Kensington

Hep C spike prompts investigation into Kensington doctor

July 11, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick

A Kensington doctor’s office has closed after its namesake doctor found herself at the center of an alleged spike in hepatitis C cases — and officials are urging her patients to get checked.

A letter from the department dated June 3, but which made its rounds on social media for the first time this month, strongly recommends that patients of Dr. Zhanna Tsukerman’s Ocean Parkway office be tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV as soon as possible.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed to the Brooklyn Eagle Tuesday that the letter is legitimate, and that its office is investigating several acute hep-C cases linked to the private practice.

“The department has sent letters to potentially exposed patients in English and Russian to their homes in early June,” an agency spokesperson said in an email. “We are urging any patients of Dr. Zhanna Tsukerman who received any procedure that involved needles or sharp instruments from 2015 to 2019, to get tested immediately for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.”

Doctors and hospitals in New York City are required to report cases of certain communicable diseases, including hep-C, to the Health Department. An agency rep explained that, in the course of looking at new cases, investigators noticed a link between some outbreaks and the Brooklyn office, which led to further examination and then the prompt notification of patients.

The Health Department collected billing information from the last four years, and has since contacted just under 3,000 of Tsukerman’s current and former patients.

The spokesperson said that any patient who received injections, infusions, venipuncture, blood glucose testing or similar treatments at the Brooklyn office may be at risk.

Tracking illnesses and conducting investigations of this kind is standard practice for the Health Department’s disease surveillance team, the spokesperson added, noting also that the agency is doing the same kind of “‘disease detective’ work” to track measles exposures during the current outbreak.

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However, a hep-C exposure of this magnitude hasn’t been seen in quite some time.

More than 2,000 patients were urged to get checked in 2001, after eight people tested positive for the disease out of a gastroenterologist’s office in Bay Ridge.

According to the Health Department, hepatitis C is caused by a virus that can permanently damage the liver, leading to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. It is passed from one person to another through blood.

Most people who have hep-C don’t show symptoms, but it can still cause harm if left untreated.

By order of the NYC Commissioner of Health, Tsukerman — who has since closed the 514 Ocean Parkway practice voluntarily — is not allowed to perform any invasive procedures — such as giving injections, administering infusions and drawing blood for testing — until the Health Department is satisfied that they can be done safely.

The agency has no further information on the investigation, or on Tsukerman’s future plans.

Calls to the doctor’s office and a message to its Facebook page (which has not been active since 2013), were not returned. A website listed for the doctor is also defunct.

According to a profile on health.usnews.com, Tsukerman has been practicing for more than two decades, and specializes in internal medicine. She has high ratings and positive reviews across websites like Vitals, ZocDoc and WebMD.

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22 Comments

  1. Alla,
    you offended and accused an angel. There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone. …

    Dr. Tsukerman, sorry I cannot say my real name, i still work in Coney Island Hospital, but please know that behind Alla’s back we all call her a “Snitch”

  2. Samina Gupta

    Dr. Tsukerman was very thorough going over different treatment options with me. She was compassionate with my situation and listened to my needs. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Tsukerman to anyone looking for a primary care doctor in Brooklyn.

  3. Amusing

    I missed 2 days from this discussion 😆 can someone tell me all the details who sleeps with who at coney island hospital ? U can use their initials or nick names, i will get it 🤣🤣😂😂 hahahahahahahaha

  4. Dr Tsukerman saved my life twice in the Coney Island ER, this was before she had her private practice. While going to her private practice she always treated me like a son, she patiently listened to all my troubles and needs. I choose going to Dr Tsukerman over going to the VA because she gave me the attention I felt I deserved. If every doctor was as compassionate as Dr Tsukerman there would a lot less problems in the medical industry. Now the Department of Health wants to put an angle on the cross and take everything she worked so hard to obtain. Authors of articles like these who think they are doing the public a service are doing exactly what the DOH did, accused a woman without due process.

  5. Legally speaking, when the author of this article mentioned Dr. Tsukerman’s name he added “The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed to the Brooklyn Eagle”. The author did not break the law mentioning Dr. Tsukermans name in writing in his newspaper because he confirmed the investigation with the DOH.

