Mitchell H. Katz, MD
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
REPORT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
December 14, 2023
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS FACILITIES GET FESTIVE
NYC Health + Hospitals facilities across the five boroughs are hosting Christmas tree and menorah lighting ceremonies in conjunction with community groups and leaders. Many of our sites will celebrate Kwanzaa when it begins on Tuesday, December 26, and Three Kings Day on Saturday, January 6. Toy drives and toy distributions are a large part of the holiday effort to spread joy, with many of the sites partnering with MetroPlusHealth to ensure that all children who receive care or enter our facilities receive a gift. The facilities focus not only on their pediatric units, but also look to their social work teams and Women’s Health departments to distribute gifts. It is also through generous community toy drives and donations that our facilities can answer this need for the thousands of children who receive care or accompany their parents through our doors.
Our post-acute facilities are also celebrating the season, focusing on their residents. One site is giving every resident a gift with a card from the CEO, while another is engaging the community to “adopt-a-resident” for the holidays. Most, if not all, of our post-acutes will have special holiday dinners for residents who don’t have family or visitors nearby.
RESPONDING TO THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS – SERVICES FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
NYC Health + Hospitals continues to be a cornerstone of the City’s response to the historic humanitarian crisis. Our 16 humanitarian centers provide life-changing assistance to the 23,000 asylum seekers in our care, roughly three-quarters of whom are families with children. Here, they receive dignified, compassionate treatment and on-site resources, paving the way towards a brighter future.
Since the crisis began, NYC Health + Hospitals has ensured new arrivals, many of whom have long been deprived care and arrive in extremis, are provided critical medical services. Staff at the Arrival Center have now registered approximately 85,000 asylum seekers, offering medical and behavioral health screenings, on-site vaccinations, health insurance enrollment, case work and reconnection services to all new arrivals to New York City.
As our knowledge of how to best assist asylum seekers has evolved, so has our response. We recently enhanced our case management services with partners who have national expertise providing high-quality, cost-effective services. With two monthly case management touchpoints, we will provide regular check-ins and assistance to help asylum seekers achieve their goals as effectively and expeditiously as possible. Our expanded case management effort will help our guests complete their journeys, reducing the number of people currently staying in shelters.
Similarly, early this year, our staff surveyed guests at several facilities to determine which meals are most popular and to ensure culturally-relevant food options are provided for people from all over the world, including our many guests from Latin and South America. The results of that effort and other food tracking measures are in: Guests are currently consuming 95% of the 430,000 meals we serve each week, ensuring our guests are well-fed and little food is wasted.
Earlier this week, Dr. Ted Long attended a City Council to share some of these results and answer questions about the food served in asylum seeker shelters.
JUST HOME PUBLIC HEARING
Yesterday at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi the Board of Directors held a public hearing on the Just Home project. The project is a joint effort between NYC Health + Hospitals and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) to house New Yorkers with complex medical needs after they leave jail. Patients with health issues such as congestive heart failure, stage 4 cancer, and end-stage renal disease cannot be placed in the City’s homeless shelters and would be eligible for this program.
The project will offer much needed affordable housing. Just Home will create approximately 83 studio apartments and a two-bedroom apartment for a live-in superintendent, in a vacant building at 1900 Seminole Avenue on the NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi campus in the Bronx. 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 help these patients through intensive, on-site social services provided by licensed clinical social workers, dedicated peer workers, and specialists, and they will have the added benefit of being close to the health services at Jacobi Hospital. The Fortune Society will act as the developer, manager, and social service provider for the project. Fortune Society’s Castle Gardens residence, which opened in 2010 and has become an integral and valued part of the West Harlem community, serves as a model for Just Home.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/GOTHAM HEALTH, MORRISANIA RECOGNIZED AS CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION MILLION HEARTS HYPERTENSION CONTROL CHAMPION
NYC Health + Hospitals facilities continue to do outstanding work controlling chronic disease. This year, the American Heart Association awarded 17 NYC Health + Hospital sites Gold recognition for reducing Type 2 Diabetes, and Gold+ recognition for hypertension control; their highest level awards for both categories. Morrisania was also recognized by the CDC as a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion for helping at least 80% of its patients achieve hypertension control. Morrisania is the only health care organization in New York State to be recognized this year.
