Mitchell H. Katz, MD
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
REPORT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
January 25, 2024
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS HAD AN AMAZING 2023
2023 was another incredible year for NYC Health + Hospitals. Highlights include opening the new $923 million Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital on the campus of NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health; answering the need for asylum seeker care and services; and investing in loan repayment for behavioral health staff.
We were recognized for delivering high-quality, award winning care; opened new facilities and spaces across our health system; found permanent housing for hundreds of patients; launched new food programs at several our hospitals; invested in our behavioral health staff and facilities; gained pay parity for our nurses; and used creativity to connect and heal our patients.
NYC Health + Hospitals has so much to be proud of last year, and I want to thank our staff across the health System for the hard work they do every day to serve our patients and New Yorkers.
LISTEN TO THE REMEDY, NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS’ NEW PODCAST
From the health System’s singular perspective as the largest safety net hospital system in the nation, The Remedy covers topics such as the power of primary care, food as medicine, women’s health, preparing for the next pandemic, caring for people experiencing homelessness, and the health needs of migrants. It offers a voice that no other podcast can. Host Dr. Michael Shen from NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull speaks to health system leaders, experts, and specialists on topics affecting patients, New Yorkers, and the nation. The podcast will include seven episodes, with a new episode released every two weeks. Episode 1: The Power of Primary Care and Episode 2: Food is Medicine are available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.
DANIELLE DIBARI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS, CHIEF PHARMACY OFFICER AND CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER, IS RECOGNIZED BY THE JOURNAL OF HEALTHCARE CONTRACTING AS ONE OF THE “WOMEN LEADERS IN SUPPLY CHAIN”
Danielle DiBari, Pharm.D., Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Chief Pharmacy Officer, and Chief Procurement Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals, was recognized by The Journal of Healthcare Contracting in its 2023 “Women Leaders in Supply Chain” list. The list recognizes women leaders who are instrumental in navigating the challenges facing supply chain teams as they contribute to the success of their organizations. The leaders are nominated by the readers of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting and selected by the editorial staff, who consider the nominee’s tenure in supply chain, commitment to continued learning, and recent responsibilities and projects. The Journal of Healthcare Contracting is a publication dedicated to the healthcare supply chain, focusing on the interactions of the four primary stakeholders in healthcare contracting: health systems and their facilities, manufacturers and suppliers, distributors, and group purchasing organizations.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS WELCOMES THE CITY’S FIRST BABY AT SOUTH BROOKLYN HEALTH
We welcomed the first baby of 2024 at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health. This is the fifth first baby of the New Year in a row for the hospital. The baby boy was born at midnight, weighing 7 lbs. 12.5 oz. and measuring 21 in. The baby boy was born to mom and dad, Rafael Abitbul. The baby boy was the Flatbush couple’s first child. The father of the baby was born at the same hospital, formerly named NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, 23 years ago. The same doctor who delivered him delivered his new son.
SUNY DOWNSTATE BEGINS TO EXPLORE A TRANSFORMATION
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County’s neighbor across the street, SUNY Downstate, has announced that it’s exploring a transformation with a continued goal of ensuring access to high-quality health care to Central Brooklynites. Our health system has a long-standing relationship with SUNY Downstate and its medical school, making us a natural partner in their endeavor. Through their transformation we will listen and assist as we are able.
RESPONDING TO THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS – SERVICES FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
NYC Health + Hospitals remains a central pillar of the City’s response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Our network of 16 humanitarian centers provides transformative support to approximately 25,000 asylum seekers in our care, around 75% of whom are families with children. At our sites guests are met with dignified care and the resources to find a path to a more promising future.
From the beginning of the crisis, NYC Health + Hospitals has prioritized urgent medical care for newly arrived asylum seekers, many of whom have endured harrowing journeys to New York City and arrive in extremis. Early this month, our staff at the Arrival Center reached a significant milestone—registering and providing critical medical services to over 100,000 new arrivals since the facility opened last May. The dignified welcome and immediate access to services the Arrival Center provides asylum seekers up front, often hours after reaching the City, has ensured people receive the healthcare they deserve and the social and casework services to most effectively continue their journey.
This month we also began discharging families who have stayed in our care the longest at the Row Hotel humanitarian center. Prior to guests’ departure, over the course of more than four case management meetings on average, staff discussed their goals, identified their needs and connected them with the services to move forward, whether that’s connecting with friends or family elsewhere, receiving job training, language classes, or legal assistance with work authorizations and asylum applications. For families who wish to stay in the City’s care, we have prioritized placements in shelters or humanitarian centers for children K-6 that do not disrupt their access to the schools where they are currently enrolled.
