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Manhattan Public Meeting

NYC Health + Hospitals
Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Public Meeting – Manhattan
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Report by Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO

Good evening, my name is Dr. Mitch Katz and I’m a primary care doctor and the President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. This is my seventh year here at the health system, and I am proud and honored to lead this institution. I don’t do this alone, of course. We have 43,000 staff member who ensure that New Yorkers received the high-quality care they deserve. Some of those folks are in the room today.

I want to thank our Board Members who are here, the staff who have spent long hours organizing these meetings, and the team here tonight who will ensure that your words are captured for all our leadership to hear.

I want to thank those of you in the audience and speaking at this evening. Your presence here demonstrates how much you care about NYC Health + Hospitals, the quality of health care in our neighborhoods, and the community both inside and outside of our facilities. I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Before we begin though, I do want to highlight some of our achievements from this past year. Our goal has always been to expand access to care for more New Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status, offer the highest quality of care, and advance our values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Here are just a few highlights of the amazing achievements from the last year.

  • We opened a new hospital. The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital on the campus of South Brooklyn Health is a bright, beautiful space for our patients to receive care. The 11-story building was designed to withstand the next 500-year storm.
  • We were able to honor our nurses in a way they deserve: they gained pay parity with private hospitals thanks to a new NYSNA contract.
  • We remained at the forefront of the City’s response to the historic asylum seeker crisis, providing shelter, health care, casework, and social services to thousands of asylum seekers at our Arrival Center and humanitarian centers.
  • Correctional Health Services opened the first-ever reentry service center on Rikers Island, a resource hub for the hundreds of people who are released from Rikers each year as well as members of the public and staff. 
  • The health System’s Lifestyle Medicine Program is now in every borough, including at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst.
  • All of our hospitals began serving plant-based meals as the primary choice for dinner, encouraging our patients to eat tasty food that promotes better health outcomes.
  • NYC Care, our program for those who cannot afford or are not eligible for health insurance, hit a milestone of 125,000 members.
  • Over 500 patients found permanent housing working with our Housing for Health team this year.
  • Newsweek once again ranked NYC Health + Hospitals/Seaview the #1 Nursing Home in New York State. Three of our other skilled nursing facilities ranked in the top ten, and the fifth was ranked in the top 30. Impressive for a state with over 600 nursing homes.
  • We opened a new Extended Care Unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County for patients who are discharged from psychiatric inpatient care and want continued support. Patients stay in the ECU for up to 90 days to work on rehabilitation and reintegrating into the community. The ECU at Kings County Hospital joins a successful program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched in 2020.
  • Nine new murals can be found around our facilities thanks to the Arts in Medicine department’s Community Mural Project.
  • We broke ground on a new housing development on the NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull campus that will have 93 apartments, including 56 units of supportive housing for our patients.
  • We distributed $1 million in debt relief to 27 behavioral health providers in exchange for a three-year commitment to serving our health system. We expect to continue this program and distribute to more providers this year.
  • We launched telehealth medication abortion services through Virtual ExpressCare — becoming the first public health system in the nation to do so.
  • We were once again recognized by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association for providing high quality care in several areas, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, and resuscitation.
  • We expanded our services for survivors of intimate partner violence by bringing behavioral health services to the City’s domestic violence shelter system, providing on-site services to adults and children. The initiative started in 9 shelters in 2023. We also opened two specialized mental health clinics for survivors at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals surgical service expanded its DaVinci Surgical Robot program throughout the System. This brings high-quality surgical services to all our patients.
  • The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Team launched a multi-year project with The New York City Administration for Children’s Services and Public Policy Lab to improve referral pathways so we can increase the number of NYC Health + Hospital patient families who receive community-based prevention services and reduce the number of families who are unnecessarily subjected to child abuse investigations.


I would be remiss if I didn’t specifically highlight our Manhattan facilities accomplishments. Our hospitals and Gotham Health sites have contributed to our phenomenal year, too.

At NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue

  • Bellevue received accreditation as an Academic Comprehensive Cancer Program under the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) Accreditation Program. As a CoC-accredited institution, Bellevue also becomes an ACS Surgical Quality Partner. Bellevue is one of only 14 hospitals in New York State to receive accreditation at this level.
  • Bellevue’s Dermatology team opened a new Mohs micrographic surgery laboratory for the treatment of skin cancer. Mohs surgery allows the surgeon to remove skin cancer in one visit by removing thin layers of skin one layer at a time and examining them under a microscope while the patient waits.
  • Bellevue’s Palliative Care Program opened a new Serenity Unit for patients with serious illness who can benefit from extra support and expert symptom management, patients who are waiting to transfer to hospice or who are nearing the end of life.
  • Bellevue’s Pride Health Center has been selected as awardee of the 2024 LGBTQ+ Health Workforce 12th Anniversary Conference Organizational/Institutional Leadership Award, for its commitment to advancing efforts to train and educate health care professionals on LGBTQ+ health and healthcare. Presented by Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians (BNGAP), the conference will take place May 2-4, 2024.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals provided healthcare for approximately 11,000 newly arrived migrants, and 25 percent of those were seen here at Bellevue. To date, the health system has had over 700 babies born to migrants living in its humanitarian centers, and the majority have been born at Bellevue.
  • Bellevue received the following capital awards in FY24:
  • Upgrade to 3D breast tomosynthesis unit, an advanced form of mammography, courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and NYC Council Members Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera.
  • New cross-linking machine for the Ophthalmology department secured with funding earmarked by NYC Council Member Justin Brannan.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem has been busy, too.