In October we announced that all 11 acute hospitals and seven Gotham Health primary cares sites were recognized by the American Heart Association for their work helping patients manage their diabetes. 17 sites received Gold status, the highest recognition, for having fewer than 25% of patients with poorly controlled diabetes while also maintaining hypertension control rates above 70%. This is the first year NYC Health + Hospitals had applied for this recognition, and the results highlight positive outcomes in the way we are managing diabetes in our communities.
HEALTH CARE ACCESS WEBINARS HOSTED BY NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS, NYC MAYOR’S PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT UNIT, NY STATE OF HEALTH, NYC HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION, AND NYC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
On December 5 and 6, NYC Health + Hospitals’ NYC Care program, the NYC Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit’s (PEU) GetCoveredNYC program, NY State of Health, the NYC Human Resources Administration’s (HRA) Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access, and the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) hosted a virtual webinar series to inform New Yorkers about the health insurance and health care access programs available to them. The information sessions streamed on Facebook in English and Spanish, and recordings are available for those who were unable to join the live sessions. The sessions, the second iteration of a series launched last year, are for all New Yorkers weighing the health insurance options available to them during the open enrollment period for health insurance from NY State of Health. The webinars feature an overview of the range of insurance options, the role of participating agencies in supporting enrollment, and they conclude with a question and answer segment open to the public. The speakers encourage all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, to seek the primary, specialty, and preventive care they need to lead longer, healthier lives.
PLANETREE INTERNATIONAL RECOGNIZES THREE ADDITIONAL NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS LOCATIONS FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO ENHANCING THE STAFF, PATIENT AND FAMILY EXPERIENCE IN HEALTH CARE SETTINGS
Three additional NYC Health + Hospitals facilities have been certified by Planetree International for excellence in person-centered care, bringing the total number of our facilities recognized by Planetree to nine. Planetree works with organizations across the globe to enhance staff, patient and family experiences in health care settings. Over a span of three years, these sites met several criteria to provide high-quality care, improve clinical outcomes, enhance patient experience, and develop workforce recruitment and retention. Planetree’s model of patient, family, staff, and community engagement has improved patient outcomes, lowered rates of staff burnout, and lowered costs. For the first time, the organization recognized NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, Queens, and Woodhull. NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler also received an honorable mention in their improvement and dedication of person-centered care practices, especially in their commitment to engaging their residents and staff.
The criteria for person-centered care include: partnering with patients and their loved ones, which can include shared decision-making, compassionate and empathetic communication, and having the patient identify their treatment goals; increasing family involvement and presence in all aspects related to patient care; supporting providers and staff, which can include emotional support and participation in decisions that impact their work; tailoring care to meet the individual needs, values and preferences of patients and their loved ones; and making data-driven improvements, including data on clinical quality, patient experience, and staff and provider engagement and well-being.
The newly recognized facilities are joined by the first cohort who received certification earlier this year: NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue; Elmhurst; Jacobi; Kings County; Gotham Health, East New York; and Gotham Health, Morrisania.
NEW COMMUNITY MURALS UNVEILED AT NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/CARTER AND GOTHAM HEALTH, MORRISANIA
Two new murals have been unveiled at our health System as part of the Community Mural Project run by the health system’s Arts in Medicine department.
