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Richmond University Medical Center Holds Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Symposium

May 10, 2019 – On May 3rd, over 20 projects initiated over the past year at Richmond University Medical Center focusing on increasing patient safety and quality of care were the topics of conversation at the hospital’s 5th annual patient safety and quality improvement symposium. While all projects have led to improvements in care at Richmond University Medical Center, a panel of judges selected a pediatric asthma project that contributed to improved care of young patients as this year’s winning presentation. 

“Providing quality care goes hand and hand with patient safety,” Dr. Mitchell Fogel, chair of medicine and senior vice president at Richmond University Medical Center, said. “Richmond University Medical Center is already recognized nationally as a leader in both these areas, yet we must always seize opportunities to explore new initiatives for improvement.” 

The winning entry was a collaboration between Richmond University Medical Center and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Over the past year, medical staff from the hospital’s pediatric unit and emergency department received training and implemented measures to quickly reduce pediatric asthma patient’s conditions from escalating, and also reducing their need for return visits to the emergency room or inpatient units.

 According to data assembled by the team at Richmond University Medical Center, asthma affects 10 percent of children in the United States. It is the leading cause of missed school days, with an estimated cost of treatment and hospitalization of more than $3 billion per year. The quality of asthma care varies widely among communities, causing unnecessary care gaps that can lead to increased cost of care, complications, or even death. 

Utilizing the new procedures, over the course of 2018, the team at RUMC successfully reduced the number of pediatric patients requiring elevated care, meaning their conditions did not worsen after arrival at the hospital. There were also reductions in pediatric asthma patients needing to return to the hospital for asthma-related care after their initial visit. Decreases were noted in return visits during both the 7-day and 30-day time periods. The team will now continue to work with the American Academy of Pediatrics to further assess the results and how they can be maintained, or improved, over the long-term. 

The winning team included Dr. Melissa Guillermo, Dr. Shahd Hamarsha, Dr. Neelam Sarwar, Dr. Anita Abure, Dr. Jean Gordon, Dr. Carol Landron, Dr. Amanda Brooks, Dr. Sandra Greco, Dr. Mansoor Khan, Dr. Melissa Grageda, Dr. Harry Kopolovich, and Kim Wagner. 

“Everything we do at Richmond University Medical Center is with one goal in mind, “ Dr. Fogel said. “To continue delivering on the trust placed in us by our patients and their families.” 

Richmond University Medical Center has been recognized recently by national organizations, including The Joint Commission, for providing high level quality care while maintaining equally high emphasis on ensuring patient safety.



Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. They provide premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. RUMC does this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff. For more information call 1-718-818-1234 or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.




Representing the winning presentation team from this year’s symposium was Dr. Shahd Hamarsha.

The team was presented with their award by Richmond University Medical Center president and CEO, Dr. Daniel J. Messina


Over 200 members of RUMC’s medical staff participated in the day long symposium focusing on improving quality of care and patient safety.




Alex Lutz

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Richmond University Medical Center

355 Bard Avenue

Staten Island, NY  10310

T: 718-818-2104

C: 347-216-1566