Carlotta Mohamed


Local Congressional Reps Propose Resolution Commemorating 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

Congresswoman Grace Meng attends the "No Hate. No Fear." Solidarity March in lower Manhattan with participants marching over the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. File Photo

A Queens lawmaker is introducing a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday, Jan. 27. 

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens), joined by U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), announced the resolution that will honor six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazi regime and the millions of other minorities whose lives were tragically cut short. 

The measure also reaffirms the United States’ shared commitment to combating anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry whenever and wherever they arise. 

Additionally, it supports continued educational efforts to teach future generations about the Holocaust, and pays tribute to Holocaust survivors who have shared their painful stories that serve as a warning to future generations. There are over 80,000 Holocaust survivors still living in the United States. 

“Nearly 75 years ago, allied troops liberated Auschwitz and saw with their own eyes the Nazi regime’s evil and barbaric persecution of Jews and other minorities,” Meng said. “Since then, the United States has resolved to teach future generations about the Holocaust, and why anti-Semitism and bigotry must be fought whenever and wherever acts of hate occur. We must do all that we can in order to ensure that the adage ‘never again’ is realized.”

For the full version of this story, visit qns.com

Northwell Health Acquires Queens Medical Onocology Practice

In the Fresh Meadows community for nearly 20 years, Queens Medical Associates (QMA) has eight medical oncologist/hematologists and a team of other expert health care providers that treats 10,000 cancer patients annually. QMA also has six other locations throughout Queens. Photo via Photo courtesy of Northwell Health

Queens Medical Associates (QMA), has joined The Northwell Health Cancer Institute, increasing access to outpatient cancer services for Queens residents.

QMA has been caring for patients in greater Queens for nearly 20 years at 176-60 Union Tpke., Suite 360, in Fresh Meadows, and at additional locations in Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Rego Park and Woodside. It is staffed by top physicians specializing in medical oncology/hematology as well as supportive oncology and palliative care.

“We are pleased to welcome Queens Medical Associates as our newest medical oncology and hematology practice into the Northwell family,” said Richard Barakat, MD, physician-in-chief and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, and senior vice president of the health system’s Cancer Service Line. “For decades, QMA’s highly regarded physicians and staff have provided top-notch cancer services to patients in the diverse communities they serve.”

“We look forward to closely partnering with our colleagues of this outstanding practice, with the joint goal of strengthening our efforts in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment, while increasing access to care in Queens,” Barakat added.

Working collaboratively to provide the highest-quality cancer care, QMA is staffed by full time pharmacists, registered nurses, physician assistants, medical assistants, nurse navigators, infusion nurse technicians, laboratory technicians, research staff and financial counselors.

QMA offers cancer care that is cutting-edge and compassionate, treating 10,000 patients annually with various cancers and blood disorders. Queens Medical Associates is one of only five New York City participants in the Oncology Care Model, which is a pilot program designed to provide highly-coordinated care for Medicare patients.

For the full version of this story, visit qns.com

Recalling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Historic Address at Queens College

Queens College is commemorating the life of civil rights leader and activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20. 

Dr. King spoke at Queens College on May 13, 1965, less than a year after Queens College student Andrew Goodman was murdered in Mississippi alongside two other Civil rights activists by members of the Ku Klux Klan during Freedom Summer 1964.

“As we observe the upcoming holiday in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we at Queens College are inevitably reminded of the personal connection we have to the fallen civil rights leader and the movement he led,” Queens College Interim President William Tramontano said in his statement honoring Dr. King.

In his 40 minute address he gave at Queens College on May 13, 1965, Dr. King acknowledged Goodman’s activism in galvanizing support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“I certainly stand here,” King said, “under the inspiration of the fact that it was Queens College that gave to America, and indeed to the world, Andrew Goodman, whose creative witness will certainly live for generations yet unborn. He, along with others, paid the supreme price for this struggle and I’m sure that we will see in many ways that his death was not in vain.” 

The spirit of King’s crusade lives on at Queens College, Tramontano said, in the persons of individuals who, like Goodman, were part of it. 

Artifacts of their participation can be found in the Queens College Civil Rights Archives, which include those of Rabbi Moshe Shur, who is leading a group of Queens College students on a tour of significant sites in the Civil Rights Movement as part of the annual In the Footsteps of Dr. King program. An ever-present reminder greets all on campus each day when bells toll the beginning of each hour from the library’s Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Clocktower. 

For the full story, visit qns.com

Queensborough Community College Ranked Among Top 20 in US

Michelle James, 44, officially becomes a Queensborough Community College graduate with a degree in office administration and technology as she moves her tassle to the left at the end of the commencement ceremony. Photo by Ken Maldonado

Queensborough Community College in Bayside is among the best in the nation, according to a new ranking released by WalletHub, a financial website. 

On Sept. 4, WalletHub released its report on 2019’s Best and Worst Community Colleges, coupled with its state-by-state ranking of the Best and Worst Community-College Systems. To determine where students can receive the best education at the cheapest rates, WalletHub compared 710 community colleges across 19 key indicators of cost and quality. The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.  

Rated 13 out of 710 community colleges nationwide, Queensborough, located at 222-05 56th Ave., is the only college in the tri-state/metropolitan area named a top community college, placing it among the top 2 percent in America, according to WalletHub. This is the third year in a row that the college has been listed highly by WalletHub. 

“A Queensborough education is transformative. Our faculty, staff and students are really the ones who are among the best,” said Queensborough Interim President Dr. Timothy G. Lynch.

WalletHub’s rankings are based on three key dimensions: Cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes. 

“The experts measure factors central to every college student’s experience. We’re very pleased to have been recognized for our performance as a top institution of higher learning,” Lynch said. 

According to WalletHub analyst, Jill Gonzalez, students have a high median salary after attending Queensborough. 

