Mitchell H. Katz, MD
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
REPORT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
November 30, 2023
CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING ACROSS THE HEALTH SYSTEM
The holiday season began in earnest at NYC Health + Hospitals with many of our hospitals celebrating Thanksgiving with turkey giveaways for their patients and community and special meals for our residents at the long-term care facilities. Many hospitals identified patients through their ambulatory care service to offer them turkeys. One hospital teamed up with two elementary schools in Queens to give families, parents, and patients turkeys. Another hospital’s Department of Rehabilitation hosted a Thanksgiving lunch in which the patients themselves cooked the meal with the assistance of their Occupational Therapists and volunteers. MetroPlusHealth sponsored several turkey giveaways in conjunction with our hospitals.
Many of the long-term care facilities hosted pre-Thanksgiving luncheons for their residents. At NYC Heath + Hospitals/McKinney, the facility hosted a celebration dedicated to the more than 50 long-term care residents who are not connected to family members or typically do not receive visitors. This year, the residents celebrated with those who make them feel most at home during the holidays like their doctors, nurses, therapists, and extended family of food services, security and many others who support them every day. Finally, in addition to a “Friendsgiving” ahead of the holiday, NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View held dinners on various units on Thanksgiving Day.
TWO NEW CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER PROMOTIONS
After serving NYC Health + Hospitals for an incredible 50 years in various positions, including Chief Medical Officer for Elmhurst and Queens Hospital, Dr. Jasmin Moshirpur has retired. Effective Friday, December 1 NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and Queens will have new Chief Medical Officers. Dr. Laura Iavicoli, former Deputy Chief Medical Officer, will become the CMO at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, and Dr. David Holson will become the CMO at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.
Dr. Holson completed his medical degree at the University of the West Indies at Mona, an internship in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital and an integrated residency in Emergency Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine program at Beth Israel Medical Center and Elmhurst. He received a master’s degree in Health Services Management from Columbia University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. His professional experience includes serving as an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Iavicoli is an experienced and seasoned board-certified emergency medicine physician with expertise in disaster preparedness and pandemic response, and previously served as NYC Health + Hospitals systemwide Assistant Vice President for Emergency Management. She played a pivotal role in guiding Elmhurst Hospital through the first COVID-19 surge, using her background in disaster management to develop new and innovative procedures and treatment protocols in the hospital. Dr. Iavicoli is an emergency medicine physician and has practiced for over 20 years at the hospital.
NURSING EXCELLENCE AWARDS RECOGNIZE 35 NURSES FROM ACROSS THE HEALTH SYSTEM
Today NYC Health + Hospitals honored 35 nurse professionals from across the health system as part of our annual Nursing Excellence Awards. The honorees included nurses from each of the systems’ facilities and clinical service lines, including acute care, post-acute, correctional health services, community care, and Gotham Health. 25 nurses were recognized for Excellence in Clinical Nursing, and 5 nurses were recognized systemwide for their efforts in leadership, volunteering, education and mentorship, home or ambulatory care, and technology and innovation. Another 5 nurses received the DAISY Award for Nurses Advancing Health Equity, created by the DAISY Foundation to honor nurses who go above and beyond in caring for patients and families who are disadvantaged demographically, psycho-socially, or economically. The fourth annual Structural Empowerment Award was presented to the nursing leadership and staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health for their commitment to achieving higher performance levels, including increases in certification rates and other notable metrics. In addition, the Structural Transformation Award was presented to NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem for being the first acute care facility to implement the Care Delivery Daily Management system, which improves communication for quality and safety and allows the direct care nurses and nurse leaders to have oversight of their units/departments 24/7.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/CARTER CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY
On Wednesday, November 29, NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter celebrated its 10th Anniversary, as Harlem’s own Long-term Acute Care Hospital and Nursing Facility. This facility has served New Yorkers with medically complex and highly-specialized needs, including therapeutic support or rehabilitative services to improve their quality of life. The 400,000 square foot facility offers residents and patients the most technologically advanced care available. Carter is designed to provide on-site specialized clinical support around the clock — an offering that distinguishes it from other long-term care settings that often require a patient to transfer to an outside facility when medical needs escalate. The facility bears the name of Wheelchair Charities, Inc. Founder Henry “Hank” J. Carter, who has devoted over 50 years to supporting New Yorkers with disabilities and contributed more than $20 million to NYC Health + Hospitals.
MAYOR ADAMS UPDATES NEW YORKERS ON SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS PLAN
Yesterday at City Hall, Mayor Adams marked the one-year anniversary of his plan to support New Yorkers living with untreated severe mental illness (SMI) experiencing homelessness. He updated New Yorkers on the city’s progress, announcing that more New Yorkers are getting connected to the care they need and have begun stabilizing their lives. With intense coordination between city and state agencies, increased training for first responders, deployment of more clinicians, and additional psychiatric beds being brought online, some of the hardest to reach New Yorkers living on city streets believed to have untreated SMI now have a roof over their heads and are stabilizing their lives in hospital or supportive housing settings. This is a 170% increase compared to the year prior.
