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Polina Gilchyonok

Polina Gilchyonok, MD

Chief of Service, Subacute Rehabilitation
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur

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Captivated by Medicine

Dr. Polina Gilchyonok joined NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur as interim medical director at a crushing moment for the skilled nursing facility and the entire New York health care. “It was July 2020, the height of the COVID crisis, and there was a remarkable level of staff burnout,” she says. But Dr. Gilchyonok took on her leadership responsibilities with characteristic diligence and drew on her many years of experience to play a pivotal role in maintaining Gouverneur’s quality of patient care through the worst of the pandemic. 

Dr. Gilchyonok was later appointed chief of Gouverneur’s subacute rehabilitation service, and in her three years in that position she has earned the admiration of colleagues and patients alike. “Dr. Gilchyonok combines exceptional medical knowledge with a keen insight into health care systems,” says Gouverneur’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sherry Humphrey. “I am constantly struck by her meticulous approach to diagnosis and her strategic treatment planning. Her skilled management of complex and multifaceted chronic situations has led to a significant reduction in hospital readmissions” – a key measure of excellence for a skilled nursing facility.

A Russian emigre, Dr. Gilchyonok grew up with an enduring aspiration to become a doctor. “From a young age, I was captivated with the art and science of medicine, with its profound power to restore health,” she says. “What truly solidified my desire to be a doctor, however, were the personal experiences I had with patients.”

Dr. Gilchyonok earned her medical degree at St. Petersburg State Medical Academy in 1983 and left for the United States after the fall of the Soviet Union. She served her residency in internal medicine at Brooklyn Hospital Center and remained there as an attending physician and NYU medical school instructor before working in several rehab and nursing centers in Westchester. 

Since joining NYC Health + Hospitals, she has found that its “unique set of challenges and rewards” have broadened her perspective. “The opportunity to continually grow, both intellectually and as a compassionate human being, while working in a profession that aligns with my innate desire to help others, is deeply fulfilling.”

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