    When Dr. Bogoridovskata mentioned Dr.Tsukerman’s name in writing she wrote “Unfortunately I was one of the patients infected with Acute Hepatitis C in Dr. Tsuckerman’s office”. In this case the law was broken. Dr. Bogo did not even file lawsuit based on public court records. There was no verdict.

    Dr. Tsukerman , malpractice lawyers are very good and their malpractice insurances are not willing to pay a penny extra. You have many witnesses what was said about you by an individual AB who had no legal rights to post anything bad about you. Definitely inform your team of malpractice lawyers.

    I wish AB will get $ 0 out of it. Shame on you doctor.

  6. Jasper

    Zhanna, i was on vacation. I did not know what was going on. I just saw that email in my inbox. I do not believe a word it says. I dont know who that b**** AB is , but its so sad when people with financial needs from bad families want to sue good doctors like you. Malpractice insurance has the most agressive lawyers. They will get that drug addict AB. Dont worry my love ❤

  7. i am in utter disbelief that any of this is happening to such an amazing doctor who goes above and beyond for her patients. i don’t know the details of this situation and it all sounds like a plot in a soap opera, which breaks my heart because Dr. Tsukerman does not deserve this.

    what i do know is that Dr. Tsukerman and her staff has always been there for me and my family, providing the upmost professional service. she is primary care physician for my whole family, and there is no other doctor i can think of that can gives us the same sense of relief as she does knowing she is on our side whenever we need her.

    I pray she gets through this so she can continue serving her community. we need her.

  8. Loretta

    Dr. Tsukerman is the best doctor 💋

    Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

  9. Angela B

    Dr. Tsukerman has been my family doctor for the past 4 years. She is loving, caring and very compassionate. She is so sweet she would never hurt anybody. The world needs more doctors like her that truly care about their patients. She is being falsely accused and it looks like a smear campaign against her. To hurt a wonderful person like Dr. Tsukerman should be a crime in itself. Dr. Tsukerman is the best doctor!

  10. I cannot understand how such a wonderful person can be falsely accused of something like this. Dr. Zhanna Tsukerman is my doctor for many years and always takes great care of me. Her office was always clean. The author of this article should be ashamed for spreading such ridiculous nonsense. Who is this spokesperson that made such statements to this newspaper? Who is this AB doctor and why hurt Dr. Tsukerman like this? These are just false accusations against the best doctor. The people responsible should all be punished.

  11. Tiffany O

    Dr. Zhanna Tsukerman is an angel. She is full of love and doesn’t deserve to go through such a terrible situation. The world needs more knowledgeable doctors like her. Hopefully all of this will end soon and she will be completely vindicated. We love you Dr. Tsukerman!

  12. Monika S

    We all know that Dr. Tsukerman is being falsely accused. Bad things like this should not happen to such great people. She is the best!!!!! God bless you Dr. Tsukerman

  13. Anna L

    I am going to this doctor for many years! She is the best doctor I even visited!
    This other doctor A.B. who is blaming Dr.Tsukerman for something she did not do! There is no evidence! This is illegal! What right she has to insult another person like this? Why Coney Island Hospital is not taking actions to protect Tsukerman? A.B should be fired for her actions!
    I am very sorry that Zhanna has to go true all this! Hopefully this would be resolved shortly and we all can get back to normal routine!
    Dr. Tsukerman you are the best doctor – I Love you!

  14. Milton K

    Spoke to the department of health when they were calling the patients. They mentioned that only one person (probably A. B.) was in their statistics. One out of 3 thousand appeared to be their ratio. They did not release the identity of the program director either. The department seemed to operate as a mafia in this case which may lead to believe that someone is trying to undermine Dr Tsukerman .

  15. Nora Khoutabi

    This is so sad, this woman should be ashamed of herself to be trying to tarnish Dr. Zhanna’s name. This woman is literally one of the most professional and credible doctors I’ve ever had by far and has literally saved me !! Zhanna is the furthest from how this woman is trying to put her out to be and clearly if you’re a doctor yourself you should know that you are exposed to anything by your own patients!! To harass this woman and bully her this way is absolutely disgusting and clearly defamation of character because there is no proof but this woman’s lies. I hope Dr. Tsukerman keeps her head up because no one deserves to spend their life protecting others and studying this practice with phenomenal reviews to have to deal with this. So shameful.