Last week, NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter celebrated their new mural, Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem by artist Ji Yong Kim. The mural pays tribute to the diverse and rich history of Harlem, with a kaleidoscope of elements representing the area’s cultural heritage. The artist spotlights dedicated hospital workers, flanked by a Bomba dancer on the left and a tap dancer on the right. Around these central figures, musical instruments, street scenes, historical figures, modes of transportation, and a profusion of plants and flowers collectively reflect the richness of Latin culture in the neighborhood. Chromatic Symphony of Greater Harlem celebrates the community’s heritage, achievements and struggles, highlighting its profound contributions to various facets of life, including art, music, literature, politics, and social justice.
Yesterday, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania unveiled its new mural, Each and Every Day: Simple but Full of Love by artist Yukiko Izumi. The mural celebrates the mission of Morrisania, the staff’s commitment to the community, and their pride in being part of the Bronx. The artist included symbols throughout the mural, including flowers, butterflies, hearts, and the sun, all celebrating life. On the right side of the mural, community members engage in daily routines. These seemingly ordinary moments reveal the beauty and strength of daily existence. Progressing leftward, the mural transitions into a portrayal of the inner workings of the facility, including a doctor with an x-ray, a dentist with a child, a pregnant woman, and families. These scenes emphasize the dedication and compassion of the hospital staff in their daily duties and the extraordinary aspects within the routine. The mural also highlights the distinctive roles played by each department within the facility, while incorporating elements that authentically capture the essence of the Bronx.
Both murals were developed through a series of focus groups with community members, staff and patients and brought to life at a paint party where people from the community were invited to paint the mural as a group. The Community Mural Project is believed to be the country’s largest public hospital mural program since the 1930s. The nine new murals will add to the 26 murals created in the first wave of the project. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS PRESENTS FIRST-EVER EXHIBITION TO SHOWCASE ART FROM BOTH RIKERS ISLAND AND ITS OWN COLLECTION
On Tuesday, December 5, NYC Health + Hospitals presented Creating Within: Art from Rikers and the NYC Health + Hospitals Art Collection, the health System’s first-ever exhibition to showcase creative works by individuals detained on Rikers Island, alongside selections from its own art collection. Creating Within invites viewers to reflect on and celebrate, the power of creative expression to sustain health and wellness, to support self-empowerment and to transcend literal and abstract restraints under even the most challenging conditions. It features art, songs, and writing by participants in NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services’ (CHS) Creative Arts Therapy program – the oldest and largest jail-based arts therapy program in the nation – and complementary works from the health system’s art collection, one of the largest public art collections in New York City. The exhibition is on display at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for staff and patients through March 2025. It is accessible to the public internationally through the Bloomberg Connects app and CHS website.
TEN LEADERS AT NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS AND METROPLUSHEALTH RECOGNIZED AS POWER PLAYERS IN HEALTH CARE BY MEDIA OUTLETS amNY AND POLITICSNY
Ten leaders from across the health system and MetroPlusHealth were added to the PoliticsNY and amNY Metro 2023 Power Players in Health Care list, recognized as pioneering individuals and political heavyweights whose unwavering commitment to excellence is leading New York’s health care industry into a future defined by innovation, compassion, and improved health outcomes for all. The list includes NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD; NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue CEO William Hicks; NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD; NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health CEO Svetlana Lipyanskaya, MPA; NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and North Central Bronx CEO Christopher Mastromano; NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County CEO Sheldon McLeod; MetroPlusHealth Chief Growth Officer Roger Milliner; NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and Queens Chief Medical Officer Jasmin Moshirpur, MD; Chair of the Board José Pagán, PhD; and MetroPlusHealth President and CEO Talya Schwartz, MD. The 2023 Power Players in Health Care list is part of a monthly series by PoliticsNY and amNY Metro on New York’s Power Players, including business executives, educators, government affairs experts, and nonprofit directors.
CEO OF NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/COMMUNITY CARE NICOLE JORDAN-MARTIN RECEIVES 2023 EMPIRE WHOLE HEALTH HEROES AWARD
Nicole Jordan-Martin, MPA, FACHE, the Executive Director and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Community Care, has been named one of 25 recipients of the prestigious 2023 Empire Whole Health Heroes Awards. This recognition is a joint initiative of Crain’s New York and Empire BlueCross BlueShield to honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to promoting whole health initiatives in New York City. The 2023 Empire Whole Health Heroes Award recipients were recognized for leading health care innovation and driving community impact.
