including one (Hands On Tzedakah) that he founded and chairs. While both Meryl and Ron spend countless hours and dollars as philanthropists, prior to his bout with cancer, Meryl and Ron had never donated to a hospital, but they are definitely glad that St. Francis is now a part of their lives. According to Ron, it was necessary for St. Francis to expand and build the Pavilion, but he doesn’t want to see the Hospital grow for the purpose of growing. “I believe that under Alan Guerci’s leadership, St. Francis will find its right size. Many think of St. Francis only as a heart hospital, but it is far more than that. It is a full service hospital with a very, very strong cardiology department whose mission is to have strong noncardiac areas in addition to a super strong cardiology area.”

Master Facilities Plan Update Bein ing a part r of o someth t in ing tr transf sform r ati tional.l E suri En ring th t e fu f tu t re r . There r are r many re r asons why donors r to St. Fra r ncis Hospital’s ’ capital campaign become invo v lv lved. And now, w more r than eve v r befo f re r , fr f iends of the Hospital are r re r alizing that this is their chance to shape the fu f ture r of healthcare r in a meaningf gful way. y Gift f s totaling ov over $63 million alre r ady hav ave enabled us to build the new DeMatteis Pav a ilion with 14 new opera r ting ro r oms, 124 new patient r oms, and a new card ro r iac imaging center with the latest noninva v sive v imaging technologies such as a Card r iac PET/CT scanner.r By making a gift f now in support of our ongo g ing Master Fa F cilities Plan, you will be part of the eff ffort to addre r ss ov overcro r wding in the Emerg rgency Department. Ove v r the next x 18 months, this are r a will be doubled in size and include exa x mination ro r oms with solid walls and priva v cy glass.


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St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Other giving opportunities are r linke k d dire r ctly to St. Fra r ncis Hospital’s ’ nationally re r cognized card r iac specialty ty, such as the re r nov ovation of six card r iothora r cic opera r ting ro r oms, a new re r cov overy r unit fo f r patients emerg r ing fr from card r iac surg ry ge ry, and an expansion of the card r iac catheterization lab. An additional $7 million is urg rgently needed to complete these pro r jects by the end of 2011. Considering the hundre r ds of patients and visitors r who fi f nd new hope at St. Fra r ncis eve v ry r day, y donors r are r making an inve v stment in much more r than bricks k and mortar.r A gift f to St. Fra r ncis Hospital means that the best options in care r are r always y av available, less inva v sive v tests help ge g t answers r quicke k r,r and patients and visitors r fi f nd comfo f rt in the home–like k surro r undings g of our hospital. It could be a fr f iend, fa f mily l member,r or eve v n yo y u, who someday comes to understand just how import r ant this is during a time of need. So whether it is a gift f in honor of a special occasion or a maj a or pledge g ov over seve v ra r l ye y ars r that yo y u might consider,r please know that it will be making a diff ffere r nce fo f r many ye y ars r to come. F r info Fo f rmation on va v rious ways y to give v , please call (5 ( 16) 6 70 7 5-6655 or visit our website at ww s fr francisheart r center. r co c m.

Giving Back

Tom Huller The giver that keeps on giving After a long and exciting career with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), it wasn’t police work that put Lieutenant Thomas P. Huller at risk—it was his own heart. Tom was 64 years old and experiencing difficulty with his breathing – even while taking a casual walk through his neighborhood. So he wisely used his detective skills and determined that a trip to his doctor was in order. His doctor sent him straight to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital. Tom says, “The decision to go to St. Francis was a godsend.” To this day, Tom remembers that experience and credits the team of dedicated doctors at St. Francis Hospital with saving his life. As his career choice suggests, Tom has always placed a great deal of value in giving back to his community. Tom’s giving, however, didn’t end when he retired from the NYPD. In fact, shortly after his cardiac surgery, Tom made his first donation to St. Francis Hospital, and over the years, he has continued to give – even including St. Francis Hospital in his will. Recently, Tom learned that St. Francis Hospital offers charitable gift annuities. He read the material sent to him by the Planned Giving Department and then consulted with his financial advisors who agreed that the gift annuity was a sound idea. Tom then called St. Francis Hospital and the gift planners helped him make the gift a reality. Tom always felt it would be great to be in a financial position to support the causes that are closest to his heart. “I think there are many people who want to support the things they care about, but don’t know that they have the means to make it happen,” he says. “I’m glad I’ve found an easy way to make a meaningful gift that supports something as worthwhile as St. Francis Hospital.”