The update highlighted our two Extended Care Units, the newest at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. The Extended Care Unit can house up to 25 patients at a time and offers psychopharmacological treatment, rehabilitative activities including music and art therapy, reading, and various exercises. Patients are assigned tasks that support interpersonal communication and skill development, such as doing their own laundry or curating a display of patient artwork.
The Mayor also highlighted improved communication between first responders and our health system. The protocol has reduced the number of people cycling between hospitals and the street. He also spoke to our commitment to reopening all our psychiatric beds that we repurposed during the pandemic.
RESPONDING TO THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS – SERVICES FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
NYC Health + Hospitals remains at the forefront of the city’s response to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis, providing life-changing assistance to thousands of asylum seekers in our care.
Our 16 humanitarian centers ensure that the over 22,000 individuals in our care, approximately three-quarters of whom are families with children, receive dignified, compassionate care and the on-site resources they need to reach a brighter future. The Floyd Bennett Field humanitarian center, which opened in late October, continues to receive new families with children, with approximately 500 people currently living there.
From the onset of the asylum seeker crisis, NYC Health + Hospitals has led the city’s delivery of medical services. Staff at the Arrival Center have now registered approximately 75,000 asylum seekers, providing medical and behavioral screenings, on-site vaccinations, health insurance enrollment, case work and reconnection services to all new arrivals to New York City. Together, staff at the Arrival Center and our humanitarian centers have administered over 50,000 vaccinations. Since 2022, NYC Health + Hospitals clinicians have now completed over 65,000 visits to patients we know to be migrants or asylum seekers.
Day in, day out, our staff work to ensure our humanitarian centers provide a welcoming environment where guests feel a sense of solace, belonging and opportunity. Their generosity was on full display over Thanksgiving, when staff prepared and served over 22,000 Thanksgiving meals to every asylum seeker in our care. Since our humanitarian centers first opened their doors last October, we have served over 12 million nutritious, culturally-relevant meals to make sure those in our care are well fed and have a taste of home.
LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PROGRAM EXPANDS TO NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/WOODHULL AND KINGS COUNTY
On November 16, NYC Health + Hospitals’ nationally recognized Lifestyle Medicine Program expanded to NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, followed by a launch this morning at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. These are the second and third of six new sites to make the program available citywide, following the recent launch of the program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in the Bronx. 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 Hospital only), a dietitian, a health coach, community health workers, a psychologist, a program coordinator, and an exercise trainer.
NEW COMMUNITY MURALS UNVEILED AT NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/QUEENS, COLER, AND GOTHAM HEALTH, SYDENHAM
Three new permanent murals were added to our system this month through our Arts in Medicine department’s Community Mural Program. In late October, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham celebrated the new mural, Roses in Harlem, developed by artist Stephanie Costello that represents the resilient character of the historic Sydenham Hospital, and the Harlem neighborhood that has nurtured its spirit; earlier this month NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens unveiled, Roots of Medicine, a new mural by local artist Zeehan Wazed portraying eight flowers used in homeopathic medicine; and today, NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler unveiled Healing in Community, by artist Rachel Fawn Alban featuring portraits of 34 members of the Coler community. These are three of the nine new murals coming to the health system this winter, 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.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/LINCOLN DEBUTS NEW MURAL CREATED WITH INPUT FROM BRONX YOUTH AFFECTED BY GUN VIOLENCE
At the beginning of November, NYC Health + Hospitals and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs unveiled a new mural at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln about gun violence by the artist, Fernando “Ski” Romero. He developed the mural with youth who participate in the gun violence interruption initiative Guns Down, Life Up at Lincoln Hospital. Participants used disposable cameras to capture their experience living in the South Bronx, and the artist incorporated those images into the final mural using silkscreen and collage. The mural features participants and staff from Guns Down, Life Up and is located along the hallways where the program meets. It includes QR codes linked to videos, poems, and artwork by the participants. The new mural, United, is developed through a program of the health system’s Arts in Medicine department, and funding provided by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS’ ARTIST IN RESIDENCE MODESTO “FLAKO” JEMENEX
HOLDS CULMINATING SHOWCASE AT CARNEGIE HALL
Artist Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, the 2022-23 NYC Public Artist in Residence, spent a year with the health system’s gun violence prevention programs, shadowing violence interrupters and engaging youth who have experienced gun violence. The showcase at Carnegie Hall was a culmination of the residency. It included poetry and mural workshops, a performance of the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene in modern language, a short video documentary of the collaboration, and poetry readings. The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs selected Flako as one of the artists for the its Public Artists in Residence (PAIR) program, which embeds socially engaged artists within City government to propose solutions to civic challenges. The residency is a program of the health system’s Arts in Medicine department, and funding for the residency is provided by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
DR. TED LONG, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR AMBULATORY CARE AND POPULATION HEALTH, RECOGNIZED BY CRAIN’S NEW YORK FOR ITS ANNUAL 40 UNDER 40 LIST
Ted Long, MD, MHS, Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals, was named to Crain’s New York 2023 “40 Under 40” list in recognition of his work leading New York City’s response to the asylum seeker crisis and COVID-19 pandemic. As the leader of NYC Health + Hospitals’ Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs), Dr. Long created a network of 16 humanitarian centers that currently house 22,000 asylum seekers. He also launched the city’s Arrival Center, a central intake to register and provide medical and social services to new arrivals that has welcomed over 70,000 people to date. As the former Executive Director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps (T2), Dr. Long led the City’s effort to provide accessible, no-cost COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and resources for those infected or exposed, enabling them to quarantine or isolate. T2 also partnered with the Department of Education to make NYC the first big city in the country to offer safe in person education, which became a cornerstone of New York’s response to the pandemic.
