| 13 Aug 2014 | 01:20

    HEALTH CARE PROS As director of the critical care unit at Roosevelt Hospital, Dr. Hassan Khouli oversees some of the most dramatic and intense interactions that patients, families and loved ones will have with a healthcare facility. Khouli acts as a liaison between healthcare professionals and patients, who tend to be among the hospital?s sickest, and are often in life?s final stages. While it is crucial that the hospital provide good medical care, Khouli explained, it is also important to address patients? emotional needs. So a major part of the staff?s job, Khouli said, is meeting with families and talking to them about aggressive forms of life support, or making sure ?they feel that their loved one is not going to be abandoned, that they?re not giving up, that they?re just being more realistic.? That relationship between staff and families goes both ways, so Khouli also takes care to explain to healthcare providers what families may be thinking about. Tim Day, executive vice president and chief operating officer at St. Luke?s and Roosevelt Hospitals, admires Khouli?s work with patients? families and loved ones. ?I have seen Dr. Khouli interact with many families over the years facing the difficult task of deciding whether or not to continue with care for a family member who cannot make that decision for themselves,? Day said. ?He brings incredible care and compassion to these responsibilities, and families feel very comfortable with him during these extremely difficult discussions.? Khouli is also director of Roosevelt?s Intensive Care Unit Simulation Laboratory, which provides hands-on emergency training for nurses, residents and attending physicians. The hospital?s medical staff practices real-life emergencies on a mannequin, ?potentially preventing errors and improving patient safety,? he said. Originally from Syria, Khouli came to the United States in 1987. He graduated from the Damascus University School of Medicine and received his residency training at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Atlantic City Medical Center before completing three fellowships, one in critical care medicine and two in pulmonary medicine. Khouli decided to work in the intensive care unit because he was interested in ?communication with patients and families because some of them are dying.? His interest with end of life care also led him to work with St. Luke?s and Roosevelt?s ethics committee, which he chairs. Outside the hospital, Khouli is an assistant professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. With so much to do, it is not surprising that Khouli works an average of 65 to 85 hours per week. Still, he tries to spend as much time as possible with his wife and two young children. When he is not at the hospital, Khouli likes to explore New York City?especially his Upper West Side neighborhood?with his family. Khouli has a long list of future goals, many of which are professional, but the one at the top of his list is personal. In addition to expanding the simulation laboratory and staying involved with medical ethics and end of life care, Khouli hopes to spend more ?precious moments? with his children and become more involved in his community.