State Health Department Announces $1.2 Million in Grant Award as Part of Statewide Patient Safety Initiative

ALBANY, May 12, 2006 - New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today awarded a total of $1.2 million in state grants to seven health care facilities for their advancement of quality assurance measures and effective clinical practices to ensure that patients have access to high quality health care.

Dr. Novello presented awards to Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center (Albany County); New York Downtown Hospital (New York County); Queens Adult Care Center (Queens County); Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (Queens County); St. Mary's Hospital for Children (Queens County); Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca (Tompkins County); and Hudson River Healthcare, Inc. (Westchester County).

"This comprehensive initiative has fostered the development of quality assurance measures which build on New York's reputation as a national leader in patient safety," Dr. Novello said. "Governor Pataki has made health care a central issue in his stewardship of New York State and his commitment to supporting such programs has helped expand patients' access to the highest quality health care available."

The awards represent an important component of New York's comprehensive statewide patient safety initiative to identify adverse incidents involving patients and to promote the development of additional quality assurance measures by hospital's statewide. Since 2001, New York State has dedicated more than $8 million to support health care providers statewide in developing and implementing patient safety initiatives.

The New York State Patient Safety Awards program recognizes those health care facilities that have developed innovative patient safety measures. The health care facilities that receive the awards are committed to working with the State Health Department on an ongoing basis to develop and promote ways to further improve patient safety.

The following health care facilities were awarded funding under this initiative:

  • Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center (Albany) $100,000: for its implementation of Resident Elopement Risk Assessment and Prevention protocols. The home implemented new policies and staff training programs and also purchased monitoring equipment, which led to the elimination of resident elopements.
  • New York Downtown Hospital (New York City) $200,000: for its advancement of protocols to assess patients with a risk of falling and new interventions to help prevent such accidents.
  • Queens Adult Care Center (Queens) $200,000: for its expanded efforts to better ensure that residents are taking medications prescribed to them by their physician. The home instituted enhanced tracking systems to identify and record incidents, leading to better care for residents.
  • Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (Queens) $100,000: for its creation of a new project to help prevent endoscopic tube dislodgements among patients. The program involves quality assurance reviews and additional training to reduce the number of dislodgements and improve patient care.
  • St. Mary's Hospital for Children (Queens) $200,000: for its development of a respiratory program designed to reduce the number of unexpected/urgent tracheostomy tube changes, leading to medical emergency transfers to acute care facilities. The quality process instituted resulted in better coordination of respiratory care and improved patient outcomes.
  • Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca (Tompkins) $200,000: for its implementation of policies to closely monitor and prevent patients from developing ventilator acquired pneumonia (VAP) in Intensive Care Units.
  • Hudson River Healthcare, Inc. (Westchester) $200,000: for its enhancement of a program which utilizes culturally and linguistically competent patient care partners/navigators to provide a critical bridge between outreach and primary care, ensuring access to quality health care for the communities they serve.

As part of today's ceremony, Dr. Novello also presented certificates of recognition to Maimonides Medical Center (Kings County); Adirondack Medical Center of Saranac Lake (Franklin County); and Open Door Family Medical Center, Ossining (Westchester County) for their commitment to developing patient safety initiatives.

For more information on New York's patient safety initiatives, health care facilities and related healthcare topics, please visit the Department's web site at