Community and Health

The Comeback Tale of Long Island Jewish hospital and its patient


The Valley Stream Long Island Jewish hospital didn’t always have the best reputation. Arlene Macchio, a reoccurring patient at the hospital, said her husband and sister nearly talked her out of going there for her third back surgery.
But her expectations were dramatically turned upside down for the better. “I couldn’t believe it. From the time of admitting to the time I left there, the nurses couldn’t be more helpful. You would think I was a part of their family…They were there for me every minute…They held my hand when they knew I was scared.”
LIJV is now one of the first hospitals in the Northeast to receive the Joint Commission Advanced Certification for orthopedics, becoming one of the top orthopedic hospitals on Long Island. Chair of Orthopedics, Dr. James Germano, says the award is given out because of the hospitals “above-standard of care.” In 2018, Germano came on as chief of osteoplasty service, working continuously with administration and other surgeons to bring in new patients and reach a new level in orthopedic treatment. To receive the award, the hospital had to apply and wait for a surveyor from the Joint Commission to come view them over the course of two to three days.
There, they tracked the patients, and the surveyor found that the hospital not only met but exceeded their standards. Doctors and patients alike point to the dedication of the staff and the new resources made available when the hospital was bought by Northwell, leading to a one-eighty change in reputation and quality of treatment. Dr. Germano says when he came to the LIJV the goal of becoming a great orthopedic hospital was in the works. He explains how the switch in ownership made that possible.
“Initially, this was a small community hospital with not a lot of resources…Since Northwell took it over, it brought in new surgeons including the joint and spine surgeons as well as the sport surgeons who came in with the orthopedic group to work at the hospital. The latest goal to become an orthopedic center of excellence really changed the dynamic. This isn’t just for surgeons, but rather the entire team.”

“You couldn’t get a better team of nurses,” said Macchio. “When the case worker came up when I was leaving, she wanted to make sure I had all my medicine. If there was a problem with my medicine, she made sure I got it. They called to see if I was ‘okay’. They were great. It’s like being part of your family… If you ever get sick, that second floor is where you go.”
Macchio had her third and most recent surgery on August 27. All three of her surgeries have been performed by Dr. Alfred Faust, the Chair of Spine Surgery.
“I’m dealing with it; every day is a better day… God willing this will be it,” said Macchio.
Faust believes that the most rewarding aspect of his practice is getting patients to resume their daily lives and enjoying their recreational activities with less pain. “They can’t go back to work, can’t sleep at night or enjoy a weeding, a christening, or a birthday party because they have a pinched nerve. It’s gratifying to know that by the time the surgery is done, the odds are they’re going to feel great.”
Germano attributes quality service, dedication, and a patient-first mentality to the success of the hospital. The new enthusiastic staff mixed with older quality staff has brought the orthopedic wing to new heights. “To have this program and to get this spine certification, I thought was a great honor for the hospital and staff,” said Germano.


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