The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm this year, and our hospitals and healthcare workers have played an instrumental part in keeping the human race safe and healthy. Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), beloved by its community, has been battling the pandemic on the frontlines with their world-class facilities, essential healthcare workers, and exceptional leadership at the management level.
A central part of this leadership is the deputy executive director of the hospital, Dina Wong. Dina’s focus has been providing guidance and reassurance through such an unprecedented time in our nation’s history, as well as the hospital’s. Providing the best possible care and accommodations for not only Staten Island University Hospital’s patients, but also its staff, is what drives Dina and her passion for healthcare each day.
BELLA had the honor of sitting down with Dina to learn a little more about her role at the hospital…
What does your role entail at Staten Island University Hospital as the deputy executive director?
I am responsible for providing leadership and direction in SIUH’s efforts to enhance experience, quality, and strategic growth of services using a patient-centered approach across the continuum of care.
You have an extensive background in leadership and have been with SIUH for 20 years. To what would you attribute your success and your longevity with the hospital?
My passion to improve the health of our community and keep Staten Islanders on Staten Island has driven me to be successful in this industry. SIUH provides the sense of a community hospital, yet growing in its services, capacity, and scope. Over the past 20 years, I have been able to not only improve the operational outcomes and growth of the organization, but also build relationships and partnerships with the community organizations for better outcomes.
Being on the frontlines, how have your responsibilities changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began?
The safety of our employees, patients, families, and the community has always been our top priority, but it has greatly evolved with COVID-19. We have restructured many of our operations to respond accordingly. For example, creating a non-COVID environment at the South campus, opening a COVID testing location for all surgical and procedural patients, testing 100% of all our admissions, screening our employees daily, and ongoing education about the proper use of PPE. Our goal is to make sure everyone knows the hospital is safe to receive proper care and safe for our employees to work.
Working with healthcare workers each day, how has the hospital pivoted or transformed to better serve its staff and patients?
There have been different changes in services since COVID-19. It is too early to tell if they are better services for our employees and patients. Some examples include restrictive visitation, telehealth, and work-from-home for back-office functions. However, one thing we know is that this community and our hospital come together incredibly strong during and post any crisis.
In all you’ve seen and persevered over the past few months, why do you feel the community trusts and values Staten Island University Hospital as much as they do?
To earn trust, you must be innovative and focused on growth and improvement. Being the provider of choice and the largest employer on the Island is a responsibility we take very seriously. The community trusts and values this hospital because we provide the highest standard of care, even during the hardest pandemics. Our committed teams, which include our physicians, nurses, and entire staff, make up our community with over 80% who reside on Staten Island. Our leadership is committed to providing all tertiary level services for this community. We continue to be innovative in our quality outcomes, service, capital investments, and the care we provide. The first Mitral Clips procedure was conducted on Staten Island just two months ago. We are building our new Mother and Baby Hospital, and recently broke ground on our Cancer Center. We continue to evolve our services by working closely and listening to the needs of our community.
Any final messages of hope for the future?
As we continue to manage our COVID environment, we are focused on the future and the advancements of care and service to our community, both in the hospital and in our ambulatory network that is growing, with our newest expansion of a primary care and specialty office at 101 Tyrellan Avenue. Planning for future expansions are underway to give this community the accessibility of getting their care at Northwell Health – Staten Island University Hospital.
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