His Heart Was In the Right Place

Fabian Tasama was with his wife and two children at their Fairview home when he started having terrible joint pain. Then a cold feeling overcame his whole body. He says he was unable to move, and it was as if he “felt like a puppet.” Then came the intense, unrelenting chest pain. Tasama — like many people in their 40s — was not on guard for the symptoms of a heart attack that day. So, when the unusual pressure overtook him, he was just as confused as he was terrified for his life. Then he lost consciousness.

“I woke up inside an ambulance speeding to Englewood Health’s Emergency Room. I thought, why was my life spared just one week ago only to be taken from me now?” Tasama said.

He’d been admitted with COVID-19 and treated for one week before he was well enough to go home. His release from the hospital was ceremonious, as Tasama was the 500th COVID patient to be successfully treated at Englewood Health.

“It was as if I was a member of their family,” Tasama recalls of his experience as a COVID patient.

Despite how grateful Tasama was for the treatment he’d received at Englewood Health, he was certainly in no rush to go back. Tasama was particularly anxious to be at home with his wife, who was nearly due with their third child, a little boy the couple planned on naming Dante.

“All I could think about was whether I would live to see the birth of my son,” Tasama said.

The emergency room team phoned the on-call cardiologist, and, within minutes, Tasama was being wheeled in for his procedure.

It’s nerve-racking for anybody to be told that they are having a heart attack and that they need an emergency procedure – but Tasama stayed calm and eagerly accepted the course of treatment that was being recommended.

The placement of two stents in Tasama’s heart went exactly as planned and was a success.

Tasama spent a few days recovering in the hospital, and by the fifth day, had made another incredible recovery.

“Englewood Health saved my life twice, and I couldn’t be more thankful to the entire team, particularly Dr. Dennis Kelly for making sure I would make it home to see my son being born,” Tasama said.

Two months later, Tasama’s son was born, a little bundle with dimples and a full head of black hair. In that moment, the pain and the uncertainty of the past months melted away for the Tasama family.

“The other day, when my son Dante woke up from his nap, he pulled himself up from his crib and stretched his arms out to me with an amazing giggle. These are the best days of my life. Had I not gone to Englewood Health, I may have never met my son,” Tasama said.

Cardiologist Kevin Hosein, MD, Joins Englewood Health

October 6, 2021 — Cardiologist Kevin Hosein, MD, has joined Englewood Health. Dr. Hosein’s clinical interests include cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease, women and heart disease, heart disease in pregnancy, and preventive cardiology. He joins HVA Medical Group, part of the Englewood Health Physician Network, and welcomes new patients to their practice locations in Fair Lawn and Paterson.

“In caring for my patients,” says Dr. Hosein, “I take an individualized approach and collaborate with each person to develop an optimal treatment plan and complementary lifestyle modifications. I strive to provide excellent service and look forward to working with each patient to achieve their health care goals.”

Dr. Hosein is board certified in internal medicine and board eligible in cardiovascular disease, with additional certification in cardiovascular CT, adult echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and as a registered physician in vascular interpretation (RPVI). After receiving his MD from St. George’s University School of Medicine, in Grenada, West Indies, he did an internal medicine residency, followed by a cardiovascular disease fellowship, at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, in Paterson, NJ. In addition to English, Dr. Hosein speaks Spanish.

Internal Medicine Physician Mustafa M. Sidali, DO, Joins Englewood Health

September 30, 2021 — Internal medicine physician Mustafa M. Sidali, DO, has joined Englewood Health. Dr. Sidali’s primary clinical interests are adult health, men’s health, geriatric medicine, chronic condition management, heart disease prevention, and mental health. He welcomes new patients to his practice, part of the Englewood Health Physician Network, located in Belleville.

“It is an honor to be entrusted with your care. I enjoy educating patients and helping you understand all treatment options so that you can make an educated decision that fits your lifestyle. Working together, we can achieve your health goals.” says Dr. Sidali.

