NYC Health + Hospitals
Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Public Meeting – Bronx
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Report by Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO
I started my sixth year with NYC Health + Hospitals. I feel so lucky to lead such an amazing organization. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together through some of the toughest times for health care workers and our communities.
I think we can all agree, the last 3 years with COVID-19 were a trial we could not have imagined. We lost patients, colleagues, and family members. Staff were forced to use iPads at the bedside so patients could say goodbye to relatives on screens, while we held their hands in the last moments of life. They do not teach this in medical school or nursing school. But we knew exactly what to do. We saved thousands of lives and we proved the value and strength of NYC Health + Hospitals with our treatment, testing, and vaccination programs. We were a lifeline for New York City.
Our health System again extended a lifeline to New Yorkers when we faced the spread of Mpox and the tripledemic of COVID, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Influenza last fall. We mobilized quickly to educate the community about prevention, treatment and services for RSV, and we focused on ensuring access to the Mpox vaccine among the communities most at risk.
We are now at a critical point coming out of the COVID emergency mode. Across New York City, and specifically at NYC Health + Hospitals, we continue to see a decline in COVID-19 hospital admissions and community transmission levels. While we are relieved to be out of the crisis stage of the pandemic, we know COVID is not going away. NYC Health + Hospitals will continue to support access to COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and therapeutics for all New Yorkers. We also continue our work to provide the very best care and treatment for people with COVID and those suffering with Long COVID.
Despite the tremendous demand created by the pandemic, we never lost sight of our goals to expand access to care for more New Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status, offer the highest quality of care, and advance our values of equity, diversity and inclusion. Here are just a few highlights of the amazing achievements from the last year.
- NYC Care reached 100,000 members showing once again that NYC Health + Hospitals is a beacon for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Learn how NYC Care helped patient Wendell Wells afford medical care and manage his diabetes.
- We launched Housing for Health to connect our homeless patients to housing, and we have already housed over 400 patients. You can hear about the impact the program is making from patient Jesus Cerda and his psychiatrist, Dr. Kelania Jimenez.
- Our post-acute facilities were recognized in the America’s Best Nursing Homes 2023 list by Newsweek, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Seaview ranked #1 in New York State! The State has over 600 nursing homes, so it is a huge accomplishment that all of our post-acute care facilities made the list.
- We opened our third Gotham Health COVID-19 Center of Excellence to provide specialized care to New Yorkers with long COVID, offering a pulmonologist, cardiologist, and a mental health specialist on site.
- New York State tapped our Virtual ExpressCare service to offer COVID-19 Paxlovid therapeutics statewide. Virtual ExpressCare administered the most Paxlovid prescriptions of any provider in New York City.
- B-HEARD, the powerful new program where NYC Health + Hospitals social workers and FDNY EMTs respond to 911 mental health calls, expanded to 10 additional police precincts, covering Washington Heights, Inwood, the South Bronx, East New York, and Brownsville.
- When the mpox outbreak hit New York City, we rose to the challenge – administering over 15,000 mpox vaccinations at our hospitals and mobile sites stationed outside of clubs and sex parties to meet the community where they are and make vaccination easy and convenient.
- Speaking of mobile outreach, our award-winning SHOW (Street Health Outreach & Wellness) vans expanded this year to include buprenorphine treatment for people with opioid use disorder – a life-saving intervention to broaden the vans’ already sizeable impact. The vans had over 91,000 engagements with patients this year, including over 39,000 COVID tests and nearly 3,000 vaccinations.
- All 11 of our hospitals now offer plant-based lunches and dinners as the default choice, so our patients can see how delicious plant-based meals can be. We served nearly 341,400 plant-based meals in 2022.
- Our dedicated City, State, and Federal elected officials contributed $103,669 million to our facilities, the largest amount of capital funding we have ever received in a budget cycle. This funding has enabled many improvements at our facilities, including new cardiology equipment, expanded integrated women’s health services, and updated ultrasound equipment and tools to improve the digital care experience at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health; a state-of-the-art birthing center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull; supporting a new outpatient dialysis center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens; a new CT scanner, portable C-ARM, and ultrasound machines at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan; and a new Hyperbaric chamber and expanded Hyperbaric Medicine services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi.
- We committed an unprecedented $747 million with Minority- and Women-owned Businesses (M/WBEs) – an increase of more than 3,000% since 2017.
- We have provided care to more than 9,000 asylum seekers who arrived at the Port Authority, and we helped to set up the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers that offered temporary shelter, a critical support as our new neighbors navigated one of the most stressful situations imaginable.
- All 11 of our hospitals are now officially Baby-Friendly. This achievement was years in the making – NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem led the way in 2008 and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County rounded out the list in August.
- MetroPlus Health membership grew to over 700,000 members – more than the population of Washington, D.C.!