Meet Edna Pascale

Port Washington Mom Found the Cure to Empty Nest Syndrome When Edna Pascale’s twin daughter and son left home for college back in 1959, she looked for something to fill the void. Edna quickly found the answer by becoming a volunteer at St. Francis and has been volunteering ever since. The veteran volunteer has logged five decades of dedicated service and more than 8,500 hours. She was recently honored at the Hospital’s Annual Volunteer Luncheon for her selfless and continued mission to help others. The grandmother of six and great-grandmother of six says volunteering has definitely changed over the years. “I had no prior training. When they first assigned me to the information desk, it was just me, a small desk, a phone and some visitor passes,” says the now 91-year-old volunteer. She also says that all of the nurses were nuns at the time. “They were pretty strict,” says Edna. “One day I got a call from a sister who told me that there were three visitors in a certain room and that I better get up there quickly because it was over the limit.” The energetic Port Washington resident still volunteers every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.— a time many would prefer to have to themselves. She says she’s gotten lots of medals, pins, and even a necklace and bracelet for all her decades of dedicated service, but it can’t compare to the memories she has. “I’ve made so many friends from volunteering and still have many of them today.”

Five Decades of Dedicated Service: Alan D. Guerci, M.D., President & CEO, (l.), and Ruth Hennessey, EVP & Chief Administrative Officer, (r.), congratulate veteran volunteer Edna Pasquale for donating so many well spent hours to the Hospital.

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



Vital Signs

Following His Lead

Lawrence Durban, M.D., Director of Thoracic Surgery

Everyone has heard of pacemakers, and many have heard about their cousins, implantable defibrillators. Both are mainstays in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders. But unless you are a physician or a patient, you probably don’t know that it takes thin wires called leads to make them work.


f th t e pacemaker is th t e orchestr t a conductor, r th t en th t e leads are his hands, maintaining th t e rh rhyth t m of life f .Te T chnically, y leads are special wires th t at deliver energy fr f om a pacemaker or implantab a le cardioverter defifbrillator (ICD) to th t e heart muscle. Because cardiac devices can last fo f r a long time – sometimes over 20 years – th t ese t in wires are sub th ubject to wear and tear and occasional malfu f nction, requiring a procedure called lead extr t action. Since 1989, Law a rence Durb r an, M.D., Director ofThoracic Surgery, y has been perfo f rming lead extr t action surgery at St. Francis Hospital. It’s a very precise and str t ategic procedure th t at requires a great deal of experience and patience. Not many n phy h sicians do it, and Dr. Durb r an oft f en takes refe f rrals and tr t ansfe f rs fr f om oth t er hospitals. “There are very fe f w people th t at hav a e devoted a lot of time and attention to lead extraction. Most places th t at perfo f rm th t e procedure, only do a fe f w and do th t em very selectively because th t ere’s a lot of fe f ar,” explains Dr. Durban. “If you’re not experienced, you’re not going to hav a e th t e confifdence to really get th t rough th t e procedure. Many of th t ese operations require several steps and several strategies to both t take th t e leads out and put th t em in. Plus leads can bind in very diff fficult way a s to oth t er leads and to tissue with t in th t e heart, so th t ere has to be a lot of attention to detail.” Jack Soteraki k s, M.D.,Vi V ce President of Medical Aff ffairs at St. Francis, commends Dr. Durb r an’s profifciency in perfo f rming th t e procedure. “His expertise in safe f ly perfo f rming laser lead extr t action, a very complex and high risk procedure, has been recognized nationally because of his very good results and outcomes. Dr. Durb r an conducts tu t torials to teach oth t er phy h sicians how to safe f ly perfo f rm th t is procedure.” In addition to wear and tear and lead malfu f nction, Dr. Durb r an also say as t at he sees a number of patients who hav th a e infe f ction problems with t th t eir hardw d are and require th t e leads to be removed, as well as patients who