EXTERNAL & COMMUNITY AFFAIRS UPDATE
City: Representatives from NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst attended an East Harlem and Corona, Queens Mayoral town hall in December.
State: The 2024 New York State legislative session will begin on January 3, 2024 and conclude on June 6, 2024. Governor Hochul is scheduled to deliver her State of the State Address on January 9th, which will highlight her legislative and budget priorities for the 2024 session. We continue to work with the Governor, the Assembly, and the Senate to support the ongoing needs of safety net hospitals.
Federal: Last month, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open into 2024, with one tranche of government funding now running out on Jan. 19 and the other on Feb. 2. The Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) cuts were delayed until January 19. We will continue to advocate for the DSH cuts to be eliminated, and there is broad support for doing so.
Community Affairs: The Community Affairs team continued to meet with the Community Advisory Boards through November and December, attending a total of 19 CAB meetings this fall and two in the new year to come. The team also hosted a holiday party for the Council of CABs during their December meeting, including a festive dinner and some holiday décor. The CABs will be important partners in our State advocacy in Albany in the coming year.
We completed hosting four Health Insurance Symposiums in partnership with CMS, NY State of Health, and NYC Care. Each symposium included presentations from CMS, the NY State Department of Health, the Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access, and NYC Care. The symposium was held at Woodhull, Elmhurst, Bellevue, and Lincoln and were attended by community partners, hospital staff, and community members.
Since the last meeting of the Board of Directors, I have authorized two increases to previously reported HERRC contract deviations to the Board:
- The first of these concerns our rental of space on Hall Street in Brooklyn that I approved on June 27,2023 with a ceiling of $22,070,003 for construction and $22,162,590 for rent and other occupancy costs. As the City’s need for additional space for migrant asylum seekers grew, we exercised our option to almost double the footprint of the project. The projected operating costs will correspondingly increase as will the construction costs to prepare the space for asylum seekers. With these increases, the total construction cost for improvements to Hall Street are projected at $53,384,294 and the total 18-month projected operating cost will be $41,859,013. We have also allowed for an additional $15,000,000 to pay for alterations to a previously renovated part of the property. While nothing is planned or approved yet, there may be a future decision to alter part of the property to be suitable for a different service delivery model. This would involve putting up partial walls to make separate “pods” for each family unit. This work and the associated expenditure would be made only with further explicit OMB approval.
- The second modification to a previous exception made May 31, 2023 concerns the property we leased at 320 West 31st Street in Manhattan. There, we have had to reimburse unexpectedly high insurance costs but that increase is partially offset by terminating the agreement five months early after only 5 months of operation. The net effect of these developments is a net increase of $22,714 to bring the number to $8,236,414.
I also recently approved an exception to policy to permit a six-month continuation of 21 CBO agreements, which were procured through an RFP process. The initial term of the agreement was February 2022 through October 2023 with a budget of $4.93 million. The additional amount is not to exceed $1.1 million. These contracts support education, outreach and NYC Care enrollment assistance. An RFP is being conducted that will replace these contracts prior to their expiration.
NEWS AROUND THE HEALTH SYSTEM
- New York City Health + Hospitals hosts migrant families for Thanksgiving
- Lifestyle Medicine program expands to NYC Health + Hospitals/King’s County
- Building Resiliency At Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital
- New mural unveiled at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler
- World AIDS Day marked with events raising awareness across New York City
- Inside the Migrant Crisis
- A Famed Hospital Churns Poor Patients Through Weight-Loss Surgery
- ‘Healthy and Affordable’: EveryTable Launches in Jacobi Hospital, Offering New Meal Choices (pg. 18)
- DRIVE TIME: Rikers inmates make art for display in NYC hospital