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Healthcare disparities persist throughout the United States. We see discrepancies in everything from diabetes management to maternal mortality rates in our communities, including Yonkers. Most recently, the pandemic has highlighted the urgency of addressing these health disparities. We continue to observe disproportionally high rates of COVID-19 illness and death among the already medically vulnerable, including the elderly and communities of color.
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure quality healthcare delivery to all members of our community, St. John’s and its community partners have formed the Committee for Achieving Regional Equity in Healthcare. The mission of the committee is to achieve healthcare equity in our community by identifying healthcare disparities and promoting effective strategies to optimize healthcare delivery. The committee will champion compassionate, professional, respectful, and ethical care for all whom we serve. Ultimately, the committee is dedicated to helping change health outcomes for our community.
Our goals include:
“Good health is the great equalizer. But the health of our communities has never been more out of balance,” said Philicia Jones and Erick Lapice, Co-Chairpersons of The Committee. “And the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified longstanding health inequities that disproportionately impacted our communities of color.” “Many factors drive these disparities. Social determinants and other barriers to care contribute to the higher rates of pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma, in under-served communities, said Michael DiGiorno, DO, FASN, Vice President of Medical Operations. “These pre-existing conditions contributed to negative outcomes experienced by the most medically vulnerable members of our community.”
St. John’s Riverside Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Gold Seal of Approval® for Stroke Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.
St. John’s Riverside Hospital underwent a rigorous site visit in December of 2020. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with Stroke standards spanning several areas. St. John’s demonstrated adherence to the most current evidence-based guidelines and quality metrics, ensuring that our patients receive the most appropriate stroke treatment with a goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability from Stroke.
The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts, providers, data experts, and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted site observations and interviews.
“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend St. John’s Riverside Hospital for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”
“St. John’s Riverside Hospital is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for our stroke patients. By obtaining Joint Commission certification, we commit to excellence throughout the spectrum of Stroke care, from rapid diagnosis and management in the Emergency Department to maximizing recovery and preventing future events.
Our dedicated, multi-disciplinary Stroke Committee focuses on ongoing Performance Improvement initiatives that will continue to enhance Stroke care at St. John’s,” said Raffaele Milizia, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at St. John’s and the Medical Director of the Stroke Program.
For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.
St. John’s Riverside Hospital was one of the earliest health care organizations to join the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement and is pleased to announce that its commitment to this national movement is not only improving care for older adults in its own community but has contributed to the national movement surpassing its 2020 milestone.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has announced that the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement has beaten its participation goal by nearly 50 percent with the help of 1,956 sites of care like St. John’s Riverside Hospital who joined the movement by the end of 2020. The Age-Friendly Health Systems movement underscores St. John’s Riverside Hospital’s active commitment to improving care for older adults.
Health care organizations who join the Age-Friendly movement adopt and demonstrate progress toward implementation of the 4Ms framework, four evidence-based practices, that lay the groundwork for optimizing care and outcomes for older adults, improving provider experience, supporting caregivers, and pursuing value-based methods of care. The 4M’s include: What Matters to older adults, their Medication, their Mentation, and their Mobility.
IHI reports that participation in the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement surged by 85 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when 1,671 care sites joined between March and December 2020, highlighting the impact of the older adult population’s size and distinct medical needs on US health care delivery. Adults 65 and older are a rapidly growing segment of the US population and health care consumers. Their numbers are expected to increase from 49 million today to 98 million by 2060.
“St. John’s Riverside Hospital is deeply committed to the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement because of the benefits that it can deliver to older adults, their families, and our providers,” says Peg Kern, NP, Chairperson of the St. John’s Age-Friendly Committee. “Our seniors require and deserve specialized care and this movement fits within our mission of service to our community.”
In 2020, St. John’s touched over 1,500 adult patients 65 and older by using evidence-based practices of the 4 M’s framework.
The founders and partners of Age-Friendly Health Systems recognize the far-reaching impact of improving care for older adults as a way to build greater resilience into individual health care organizations and to strengthen US health care overall.
 US Census Bureau
The Yonkers and Southern Westchester communities have been among the hardest-hit areas of New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, over 17,000 of our families, friends and neighbors have been infected. Unfortunately, many of these continue to face lingering side effects. That is why St. John’s Riverside is launching a Post-Covid Care program.
Uncertainties remain regarding the short- and long-term health effects of COVID-19. At St. John’s Riverside Hospital, we focus on each person as a whole and understand that it can affect all aspects one’s health, including mind, body and spirit.
Per the CDC, “While most persons with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some patients can have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after recovery from acute illness. Even people who are not hospitalized and who have mild illness can experience persistent or late symptoms.”
Long-term symptoms can include:
We at St. John’s Riverside Hospital want to help advance our community’s wellness and ensure our patients access to the comprehensive care they need. St. John’s is proud to announce our new POST-COVID CARE PROGRAM. The program provides specialized services, including Diagnostic, Testing, Referral, and Management Services to the thousands of recovered COVID-19 patients in the Southern Westchester area. They will work in conjunction with the primary care provider of each patient to ensure appropriate medical care.
“We identified that the patients we serve have been suffering with the after effects of COVID-19. This new program is designed to facilitate recovery and support our patients on their way back to wellness” – Michael DiGiorno, DO, FASN, Medical Director of St. John’s Medical Group.
If you need medical support after recovering from COVID-19, call 914-786-0013 to make an appointment. Most insurances are accepted.
Call Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm to set up an appointment at our Boyce Thompson Center, located at 1088 North Broadway in Yonkers.
Appointments are available on: