NYCHSRO MedReview Newsletter Vol. 9 No. 2

News in
MedReview Forms Alliance to Recruit Nurses
n recognition of the severe shortage of qualified Registered
Nurses in the United States and in the New York area in particular, MedReview has entered into an alliance with Personnel
Management Services, LLC to recruit and place foreign-born nurses
and other health care professionals with prospective employers in
the United States. The main thrust of the initiative is to recruit nurses from the Philippines.
The joint program will be called International Healthcare Staffing
Solutions and will be directed by Gary Stern who is the President
of Personnel Management Services. Mr. Stern has extensive experience in recruitment of professional medical staff, both in the United
States and the Philippines. He has an established recruitment office
in the Philippines and has successfully recruited more than 600
nurses per year.
The program will reach out to the provider community to deter-
mine specific provider needs
and work closely with providers
to ensure that the needs are
met. This will include identifying applicants that meet all
necessary legal and professional requirements for employment
in the United States. The program will then be responsible
to see that all necessary docuA MEETING WITH GARY STERN
mentation and licenses that are
required by the prospective
employees for travel and work in the United States are obtained.
Any clients who are interested in participating in this new initiative should contact Helen Mutchler at 212.897.6105.
Humanitarian Mission to Israel
t the request of Assemblyman Dov
Hikind, MedReview’s CEO Joseph
Stamm traveled to war torn Israel on a
fact finding and humanitarian mission on July
30, 2006. The four day trip which centered
exclusively in the embattled northern region of
the country was also attended by Councilman
David Weprin, Chairman of the Finance
Committee of the New York City Council.
The eighteen member group met with the
mayors in the northern Israeli towns. The group
was particularly interested in how Israel was
managing the health care emergency created
by the war as well as the bombing of civilian
populations in Israel. They were able to schedule a meeting with the CEO and other top
administrative staff of Rambam Hospital.
Rambam Hospital is the largest hospital in the
north and was the triage hospital attending to
all of the injuries/casualties of the war. The
group also visited with the wounded soldiers
and members of relief organizations as well as families and
individual citizens in their
houses and in their
The trip left an everlasting impression as to the
plight of the Israeli citizens
which, for the most part,
was never clearly presented
in the media. (See accompanying published article by
Joseph Stamm on Page 4).
Inside This Issue...
e MedReview Forms Alliance to Recruit Nurses
e Humanitarian Mission to Israel
e Healthcare Headline Summaries
e MedReview Political Outreach
e News In Review Profile: Richard Bonforte, M.D.
e Trip of a Lifetime
e NYCHSRO Poetry Corner
e Memorial Service for Dr. Eric Vanderbush
e Obesity Costs
e NYCHSRO/MedReview Takes to the Seas
Infant Mortality in Voluntary C-sections –
New York Times (NYT) – 9/5/2006 – A
recent study has found that the risk of death
in newborns delivered by Cesarean section
is much greater than previously believed.
The rate among low-risk women is 1.77
deaths per 1,000 live births while the rate
for vaginal deliveries is 0.62 per 1,000.
The study included 5,762,037 live births
and 11,897 infant deaths in the United
States from 1998 through 2001 and
encompassed 311,927 Cesarean deliveries
among low-risk women.
The percentage of Cesarean births has
been dramatically on the rise, increasing
from 20.7% in 1996 to 29.1% in 2004.
While the mortality rate from Cesarean
deliveries has always been higher than
vaginal deliveries, it has always been
assumed that this was due to the high risk
nature of Cesarean. This study is the first to
reflect a significant higher degree of mortality in a low risk population.
The report speculates that part of the reason for the increased mortality may be that
labor is beneficial to the baby releasing hormones that promote healthy lung function.
The physical compression of the baby during labor is also useful in removing fluids
from the lungs and helping the baby prepare to breathe air.
Cancer Mortality Trends – Wall Street
Journal (WSJ) – 9/6/2006 – The Annual
Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer
reported that death rates from cancer are
continuing to decline but there has been an
unexpected increase in cases of thyroid cancer.
For men, overall rates declined 1.6%
annually between 1993 and 2003 and the
decline was 0.8% for women. However,
thyroid cancer rates during that same period
increased 9.1% for women from 2000 to
2003. The rate for men also increased but
not as significantly.
The study also found that Latinos had
lower incidence rates than non-Hispanic
whites for most cancers but that Latino children have higher incidence rates of
leukemia, retinoblastoma, osteosarcoma,
and germ cell tumors than do non-Latino
white children.
Change in Medicare Part B Premium
Calculation – (New York Times (NYT) –
9/11/2006 – The Medicare Part B
deductible will no longer be a uniform
amount for all recipients. Effective in 2007,
the Part B premium payments will be graduated based on personal income with wealthier people paying a surcharge to offset the
less wealthy.
Using income from the Internal Revenue
Service from tax returns for 2005, if an individual has modified gross income of
$80,000 to $100,000, the surcharge will
be 13.3 percent, which will add about $13
to the monthly premium, for a total of about
$111.50. For a single person with income
of more than $200,000, the surcharge will
be 73.3 percent, or about $72 a month, for
a total premium of about $170.50.
When the transition is fully implemented
in 2009, it is anticipated that the wealthiest
individuals will pay two to four times as
much as the average person.
Congressional Review of New York
Presbyterian Hospital Costs- New York Sun
(NYS) - 9/13/2006 – Senate hearings
focused on high charges billed to uninsured
patients at nonprofit hospitals were centered
on New York-Presbyterian hospital. Senator
Grassley, during the hearings, indicated
that “Non-profit doesn’t necessarily mean
pro-poor patient. Non-profit hospitals may
provide less care to the poor than their forprofit counterparts. They may charge poor,
uninsured patients more for the same services than they charge insured patients.
They sometimes give their executives goldplated compensation packages and generous perks, such as country club memberships. All of this calls into question whether
non-profit hospitals deserve the billions of
dollars in tax breaks they received from federal, state, and local government.”
While Presbyterian wasn’t singled out
specifically, some of its practices could generate further questions. At the hearings,
NYPH indicated that its list prices for procedures, office visits, and hospital stays represent, on average, a 98% markup from the
hospitals costs. Insured patients and their
insurance companies almost always get a
discount, which averages 47% for private
plans. However, NYPH also indicated that
it never sees about 82% of the billed
amount for uninsured patients notwithstanding recent lawsuit attempts to collect on
unpaid bills.
The Senate Committee was also advised
that NYPH’s CEO, Dr. Herbert Pardes made
more than $4.6 millions per year while the
hospital’s director and executive vice president made about $3.4 million, not counting
retirement contributions. NYPH also indicated that, in addition to undisclosed travel
expenses for its top executives, the hospital
reimburses Dr. Pardes about $4,300 each
year for his membership in an unidentified
“private social club”.
Health Care Premiums Rise Twice as Fast as
Wages and Inflation in 2006 (WSJ) –
9/26/2006 – Average family health insurance premiums rose 7.7% in 2006. After
several years of steady increases, the cost
for family coverage under an employer
health plan is now $11,480. However, this
year’s increase was lower than previous
years and many large employers expect the
downward increases to continue in 2007 to
Most larger firms indicate that they’re
adding “consumer directed” plans, which
combine deductibles of typically more than
$1,000 and some sort of tax-saving account
to make employees more of a financial
stake in their health care spending.
Quality and Cost of Care Disclosure- (WSJ)8/23/2006 - On August 22, 2006,
President Bush issued an executive order
requiring all federal agencies to disclose the
quality and cost of care provided to
Medicare beneficiaries, federal employees,
the military and veterans. The order also
promotes the use of health-care technology
and rewards consumers who shop for medical care based on quality and value.
President Bush called on private employers, unions and local governments to follow
suit. "People deserve to know what their
health care costs, how good it is, and the
choices available to them…", Secretary of
Health Leavitt stated. Some insurers such as
Humana and Aetna are already experimenting with giving information to help consumers compare care and may use federal
government standards, as they are developed, to become benchmarks in the private
• Assemblyman Herman Farrell
• Manhattan Borough
President Scott Stringer
• State Senator Kevin Parker
In addition to meeting the political leaders noted, Ms. Mutchler
had the unique opportunity to
meet Donald Trump.
On separate occasions during
the past few months, Mr. Stamm
and Ms. Mutchler visited with
Assemblyman Dov Hikind and
Councilmember Melinda Katz.
