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- NYMC Phelps Family Medicine Residency Program
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- Phelps Hospital Phone Directory
- Phelps Today Magazine
- Senior Management Staff
- Vital Signs Videos
Caring for Our Community
Who We Are
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center is a 238-bed acute care community hospital, located in central Westchester County. Since its beginnings in 1956, Phelps has strived to provide its community with the finest quality healthcare. The extent of services made available to those we serve ranges from emergency services to acute care inpatient services, as well as a host of outpatient services designed to address the needs of those who make up the Phelps service area.
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Phelps Memorial Hospital Center works collaboratively with Open Door Family Medical Centers to provide prenatal care and has an agreement with Westchester Medical Center to provide care for high-risk mothers and neonates. Cancer care is provided by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on Phelps’ campus. Phelps operates several primary care and specialty physician practices in the surrounding communities. The hospital maintains an extensive network of outpatient mental health services, outpatient medical diagnostic and treatment facilities, and a home-based hospice program. Oversight is provided by a 30-member board of directors, all of whom volunteer their time and expertise.
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The mission of Phelps is to:
- Improve the health of the community
- Offer preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services
- Educate members of our community to help them achieve optimal quality of life
- Provide comprehensive care in a safe, modern environment
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Caring for Our Community - 2011-2012
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center assesses community health needs by analyzing data collected by the Westchester County Department of Health, the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
Recognizing the value of feedback about healthcare needs from people who live and work in our community, Phelps surveys pre-hospital and post-hospital care providers, including physicians, ambulance corps, clinics, nursing homes and home health agencies. Through ongoing dialogue with them and with schools, churches, community coalitions and key community leaders, we have been able to recognize gaps in community health services and education. Most importantly, the response of individuals to surveys and focus groups has brought to light the need for new services or improved access.
Based upon our assessment, we defined the following priorities: access to healthcare, behavioral health, chronic disease, healthy mothers/healthy babies and nutrition. Our goals are in concert with the vision of the New York State Healthiest State initiative, namely:
- to increase quality and years of healthy life
- to eliminate health disparities, increasing access to prevention and early detection
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Priority: Access to Healthcare
Family Medicine Residency Program
Healthcare policy planners, providers and the public are aware that the demand for primary care providers will exceed the supply as more persons become insured under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. To be better prepared to respond to this community need, New York Medical College, Open Door Family Medical Centers, and Phelps Memorial Hospital Center established a family medicine residency program. Our goal is to develop family physician leaders who provide outstanding clinical care and community services through partnership and innovation. The residency is a vibrant, quality program where all constituencies work together effectively to provide comprehensive, compassionate service and education.
Our first residents arrived on July 2, 2012 to begin their three-year residency. Each year the residency will have six new residents, so that by the third year there will be 18 residents in the program. This teaching service complements a New York Medical College-sponsored dental residency that also began in July. Four dental residents participate in this program annually.
Apart from the residency, affiliations brought 515 students to our hospital during the year, including students in clinical services, mental health, security and pastoral care.
There is a concern that there is a lack of early breast cancer diagnosis among the minority population in our community, as many may have limited education on the value of mammography and breast self-exam and may not have health insurance. Informing primary care providers and community agencies of our willingness to provide these services resulted in 646 persons availing themselves of screening mammography and instruction in breast self-exam. In addition, one of our general surgeons and a gynecologist, both bilingual in English and Spanish, provided no-cost physical examinations at our annual health fair, Dia de Salud, which we held in May 2012 in Tarrytown. Eighty-one families attended to receive screenings for depression, visual acuity, hearing, blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI and HIV. Education on health maintenance and community resources supplemented these clinical services.
The success of population-oriented health fairs prompted us to conduct a geriatric health fair. We also continued on-campus screenings for diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and speech and hearing problems, conducting a total of 700 screenings.
Emergency Life Support Training
We continue to focus on our core activities, serving as the hospital’s coordinator and provider of the American Heart Association’s Advanced Life Support (ALS) training programs and providing instruction to community Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals. We offer emergency education programs to community and corporate clients and coordinate the hospital’s emergency preparedness efforts.
We facilitate and coordinate the collaborative quality assurance efforts of the local EMS provider agencies: Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps, as well as the Croton-on-Hudson and Briarcliff Manor fire departments and the Tri-Community Fly Car Service.
The New York State Power Authority and Entergy Corporation have designated Phelps as a receiving hospital for victims of radioactive contamination. Each year, we have joint nuclear preparedness training sessions and drills conducted by experts in the field. Decontamination procedures have been incorporated into the Emergency Department (ED) Disaster Plan. We maintain a separate decontamination facility in the ED and have competent staff to respond to a community disaster.