  • Two doctors from NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem were named to Castle Connolly’s list of ‘2024 Top Black Doctors’ for their medical expertise and culturally-responsive care:
    • Joan A. Culpepper-Morgan, MD, Chief of Gastroenterology, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
    • Wendy C. Wilcox, MD, Chief Women’s Health Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals; Attending Physician, OB/GYN, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem’s Burn Intensive Care Unit recently received a Silver-Level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Harlem’s Burn Intensive Care Unit is the first and only in New York City, the second in New York State, and one of four in the United States to earn this silver-level designation.
  • The da Vinci Robotics Program at Harlem celebrates its one-year anniversary with 340+ successful robotic surgeries.
  • Harlem launched a new Nursing Professional Development Training Center.
  • The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) honored NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem for Surgical Safety by advancing education and surgical team members in the prevention of unilateral retained surgical items.
  • Harlem received Stroke Certification from The Joint Commission for 2023-2025.
  • 100 percent of Harlem Hospital’s Internal Medicine Residents passed their boards this year, and one resident had the second highest score in the nation.
  • The American Medical Association and American Heart Association recognized Harlem with its Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll and Target: Diabetes Honor Roll.
  • Harlem received the 2023 American College of Gastroenterology Scopy Award for promoting awareness of colorectal cancer when CEO Georges Leconte did a video about his colonoscopy with Harlem Chief of Gastroenterology Dr. Joan Culpepper-Morgan.
  • Harlem renovated its Labor and Delivery Operating Rooms.
  • Harlem’s ED now uses the Apex Elite Power Xtreams 512, the first scanner with expandable detector coverage to enable whole organ scanning. This is critical for detailed imaging of vital organs such as the brain or heart.
  • Harlem acquired two 4K Arthroscopy devices for minimally invasive treatment of the shoulder, knee, ankle, wrist, and elbow. This state-of-the-art technology provides high quality musculoskeletal care to the Harlem community.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is making strides as well.

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan has been designated as the System’s official Acute Rehab Center. This is a great use of Metropolitan as a Center for Excellence for Rehab, helping to decompress other facilities by moving their rehab patients to Metropolitan. All CEO’s have been embracing this concept and are collaborating. 
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan was re-designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital. This designation awarded by Baby-Friendly USA, is an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan was recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Safe Sleep Hospital,” for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan’s NICU received the Gold Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Nurses, the only NICU in New York City to secure this esteemed designation.
  • In response to community need, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan has taken significant steps to enhance its Behavioral Health services. These strategic expansions reflect its commitment to comprehensive and accessible behavioral health services for the East Harlem community and beyond.
    • Opening an Inpatient Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit, providing specialized care for young patients.
    • Reinstating the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), aiming to reduce inpatient length of stay while maintaining quality care.
    • Metropolitan Hospital’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) bridges the gap between acute care and outpatient services, ensuring continuity of care.
    • Metropolitan Hospital has extended access hours for its Adult Outpatient Department (AOPD), making it more convenient for patients and the community.
    • In collaboration with the Anesthesia team, Metropolitan Hospital now offers both Inpatient and Outpatient Electroconvulsive Therapy.

And finally, our NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health sites have also seen improvements and upgrades for patients.

  • In 2023, Gotham’s Manhattan sites continued to have high patient visits and new patient registrants.
    • Total visits
      • Gouverneur: 158,845
      • Sydenham: 25,773
    • New Patient Registrants
      • Gouverneur: 11,194
      • Sydenham: 1,907
  • Gotham’s Gouverneur and Sydenham sites both received Target: BP Gold Plus recognition from the American Medical Association and American Heart Association for their hypertension control rates (79.2% and 76.4% as of February 2024).
  • Gotham’s Gouverneur and Sydenham sites received Target: Type 2 Diabetes Gold recognition from the American Medical Association and American Heart Association for their rates of Hemoglobin A1C under 8.
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance recognized Gouverneur and Sydenham as a Patient-Centered Medical Home.
  • Gouverneur was honored by HealthFirst in 2023 for its 2022 HQIP Medicare Program performance, making it #1 in the network.

It takes all of us to make NYC Health + Hospitals succeed. And we could not do it without all of you – our patients and patient advocates, community-based organizations, elected officials, and other members of the communities we serve. Thank you for being here tonight and for your support of our essential public health care System.

Now let’s proceed to the main purpose of tonight’s meeting – to hear from you, members of our community. Your input is so important to the future success of NYC Health + Hospitals. We are ready to listen.

I will now turn to our General Counsel to outline the proceeding for tonight’s meeting.