These meetings were a continuation of the ongoing discussions
regarding ways to alleviate the
health care crisis in New York.
MedReview was also honored
by the surprise visit of Yitzchuk
Pindrus, Mayor of Beitar, Israel.
Mr. Stamm has developed a long
and close relationship with the
Mayor and has floated a number
of interesting programs intended
to enhance the quality of health
care in Beitar. These proposals
are currently under review by the
uring the third quarter of
2006, MedReview continued its efforts to reach out
to political figures in an effort to
educate them regarding the continuous spiraling health care
expenditures and its impact on
health insurance coverage as well
as quality of care concerns.
The most significant was the
gala birthday party celebrating
Congressman Charles Rangel’s
78th birthday. This event, which
took place on August 9, 2006,
was held at Tavern on the Green.
MedReview CEO Joseph Stamm
and Executive Vice President,
Helen Mutchler took advantage of
the presence of many dignitaries
who attended to pay homage to
Congressman Rangel by briefly
discussing issues of concern and
seeking follow-up meetings with
them. The dignitaries contacted
• Attorney General Elliot
Spitzer (New York’s new
• City Comptroller Bill
• Former Governor Mario
• Former Mayor David Dinkins
News In Review Profile
Richard J. Bonforte
or the past eight years, prior to his
recent retirement, Dr. Richard J.
Bonforte was Senior Vice-President for
Medical Affairs, Vice President and
Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics,
and Medical Director of the Children’s
Medical Center of Hudson County at the
Jersey City Medical Center, Jersey City, NJ.
He continues to be active at the Mount
Sinai School of Medicine where is
Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the
Cystic Fibrosis Center. Prior to his recent
employment at Jersey City Medical Center,
Dr. Bonforte was named Chairman
Emeritus of the Department of Pediatrics at
Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY,
a department he headed for over 17 years.
Dr. Bonforte is a graduate of the
Georgetown University School of Medicine,
and completed his internship, residency
and fellowship training at the Mount Sinai
Hospital, New York. Following his training
and his military service as a Major in the
U.S. Army Medical Corp in the Panama
Canal Zone, Dr. Bonforte joined the fulltime faculty of the Department of Pediatrics
at Mount Sinai where he became Director
of the Division of Pediatric Ambulatory
Care and Director of the Cystic Fibrosis
Center. In 1977, Dr. Bonforte was awarded a grant from the Department of Health
and Human Services, Division of MaternalChild Health, to establish a Pediatric
Pulmonary Center. At that time he also
became Director of the Division of Pediatric
Pulmonology, and recruited its first interdisciplinary faculty. The Pediatric Pulmonary
Center is in its 30th year of funded operation and is a nationally recognized clinical,
training and research center of excellence
in the care of children with acute and
chronic respiratory illnesses.
Dr. Bonforte has served on the committees and boards of a variety of local and
national organizations, including
Cystic Fibrosis
Foundation and
Lung Association. He is a consultant both
to the New York State Department of
Health Office of Professional Medical
Conduct and to the New York State
Attorney General’s Office. Dr. Bonforte
has been actively involved with NYCHSRO
and MedReview since its inception, and
currently serves as Secretary of the Board
of Directors. He is the author of over 65
articles, chapters and abstracts; a member
of a number of peer societies and organizations; and the recipient of numerous honors and awards.
Memorial Service for Dr. Eric Vanderbush
Middle age comes upon us unaware,
The years begin to slide by unannounced,
The extra breath it takes to climb the stair,
The lost or misplace key, the graying hair,
The familiar phrase blocked or mispronounced.
Middle age comes upon us unaware.
Like tax returns we need time to prepare,
Life-long pleasures take time to be renounced.
The extra breath it takes to climb the stair,
The modest paunch, the cautionary air,
All apply in reckoning our accounts;
Middle age comes upon us unaware.
We need to take out time to get us there,
We need to deal in debits and amounts,
The extra breath it takes to climb the stair.
We need a moment, coming up for air,
To pause, to measure, even to denounce
(Middle age comes upon us unaware)
The extra breath it takes to climb the stair.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that
about 58 million American adults (26 million men and 32 million women) are
obese. The National Institutes of Health
calculate that overweight and obese
individuals cost the country approximately $122.9 billion per
year – a figure comparable
to smoking related results.