- 2022 was a big year for our nurses. NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health received the prestigious Pathway to Excellence Award, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and South Brooklyn Health received Beacon awards for nursing excellence.
BRONX NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS
Best in Care & Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke
Our hospitals in the borough of the Bronx were again recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) for their excellence and commitment to quality care in heart failure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and resuscitation. NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, North Central Bronx and Lincoln hospitals earned the AHA’s “Get with the Guidelines” award for meeting high standards of quality care and timely diagnosis and treatment of heart failure and stroke – because when it comes to treating heart attack and stroke, we know every second counts.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi was named a Surgical Quality Partner by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The designation means that Jacobi Hospital has met the highest standards of surgical care by minimizing complications, improving outcomes, and saving lives. The hospital is widely recognized for exceptional care as a Level 1 Trauma Center for our region. This certification identifies Jacobi Hospital as one of 25 hospitals internationally and one of only three in New York State that can meet these high standards and requirements.
Jacobi Hospital also received an award of $10M in Fiscal Year 2023 capital funding through Council Member Marjorie Velázquez and New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams to replace the hospital’s Hyperbaric Chamber and expand Hyperbaric Medicine services. Council Member Velázquez also awarded $286K to purchase new ultrasound machines and $500K to acquire echocardiography ultrasound machines. These funds will help us acquire modernized, reliable equipment to better respond to the health care needs of our patients to help build stronger, healthier communities across the tri-state area. I am thankful for the responsiveness of elected officials Council Member Marjorie Velázquez and Speaker Adrienne Adams for these recent allocations.
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
North Central Bronx Hospital received the Top Teaching Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, one of only 58 hospitals nationwide to earn the award this year. This followed the award of an A grade from the Leapfrog Group for North Central Bronx, the only hospital in the Bronx to receive the designation. The Top Teaching Hospital award was based on the hospital’s high marks across various metrics, including strong safety and outcomes results for high risk surgeries and procedures, as well as measures to prevent medical and prescribing errors. Some of the rigorous criteria for this designation also included performing at or above the national rate for mortality measures on heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
Lincoln Hospital received $3M from the 2023 Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act to provide important and needed improvements to the Intensive Care Units bed technology that will enhance patient care, safety and health outcomes. The new beds have special features that make it easier for our ICU teams move patients safely and easily, and also allow patients to do in-bed exercises to improve muscle strength. We are grateful to our Federal representatives, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Ritchie Torres, for their support and advocacy on behalf of our patients in the Bronx.
The Lincoln Hospital community also gathered last summer to celebrate the 5th anniversary of “Guns Down Life Up” (GDLU) — a hospital-based program designed to mobilize community partners and offer alternatives and resources to stop violence. The GDLU team tracks gun shots, assaults and stabbing cases that present to the Emergency Room and with the help of violence interrupters and credible messengers, they eliminate retaliation and emergency room return visits. The GDLU team can often be seen at the patient bedside meeting with victims of gun violence, and have intervened with over one thousand patients and their families.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health
Our Federally Qualified Health Center network of community-based clinics provide comprehensive primary care to serve children and adults all across the borough. Our centers are located in the communities of Morrisania, Tremont, Mott Haven and Williamsbridge.
In the last year, Gotham Health expanded dentistry services, adopted palm vein scanners to improve the registration process, and added new EKG machines in three clinics.
Just Home Housing Project
NYC Health + Hospitals and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development announced Just Home, a project to house New Yorkers with complex medical needs after they leave jail. Patients with medical needs such as congestive heart failure, stage 4 cancer, and end-stage renal disease which make placement in the City’s homeless shelters unfeasible will be eligible for this program. The project will also offer much needed affordable housing, with approximately 70 studio apartments and a two-bedroom apartment on the Jacobi Hospital campus.
Correctional Health Services, a division of NYC Health + Hospitals and the direct provider of health care in the City’s jails, will identify patients based on clinical and other needs. Just Home will address their needs through intensive, on-site social services provided by licensed clinical social workers, dedicated peer workers, and specialists, as well as close access to the health services at Jacobi Hospital. The Fortune Society will act as the developer, manager, and social service provider for the project. We know that stable, affordable housing is critical to our patients’ health and well-being and that supportive housing projects like Just Home can improve residents’ health outcomes and prevent hospitalizations.
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It takes all of us to make NYC Health + Hospitals succeed. And we could not do it without all of you – our patients and patient advocates, community-based organizations, elected officials, and other members of the communities we serve. Thank you for being here tonight and for your support of our essential public health care system.
Now let’s proceed to the main purpose of tonight’s meeting – to hear from you, members of our community. Your input is so important to the future success of NYC Health + Hospitals. We are ready to listen.
I will now turn to our General Counsel to outline the proceeding for tonight’s meeting.
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