Jan 15, 2021
NYC Health + Hospitals’ President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD, was recently recognized with the ‘Labor Hero 2020’ award by the Organization of Staff Analysts. The recognition is on behalf of all NYC Health + Hospitals employees who helped with the public health system’s COVID-19 response. Dr. Katz is the first recipient of the ‘Labor Hero 2020’ recognition in over 20 years to be someone in an executive position. In recent years, representative of United Federation of Teachers, DC37 and other labor unions have been recognized.
“I am honored to accepted this award on behalf of our entire workforce, over 40,000 dedicated healthcare workers who bravely continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that not only COVID-positive patients receive the critical care some need, but that all other healthcare needs of met through these uncertain times,” said President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz, MD. “I am proud to help lead an organization with such incredible heroes who came to the aid of all New Yorkers during such an unprecedented public health crisis ”.
“For nearly 20 years, the Organization of Staff Analysts has chosen one or more labor leaders who have distinguished themselves on behalf of our city. This year, for the first time, we have honored a management person, Dr. Mitchell Katz head of NYC Health + Hospitals and his workforce. We made this exception, not only because of the good work done by Dr. Katz and our frontline fighters against COVID-19, but also because we believe Dr. Katz to be a leader who actually cares for his patients, his workers, and the City hospitals in his charge,” said Chairperson of the Organization of Staff Analysts Robert J. Croghan.
Dr. Katz was appointed President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals in January 2018. During this time, Dr. Katz has focused on advancing the transformation of the public health care system with numerous new initiatives to expand access to primary care services, reduce administrative costs, invest in more front-line clinical staff, and build financial stability. In September 2020, NYC Care, a healthcare access program for New Yorkers who are not eligible for or cannot afford health insurance, went live city-wide four months ahead of schedule under Dr. Katz’s stewardship.
Dr. Katz’s initial transformation strategy helped set the groundwork for the public health system to combat the challenges of the unprecedented global health crisis, COVID-19. Under his stewardship, the system was able to more than triple its ICU capacity, stand-up a COVID-19-dedicated hotline to help mitigate dangerous overcrowding in the system’s emergency departments, transition nearly all existing appointments to telemedicine, and establish the city’s Test & Trace Corps. The public health system is now also providing critical support to facilitate the City’s roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines to those who are eligible.
At the COVID-19 peak, there were more than 3,000 patients hospitalized across the system, and treated approximately 900 COVID-19 patients on ventilators. The COVID-19 hotline has handled nearly 100,000 calls, and more than 950,000 patient care appointments have been fulfilled via telephonic or video calls, keeping New Yorker’s safe during the uncertainty of the pandemic.