Obesity and related ailHeart Disease
ments result in at least
$62.7 million in doctors’
visits and $39.3 million in
lost workdays each year.
The condition varies by
age and race with AfricanAmerican women and the
Gallbladder disease
middle-aged population
Breast cancer
Childhood obesity is also
on the rise. Meanwhile,
Endometrial cancer
surgical procedures and
drugs to reduce obesity
Colon cancer
have become increasingly
memorial service
Vanderbush was
held at Harlem Hospital
on Friday, September
Vanderbush spent most
of his professional
Hospital after graduating from Columbia’s
College of Physicians
and Surgeons. He
served as a physician
consultant for NYCHSRO/MedReview
for over 25 years and was also a
member of the Board of Directors of
The tribute for Dr. Vanderbush was
well attended by Harlem Hospital
staff; Columbia University faculty; and
various distinguished physician from
around the world such as Dr. Mathew
Hurley, President United Doctors
Association; Dr. Edward Healton, Sr.
Vice President and Medical Director
National Rehabilitation Hospital and
Professor Neurology at Columbia
Presbyterian Hospital and Harlem
Hospital; Dr. Norbert Rainford,
Medical Director, Empire Medicare
Services; Dr. Aloysius Cuylet, Director
8.8 billion
21.2 billion
5.3 billion
4.1 billion
3.4 billion
3.2 billion
2.9 billion
1.1 billion
933 million
310 million
3.5 billion
1.3 billion
Department of Medicine,
B.Walver Kong,Ph.D.,J.D.
CEO, Association of Black
Cardiologists. Dr. Alfred
Director Department of
Medicine at Harlem
Hospital; and countless
others. There were also
many representatives from
who came to pay tribute to their colleague and friend.
The services included music from
the ARC Choir of Harlem and very
moving memories by friends, colleagues and his sister, Toni Wiarda.
There are no words to express the
tremendous loss felt by all of us who
had the pleasure of working with Eric
and the privilege of calling him our
friend. Dr. V gave so much to so
many, evidenced by his involvement
with so many issues concerning clients
and staff at NYCHSRO/MedReview.
His shoes can never be filled; his influence was far reaching and ever-lasting. Dr. V will remain in our hearts
and minds, never to be forgotten.
popular (Xenical and Reductil are the two
most prevalent anti-obesity drugs), as the
population grapples with this persistent
problem. In fact, RAND Corp. has
found that obese individuals actually
use more healthcare services and
smokers or heavy
The annual cost of
overweight and obese
individuals: $122.9
15.9 billion
billion. Direct cost: $
64.1 billion. Indirect
cost: $58.8 billion
(comparable to the
economic costs of
0.2 billion
cigarette smoking).
The following chart
1.8 billion
shows the costs of
common diseases but
623 million
only as they relate to
weight problems and
2.2 billion
The Trip of a Lifetime:
Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s Chizuk Mission to Northern Israel
By, Joseph B. Stamm, President CEO., MedReview, Inc.
hat started out as a routine trip to Israel Saturday
night, 7/29/06 quickly turned into the trip of a lifetime. A group of eighteen fearless or perhaps “foolish”
people led by Assemblyman Dov Hikind went on a mission to
show solidarity and support to Israel in general and to the brave
Israeli soldiers in particular. You could feel that this trip was
going to be special when it began with prayers for peace on the
plane. After an uneventful flight which landed us in Lod Airport
Sunday afternoon,
the Israeli customs
were shocked to learn
that we were on a
mission exclusively to
the North where
Hezbollah missiles
were falling, with our
being Haifa.
The customs agent
could not comprehend why we were
travelling against the
tide with 30% of the
residents of Haifa
and 70% of the residents of Tzefat leaving to safer destinations
asked me, “Do you
want to die in Haifa?”
Realization set in
early on with our
arrival at Lot Hotel in Haifa, finding soldiers and the press were
the only guests at the hotel. Channel 7 news reporter N.J.
Burkett who was reporting live from Northern Israel was surprised to learn that we were not even equipped with helmets and
bullet proof vests.
