FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES PLANS TO SUPPORT MAJOR NEW INVESTMENTS IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE FOR STATEN ISLAND
Collaborative Partnership among City, Borough, Hospital Leaders and Primary Care Development Corporation; Plan Will Provide New Ambulatory Care Center, Primary Care, and Preventive Care for Staten Island Residents
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced New York City's commitment for two major new projects which will bring enhanced and expanded primary and women's healthcare services to Staten Island. The City's plan and the hospital projects will be presented formally to the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) in the coming months for underwriting review and further project development assistance, at which time the projects would become eligible for low-cost financing. The Mayor was joined at City Hall for a meeting to discuss the plans by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro, Council Members James S. Oddo, Vincent M. Ignizio, Kenneth Mitchell, Congressman Michael E. McMahon, Assembly Members Michael Cusick and Matthew Titone, Richmond University Medical Center Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Gary Terrinoni, Primary Care Development Corporation Executive Director Ronda Kotelchuck, Staten Island University Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony C. Ferreri representatives of the Richmond County Medical Society.
"Having access to good primary health care is a critical part of managing one's health," said Mayor Bloomberg. "And by working together in the best interests of Staten Island residents, we are finding ways to meet the health care needs of pregnant women, children, and those with chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. We look forward to working with the Richmond University Medical Center and Staten Island University Hospital to develop projects with low-cost financing that will expand and improve primary care access for all underserved Staten Island residents."
The first project, sponsored by the Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), will develop a new, state-of-the-art ambulatory care center on the Bayley Seton Hospital Campus on the North Shore of Staten Island for children, pregnant women, and adults. The surrounding neighborhoods currently have a shortage of primary care providers and experience high rates of low-income and uninsured residents who suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes which can be managed with regular access to effective primary care services. The new, state-of-the art health center will ultimately be located in a currently-shuttered, landmarked building that was the original home of what is now the National Institutes of Health. The second project, sponsored by the Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), will renovate and expand the capacity of SIUH's existing primary care facilities, the Bay Street Health Center, and the Medical Arts Pavilion, and will also create additional community-based primary care sites providing capacity for thousands of additional primary care visits for Staten Island residents. Depending upon the proposals received, the project could also expand and improve mammography services.
"We've worked hard with our partners on Staten Island over the past year to develop solutions which will expand primary, preventive care for low-income and medically underserved adults and children," said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. "We will continue our ongoing collaboration with all stakeholders to reach our shared goal of increasing service capacity and improving access for Staten Island residents."
"Last year, the Council's report on Primary Care in New York City helped us identify neighborhoods in the five boroughs that lack critical access to health care," said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "Since then, we've heard from residents about what they needed and we heard them loud and clear. Today's announcement is the result of much hard work and collaboration, and I want to thank PCDC, the administration and the Staten Island delegation for their continued commitment to providing quality healthcare for Staten Island residents. No one should have to use the emergency room as a means to get primary care, and the people of Staten Island will soon be able to take advantage of these state-of-the-art health facilities."
"Today's historic announcement has been long in coming. This will give our two local hospitals the ability to increase the quality of service to the residents of Staten Island," said Borough President Molinaro. "I join our three City Councilmen who fought so hard to accomplish this historic agreement in thanking the Bloomberg administration for improving medical care for the people of Staten Island."
"Staten Island has long suffered from a severe lack of primary care, so we are delighted to be working with Mayor Bloomberg, RUMC, and SIUH to help build and renovate new health centers that will meet the healthcare needs of Staten Island residents," said Primary Care Development Corporation Executive Director Ronda Kotelchuck.
"We know that primary and preventive care is essential to the health of our community," said Richmond University Medical Center President & Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Murphy. "With the commitment of city-secured funding, Richmond University Medical Center will collaborate with the Primary Care Development Corporation to develop a state of the art ambulatory facility. Establishing this new facility will enable us to restructure and expand primary care services to improve the health status of Staten Islanders and make services more accessible for the underserved. This simply could not have happened without the support of Mayor Bloomberg, Staten Island's elected officials and the Primary Care Development Corporation."
"We are truly grateful for the vision and support of New York's Primary Care Development Corporation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and those in City Hall who recognized Staten Island's vital need for more access to primary care medicine as well as the need to train the next generation of doctors to practice grass roots medicine as primary care practitioners," said Staten Island University Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony C. Ferreri. "The nation's clinical community agrees that diagnosis and disease management at the primary care level is an effective key to preserving health and well-being while controlling cost."
"The fight for health care equity for Staten Island has been difficult, but this agreement is a strong change to the status quo," said Council Minority Leader James S. Oddo. "Our work certainly doesn't end here, but Staten Island's two health care systems are being made stronger by this initiative."
"Bringing these much needed health services to the residents of Staten Island is a welcome change and improvement," said Council Member Kenneth Mitchell. "Though more HHC resources are needed, this is definitely a great start. I am proud to be a part of this effort that focuses on the primary care needs and women's health of our great Borough."
"I am proud to be part of the team that was able to take this major step forward towards improving the quality of primary and women's care on Staten Island," said Council Member Vincent Ignizio. "This will go a long way, especially for patients with heart disease and diabetes, who need access to primary care physicians."
"Our two hospital's financial health and access to primary care on Staten Island have been for me two top priorities both in the New York City Council and now in Congress," said Congressman Michael E. McMahon. "Today's announcement shows a magnificent appreciation by Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Gibbs of the healthcare challenges we face on Staten Island, and represents a significant contribution towards a healthier Staten Island community and stronger healthcare system. I am grateful for their efforts."
"This is a great first step in the right direction for health care on Staten Island," said Assemblyman Matthew Titone. "By delivering sound primary care where it is truly needed the most, we are also fostering the future financial health and prosperity of our two hospitals."
"This funding is a lifeline for Staten Island, providing increased access to primary and preventative care for residents who might otherwise have to do without," said Assemblyman Michael Cusick. "Staten Islanders need to have the same widespread access to healthcare provided to residents of other boroughs, and this is a large step in the right direction. I would like to thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and our City Councilmen for their help in improving our borough's healthcare services."
"I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for delivering for the people of Staten Island in a big way today," said Senator Andrew Lanza. "This funding represents an urgently needed shot in the arm for RUMC and Staten Island healthcare. In working with my office, Staten Island's other elected officials, and our health care community in a thoughtful and bipartisan way, Mayor Bloomberg has stepped up to the plate in an unprecedented degree to provide our borough with long overdue resources to protect the health of our residents."
The Mayor's proposal will be voted on by the Board of Directors of the Primary Care Development Corporation once all of the project details are finalized.
Primary Care Development Corporation
PCDC is a not-for-profit corporation created to help primary care providers find inexpensive financing that they would otherwise not be able to obtain. PCDC was initially capitalized by the City to promote and assist with the financing of primary care projects, and since its founding in 1993 has created investments of more than $185 million in 64 primary care projects in New York City.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
Anthony Hogrebe (Speaker) (212) 788-7157
Dan Lowenstein (PCDC) (212) 437 3942
John P. Demoleas (SIUH) (718) 226-6462
Mary Scullin (RUMC) (718) 818-3895