Infectious Diseases


(718) 963-2475 or (718) 963-7764

The Division of Infectious Diseases is a consultative service for all clinical departments at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.  The division is also available for consultation for all physicians in the community.

The Division of Infectious Diseases disseminatesup- to-dte information to community physicians regarding issues in Infectious Diseases and Infection Control through lectures and seminars at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and through publications.

Positive Health Management, WHMC's HIV primary care program, provides comprehensive care to those infected with the HIV virus. The Infectious Diseases outpatient clinic is a referral point for patients in the community with sexually transmitted diseases, Tuberculosis and various diseases contracted through travel.

In addition, the division is also responsible for the teaching and training of medical students and residents in Medicine, Family Practice and Surgery who train at WHMC.

For appointments at the Infectious Diseases clinic:
Tel: (718) 963-7672

For appointments and questions about the HIV program:
Tel: (718) 302-8481

For questions about rotation in the Division of Infectious Diseases:
Tel: (718) 963-7764

For questions about the mandatory training in Infection Control:
Tel: (718) 963-7226

All other inquiries to the Division of Infectious Diseases:
Tel: (718) 963-7764

*See also Positive Health Management


HIV / AIDS PROGRAM

Positive Health Management is a confidential and culturally competent multi-services HIV program. It is headed by the Chief of Infectious Diseases (hyperlink), Dr. John Vernaleo and administered by Gina Thompson, LCSW. Service locations are at the main hospital in Brooklyn and at a satellite clinic in Jackson Heights, Queens.

If you are a PLWHA (Person Living with HIV/AIDS), Positive Health Management has a variety of innovative primary care programs that can meet your needs:

Medical Care

  • Funded by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute
  • Providing comprehensive medical exams including CD4 (T-Cell) monitoring, Viral Load Testing and medication resistance screening
  • Medication Management and Treatment Adherence Support Services
  • Information and Recruitment for clinical trials
  • Referrals to other hospital clinic services (i.e. OB/GYN, Hepatitis C, Nutrition, etc.)

Mental Health

  • Funded by the Medical and Health Research Association (MHRA)
  • Staffed by mental health specialists in the fields of social work and psychiatry
  • Provides individual mental health screenings, mental health treatment and medication management, and group services

Substance Abuse

  • Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Staff are accredited Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC)
  • Providing treatment and individual, family and group support services

Positive Health Management also provides HIV prevention services to our community:

Prevention

  • Funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and administered by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute
  • Staffed by HIV prevention specialists and certified HIV test counselors
  • Providing Confidential HIV antibody testing, HIV prevention workshops/training and community outreach

Our primary care program accepts most health insurance plans.
HIV testing services are free for individuals who are uninsured.

All services are offered in Spanish.

 


INFECTION CONTROL

The Infection Control Department
The Infection Control Department, in collaboration with all medical center employees, strives to provide an environment that is safe from infection.
 
Infections
Infections can make patients weak and uncomfortable, lead to more time in the hospital and unless treated can sometimes even lead to death. The prevention and control of infections is a major feature of the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center patient safety program. Everyone has a role to play.

Infection Prevention and Control
Prevention is basic to fighting many infections. For example, by following the nationally recommended immunization schedule for children and adults we are better able than ever to avoid getting many communicable infectious diseases. Part of preventing the spread of infectious diseases involves proper hygiene and the use of precautions.

  • Hospital personnel may use protective barriers such as gloves, cover gowns, masks, and eye / face protectors and may take certain precautions to prevent the spread of diseases, depending on the disease. 

How to Prevent Infection
Patients are more likely to get infections because of their illnesses and the treatments they receive. Your disease or its treatments may weaken your immune system. There is no way to prevent all infections. Sometimes you will become ill even when all the rules are followed. It is important that we work together to reduce your chance of getting an infection.

The hospital's infection control guidelines offer many ways to help prevent infections. While you are at the hospital these guidelines help ensure your health and the health of every patient.

Infection Control Guidelines:

  • Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.
  • Unfortunately, improper or infrequent hand washing continues to be a major factor in the spread of disease.
    Clean your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, and after touching any item that could have a large number of germs on it. You can clean your hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer found in wall mounted dispensers outside patient rooms.
  • Consider asking all health care workers who have direct contact with you whether they have washed their hands.
  • Tell your visitors to clean their hands well, before entering and after leaving your room. 
  • Friends and family who are sick should not visit until they are well.
  • If your family and visitors become sick, the illness may be spread to you. Most of these illnesses are spread by hands.
  • Keep the environment clean.
  • Each patient room is cleaned daily. Please help keep your room neat so the housekeeper can clean the room properly. Cleaning is more effective if the bedside table, over-the- bed table and other surfaces are clear of personal items.
  • Visitors should not sit or sleep on the patient's bed. It is important to keep the number of germs low in the area where you sleep.
  • Food cannot be stored in patient rooms. Food attracts insects that can spread infections.
  • Avoid persons with infections.

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.




John Vernaleo, M.D.
Director
Tel:  (718) 963-7764
Fax: (718) 486-4270 

Gina Thompson, CSW
Director, Positive Health Management

Tel: (718) 302-8487

 


To make a hospital clinic appointment, please call:
(718) 963-7672 

To find an Infectious Diseases physician, click:
Physician Directory

 


Janice Patten-Brown, MT, BS
Director, Infection Control

Administrative Assistant
Tel: (718) 963-7226

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