As we look forward into 2024, our expanded case management services will offer guests a road map to independent, long-term stability. And while guests are in our care, whether joining Girl Scout troops or celebrating the holidays with a gift, we will continue to make sure they feel a sense of belonging, opportunity, and a new home in our City or across the country.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/HARLEM RECEIVES SCOPY AWARD FROM THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY FOR COLON CANCER OUTREACH EFFORTS
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem CEO Georges Leconte and Chief of Gastroenterology Joan Culpepper-Morgan, MD received a Scopy Award from the American College of Gastroenterology for a video produced last year where Mr. Leconte allowed cameras to follow him as he prepped and underwent a routine colonoscopy. The video encouraged New Yorkers aged 45 to 75 to get screened for the preventable cancer and to de-stigmatize the potentially life-saving procedure. Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, occurs in the colon or rectum and is the second-leading cause of cancer death in New York City. African Americans are about 20 percent more likely to get colon cancer and about 40 percent more likely to die from it than most other groups, according to the American Cancer Society. NYC Health + Hospitals offers colonoscopies and the at-home fecal immunochemical (FIT) test, which is easy and less invasive, to help prevent colon cancer or find it early when it is more treatable.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/GOTHAM HEALTH, MORRISANIA RECOGNIZED BY THE CDC AS MILLION HEARTS HYPERTENSION CONTROL CHAMPION
NYC Health + Hospitals/Morrisania, Gotham Health was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a 2023 Hypertension Control Champion. The site was able to achieve blood pressure control for at least 80% of their adult patients with hypertension. Gotham Health, Morrisania was the only clinic in New York State to receive this prestigious award in 2023.
The Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions are clinicians, practices, and/or health systems that have achieved exemplar rate of hypertension control. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading contributor to heart disease and stroke, affecting millions of adults across the United States. Despite its prevalence, achieving effective control of hypertension remains a challenge for many. NYC Health + Hospitals/Morrisania, Gotham Health has made blood pressure control a priority for its patients and was able to achieve blood pressure control for at least 80% of its adult patients with hypertension.
This award reflects not just the excellence of our clinical practices, but also our dedication to the broader goal of Million Hearts: to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes. The CDC’s recognition of our efforts is both an honor and a responsibility to continue leading the way in cardiovascular health.
OFFICE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PARTNERS WITH THE INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN IDENTITY TO DELIVER ADVANCED TRAINING IN LGBTQ+ AFFIRMING CARE
In early January our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion partnered with the Institute for Human Identity (IHI) to develop and deliver the “LGBTQ+ Mental Health Training Project,” an advanced clinical training program for the health System’s mental health professionals aimed at building their clinical knowledge and skills to provide affirming therapy to LGBTQ+ patients. IHI is the nation’s first and longest-running provider of LGBTQ+-affirming psychotherapy. Augmenting NYC Health + Hospitals’ robust services in LGBTQ+-affirming healthcare, the comprehensive, three-month-long program acknowledges and addresses the unique mental health challenges and health disparities faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-binary, gender diverse, asexual, intersex, queer, and other patients identified with LGBTQ+ communities.
The program focuses on mitigating the impacts of social stigma, minority stress—a particularly harmful form of psycho-emotional stress affecting many LGBTQ+ people––and the intersectional experiences of discrimination and violence on LGBTQ+ patients with multiple marginalized identities related to race, ethnicity, documented status, socio-economic status, ability, and others. This collaboration builds on existing trainings and the health System’s long-standing commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, including its seven Pride Health Centers, which are dedicated spaces where people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities can access individual care with respect and dignity.
THE MEDICAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT II AT NYC HEALTH + HOSPTALS/LINCOLN RECOGNIZED WITH SILVER BEACON AWARD
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln’s Medical Intensive Care Unit II received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The Beacon Award for Excellence, a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment, recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Standards.
The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that includes engagement of staff and key stakeholders. MICU II earned its silver award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria, including Leadership Structures and Systems, Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement, Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Learning and Development, Evidence-Based Practice and Processes and Outcome Measurement.
ELMHURST REOPENS FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC UNIT
Almost four years after its closure in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the forensic psychiatric unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst Hospital reopened this week. The renovated unit can accommodate up to 12 women in the custody of the NYC Department of Correction. Incarcerated patients in need of inpatient psychiatric care are referred by NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services and evaluated and admitted by Elmhurst Hospital clinicians. The unit features newly renovated rooms for individuals, a common “day room” area, and special fixtures to prevent self-harm. DOC staff will provide custody management, as it does in the men’s forensic psychiatric unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.
