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Press Releases

Outstanding Physicians Honored For Quality Care and Support of Public Hospital Mission

March 30th is National Doctors' Day

Mar 30, 2011

New York, NY

HHC President Alan D. Aviles with
Dr. Maurice Wright, Medical
Director of Harlem Hospital Center

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) today honored 31 physicians for their leadership and commitment to advancing the mission of the public hospital system and to providing safe, efficient, quality healthcare to New Yorkers. The awards were presented at the annual HHC National Doctors’ Day ceremony to a diverse group of physicians from every borough who vary in age, education, years of service, and represent a variety of specialties from cardiology and pediatrics, to primary care and emergency medicine.
“The individuals we honor today are driving performance improvements across our hospitals and health centers, and are helping to make HHC a national model of safe, efficient, and patient-centered health care delivery,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “They represent the remarkable talent among the several thousand HHC doctors who are committed to excellence and deeply care about our mission to serve New Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status.”
Among the Doctors’ Day Award winners is a group of seven primary care community physicians who represent HHC’s growing relationship with doctors who serve outside the public hospital system and work closely to manage care to HHC patients. These doctors have embraced and advanced HHC programs to improve patient safety and the effective treatment of chronic diseases in children and adults, such as asthma and diabetes.  The HHC Doctors’ Day honorees are:
President’s Award
Maurice Wright, M.D., Harlem Hospital Center Medical Director – for outstanding leadership and for providing clear direction and stability for clinical staff in challenging times.
Physician Excellence Award
Norma Keller, M.D, Bellevue Hospital Center, Chief of Cardiology —  a nationally known expert on heart health for women honored for her collaborative spirit and support to colleagues at other HHC hospitals.
Doctors’ Day Awards — Brooklyn
Thandavababu Chelliah, M.D., Coney Island Hospital Center
Telly Demesa, M.D. Cumberland Diagnostic & Treatment Center
William Green, M.D., Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Robert Andrews, M.D., East New York Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Adowa Essuman, M.D., Kings County Hospital Center
Brian Hall, M.D., Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center
Kathrine Gold, M.D., Community Provider
Sumir Sahgal, M.D. Community Provider
Rimma Pozdnyakova, M.D, Community Provider
Boris Bludoy, M.D., Community Provider
Doctors’ Day Award – Bronx
Melvin Stone, M.D., Jacobi Medical Center
Muhammad Waseem, M.D., Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center
Fred Kho, M.D., Morrisania Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Edward Chew, M.D., North Central Bronx Hospital
Marta Hernandez, M.D., Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Rasik Patel, M.D., Community Provider
Doctors’ Day Award — Manhattan
Judy Bautista, M.D., Bellevue Hospital Center
Benna Philip-George, M.D., Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility
David Stevens, M.D., Gouverneur Healthcare Services
James King, D.D.S., Harlem Hospital Center
Mark Ragussi, M.D., HHC Health and Home Care
Norma V. Bergasa, M.D., Metropolitan Hospital Center
Kathi Rones, M.D., MetroPlusHealth Health Plan
Roger Smoke, M.D., Renaissance Health Care Network Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Gloria Dunner-Leacock, M.D., Community Provider
Doctors’ Day Award – Queens
Barry Brown, M.D., Elmhurst Hospital Center
Susan Sanelli-Russo, M.D., Queens Hospital Center
Hyoseong Nuna Kim, M.D., Community Provider
Doctors’ Day Award — Staten Island
Edgardo Bajas, M.D., Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center & Home
National Doctors’ Day, observed on March 30, dates back to 1933 and marks the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. In 1991, National Doctors’ Day was established by Congress to show appreciation for the contributions of physicians to increase scientific knowledge of treating disease, and for the work they do to apply modern and patient-centered methods to improve healthcare and patient well-being.

About HHC

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us onfacebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.