NORTH SHORE LIJ OFFICIAL AND NYS ASSEMBLYMAN COMMENT ON GLEN COVE HOSPITAL CHANGES
500 ATTEND RALLY TO SAVE GLEN COVE HOSPITAL
August 31 -- Approximately 500 people attended a rally early Saturday to protest the proposed decertification of beds and elimination of several departments at North Shore LIJ's Glen Cove hospital. The rally, the second this month, was held in the parking lot behind Glen Cove Library where a stage and sound system were set up to allow local leaders, community members, and hospital workers and doctors to address the crowd. The message of the event was clear as speaker after speaker reiterated the point that the community has to continue pressing hospital officials and government leaders to not allow North Shore LIJ's proposals for the hospital to be fully carried out, and to demand that the process take place in public view.
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi, who emceed the event, said that the petition he started in early August now has more than 18,000 signatures. Citing North Shore LIJ's recent statements that the hospital system was not seeking to decertify all beds at the hospital, Mr. Suozzi said that he believes the public's response to the proposed changes have had an impact. However he stated that the community needs to continue pushing. "We don't want a pacifier - we want a functioning hospital!" He declared.
Bayville Mayor Doug Watson repeated Mr. Suozzi's position that the community needed to keep the pressure on and that the issue needs to be kept in the public mind.
Dr. Eric Hochberg, who has worked at the hospital since 1990 pointed out the irony of North Shore-LIJ closing the only hospital in the system located on the North Shore. He repeatedly asked, "Why close this hospital?" He stated that the hospital is profitable and has among the highest patient and employee satisfaction rates in the system. He questioned the decision to move the orthopedics department to Syosset when the one at Glen Cove it is of such reknown, he stated, that doctors from around the world visit it and view it as a model.
Former County Executive and current candidate for the same position, Tom Suozzi, stated that this needs to be a public process and stated that the city may want to use the courts to block some of the proposed changes. He was quick to point out, however, that he believes that North Shore-LIJ system is a wonderful one, but disagrees with the current proposals. "Let's make this clear," he stated, "we love the system - but this is a bad decision. This is a botched process." Mr. Suozzi also stated that this is an issue that does not breakdown along party lines and one in which he and his potential opponent, should he win the Democratic primary on September 10th, County Executive Edward Mangano agree upon. Mr. Mangano sent Raymond Thomas, Director of Nassau County Office of Housing &. Intergovernmental Affairs, to speak on his hehalf. He said that Mr. Mangano had posted a petition to save the hospital from downsizing that could be accessed through the Nassau County website and encouraged people to urge at least eight friends to sign it.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine stated that he wanted this to be a public process and emphasized the economic importance of the hospital to the community. The hospital he stated, has a payroll of $230 million, makes $109 million worth of purchases, and makes several million dollars of capital improvements, and is thus an important economic contributor to the community.
Like Mr. Suozzi, Mr. Lavine praised the North Shore LIJ system for the quality of medical services it provides. "We are not going to war with the system." He stated. "It is one of the leading hospital providers in the United States."
Joe Syminisky, a pharmacist at the hospital, stated that the mission and credo of the hospital is that "the patient comes first." If inpatient and other medical services are ended, and the hospital becomes only an ambulatory care center, he continued, "I don't know that this motto will ring true." (T. Madden)
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August 29 -- On August 26th, Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Competition – Healthcare Services requesting that it investigate North Shore - LIJ’s planned changes to Glen Cove Hospital. . . . READ MORE
HUNDREDS RALLY IN SUPPORT OF GLEN COVE HOSPITAL
Late this afternoon in front of Glen Cove Hospital on St. Andrews lane, approximately 200 people showed up for a rally to protest the proposed closing of inpatient and other medical services at the hospital.
The crowd chanted slogans, “Save Our Hospital” and “What do we want – answers ! When do we want them – now!”
Some major media outlets were there including NBC television, News Channel 12, and Northwordnews.
Standing on the inside of a police car, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi
addressed the protestors. He encouraged people to sign his petition, which he said now has more than 3000 signatures, and to write letters to North Shore-LIJ officials including CEO Michael Dowling. “We need a hospital – not a M.A.S.H. unit left behind!” Suozzi shouted.
He said that he has spoken to and is working with many local leaders including Representative Steve Israel, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, and Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy, who was also at the rally.
He argued that it doesn’t make sense to close a hospital after all the costly investments that were made there over the past decade. Following Suozzi, a doctor at the hospital, Andrea Kaplan, spoke. She thanked the crowd for their support and stated that the staff at the hospital is an outstanding one and encouraged the community to use Glen Cove when in need of hospital services.
Update – MAYOR SUOZZI CONTINUES PUSH TO BLOCK CLOSING OF GLEN COVE HOSPITAL; ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO SIGN PETITION
August 8 - - Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi posted a message on his Facebook page early this morning updating the community on developments regarding the closing of inpatient services at Glen Cove Hospital.
Suozzi stated that not only would the de-certification of 265 beds at the Hospital affect access to medical services for 76,000 residents in the Greater Glen Cove area, but, “Paramount to the community would be the loss of jobs within our City – 1200 people who are employed here in Glen Cove - - those jobs must remain here to avoid serious damage to our local economy.”
The Mayor continued that the de-certification “must be approved by the New York State Health Commissioner,” and that his “immediate goal is to postpone this approval so that we can present alternative plans in conjunction with the medical community.”