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St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

hav a e diff fficult access issues because of obstr t uction of th t e veins th t at require upgrades or advanced devices. Lead extr t action takes ab a out two hours and t e patient is usually ab th a le to go home th t e next day ay. The primary tool th t at Dr. Durb r an uses is called a laser sheath t , which goes over th t e leads to a late, or separate, binding points and also allows him to open obstr ab t ucted centr t al veins. According to Dr. Durb r an, most phy h sicians who perfo f rm lead extr t action are electr t ophy h siologists, and th t at’s because electr t ophy h siologists are usually t e implanters of cardiac rh th rhyth t m management devices.When Dr. Durb r an fifrst came to St. Francis 20 years ago, he allied himself with t Joseph Levine, M.D., Director of th t e Arrh rhyth t mia and Pacemaker Center, r who at th t e time was developing th t e electr t ophy h siology program at th t e Hospital. “I became very fa f miliar and experienced early on with t regular implantation techniques and as we saw a a need to expand to more diff fficult areas, I was ab a le to provide th t e surgical support fo f r th t at, too,” he say a s. When it comes to lead extr t acti t on, one of th t e maj a or complicat ations requires immediat a e surgical at attenti t on, wh w ich only l a surgeon can really l provide – but because Dr. r Durb r an is a surgeon he can provide th t at a at attenti t on w ile doing th wh t e procedure himself. He say a s, “because of my m experience, I’ve been ab a le to generat a e protocols and algorith thms th t at a can get a pat atient successfu f lly l th through g th t e procedure in a very precise and successfu f l way ay.” In addition to being a top lead extr t actor, r Dr. Durb r an perfo f rms many n procedures related to th t e diagnosis and tr t eatm t ent of malignancies in th t e chest, and is very interested in th t e tr t eatm t ent and care of patients with t lung cancer and cancers with t in th t e chest. “We W ’re looki k ng to develop a cancer program at St. Francis. Oncology is defifnitely an area th t at could see more growth t , but I th t ink we hav a e th t e technology and expertise to do it and as we’re more recognized both t in general surgery and th t oracic surgery, y we’re going to be ab a le to serve more patients. Patients fr f om oth t er institu t tions are now viewing us as a maj a or center th t at has demonstr t ated excellence in approaching th t ese problems.”

Experienced Hands: Roberto Colangelo, M.D., Cardiac Surgeon He has one off the highest patient outcome rates in the New w York k metropolitan area. The State Department of Health has given Roberto Colangelo, M.D., a two starr rating g (its highest rating) forr coronaryy arteryy bypass surgery based on mortalityy rates compiled overr a three yearr period. The highlyy regarded surgeon attributes his stellarr success rates to being g a sticklerr forr perfection. “I expect the utmost from myselff and everyone else in the OR at all times,” says Dr. Colangelo. He also says he treats each and every patient as iff theyy were a memberr off his family. Dr. Colangelo emigrated to the U.S. at the age off three from Italy with his parents. He says he decided to specialize in heart surgery while he was a student at the New w York k Universityy School of Medicine. “I was undergoing g training g at Bellevue and saw w so many

people from underprivileged countries suffering g from acute cardiac conditions that could have been treated before theyy became so sick,” g to see them being says the St. Francis surgeon. “It was so rewarding brought backk to health. I just wanted to be able to give backk to others in the same way.” The meticulous physician, whose office is filled with cards and letters from grateful patients, has been a surgeon at St. Francis since g aspect off his job is being g able to 1997. He says the most rewarding take a patient with an acute heart attackk and turn the situation around. “It’s an unbelievable feeling g to make a heart beat again and save a life.”

Who’s That Surgeon? The surgeon on page 1 of the most recent St. Francis Hospital Annual Report was misidentified. It was actually Roberto Colangelo, M.D.

