|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2005
HHC ACTING PRESIDENT ALAN AVILES ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF PUBLIC HOSPITAL PAP TEST REVIEW
NEW YORK CITY - May 20, 2005
In light of the failure at Jacobi Hospital to issue timely notifications to all women with abnormal pap smears, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Acting President Alan Aviles directed Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Van Dunn, to conduct a review of patient files in the other public hospitals to ensure compliance with notification requirements related to Pap test results. A team of nurses under Dr. Dunn's supervision completed their review of patient files over the last two days and that review has confirmed that all other HHC hospitals are issuing appropriate, timely and well-documented notifications to patients about abnormal pap test results. The results of that review have been discussed with the State Department of Health (SDOH) and the results have been sent to SDOH.
In addition, final disciplinary action against responsible personnel has been taken. The Deputy Director of Nursing Services responsible for Women's Health Services has been terminated, effective today. The Clinical Director of GYN Services has been removed from his supervisory position, effective today, and will remain on suspension for another week after which time he will have the option to remain at Jacobi as a staff physician without supervisory responsibility. Two additional personnel – the hospital's Chief Operating Officer and Medical Director – have both received formal disciplinary warnings.
Acting President Alan Aviles also announced that as a result of his review of the Jacobi situation, he had lost confidence in Jacobi Executive Director Joseph Orlando and that he has elected to exercise HHC's right to terminate him "without cause" under the terms of his employment contract. Under that contract, Mr. Orlando will receive six months' severance pay. Mr. Aviles stated that in coming to this final decision, he took into account Mr. Orlando's nearly ten years of service as Executive Director of Jacobi and the positive accomplishments at the hospital during this period of time. William P. Walsh, who presently serves as HHC Senior Vice President of the Southern Brooklyn and Staten Island Health Network, has assumed the responsibilities of Jacobi Executive Director on an interim basis.
Alan Aviles, Acting President of HHC said, "I hope that our swift and decisive action to correct this inexcusable failure begins to regain our patients’ trust that we understand their safety and well-being must be our highest priority."