Suozzi has met with Congressman Steve Israel, Governor Cuomo’s Regional
and Inter-governmental representatives and NS-LIJ Chief Operating Officer, Mark
Solazzo, and expects to meet with Michael Dowling, CEO of the North Shore-LIJ
health system “in the near future.”
The Mayor is encouraging residents within the vicinity to sign his petition. The electronic
version can be found on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ralph.v.suozzi?fref=ts) and at the City of Glen Cove website – www.cityofglencove-li.us. Hard copies of the
petition can be found at the following locations: City Hall, The Senior Center, Glen Cove and Locust Valley Libraries, the Med Station, Glen Cove Chemist, Dunkin Donuts, Forest Pizza, Sunrise Assisted Living, Leo’s Tasty corner, January’s Salon in Locust Valley, and Women’s Health Pavillion in Glen Head.
Suozzi encouraged other business operators, homeowners associations and places of worship to pick up petition packets which they could do by calling his office at City Hall at 676-2004.
“I need your help. Please spread the word,” the Mayor concluded.
UPDATE: MAYOR SUOZZI ANNOUNCES PETITION DRIVE IN AN EFFORT TO HALT CHANGES AT GLEN COVE HOSPITAL
Aug 1 - - Early this morning, on the City of Glen Cove EMS
Facebook page, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi announced that he was initiating a petition drive in an effort to persuade North Shore-LIJ Health System to reconsider its decision to end inpatient and other medical services at Glen Cove Hospital. The electronic petition
he said would not be likely to be up and running until tomorrow. However, a hard-copy version of the petition would be available at The Chemist pharmacy on Forest Avenue, and another was being started at the Glen Cove Senior Center. Mr. Suozzi also supplied contact information for the North Shore-LIJ CEO and President of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Suozzi’s posting can
be found at https://www.facebook.com/glencoveems.
UPDATE: GLEN COVE MAYOR SUOZZI MEETS WITH NS-LIJ VICE PRESIDENT; ASKS THAT DECISION TO CLOSE GC HOSPITAL FOR INPATIENT SERVICES BE RECONSIDERED; CALLS ON HOSPITAL OFFICIALS, GOVERNMENT LEADERS AND LOCAL COMMUNITY TO WORK TOGETHER TOWARDS A SOLUTION
July 31 -- In a message posted on the Glen Cove
EMS Facebook page early this morning, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi stated that he met with Mark J. Solazzo the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System yesterday afternoon, and expressed to him his concerns “about the many anticipated impacts on the City of Glen Cove Emergency Medical Services (EMS), hospital employees, and businesses and residents in Glen Cove and nearby communities,” that will result from the closing of inpatient and other health service facilities at Glen Cove Hospital.
“Glen Cove Hospital employs about 1200 people,” Mr. Suozzi wrote, “Those employees provide quality healthcare services to Glen Cove and our neighboring communities. Their jobs are undoubtedly important to them and their families. Those employees also eat in our
restaurants, shop in our stores, and use many other services. In other words, they’re significant contributors to our local economy.”
According to the Mayor, Mr. Solazzo would soon be releasing a “fact sheet” that would be shared with the community. Arrangements are also being made for Mr. Suozzi to meet with the health network’s CEO and Board of Trustees President.
Mr. Suozzi went on to say that while he recognizes “that NSLIJ is making a business decision based on how health care is evolving and economic realities, [he] strongly feels that some of the changes that are being contemplated must be reconsidered.”
The Mayor stated that he has reached out to our representatives in Albany and Washington, as well as Governor Cuomo, and asked that they join him “in urging NSLIJ to postpone this decision in order to encourage a broader discussion about the future of the Glen Cove facility.”
He also called on the community to write or call their elected representatives, and hospital officials in an effort to get NSLIJ to reconsider its decision.
“Let’s work together for the good of Glen Cove,” Mr. Suozzi concluded.
(Story by T. Madden)
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Glen Cove Hospital to Shut Its Doors for In-Patient Services
July 30 - - Last evening, Glen Cove Hospital employees learned that the North Shore Long Island Jewish Healthcare system would be shutting the hospital’s doors for inpatient services. The move is expected to be fully implemented by April, 2014.
The Glen Cove facility will continue to offer outpatient day surgery, a 24 hour emergency room, an outpatient cancer treatment center, and the family practice clinic. Its rehabilitation facilities, psychiatric services, surgery, Cardiac Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit will close.
According to Newsday, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi expressed concerns not only about the closing’s impact on the community’s access to medical care but also on the local economy, as he wondered whether local medical offices would remain in the area.
The decision to end inpatient services will affect hundreds of the 1200 hospital employees. Many will be transitioned to other facilities and some are concerned that they will lose their jobs altogether.
A hospital spokesperson stated that recent implementation of provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, led administrators of the country's 18th largest health system to make this decision, Newsday reported.
Under the provision of the new law, medical providers, will receive greater reimbursement for preventative care and health maintenance services than they did previously, but less for tests and procedures. Under the traditional fee for service system, providers receive reimbursement through Medicare and private insurers based on the quantity of services provided, thus, according to critics, creating an incentive for overprescribing tests and performing procedures that were not essential.
The rationale behind the new federal law’s provision is to slow down the rapid rise in healthcare costs. It creates under the Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Program a shared savings arrangement that seeks to incentivize keeping costs low, and "quality over quantity". Such programs are being adopted by many private insurers as well.
On his facebook page, Mayor Suozzi stated that he would be meeting with North Shore-LIJ officials today to discuss the hospital’s closing.
Story by T. Madden (Information for this story was provided by a hospital employee, A Newsday report, and a statement posted by Mayor Suozzi)
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