The truth is we did come with 50 vests and helmets but they
were for the Zaka organization, the brave individuals who are on
the scene of every tragedy that occurs in Israel. Assemblyman
Hikind, in a moving ceremony, presented Zaka with more than
$25,000 for vests and helmets (which he quickly accumulated
after announcing on the Dov Hikind Show that he was collecting
money for that purpose.) Throughout our mission, whether at a
debriefing by military personnel as to the current status of the
war against the Hezbollah, or in talking with local officials e.g.
the mayors of Haifa, Nahariya, Maalot, Kiryat Shmona and
Metulla, the unifying theme was that Israel, must complete its
mission, the destruction of Hezbollah.
In discussion with the local residents throughout northern
Israel, it was clear that all were prepared to endure hardships
and continue staying in bunkers despite the economic losses due
to no tourism, no farming, and no commerce. Israel’s actions
were necessary to once and for all achieve security from the constant bombardment of artillery shells from the Hezbollah cowards who use innocent civilians as human shields.
What was most disturbing was the one-sidedness of the news
THE VUES • BROOKLYN • 718.377.8016
coverage particularly Sky News and CNN who continuously
showed the plight of the Lebanese population; the elderly , the
children who were being indiscriminately massacred by the
“ruthless” Israeli army despite conflicting reports that proved
this was not true. The shameless statement of the UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan which accused the Israeli army of deliberately bombing the UN peace keeping personnel was a continuation of the one-sided reporting that prevailed throughout our
mission. Nothing was
mentioned of the direct
hits on the innocent
Israeli population or the
devastating impact on
the Israeli economy
which was enduring a
tourism, most notably in
the north during the
height of tourism season. Nothing was mentioned
cramped bunkers where
innocent Israeli families,
men, women and children, had to stay for
more than 3 weeks.
Children who were looking forward to spending
their summer vacation
on trips throughout the
country had to endure
the nightmare of constant bombardment.
For one brief period the members of the mission, which
included City Councilman David Weprin, Rabbis Gershon
Tannenbaum and Rabbi David Algazi, were forced to run for
cover due to the Hezbollah rockets landing nearby.
Unfortunately, this is the same situation Israeli families had to
endure for weeks.
On the positive side was the overwhelming outpouring of
unity among around the world and in Israel. The thousands of
volunteers throughout the country who came to assist the plight
of the northern residents, civilians, and soldiers alike, was heartening.
The mission gave the participants the opportunity to see first
hand the constant attacks that Israel endured. Over 1,100 homes
received direct hits from Hezbollah rockets. Our visit with
wounded soldiers in Rambam Hospital in Haifa was moving and
greatly appreciated by the wounded soldiers. Most notable, however, was our visit with the Israeli soldiers stationed in Maalot;
how appreciative they were in receiving 500 pairs of socks and
underwear from Assemblyman Hikind in another humanitarian
presentation. The soldiers were given refreshments and drinks,
but most of all they appreciate receiving moral support, knowing
that they were not alone and that world Jewry was behind them.
For those who attended the mission it was a trip of a life time.
With special thanks to our leader Assemblyman Dov Hikind who
had the foresight and tenacity to undertake this “crazy” mission.
AUGUST 12 to AUGUST 18, 2006
YCHSRO/MedReview continued its tradition of a summer outing with a fun-filled
boat ride around Manhattan. Staff members from all over the New York area gathered at
the Circle Line pier on a hot and sunny day in July
to participate in this special event.
The weather was perfect and the scenery spectacular as the boat circled lower Manhattan, giving everyone views of the Statue of Liberty, the
NYCHSRO/MedReview office. An elaborate luncheon was served (including delicious kosher
meals) and there were drinks and fun for everyone. The entertainment included a D.J. who provided music which had many of the NYCHSRO/MedReview family up and dancing. Others
just sat back on deck and relaxed, enjoying the
view and the sun.
The summer outing is always a special day for
staff members, particularly those who do not work
in the central office. It gives them the opportunity
to renew old acquaintances and meet new
employees who have joined the organization
since the last event. The boat ride was a huge
success and everyone went home looking forward
to next summer when they can participate in
another exciting outing.
One Seaport Plaza
199 Water Street, 27th Floor
New York, NY 10038