NYC DEPARTMENT OF CITYWIDE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES AND NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS’ OFFICE OF FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT CELEBRATE THE COMPLETION OF FIRST EVER SOLAR POWER INSTALLATION AT CITY’S HEALTH SYSTEM
A new 55KW solar panel installation was completed this past December at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. It will supplement the facility’s daily energy use with cleaner, greener, renewable power. The project started in March 2020 and it will create power equivalent to that used in approximately 14 New York City households. This is the 155th municipal solar project installed by DCAS totaling at least 24 megawatts.
The project was completed as part of DCAS’ Clean Energy Generation program, which is working to expand distributed energy resources, including solar photovoltaic and energy storage installations across the City’s portfolio of properties. Installations include solar on building rooftops and other innovative projects like solar canopies in parking lots, garages, and wastewater treatment facilities. Some installations feature battery storage that can supply electricity during a power outage, including the Elmhurst project.
NEW TOOL TO CONNECT PATIENTS TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES IS INTERGRATED INTO EPIC, THE HEALTH SYSTEM’S ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD
FindHelp, the health System’s new tool to connect patients to community resources, is now integrated into the electronic medical record. It includes a social service referral platform and network of more than 7,000 programs – including food assistance, transportation, and shelter – serving New York City that is regularly updated to ensure accuracy. The new tool is part of NYC Health + Hospitals’ robust social needs screening program, which screened over 250,000 primary care patients for social needs in 2023. Over one in four patients who were screened last year wanted assistance with social needs. The new platform will help the health system staff refer patients to community resources. Later this year, NYC Health + Hospitals will expand its social needs screening to include inpatient settings.
Findhelp enables NYC Health + Hospitals staff to generate automated resource recommendations after completing the Social Determinants of Health screening tool in Epic. The recommendations are tailored to where patients live and is then added to the paperwork that patients receive after a doctor’s visit. Staff will also use the Findhelp platform to search for community-based resources to address patient needs and can share them with patients via text or email in their preferred language. They will also send closed-loop referrals to select community-based organizations to follow-up with patients and connect them to care.
Patients can also access Findhelp through a new website to find local community-based organizations that offer social services, such as food assistance, transportation, shelter, and ESL and job training programs. Patients can access the site through MyChart or directly from the NYC Health + Hospitals homepage by clicking “Find Resources in My Community.”
LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PROGRAM LAUNCHES AT NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/ELMHURST AS PART OF CITYWIDE EXPANSION
The health System’s nationally recognized Lifestyle Medicine Program has expanded to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst in Queens. This is the first time the program is available in Queens, and is the fourth of six new sites to make the program available citywide. It follows launches at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, Woodhull, and Kings County. The pilot program, launched at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in 2019 with the support of then-Borough President Eric Adams, has already seen hundreds of patients. The Lifestyle Medicine Program’s team supports patients in making evidence-based lifestyle changes, including a healthful plant-based diet, increased physical activity, improved sleep habits, stress reduction, avoidance of substance use, and stronger social connections. Adults living with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or health concerns related to excess weight are eligible to enroll. The program can accommodate 48 new patients each month, and the care team at each site includes physicians, nurse practitioner(s), certified nurse midwife (Woodhull only), a dietitian, a health coach, community health workers, a psychologist, a program coordinator, and an exercise trainer.
THE STATE’S #1 NURSING HOME – NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/SEA VIEW – CELEBRATED ITS TOP HONOR
On January 11, NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View kicked off the New Year as the #1 Ranked Nursing Home in New York State by Newsweek in 2024 for the second year in a row and as a high-performing nursing home in the nation for short-term rehabilitation and long-term care according to U.S. News & World Report – 2024 Best Nursing Homes.
Newsweek identified 500 top facilities (with more than 150 beds), across 25 states, with 58 in New York state. The rankings are based on five data sources, including performance data, peer recommendations, management of the COVID-19 situation and accreditations from The Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The rankings are designed to assist patients and their families in making informed decisions about where to receive their long-term and post-acute care.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/GOTHAM HEALTH RECEIVES
$1.1M FROM THE BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT
The Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso allocated $1.1 million of his Fiscal Year 2024 capital funding to support necessary infrastructure improvements and enhance patient services. This funding will provide necessary upgrades to various Gotham Health sites in Brooklyn, including replacing outdated (end-of-life) ultrasound machines at Gotham Health, Cumberland and Williamsburg and new ophthalmology equipment at Gotham Health, East New York.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS UNVEILS NEW COMMUNITY MURAL AT NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/HARLEM
NYC Health + Hospitals unveiled a new mural as part of the Community Mural Project run by the health System’s Arts in Medicine department. The mural, Healing Portraits at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, was developed by artist Tijay Mohammed through a series of focus groups with community members, staff and patients and brought to life at a paint party where the community was invited to paint the mural together. Healing Portraits is one of nine new murals that have been created in the past year, building on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the Community Mural Project. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS UPDATE
City: Yesterday, Mayor Adams spoke to all New Yorkers at his annual State of the City address. The speech was held at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. As part of the speech he made announcement about “Women’s Forward” agenda initiatives, which will include new services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.
