Pulmonology is the medical specialty involved in caring for diseases of the chest including the lungs, diaphragm and chest wall.  A large variety of disease processes can be easily diagnosed and treated by our pulmonology services.

Pulmonology Consultations

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cough
  • Chronic Cough
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Bronchitis/Emphysema
  • Lung Cancer Screenings
  • Lung Infections
  • Lung Nodules
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Shortness of Breath

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.  We now offer state of the art lung cancer screening which has been shown to improve survival in high risk patients.

What is a lung screening?

Lung cancer can be detected early through a low dose CT scan without contrast.  The CT scan uses x-rays to scan the entire chest in about five to ten seconds during a single breath hold.  The entire examination is completed in about 15 minutes and has very low radiation exposure.

The vast majority of nodules discovered are benign and require no more than simple follow up scans over time.  These low dose CT scans aid in finding lung cancer in their earliest stage, when up to 90% can be cured.  If a tumor is found, they are much more likely to be early stage and curable with minimally invasive surgery leading to less postoperative pain and early return to work.

The recommendations, made by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on March 9, advise people between 50 and 80 years old who have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years or more (20 “pack” years), and those who either still smoke or quit within the last 15 years to be screened annually.

Contact your primary physician for a referral to RUMC.  If you do not have a primary care physician, we will help you.  The CT scan is part of a smoker’s and former smoker’s annual physical covered by insurance.

To schedule a screening or for more information, call 718-818-2391

Meet the Team

  • Keith Diaz, MD

    Since 2011, Dr. Diaz has worked as an intensivist and consulting pulmonologist at RUMC, and he serves as director of the hospital’s lung screening program. He is also part of the medical leadership team overseeing multiple clinical specialists treating patients in their long-term and short-term recovery from COVID-19 at RUMC’s Post COVID-19 Care Center.

    A graduate of Ross University School of Medicine and lifelong Staten Island resident, Dr. Diaz completed his residency in internal medicine on Staten Island at then-St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center. He then completed additional training in surgical critical care medicine at Mount Sinai, followed by a pulmonary/critical care fellowship at Stony Brook University Medical Center. His efforts as a teacher earned him the designation of “Attending of the Year” for the 2018-2019 academic year. In addition to his roles at RUMC, Dr. Diaz is also a medical specialist for the Fire Department of the City of New York, helping firefighters recover from 9/11-related diseases.

    Dr. Diaz helped to create RUMC’s lung screening program, one of the most advanced in New York City. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Found in their earliest stages however, 90 percent of lung cancers are curable. A lung screening involves the use of a low dose computed tomography (CT) scan, which produces cross-section images of the lungs. The patient is asked to hold their breath for five to ten seconds during which time the CT scan is able to take an X-ray of the entire chest.

    In June of 2021, RUMC opened its comprehensive Post COVID-19 Care Center, which features a team of multi-disciplinary experts focused on assisting recovering COVID-19 patients with their short-term and long-term healthcare needs. Dr. Diaz has been part of the leadership team at RUMC’s Post COVID-19 Care Center since the center opened in June 2020 and was also part of the development team that designed the center and its services. The center features experts in pulmonary care, cardiology, infectious disease, psychiatry, behavioral health, physiatry, and additional areas of healthcare. Since March, Richmond University Medical Center has treated and discharged over 1,500 COVID-19 patients. Over 100 people have been cared for at the Post COVID-19 Center since its opening.