FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2014
HHC North Central Bronx Hospital Set to Reopen Maternity Services
Marks Completion of Year-long Recruitment, Reorganization and $2 Million Modernization
Set to Open Doors to Public Later this Month Following State Health Dept. Approval
NCBH midwives and other staff celebrate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Bronx, NY – New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) officials today marked the completed $2 million modernization of the HHC North Central Bronx Hospital Labor and Delivery unit and announced it has recruited a new and expanded expert team of obstetrics and gynecology specialists to restore comprehensive maternity services, including its midwifery program, to the women and families of the North Bronx. Hospital officials were joined at a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house attended by staff, patients, community advocates and elected officials who toured the renovated space. The new unit is set to reopen to the public later this month, following a required final inspection by the state health department.
The new maternity unit features eight private labor and delivery rooms and is complemented by a 26 bed post-partum unit which will include flat screen TVs, new nurse stations and computers, and other patient and staff friendly upgrades to improve comfort and efficiency. The unit will be staffed by an expanded and seasoned team of 91 healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, physician assistants and midwives who have been training together during the last few months and have conducted simulated birthing scenarios in the new space to help build teamwork and communication.
“We have recruited the best talent of highly experienced and skilled providers. It’s like having many Derek Jeters in our team ready to deliver the safe, quality care this community deserves,” said Dr. Ram Raju, HHC President and CEO.
“Our staff has worked tirelessly to restore NCBH’s Labor and Delivery Unit to make these services the absolutely best they can be. While our renovations are complete and our staff has been hired, our work is not complete. Now we need the support of all of our community partners so we can be sure that the women of the Bronx are taking full advantage of all of the services NCBH has available,” said William P. Walsh, Sr. Vice President of the HHC North Bronx Healthcare Network, which includes NCBH, Jacobi Medical Center, and the Health Centers at Tremont and Gun Hill.
“At the start of this year, I began an exhaustive recruitment process to bring some of the best people in our field into NCBH to restore a service that meant so much to this community. I look forward to continuing to meet regularly with our partners in the community, working as a team we can take Labor and Delivery Services at NCBH to new heights,” said Dr. Michael Zinaman, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, HHC North Bronx Healthcare Network.
The $2 million renovation, funded in part with $600,000 from the New York City Council, features:
- 8 private Labor & Deliver Suites
- A new Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
- 26 bed post-partum unit
- Upgrades to inpatient-to-staff communication systems
- New windows, floors, lighting and bright wall colors in the delivery suites
- Environmental improvements including a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system
- Extensive and first-class comforts including new fold-out sleeper chairs and flat-screen televisions
- Installation of a new infant protection system.
Labor and delivery services at NCBH were suspended in August 2013 due to physician and other staff vacancies that HHC and NCBH leadership believed could put at risk the quality and safety of patient care. After an aggressive recruitment and hiring effort, including the appointment of Dr. Michael Zinaman as the chair of the OB-GYN Department, HHC officials began to work with community advocates and elected officials to ensure the restoration of services.
Prior to the closing of the maternity unit, NCBH was the choice for approximately 1,400 expectant mothers and their families. HHC officials expect that number to grow with the restoration and expansion of services. To build upon that effort, HHC officials and hospital staff have been meeting regularly with community leaders and stakeholders to begin an aggressive outreach and marketing plan to attract new patients from the community-at-large.
Congressman Charles Rangel said: "I am very pleased to hear that North Central Bronx Hospital maternity unit will be able to keep providing invaluable medical services to the Bronx community. Thanks to the united effort of the SEIU Local 1199, Local 420, the New York States Nurses Association, along with members of the City Council, expectant mothers and their families can receive the proper care they deserve. As the primary sponsor of the Affordable Care Act in the House of Representatives, it will be always be my utmost priority to ensure quality healthcare for our constituents and American families throughout our great City and Nation.
Council member Ritchie J. Torres said: “I am proud to have been able to work with the coalition of community groups and the Health and Hospital Corporation to restore maternity services to North Central Bronx Hospital. Together we were able to improve the availability of health services for mothers in the Bronx and cultivate a constructive working relationship between HHC and under-served communities of the North Central Bronx. I am also proud to have secured a $600,000 allocation of Council funds towards the renovation and modernization of the maternity ward. This funding allowed NCBH to reopen with the highest quality of maternity health service possible for mothers and babies of the Bronx.”
Council member Andrew Cohen said: “I am pleased that NCBH is re-opening their labor and delivery unit. This issue has been a top priority of mine and I am happy to have helped bring a coalition together on this subject over the past several months. This is a terrific institution that safely and effectively provides essential services to its patients. Expectant mothers living in the community have gone far too long without these vital services within the areas of their neighborhoods. This re-opening will ensure that growing families in the North Bronx will once again be able to receive high quality, dependable care closer to home.”
Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz said: “The return of service to the labor and delivery units in the North Central Bronx Hospital has been something that I and other elected officials as well as community members have advocated strongly for, and I am excited to attend the dedication ceremony today. North Central Bronx Hospital plays a vital role in keeping our community healthy, and with this added service, it will be able to provide high-quality care during one of the most special moments of any parent’s life. The labor and delivery units will be among the first things thousands of future Bronxites will see in their lives – I’m glad that the units are so well-designed and welcoming!
Council member Andy King, co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus said: “The re-opening of NCBH’s Labor and Delivery unit is major for our community. This means expectant mothers and their families will not have to worry about traveling a long distance for services, it means less wait times and overcrowding at nearby hospitals, including Jacobi Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center’s Wakefield campus, and it means employment of more physicians and staff at NCBH. I want to thank Congress Member Charles Rangel, Public Advocate Letitia James, my colleagues in the City Council, Andrew Cohen and Ritchie Torres; the unions NYSNA, SEIU Doctor’s Council, 1199 SEIU and DC 37 Local 420, and the surrounding community for working with HHC and keeping the issue of reopening the labor and delivery unit at NCBH a high priority.”
Assembly member Mark Gjonaj said: “This is a new day for North Central Bronx Hospital and the patients the facility serves. My constituents, as well as all Bronx residents, deserve a first- rate full-service maternity service and I’m pleased that through the efforts of so many has made this restoration possible.”
Anne Bové, RN, New York State Nurses Associations HHC/Mayoral Executive Council President, said: “This is a huge victory for our patients. Bronx moms and babies once again have access to the care they need at NCBH because of the incredible perseverance of our coalition of patients, nurses, doctors, caregivers, and community and elected leaders in the City of New York. At HHC, we care for everyone, regardless of income, immigration, or insurance status. Our public hospitals are among the best in the nation and our coalition remains united to protect quality public healthcare for all New Yorkers.”
To schedule an appointment for comprehensive maternity services at the new HHC North Central Bronx Hospital Labor and Delivery unit, call (718) 918-5700.