The New York City Council convened twice in January to determine the 2024-2025 Speaker, leadership positions, committee chairs, and committee memberships for the new Council session.
The Council unanimously reelected Councilmembers Adrienne Adams as Speaker and Diana Ayala as Deputy Speaker. Among other reappointments, CM Brooks-Powers remains as Majority Whip, Councilmember Narcisse remains the Chair of the Committee on Hospitals, and Councilmember Schulman remains the Chair of the Committee on Health. We are grateful to work with this strong and supportive team, along with other members of the City Council. We look forward to the next term. m
State: It has been a busy time in Albany. The NYS Legislature is back in session, the Governor released her State of the State Agenda, CMS approved the State’s 1115 Waiver, and the Governor proposed a $233 billion all funds budget for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024-25, which begins April 1, 2024.
The proposed budget reflects a 4.5% increase over last year’s enacted budget and would close a projected $4.3 billion state deficit. Although there is an overall increase in Medicaid funding of 10.9%, there are proposed reductions in the Medicaid program totaling $1.2 billion including $400 million in undisclosed state actions. We are in the process of finalizing our analysis and will be advocating for increased funding in Medicaid rates for Nursing Homes and hospitals and rejecting the proposed capital reimbursement cuts. We were pleased to see many of the Governor’s proposals align with our advocacy priorities, including:
- $500 million for safety net transformation fund. It will be especially important that NYC Health + Hospitals is able to access this funding equitably, as our System infrastructure is significantly older than other hospitals’.
- Much needed workforce reforms, including measures to expand the scope of practice of several healthcare professionals and legislation to join the interstate medical and nurse compacts
- Continued investments in mental health programs and services
In addition to the important and powerful initiatives in the Governor’s proposed budget, many of the $7.5 billion 1115 Waiver initiatives focusing on health-related social needs, hospital global budget and strengthening the workforce will take place administratively by Department of Health outside of the state budget process.
As the budget process proceeds, we will continue advocating for support for NYC Health + Hospitals and the patients and communities we serve. We are grateful to the Governor and DOH, as well as our partners in the State legislature who understand the critical role our safety net system plays. We also appreciate our Community Advisory Boards for their support in these important efforts.
Federal: Congress passed a two-tiered stopgap spending package that would push federal government funding deadlines from January 19th – February 2nd to March 1st – March 8th and give Congress more time to debate and pass full-year Appropriations bills for FY 24. The delay of the DSH cuts would be extended to March 8th. H+H will continue to advocate for the long-term elimination of the DSH cuts.
The CABs have started the process of setting up in person/virtual meetings in February with their State elected officials to discuss the impact of the 2024 NYS legislative budget on their facility. They are
The Community Affairs team and Faith-based teams hosted their first Breaking Bread, Building Bonds conversation at Central Office on January 12th. The event brought together 15 Central Office staff members for a vibrant and engaging conversation. The focus of the discussion was on personal stories, with each participant sharing the unique narratives behind their names and their New York City experiences.
The Central Council of Auxiliaries will welcome their new Chair, Pearl John, Chair of the McKinney Auxiliary.
NEWS AROUND THE HEALTH SYSTEM
- NYC Hands Out Winter Coats to Migrant Children at Roosevelt Hotel
- NYC Health + Hospitals’ Lifestyle Medicine Program Expands
- NYC Health + Hospitals Shares its 2023 Accomplishments
- NYC Health + Hospitals embraces ‘well-being buddies’
- NYC’s Baby New Year delivered by same doc that delivered dad
- NYC Health + Hospitals to create supplier diversity council
- Gotham Health medical centers receive $1.1 million in funding from BP Reynoso
- Healing Under Pressure: NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi’s Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber
- NYC Health + Hospitals keeps pulse on city healthcare with new podcast
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst launches Lifestyle Medicine Program
- NYC Health + Hospitals’ new approach to connect patients with community resources
- Brooklyn Borough President Allocates $1M to Gotham Health/Cumberland