By calling 914-366-3111, patients can get answers to questions or concerns following their hospitalization at Phelps. Many callers have had questions concerning their medications or need help scheduling follow-up appointments. In 2012 we assisted 110 callers.
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Priority: Behavioral Health
Mental Health of Our Community
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center’s Behavioral Health Services has four outpatient mental health clinics certified by New York State. Located in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Ossining, these programs provide services to children, adolescents, adults and families of every social and economic level. The programs are staffed by social workers and psychiatrists and/or psychologists. The site in Tarrytown provides treatment in Spanish and English. Phelps’ behavioral health referral line, which is available to the public, may be called 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. This year, the Counseling Service responded to needs expressed within the community and developed several new therapy groups. Our counseling services provided 17,701 patient visits for 2012.
Functioning for Productive Living
As part of our continuum of care, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center’s Behavioral Health Services offers a New York State-certified community-based Continuing Day Treatment (CDT) program in Briarcliff Manor. The CDT program is open five days per week, and people who require intensive treatment may attend all five days. A psychiatrist is located on-site, and social workers, a nurse, a vocational counselor and paraprofessional staff are also available to work with the patients. This program assists people in their recovery from mental illness and helps them remain out of a hospital inpatient psychiatric setting. The program had 19,276 patient visits in 2012.
Intensive/Supportive Case Management
People who have serious and persistent mental health issues may utilize our Case Management Program, which offers both supportive and intensive case management services. Covering Northern Westchester County, the services are provided within the community. Because of the high degree of need presented by these patients, each Supportive Case Manager works with at least 20 patients at any given time and each Intensive Case Manager works with 12 patients at any given time, offering in-depth and intensive services. Case Management offers assistance in many areas of the patient’s life including: mental health, medical, housing, financial, psychosocial, educational and vocational.
Reduced Dependency on Alcohol & Drugs
Recognizing the deleterious effects of chemical dependency within our community, we developed services to engage adults, adolescents and their families in effective recovery programs. Individual and group counseling services are offered six days per week, with both day and evening hours available. Our programs are geared to work effectively with chemical dependency issues through treatment and education. Many individuals successfully complete treatment and are able to engage in productive activities, including employment. Our Chemical Dependence Services provided 14,511 visits in 2012.
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Priority: Chronic Disease
Reducing Stroke Mortality
To address stroke mortality, we created a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, including local first responders, to direct the implementation of evidence-based protocols for prompt assessment and treatment of stroke. This team provides a broad range of information and educational activities for both the lay community and professional providers. We are a designated Stroke Center and use the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With the Guidelines” standards to evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts. We are pleased to report that we received the Gold Plus Achievement Award, the highest level AHA/ASA recognition for stroke care every year since 2009.
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Priority: Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies
We continue to offer prenatal services in collaboration with Open Door Family Medical Centers in Ossining, Tarrytown and Port Chester and provided 940 visits for the year. Lamaze classes were offered, with 300 couples participating. Lactation consultants saw all maternity patients to promote breastfeeding and provided post-partum follow-up. Breastfeed-ing consultation services were offered in both English and Spanish.
The World Health Organization has demonstrated the positive effect of successful breastfeeding on reducing infant mortality and morbidity. Anecdotally, breastfeeding supports the regional objective to eliminate baby bottle tooth decay. Our target is for 80% of mothers who deliver at Phelps to still be breastfeeding three months post delivery. We achieved 81% and received special recognition from New York State. With grant funds we were able to establish a licensed breast milk bank to supplement mothers needing assistance.
With parents’ consent, all babies born at Phelps are offered their first Hepatitis B vaccine, and many of our parents have taken advantage of this protective measure for their babies. Hearing screenings are provided for all babies before discharge, and if there is a problem, these babies are referred to our Speech and Hearing Center.
One hundred percent of parents received education concerning post-partum depression and shaken-baby syndrome. In addition, we maintain an “ABC Hotline” for parents to have an immediate source of information about their new baby.
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Priority: Nutrition Support for the Community
Westchester’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and School Lunch programs have addressed the nutritional needs of school children. Our findings show the need to educate adults about nutrition and to provide meal assistance to seniors and the disabled. We coordinated both group and individual nutrition counseling. Our Food and Nutrition Services Department prepares meals for the local Meals-on-Wheels program and provided 6,182 meals in 2012. Our free lunch program funded $45,350 worth of meals and snacks for local seniors who are volunteers at the hospital. For the Celiac Sprue Support Group that meets at Phelps four times per year, we provided dietary service support for cooking demonstrations.