LUNG CANCER SCREENING PROGRAM EXPANDS TO ALL OF OUR HOSPITALS
The health system’s Lung Cancer Screening program will be available at all of our hospitals by the end of this year, with a capacity to serve 5,000 patients a year. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, and more people die each year from lung cancer than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Patients are screened for lung cancer with a low-dose computerized tomography (CT) scan, a diagnostic imaging tool that uses x-rays to create an image of the inside body. It has been proven to dramatically increase survival. NYC Health + Hospitals offers lung cancer screening for people who are between the ages of 50 and 80, have a history of heavy smoking, are currently using tobacco or stopped within the past 15 years, and have no signs or symptoms of underlying lung cancer. In fiscal year 2023, the health system screened over 3,000 patients for lung cancer. Those who meet the criteria and wish to be screened can be referred by their primary care provider.
TWO NEW SPECIALIZED MENTAL HEALTH CLINICS OPEN FOR PEOPLE AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
At the end of October, the health system expanded services for people affected by domestic and gender-based violence. Two new mental health clinics for survivors are open at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. The $2 million clinics will provide trauma-informed mental health services, including screenings, individual and group sessions, and medication management. The clinics will support nearly 3,000 patients each year. Patients can be referred to the clinics by any one of the city’s domestic violence shelters or the City’s Family Justice Centers. The effort builds on a multi-City agency Domestic Violence Shelter Mental Health Initiative announced in May, which will increase access to mental health services for families residing in the city’s domestic violence shelters. The $5.8 million initiative will support more than 10,000 adults and children who receive services at the city’s 55 domestic violence shelters.
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/BELLEVUE RECEIVES NEW ACCREDITATION FOR OBESITY MEDICATION AND RE-ACCREDITATION AS METABOLIC AND BARIATRIC SURGERY CENTER
The Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) has accredited NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Obesity Medicine Program and has re-accredited its Bariatric Surgery Program. The hospital has been designated by the program as a “Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications.” The accreditation process for the surgery program reviews patient safety procedures, clinical data, and other rigorous bariatric surgical standards. All patients undergo several months of screening and preparation before undergoing the surgery, and the interventions offer many patient benefits, including weight loss, potential diabetes remission, and improved blood pressure. The Bellevue Center for Obesity and Weight Management has provided bariatric surgery and medical weight management since its inception in 2008, but this is the first time the accrediting group has offered certification for obesity medicine.
EXTERNAL & COMMUNITY AFFAIRS UPDATE
Federal: Earlier this month, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open into 2024, with one tranche of government funding now running out on January 19 and the other on February 2. The Medicaid 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.
State: External Affairs awaits the outcome of the remaining bills that passed both houses of the NYS Legislature. Of the 896 bills that passed both houses, 165 still need to be considered by the Governor before the end of the year.
Community: We hosted our 2nd out of 4 CMS Health Insurance Symposiums in partnership with CMS and the NY State of Health. The Symposium at Elmhurst Hospital on October 16 was well attended, by 50 people. The next Symposium will be at Bellevue Hospital at October 30 and has 83 registrations thus far. The last one will be held on December 7 at Lincoln Hospital.
NEWS AROUND THE HEALTH SYSTEM
- Nick News: Migrants, Halloween, Ghost Hunters, Uploads
- New York Times Celebrates a Hundred People and the City Toasts Elmhurst’s Frontline Workers
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst To Receive $17.5M For Upgrades
- New mural unveiled at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln to raise awareness on gun violence
- NYC Health + Hospitals Expands Lung Cancer Screening Program In Honor Of Lung Cancer Awareness Month
- NYC Care Program Promotes Guaranteed Health Care For All New Yorkers
- Elmhurst Hospital celebrates opening of new operating rooms with ribbon-cutting event
- Award of Merit Health Care: NYC Health + Hospitals: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Hospital
- 63 health systems with strong finances
- ‘Adopt-a-Resident’ program returns at NYC Health + Hospitals/McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
- Every Table expands to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, offering healthy and affordable food
- Mayor, Governor announce details of $1.6 billion Kips Bay life sciences hub
- New York City Health + Hospitals hosts migrant families for Thanksgiving
- Hospital’s new murals showcase local history