He received his DO from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine and did an internal medicine residency at Saint Michael’s Medical Center, in Newark. He is a member of the American Medical Association. In addition to English, Dr. Sidali is fluent in Spanish and Turkish.

Family Medicine Physician Sean Wilen, MD, Joins Englewood Health

September 23, 2021 — Family medicine physician and primary care sports medicine specialist Sean Wilen, MD, has joined Englewood Health. Dr. Wilen’s main clinical interests are adult health, men’s health, pain medicine and rehabilitation (including back, neck and joint pain), injection therapy, musculoskeletal medicine, sports medicine, prevention, and wellness. He joins The Park Medical Group, part of the Englewood Health Physician Network, and welcomes new patients.

“I enjoy managing and educating patients as they grow and develop. Taking time to listen and offering a patient focused approach to improve quality of life is what we strive to do,” says Dr. Wilen.

“At Englewood Health, we want to help ensure that our patients have access to leading care close to home. This is why Dr. Wilen will be a welcome addition to our team of renowned specialists and providers,” said Dr. Stephen Brunnquell, president of the Englewood Health Physician Network.

Board certified in family medicine and in primary care sports medicine, Dr. Wilen received his MD from St. George’s University School of Medicine, in Grenada, West Indies, and did a family medicine residency, followed by a primary care sports medicine fellowship, at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, in Indianapolis. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. In addition to English, Dr. Wilen speaks Spanish.

Walk for Awareness – Virtual, Fall 2021

Englewood Health Walk for Awareness 2021

All-In on the Fight Against Breast Cancer

A virtual event

Sunday, October 24, 2021
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Are you ready to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer?

Join us and help raise funds to provide diagnosis and treatment for noninsured and underinsured members of our community who otherwise could not afford care.

With

Jennifer Ashton, MD

Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News
Honorary Co-Chair

Nina Pineda

WABC-TV Broadcast Journalist
Honorary Co-Chair

Registration

Register at www.walkforawareness.org

Rheumatologist Jessica Hoey, DO, Joins Englewood Health

September 13, 2021 — Rheumatologist Jessica Hoey, DO, has joined Englewood Health. Dr. Hoey’s clinical interests include connective tissue disease, joint pain, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome. She joins Bergen Medical Alliance, part of the Englewood Health Physician Network, and welcomes new patients to her practice in Englewood.

“It is a privilege to be entrusted with your care. I enjoy treating patients and advocating for their overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Hoey. “I hope to inspire, educate, and support you throughout the course of your ailments.”

Dr. Hoey received her DO from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Iowa. She did an internal medicine residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, in Park Ridge, IL, and a rheumatology fellowship at NYU Langone Hospital–Long Island, in Mineola, NY. She is a member of the American College of Rheumatology.

Englewood Health’s Emergency Medical Services receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award

September 8, 2021 — Englewood Health’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has received its fifth consecutive American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award for the implementation of specific quality improvement measures used to treat patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Rick Sposa, director of emergency medical services at Englewood Health. “Our EMS team uses proven knowledge and guidelines to ensure patients have the best possible chance of survival.”

More than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, every year. Caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart, this requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, MD, chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient.”

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our EMTs, paramedics, and supervisors in bringing state of the art cardiac care to the communities we serve. This is a well-deserved acknowledgment of the excellent care provided by our entire EMS team,” said Barbara Schreibman, MD, EMS medical director at Englewood Health.

The Mission: Lifeline program evaluates how well an organization reduces barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks—starting from when 9-1-1 is called, to EMS transport, and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge.

Applicability of Percutaneous Procedures For CAD Increases

The continually improving treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) has benefited from advancements in cardiology, interventional cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, a three-pronged multidisciplinary approach backed by accumulating research (J Am Heart Assoc 2020;9[8]:e05035). Appropriate, evidence-based options—from diet and exercise programs, pharmaceutical regimens, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures, and cardiac surgery—have their place across the continuum of care.

