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Federal officials secure over $1.8M for imaging technology enhancements for Richmond University Medical Center

April 1, 2022

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. –Thanks to support from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) will soon be home to one of the most advanced forms of interventional medical technology available in healthcare: biplane imaging.

The federal legislators secured over $1.8 million in federal funds that were included in an appropriations bill recently signed by President Joseph Biden.

“In helping us attain biplane imaging technology, Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Malliotakis have shown their commitment to ensuring that Staten Island residents have access to the most advanced medical technology without having to go far from home,” RUMC President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, said. “We are extremely grateful for their partnership and commitment to our hospital, our patients, and our medical specialists who will improve the health status of our community thanks to this technology.”

(Courtesy/Alexander Lutz/RUMC)
RUMC President and CEO Daniel J. Messina says the new imaging technology enhancements for Richmond University Medical Center will be a huge asset to Staten Islanders. (Courtesy/Alexander Lutz/RUMC)

Biplane imaging involves two cameras that rotate on each side of the patient, producing images. As the cameras move around the patient, they produce highly detailed images of blood vessels, soft tissue, and blood flow, all in real-time. This imaging can allow surgeons and medical staff to identify and treat vascular blockages, aneurysms, malformations and additional abnormalities that could lead to stroke, hemorrhaging, and other neurovascular complications.

The detailed images produced by the biplane can lead to faster diagnosis and better surgical precision. The combination of pinpoint accuracy provided by the biplane technology and the extensive experience RUMC’s neurovascular team has in performing minimally invasive procedures will result in far less scarring, faster recovery time and overall improved patient outcomes.

According to Pietro Carpentio, MD, RUMC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 140,000 people a year. That equates to one in every 20 deaths. Someone has a stroke every four minutes. Nearly 800,000 people in the country have a stroke every year.

Projections show that by 2030, stroke prevalence will increase by more than 20%. Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability, reducing mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over.

“Our neurovascular doctors at RUMC have been able to save lives using single plane imaging equipment, successfully retrieving clots from large blood vessels in the brain and returning patients to their normal lives,” Dr. Carpenito said.

Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro
Sen. Charles Schumer played a big part in helping RUMC get funding for imaging technology enhancements. (Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro)

“RUMC’s commitment to ensuring our physicians have the most up-to-date technology and equipment will allow our neurovascular department to continue providing world-class care for the people of Staten Island.”

RUMC anticipates the new biplane to be in operation in early 2023. The biplane will be a featured asset in the hospital’s new Surgical Department, slated to open this fall. Located immediately above the hospital’s new Emergency Department, the new Surgical Department will feature 10 new advanced and fully equipped operating suites as well as expanded space for preoperative and recovery units.

“I am so proud to support Richmond University Medical Center in their important work to diagnose and treat potentially life-threatening strokes and hemorrhages,” said Schumer. “When it comes to neurovascular complications, every second counts, and that’s why having cutting-edge diagnostic tools like biplane imaging at RUMC will literally save lives. I will continue to bring federal resources and support to Staten Island’s hospitals so that they can keep helping as many patients as possible stay healthy.”

“We must continue to invest in our health care system to keep up with medical innovation and new technology, which is why I’m proud to have allocated $1.8 million in this year’s federal budget for RUMC to purchase a new biplane system,” said Malliotakis.

“I promised to go to Washington and fight for Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, and I’m happy to have played a role in ensuring the residents of our community continue to receive high-quality, patient-centered care with state-of-the-art equipment at our hospitals.”

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) helped secure funding for RUMC’s imaging technology enhancements. (Staten Island Advance)

The addition of biplane imaging technology comes at a very auspicious time in RUMC’s history. The hospital has embarked on the largest expansion in its 100-year history of caring for Staten Island and the New York City metropolitan area. In addition to the new Surgical Department, this spring, RUMC will also unveil its new, highly advanced Medical Intensive Care Unit featuring an increase in private patient rooms from 10 to 14, new isolation/negative pressure rooms, and larger visitor space.

This summer, RUMC’s Co-Generation power plant will officially go on line, making the hospital self-sufficient and able to continue operating in the event of an area power failure. Excess heat generated from the engines will be utilized to create improved air conditioning capacity for the hospital.

At around the same time, RUMC will unveil its new state of the art Emergency Department. The new ED will be 35,000 square feet, more than double the size of the existing department and will include private treatment rooms, expanded trauma care and triage units, specialty areas for pediatrics and urgent care, new Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) suites to ensure privacy and protection, and larger ambulance bays and front entrance patient drop-off area.

Finally, later this year will mark the completion of the first phase of upgrades to RUMC’s Richmond County Savings Foundation Mother/Baby Unit. When finished in 2023, the unit will be completely comprised of new single occupancy private rooms, complete with remodeled bathrooms, flooring, windows and lighting.

“The excitement generated by these improvements can already be felt throughout our hospital and the community,” Dr. Messina said. “We are committed to providing Staten Island with the most advanced health care services available close to where they live and work. We have been here for our community for over 100 years and these improvements will ensure that Richmond University Medical Center continues to be here for many generations to come.”