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PR- 097-04
April 27, 2004


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) President Dr. Benjamin Chu today detailed the City’s additional $200 million in aid to cover an operating deficit and to enhance the health care at HHC hospitals.  The additional funding will cover an operating deficit caused by dramatically increasing pension and fringe benefit costs and allow HHC to avoid service cuts so it can continue its modernization projects and life saving work.  Mayor Bloomberg, who announced the subsidy yesterday when presenting the Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2005, and Dr. Chu described the funding at Jacobi Medical Center, which is in the midst of a $250 million expansion, funded by the City’s capital budget.

“Our public hospitals are one of New York's most valuable resources and the finest public hospital system in the country,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “The subsidy we are making is a wise investment that will allow HHC to continue making the necessary management and technological changes that will improve the quality of medical services and save the City money in the long run.”

“The $200 million in additional support announced by the Mayor yesterday comes at an important time for the city's public hospitals,” said HHC President Dr. Benjamin Chu. “With this help, we will continue to be able to embrace the mission at the Health and Hospitals Corporation and provide the finest care to all New Yorkers, regardless of their ability to pay.”

The money allocated to HHC will cover increases in non-discretionary expenses and will allow HHC to continue vital modernization projects.  Without this additional support from the City, HHC would be forced to consider a range of money saving measures, including closing hospitals, cutting back on essential primary care and specialty services, or forgoing major improvements in technology and facilities.  The additional City funding will allow HHC to continue its life saving work - which is primarily focused in immigrant and low-income communities.  Some of the programs that can continue due to this funding include:

  • During each of the last two years, public hospitals have screened some 70,000 women a year for breast cancer.  Nearly 1,000 women were found to have breast cancer, and most of them were in the early stages, where treatment can make all the difference for long-term survival.
  • In 2003, HHC launched a major colon cancer screening campaign that detected 267 cases of cancer.  Most of these cases where in the early stages.
  • It will allow HHC to continue to implement an ambitious redesign of primary and pediatric care, which will dramatically streamline and improve the quality of patient visits while making services more convenient for New Yorkers through the City.
  • In 2003, HHC began an ambitious project to reduce the wait time in all primary care clinics to one hour or less by 2006, a standard unmatched by other hospitals.  In addition, HHC is implementing same day/next day appointments for patients seeking primary care or needing to visit their child’s pediatrician.

The $250 million expansion of Jacobi Medical Center will include a nine-story tower offering cutting-edge technology, expansion of specialty services, and a new emergency department/trauma center.  The project includes construction of a 400,000 square foot, 344-bed inpatient tower, with 190 medicine/surgery/intensive care beds, 41 pediatric intensive care beds, 89 psychiatric beds and 24 rehabilitation medicine beds.  A 33-bed nursing unit will be comprised of single and semi-private rooms.  All single rooms are also isolation rooms. The 41-bed pediatric nursing unit will include an eight-bed pediatric intensive care unit with sufficient space for parent sleepover.

The Surgical Department includes state-of-the-art operating rooms, a post-anesthesia recovery room, same-day surgery, and reception, administration, and support areas.  Ten operating rooms will be supported by four workrooms, a minor procedure room, a pediatric induction room and, ample work space for anesthesia, equipment holding, clean and soiled utility, and storage space.  Same day surgery will utilize the ten operating rooms, and will have dedicated space for waiting/reception, dressing, examination and preparation.  The imaging and diagnostics floor is comprised of intake, diagnostic and support areas.  Intake will have separate waiting areas for inpatients and outpatients.  The diagnostic area will have rooms dedicated to Chest, Radiology, Angiography, CAT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound, and Mammography.

The expanded Jacobi Medical Center will also include a new Emergency Department that is one and half times as large as the old Emergency Department. The new Emergency Department includes ten operating rooms and new intensive care units.  Each year, Jacobi treats nearly 100,000 emergency room cases.  Its outpatient clinics see nearly 390,000 patients annually.  Phase one of the Jacobi Medical Center expansion project is scheduled to be completed in August of 2004.  The City is paying the debt service for the expansion, picking up the expense from HHC in another example of assistance being provided so HHC can avoid making dramatic service cuts.
HHC hospitals serve more than 1.2 million New Yorkers each year; 450,000 of them are uninsured.  Over the last two years, 9 of the 11 HHC hospitals have undergone rigorous review by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations—the independent body responsible for monitoring hospital compliance with professional standards. HHC hospitals have received some of the highest scores ever earned by any hospitals, public or private, in New York City.  Jacobi Hospital is scheduled for a similar review later this year.  Jacobi Medical Center is named after Abraham Jacobi, an immigrant physician who was a tireless advocate for children.  Dr. Jacobi directed the City’s first pediatrics clinic at Bellevue Hospital in 1874 and is widely credited as the father of Pediatrics as a modern medical specialty.


Edward Skyler / Jonathan Werbell   (212) 788-2958


Kate McGrath   (HHC)
(212) 788-3386

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