“With the advent of new technologies and techniques, we’re able to treat more and more complex disease using percutaneous approaches and avoid open heart surgery,” explained Joseph De Gregorio, MD, the executive director of cardiovascular services and chief of invasive cardiology at Englewood Health, who is also an interventional cardiologist at Bart De Gregorio, MD, LLC, in Glen Ridge, part of the Englewood Health Physician Network.

Studies have shown that PCI will ease symptoms and improve quality of life (Am Fam Physician 2018;97[6]:376-384). PCI, first developed 40 years ago, also has advanced with new technology and techniques. Research, like that presented at the American College of Cardiology 2020 annual meeting, has found that modern cardiac stenting can have comparable results to that of coronary artery bypass grafting (Circulation 2020;141[18]:1437-1446).

“The evolution of minimally invasive interventional technology has been transformational,” Dr. De Gregorio said. “And it continues to evolve, so there will be more and more that we can do for patients to fix their coronary arteries.” As one example, patients who have chronic total occlusions have alternative treatments that don’t require open heart surgery. Less invasive PCI may be an option.

Alongside these developments, procedures are now indicated for sicker patient groups. “We can now perform interventional cardiology procedures for patients who, in the past, were considered high-risk and may not have had many or any options, especially those with very poor heart muscle function,” said Aron Schwarcz, MD, an interventional cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates of North Jersey. “Patients considered as high-risk surgical candidates, or even too high risk for surgery, can now be treated safely with stenting procedures. It gives us another
alternative to surgery.”

For patients who are having a heart attack or who have severe CAD and are undergoing a PCI procedure, Englewood Health cardiologists use the Impella (Abiomed) device, the world’s smallest heart pump. The Impella device is inserted into the heart through the femoral artery, which then mimics the heart’s pumping and emptying actions, explained Dr. Schwarcz, who co-leads Englewood Health’s chronic total occlusion program.

“With the Impella device, patients who have severely weakened heart muscle or are in congestive heart failure with unstable vital signs—for example, from a severe heart attack—can be treated in a safe manner, where in the past there might not have been an option for them,” Dr. Schwarcz said. “This is especially important for patients who are too sick for cardiac surgery. We now have more treatment options for saving this person’s life.”

Dr. De Gregorio agreed: “We use it in cases of acute [myocardial infarctions] who are hemodynamically unstable or hypotensive, in complex coronary interventions, and in people who have bad left ventricle function or weak heart muscles—that is, cardiomyopathies.”

A New Approach to Calcified Arteries

One potential roadblock to a successful PCI has been arterial calcification, which can create an environment too rigid to allow expansion of the artery, said Omar Hasan, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Englewood Health. However, a new device, recently given premarket approval by the FDA, has overcome this obstacle through lithotripsy, a technique often used to fracture kidney stones. The device, Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (Shockwave Medical Inc.), uses sonic pressure waves to create fissures in the artery’s calcium deposits, allowing the artery to then be expanded at a low pressure to introduce a stent.

A recent prospective, multicenter trial of the device (N=431) published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2020;76[22]:2635-2646) found procedural success in 92.4% of cases (P<0.0001), with 92.2% of patients avoiding any major adverse cardiovascular events (P<0.0001). The Shockwave device is now available at Englewood Health—one of relatively few sites in the Northeast, according to Dr. De Gregorio, and further proof that Englewood Health’s interventional capabilities are at the forefront of the science.

“Calcification has been a major limiting factor for successful PCI, so having this new technology in our armamentarium can open up procedures to more patients,” Dr. De Gregorio said.

Along with the latest generation of medical devices and medications, there is the intangible asset of clinical care, of which Englewood is rightly proud. “Caregivers get to know their patients well,” Dr. Hasan said. “It’s more of a personal touch, personal care, and the best physicians available,” he said.

Posted August 27, 2021


Internal Medicine Physicians Alyssa Becker, MD, and Nina Safa, MD Join Englewood Health

Primary Care Doctors Welcome New Patients to their Fair Lawn Practices

August 25, 2021 — Internal medicine physicians Alyssa Becker, MD, and Nina Safa, MD, have joined Englewood Health. Their main clinical interests are adult health, geriatric medicine, cancer prevention and cancer survivorship, chronic condition management (including heart disease and diabetes), health screenings, prevention, and wellness. Dr. Becker and Dr. Safa join HVA Medical Group, part of the Englewood Health Physician Network, and welcome new patients to their primary care practices located in Fair Lawn.