South Bay Cardiovascular Joins St. Francis Hospital to Extend Excellence in Cardiac Care


t. Francis is pleased to announce thatt one off the leading cardiologyy practices in western Suffolkk Countyy has joined the Hospital. St. Francis Hospital – South Bayy Cardiovascular, formerly known as South Bayy Cardiovascular Associates, is based in Westt Islip. The facilityy offers a broad range off expertise in the diagnosis, treatmentt and prevention of alll types off cardiovascularr disease. “We are extremelyy enthusiasticc about this latestt step in ourr continuing g mission to provide the veryy bestt cardiacc care in the region,” says Ruth Hennessey, EVP P and Chieff Administrative Officerr off St. Francis Hospital. “Itt willl help to connectt outstanding g heartt specialists from the North and South shores off Long g Island forr a seamless deliveryy off qualityy care.” “Given the changing g landscape off healthcare delivery, the time was rightt forr this alignmentt off hospitals and providers,” says Larry

M. Altschul, M.D., FACC, FASE, Seniorr Partnerr off South Bay. “Luckily, we have been given the opportunityy to join a nationallyy recognized hospitall system thatt shares ourr mission, our passion, and ourr respectt forr the human elementt off ourr profession.” The thriving g practice, founded in 1989, has 16 physicians on stafff and has 83,000 patientt visits a year. Itt prides itselff on providing g leadingedge cardiacc care to the communityy regardless off one’s abilityy to pay. The practice also offers state-of-the-artt echocardiography, nuclear stress tests, and pacemakerr and defibrillator device checks. Its interventionall cardiologists perform cardiacc catheterization procedures at St. Francis as welll as Good Samaritan Hospital Medicall Center. Members off its arrhythmia departmentt also perform procedures att Good Samaritan. Forr more information orr to schedule an appointment, call (631) 669-2555.

St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



Vital Signs St. Francis ICU Physician Jeffrey Wolf, M.D., Makes Mission of Mercy to Haiti Jeffrey Wolf, M.D., says he can never forget the devastating images he saw on his TV screen. The St. Francis Pulmonary and Critical Care physician remembers watching a telethon for earthquake ravaged Haiti with his two young sons, when tears came to eyes. The graphic video showed severely injured children the same age as his kids. The doctor promised his sons he would try to help and he did. He embarked on a two week mission to Haiti to provide much needed emergency care to patients desperately waiting for medical attention. Through the efforts of the International Medical Corps, Dr. Wolf was able to make the trip. The organization was looking for ICU and ER doctors to work at the State University Hospital of Haiti in Port-au-Prince and it sounded like a perfect fit. The doctor knew it would be hard, but said nothing could prepare him for what he would find—a daunting lack of resources and so many survivors clinging to life.” “People were showing up at the hospital, dying from treatable illnesses such as diabetes and asthma, because of a lack of either medication, resources or supplies,” says Dr. Wolf. “I thought if these patients were at St. Francis, they would all be fine. I learned how to improvise and was able to practice my specialty—Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine—without any other distractions.”

A Life Changing Experience: Jeffrey Wolf, M.D., treats patients young and old, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.


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St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

The doctor studied French in college, but practiced speaking Creole with Haitian staff members at St. Francis before making the trip. He says he was amazed by the deep sense of faith and indomitable resilience of the Haitian people. “Despite all the adversity, people rarely complained,” says Dr. Wolf. “When I asked a patient ‘how are you doing?’ the universal response that I got from almost everyone, everyday, no matter how ill, was ‘pas plus mal’ which in Creole roughly translates to ‘not too bad.’” Dr. Wolf says his mission to Haiti was a life-altering experience to say the least. “For the first four months following the earthquake, the hospital operated out of tents. Doctors and nurses had not been paid for months but continued to work,” says the St. Francis physician. “During the earthquake, the nursing school building collapsed, killing the entire second year class of 120 students.” The doctor says, “My experience has certainly changed the way I look at the world. It’s given me a new perspective on what is really important and what’s not. When I think about any of the problems that I may have, I realize that I have little to complain about. I used to take so much for granted, but now I have a better understanding of just how fortunate we are to live in this country.”

