2010 Year in Review
Report to the HHC Board of Directors
In addition to the construction on Staten Island, there are other facility improvements and modernizations under way, some of them related to our need to absorb patients displaced by the closure of voluntary hospitals during the past year.
Closing of St. Vincent’s Impacts HHC
Bellevue, the HHC hospital closest to St. Vincent’s, saw an immediate increase in patients visits following that hospital’s closure last year. This included a 13 percent increase in Emergency Department volume and an increase in psychiatric inpatient activity. We remain in active discussions with the State Department of Health for support to finance our handling responsibly the increase in patient volume from St. Vincent’s.
The closing of St. Vincent’s, as the last vestige of a once-sprawling Catholic hospital system, reminds us just how vital HHC continues to be as New York City’s last remaining city-wide healthcare safety net system, and how urgent it is that we work strategically to remain financially viable.
Modernizations Continue at Harlem and Gouverneur
The closing of North General Hospital in Harlem his past year has increased patient volume and emergency department encounters at Harlem Hospital. Fortunately, work is progressing on Harlem Hospital’s new patient pavilion on Lenox Avenue. This building, the centerpiece of the modernization of the hospital, will house diagnostic suites, operating rooms, inpatient rooms, and critical care units. It will also connect the Martin Luther King and Ron Brown pavilions. The project will be completed in 2012. The block-long curtain wall, an all-glass façade of the new pavilion, is now fully constructed, and it vividly depicts beautiful immense images from the hospital’s famous WPA murals.
The closing of North General led to an opportunity for HHC to adjust our plan for the modernization of Coler-Goldwater, our combined long-term care facilities on Roosevelt Island. The estimated cost of our original modernization plan was $487 million and it languished because it was simply unaffordable. Late last year, after discussions with North General, DASNY, NYS DOH, and the City of New York, HHC developed an alternate plan. Approximately 280 long-term acute hospital beds will be relocated from the Goldwater campus to the main hospital building of the former North General Hospital by early 2012. A skilled nursing facility will be built on the parking lot parcel of North General, and 270 to 300 skilled nursing facility beds will relocate there from Goldwater by late summer 2014. This alternate solution is estimated to decrease our total modernization costs by $221 million, from $487 million to $266 million.