The providers joining the Englewood Health Physician Network are:

Alyssa Becker, MDAlyssa Becker, MD

Internal Medicine | Full profile

Board certified in internal medicine, with additional certification in lifestyle medicine, Dr. Becker received her MD from Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College), in Philadelphia, and did an internal medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

“I am a caring and compassionate physician who believes in a whole-person approach to health and healing with integration of traditional medicine and complementary/alternative practices,” said Dr. Becker.

Nina Safa, MDNina Safa, MD

Internal Medicine | Full profile

Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Safa received her MD from Temple University School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, and did an internal medicine residency at Temple University Hospital. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association. In addition to English, Dr. Safa is fluent in Farsi.

“I take pride in practicing a dedicated and compassionate approach to providing care for my patients. My aim is to ensure the continuing health of my patients while educating them on how to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Safa.

Englewood Health’s Maternal/Child Services Achieve Healthgrades Recognition Six Years in a Row

August 24, 2021 — Englewood Health has received the Healthgrades 2021 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award, Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award, 5-star recognition for Vaginal Delivery, and 5-star recognition for C-Section Delivery, all for six years in a row. The Labor and Delivery Excellence Award places Englewood Health in the top 5% of all hospitals evaluated and recognizes the exceptional care of mothers during and after labor and delivery, according to Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians, and health systems.

In addition, the Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award recognizes Englewood Health for exceptional care of women during and after labor and delivery, as well as care of women undergoing gynecologic procedures. Englewood Health is in the top 5% of hospitals evaluated for overall women’s care.

“These acknowledgments by Healthgrades speak to the commitment of our team to provide exceptional care for women,” said Kathleen Kaminsky, MS, RN, NE-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Englewood Health.

Obstetricians and gynecologists, along with other maternal/child health specialists at Englewood Health, provide the full spectrum of services including prenatal care, high-risk testing and monitoring, childbirth education, and post-pregnancy resources and support.

“Now more than ever, there is a heightened awareness around the importance of quality healthcare, especially for expectant mothers and their families,” said Brad Bowman, MD, chief medical officer at Healthgrades. “Women who seek care at a hospital that has achieved these recognitions can have confidence in the organization’s commitment to delivering superior care.”

“At Englewood Health we are dedicated to offering the best possible experience for women leading up to and throughout labor and delivery,” said Jamie Ketas, vice president of quality at Englewood Health. “We are honored to receive this recognition of our commitment to providing outstanding care.”

To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance, Healthgrades analyzed patient outcomes data for hospitals across 16 states that provide all-payer state data for 2017 through 2019. Healthgrades found that the variation in hospital performance makes a significant difference in terms of clinical outcomes.

From 2017 through 2019, patients treated in hospitals receiving the Healthgrades Labor and Delivery Excellence Award had, on average, a 41.7% lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award.* Patients treated in hospitals receiving the Healthgrades Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award had, on average, a 37% lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award.*

During this time, if all hospitals included in the analysis performed similarly to those that received the Healthgrades Labor and Delivery Excellence Award, complications could potentially have been avoided for 138,318 patients.* If all hospitals included in the analysis performed similarly to those that received the Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award, complications could potentially have been avoided for 155,179 patients.*

Additionally, Healthgrades found that there is a significant variation in hospital quality between those that have received 5 stars and those that have not. For example, from 2017 through 2019, women having a vaginal delivery in hospitals rated 5-star have, on average, a 43.6% lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated by hospitals rated 1-star.* Women having a C-section delivery in hospitals rated 5-star have, on average, a 59.2% lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated by hospitals rated 1-star.*

*Statistics are based on Healthgrades’ analysis of all-payer data for years 2017 through 2019 and represent 3-year estimates for patients in 16 states for which all-payer data was made available.