“Some [other] reasons Queensborough Community College ranked highly are the availability of employment services for students, and the large average amount of grants or scholarships aid received,” Gonzalez said.  

With nearly 16,000 students, Queensborough is a leading destination for learners throughout the area, especially in Queens and Nassau County. Queensborough’s education outcomes were also especially high, according to WalletHub.

“The advantages of [Queensborough] are the presence of special learning opportunities such as accelerated programs, work-study programs, dual enrollment, and evening/weekend classes,” Gonzalez said. 

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the City University of New York (CUNY) two-year college offers a depth and breadth of courses and degree programs considered among the best in the state. Accreditors have also commended the Bayside college for its genuine care for student success, small college feel, and the quality of its support programs.

“One of the best aspects of completing your degree at Queensborough is that it opens doors to the most prestigious universities and colleges in the country,” said Queensborough Vice President Stephen Di Dio.

Cornell University’s Julio Salas could not agree more.

The recent Queensborough graduate is conducting research on brain development and studying pre-med this fall at the Ivy League’s sprawling Ithaca campus.

“I took Psychology 101 at Queensborough and that opened my eyes and got me more interested in child development,” said the 21-year-old, who wants to open a medical practice for first-generation Americans near his home in Corona, one of the most diverse counties in the country.

Offering 40-plus undergraduate programs, Queensborough has as an excellent, long-established reputation for learning support, career guidance and generous financial aid. About 90 percent of students complete their courses without having federal loan student debt and because it is part of CUNY, a quality education is guaranteed.

Most notable, however, is its reputation for helping people start, complete and advance to higher degrees – especially for students who are the first in their families to go to college.

Student Kaylynn Pubill finished a summer session course in chemistry in preparation for her first semester at Hunter College this fall. The Queensborough graduate earned an associate’s degree in health sciences and decided to apply and transfer within CUNY to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology.

“My family is so proud of me. They’re supportive and know how much I love science, health, the body and taking care of people,” Pubill said.

Queensborough rising sophomore Sue Singh, 31, from Jamaica Estates, returned to college in the fall to continue her associate’s degree in psychology.

“College is not just for me. I’m doing it for my daughter and her future,” said Singh, a participant in Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), CUNY’s acclaimed comprehensive program of academic, financial and career-related services.

Queensborough Community College is highly regarded for its accredited nursing and psychology programs, engineering science and art education that places it in the same class as Cooper Union, Pratt and FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). The CUNY college also provides financial, academic and career-based advantages to consider. 

Approximately 2,315 students earned their associate degrees from Queensborough in the 2017-2018 academic year – its largest graduating class.


‘Behind the Murder Curtain’ Reveals True Crimes of Long Island Medical Serial Killer

Michael Swango, who was convicted of killing veterans on Long Island, was investigated by Bruce Sackman, who wrote a book about that and other cases.
When veterans are on the road to recovery in a hospital and suddenly die, it’s up to Bruce Sackman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, to investigate those deaths.
In Sackman’s new book Behind the Murder Curtain with co-authors Michael Vecchione and Jerry Schmetterer published in September, the renowned investigator uncovered four medical serial killers in the VA hospital system from West Virginia to Maine — including one on Long Island.
“These are medical professionals who murder their patients,” said Sackman. “I’m not talking about a Doctor Kevorkian, accidents, malpractice…I’m actually talking about murder. That’s what these people did.”
According to Sackman, a former criminal investigator for the VA office for 32 years, the series of investigations throughout the country involving nurses and doctors who murdered their patients surfaced in the early 1990s.
One of Sackman’s cases in the book involves Michael Swango, who began killing his patients as early as medical school.
Swango was allowed to continue his reign of terror for years even after imprisonment — due to a broken system of background checks and the failure of hospital administrators to believe one of their own might be a killer.
“He actually chose a profession that would give him the power of life and death over an individual, and he would kill the people and watch them die,” said Sackman. “Then he would call up the next kin and explain in great detail how dad had suffered during the last moment’s of his life.”
After being released from prison in 1987 for good behavior, Swango forged documents and began working at the Health Science School for Medicine at Stony Brook University on Long Island, Sackman said. He was sent for training to the VA Medical Center in Northport, where a colleague tipped Sackman off that Swango was killing patients.
Swango lost his job after an ABC News 20/20 segment re-aired his interview while he was incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center in Illinois for poisoning his co-workers. He then traveled to Africa where he continued to kill more people, Sackman said.
“We were able to determine he killed at least three people out in Long Island and that’s what he was prosecuted for, and sentenced to three life terms without the possibility of parole,” said Sackman.
The government of Zimbabwe also charged Swango in absentia with poisoning seven patients, and killing five.
According to Sackman, Swango’s thrill stemmed from a psychological disorder — Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a mental illness and form of child abuse.
“It’s the equivalent of a mother who will intentionally harm her child and bring her child to the emergency room to show staff what a caring loving parent she is, when she actually harmed the child to begin with,” said Sackman. “They’re like thrill seekers.”
According to Sackman, the deaths of the recovering veterans could’ve been prevented if someone were by their bedside.
“These patients that were victims were basically alone at night and that’s one of the things that made it easier for nurses and doctors to kill people,” said Sackman. “If they had an advocate with them all the time, there’d be a much higher probability that they wouldn’t have been a victim.”
After the Swango case, there were thorough employee background checks every year. Sackman developed the Red Flags Protocol, which provides medical environments with warning signs to look out for such as death rates that rise when one particular individual is on duty.
“I would like for them to have an awareness that this very small group of people exist throughout the world,” said Sackman. “The overwhelming majority of healthcare providers are honest hardworking people who actually perform miracles everyday. But these are real outliers, people who work with other people who take an oath to save lives, but these people were actually intent on taking lives.”