Staff News

Marvin Tenenbaum, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Medicine at St. Francis Hospital, has received one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for treating patients with infectious diseases. Richard Whitley, M.D., (l) President of the IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America) presented Dr. Tenenbaum (r) with its 2010 Watanakunakorn Clinician Award for outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases.

SFH’s Patient Care Services Leadership Team (from l to r): Donna Rebelo, MS, R.N., NE-BC; Kathleen Gilligan-Steiner, MA, R.N., NE-BC; Ann Cella, MA, MEd, R.N.-BC, NEA; Kathleen Engber, MA, NE-BC/R.N. Informatics; Margaret Ochotorena, MSN, R.N., NE-BC; Anna Baracchini, MA, R.N., CPHQ; and Diane Mamounis-Simmons, MSN, R.N., NEA-BC/CNOR.

Cultivating Leadership for Tomorrow’s Nurses St. Francis Hospital’s nursing g department has launched a follow-up to its successful Tomorrow’s Nurses program. The new w Tomorrow’s Nurse Leaders program, also founded byy Ann Cella, MA, MEd, RN-BC, NEA, Chieff Nursing g Officerr and Seniorr Vice President off Patient Care Services, invites those interested in the field off nursing g management and adminis-

Roy Constantine, Ph.D., RPA-C, Assistant Director, MLP Services, has received the John W. Kirklin Award for Professional Excellence from the American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants. The award was established 20 years ago to recognize outstanding contributions to the surgical profession. This was the first time in five years that it was awarded.

David Award Winner: Alan D. Guerci, M.D., President & CEO, was the recipient of the David Award by Networking Magazine. The honor recognizes individuals who are dedicated to their community, excel in business or academics and also accomplish outstanding heroic and humanitarian acts. Dr. Guerci was honored at the David Awards Breakfast on January 20.

tration to expand theirr leadership skills. Prospective nurses can spend a dayy with St. Francis nurse managers, clinical experts and nurse executives forr a first-hand lookk at the rewards and challenges off nursing g leadership. With more than 3 million members, the nursing g profession is the largest segment off the nation’s health care workforce. “The professional nurse must be able to deliverr high quality patient care in a rapidlyy changing g health care environment,” says Cella. “The Tomorrow’s Nurse Leaders program assures that St. Francis Hospital nurses are well prepared to lead change, and I believe it will also be an important contribution to the nursing g profession.” The goal off the program is to give prospective nurse leaders an inside lookk at human resource management and fiduciaryy responsibility, as well as how w to create the ideal patient experience, applyy evidence-based practice, and how w to effectivelyy utilize decision-making g tools in the practice off nursing g at St. Francis. “With this program, I hope to mentorr and engage nurses as transformational leaders and prepare those who can best lead otherr nurses as managers, educators, administrators, and

World Class Arrhythmia Symposium: Joseph Levine (right), M.D., Director of Electrophysiology at St. Francis Hospital, led a medical conference at The DeMatteis Center that included three other internationally renowned experts in treating irregular heartbeats. Pictured from right to left are: Peter Kowey, M.D., Director of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA; Carlo Pappone, M.D., Director of the Department of Arrhythmology, Villa Maria Cecilia Hospital, Cotignola, Italy; and Valentin Fuster, M.D., Director of Mount Sinai Heart, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY.

advanced practice nurses,” says Cella. St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center ®

Winter 2010-2011



St. Francis Hospital The Heart Center ®


100 Port Washington Boulevard Roslyn, New York 11576

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2011 MarkYourCalendar

St. Francis Hospital Events

Tuesday, May 3 The Guild of St. Francis Hospital’s Spring Luncheon, “An Afternoon on Broadway.” Americana Manhasset will be sponsoring this popular annual event.

Monday, June 6 St. Francis Hospital’s 37th Annual Golf Classic at Meadow Brook Club, The Creek and Nassau Country Club. Men, women and foursomes are welcome. Golf reservations will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. For more information or tickets, call (516) 705-6655

Heartbeat Magazine - Winter 2010-2011