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Community Health Education
Our community Health Education program offers broad-based health promotion. We address topics solicited from focus groups in the community. We expected reduced interest in personal presentations, given the wealth of health information available through the Internet and other media sources. Though we considered shifting our resources to other initiatives, we continued to offer 40 classes per year because our annual attendance surpasses 2,200 persons. Participants tell us that live exposure to experts, with an opportunity to have their questions answered in real time, drives their attendance.
Thirty-eight percent of our patients have educational degrees above a college level. Many in this group have families where both spouses are employed. We learned that they may take time for physical fitness training but not to travel to health-oriented educational sessions. For this reason we developed Phelps Today, a printed publication that is mailed to 100,000 households and is available on the Phelps website.
Vital Signs,a series of videos produced by Phelps, focuses on disease prevention and treatment and is available on local cable TV and on the Phelps website.
The Vitality Initiative
Our senior health program, first described in our 2010-2011 submission, continues to offer consultation, memory disorder evaluation, hearing screening and meal assistance. We met with participants and conducted focus groups in community-based facilities to determine if there were other initiatives that might be helpful. Based upon responses, we supplemented the program with an outreach initiative we named Vitality to capture those who do not yet describe themselves as “senior.” Our target population is now those 50 and older.
We developed opportunities for health promotion by creating the Breakfast Club, a group that meets the second Thursday of each month. During breakfast, we encourage socialization and solicit seniors’ concerns and ideas. Breakfast is followed by an exercise session to improve balance and strength and a guest speaker addresses health topics selected by the club. While we expected 35 persons per Breakfast Club, we have had a turnout of 75-100 culturally diverse registrants. Without baseline and scheduled reassessment of balance and strength or cognitive ability, we have not developed outcome measures. On the first Wednesday of the month the Breakfast Club joins other community residents for Mind Games, which are intended to maintain memory and stimulate cognitive functioning through recall and problem solving.
In collaboration with the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and services, we offered Living Well, a six-week workshop to help those with chronic conditions learn self-management. Because participants are not a consistent captive audience, we have not been able to evaluate health outcomes of these participants. We are presently working on a method to measure self-reported modification of health behaviors.
Phelps partners with Community Helping Hands, a volunteer organization covering Ossining and Briarcliff Manor, launched in May 2012. They are one of several sponsored by the Center for Aging in Place. For a nominal annual fee, they offer support services to seniors in order to help them “age in place.” Transport, minor home repairs, friendly visits, and pharmacy pick-up are examples of the help they provide.
In recognition of National Older Americans Month, we held the first Vitality Day — an all-day event on May 24. Mae Carpenter, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services, presented the County’s steps to meet the needs of seniors. We also provided health screenings and held three workshops on preventive medicine, meditating for health, and knowing your medications.
To promote exercise, off-site physical therapy programs are held at assisted living facilities. Also, community residents and Phelps employees are invited to participate in a number of Phelps-sponsored walks and runs (Rivertown Runners, Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon, Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon).
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Healthy Westchester Coalition
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center joined other Westchester hospitals in developing healthy food policies. This coalition, Be Healthy Westchester — Healthy Hospitals, was formed by the Westchester County Department of Health to coincide with the Centers for Disease Control’s campaign to stop the growth of obesity, which was launched at the May 2012 “Weight of the Nation” conference.
We studied the evidence-based Healthy North Carolina Hospital initiative and designed tactics to promote healthful eating. Phelps’ adopted tactics included:
- Installing a device next to the vending machines that displays dietary information about food items to help people make healthier selections
- Revising cafeteria menus to include a heart healthy choice
- Revising cafeteria menus to list calorie, fiber and sodium content along with Weight Watchers points for a defined portion
- Enhancing the salad bar
- Encouraging portion control by charging for food by the ounce
- Adding low-fat, low-sugar or low-sodium options for many food products in the cafeteria and gift shop
- Providing scales to weigh food selections prior to purchase
- Making fresh fruits and vegetables available daily
- Nutritional education posters
- Holding a weekly farmers market
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We Care About You
Phelps is committed to providing quality care to all who need it, regardless of their ability to pay.
Phelps offers extensive counseling services for those who have difficulty paying their medical bills. Help is available in a variety of different forms for those without insurance, those with high co-payments and/or deductibles, those with temporary lapses in employer-sponsored coverage, and those who are eligible but not enrolled in government-sponsored health plans.
We routinely establish payment plans that allow patients to pay their bills over time. We assist numerous patients each year in establishing their eligibility for Medicaid, Medicare, Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus. We also offer charity care, including sliding scale discounts, for those who qualify under our generous Community Benefit Guidelines.
With medical costs increasing and many family incomes stagnant, the need for charity care and sliding scale discounts has grown in Westchester County. Phelps continues to lead the way, approving the vast majority (over 77%) of the applications received.
Phelps representatives are happy to assist patients in many languages. For more information, call: (914) 366-3199.
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