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Queens Public Meeting

NYC Health + Hospitals
Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Public Meeting – Queens
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Report by Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO

I started my sixth year with NYC Health + Hospitals. I feel so lucky to lead such an amazing organization. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together through some of the toughest times for health care workers and our communities.

I think we can all agree, the last 3 years with COVID-19 were a trial we could not have imagined. We lost patients, colleagues, and family members. Staff were forced to use iPads at the bedside so patients could say goodbye to relatives on screens, while we held their hands in the last moments of life. They do not teach this in medical school or nursing school. But we knew exactly what to do. We saved thousands of lives and we proved the value and strength of NYC Health + Hospitals with our treatment, testing, and vaccination programs. We were a lifeline for New York City.

Our health System again extended a lifeline to New Yorkers when we faced the spread of Mpox and the tripledemic of COVID, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Influenza last fall. We mobilized quickly to educate the community about prevention, treatment and services for RSV, and we focused on ensuring access to the Mpox vaccine among the communities most at risk.

We are now at a critical point coming out of the COVID emergency mode. Across New York City, and specifically at NYC Health + Hospitals, we continue to see a decline in COVID-19 hospital admissions and community transmission levels. While we are relieved to be out of the crisis stage of the pandemic, we know COVID is not going away. NYC Health + Hospitals will continue to support access to COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and therapeutics for all New Yorkers. We also continue our work to provide the very best care and treatment for people with COVID and those suffering with Long COVID.


Despite the tremendous demand created by the pandemic, we never lost sight of our goals 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.

  • NYC Care reached 100,000 members showing once again that NYC Health + Hospitals is a beacon for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Learn how NYC Care helped patient Wendell Wells afford medical care and manage his diabetes.
  • We launched Housing for Health to connect our homeless patients to housing, and we have already housed over 400 patients. You can hear about the impact the program is making from patient Jesus Cerda and his psychiatrist, Dr. Kelania Jimenez.
  • Our post-acute facilities were recognized in the America’s Best Nursing Homes 2023 list by Newsweek, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Seaview ranked #1 in New York State! The State has over 600 nursing homes, so it is a huge accomplishment that all of our post-acute care facilities made the list.  
  • We opened our third Gotham Health COVID-19 Center of Excellence to provide specialized care to New Yorkers with long COVID, offering a pulmonologist, cardiologist, and a mental health specialist on site.
  • New York State tapped our Virtual ExpressCare service to offer COVID-19 Paxlovid therapeutics statewide. Virtual ExpressCare administered the most Paxlovid prescriptions of any provider in New York City.
  • B-HEARD, the powerful new program where NYC Health + Hospitals social workers and FDNY EMTs respond to 911 mental health calls, expanded to 10 additional police precincts, covering Washington Heights, Inwood, the South Bronx, East New York, and Brownsville.
  • When the mpox outbreak hit New York City, we rose to the challenge – administering over 15,000 mpox vaccinations at our hospitals and mobile sites stationed outside of clubs and sex parties to meet the community where they are and make vaccination easy and convenient.
  • Speaking of mobile outreach, our award-winning SHOW (Street Health Outreach & Wellness) vans expanded this year to include buprenorphine treatment for people with opioid use disorder – a life-saving intervention to broaden the vans’ already sizeable impact. The vans had over 91,000 engagements with patients this year, including over 39,000 COVID tests and nearly 3,000 vaccinations.
  • All 11 of our hospitals now offer plant-based lunches and dinners as the default choice, so our patients can see how delicious plant-based meals can be. We served nearly 341,400 plant-based meals in 2022.
  • Our dedicated City, State, and Federal elected officials contributed $103,669 million to our facilities, the largest amount of capital funding we have ever received in a budget cycle. This funding has enabled many improvements at our facilities, including new cardiology equipmentexpanded integrated women’s health services, and updated ultrasound equipment and tools to improve the digital care experience at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health; a state-of-the-art birthing center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull; supporting a new outpatient dialysis center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens; a new CT scanner, portable C-ARM, and ultrasound machines at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan; and a new Hyperbaric chamber and expanded Hyperbaric Medicine services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi.
  • We committed an unprecedented $747 million with Minority- and Women-owned Businesses (M/WBEs) – an increase of more than 3,000% since 2017. 
  • We have provided care to more than 9,000 asylum seekers who arrived at the Port Authority, and we helped to set up the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers that offered temporary shelter, a critical support as our new neighbors navigated one of the most stressful situations imaginable.
  • All 11 of our hospitals are now officially Baby-Friendly. This achievement was years in the making – NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem led the way in 2008 and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County rounded out the list in August.
  • MetroPlus Health membership grew to over 700,000 members – more than the population of Washington, D.C.!
  • 2022 was a big year for our nurses. NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health received the prestigious Pathway to Excellence Award, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and South Brooklyn Health received Beacon awards for nursing excellence.


Best in Care & Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke

Our two hospitals in the borough of Queens were again recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) for their excellence and commitment to quality care in heart failure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and resuscitation. NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst earned the AHA’s “Get With the Guidelines” award for meeting high standards of quality care and timely diagnosis and treatment of heart failure and stroke – because when it comes to treating heart attack and stroke, we know every second counts.

Doulas to Support New Mothers

Both hospitals teamed up with Mount Sinai and the HoPE Doula Program to provide community-based doula support, free-of-charge, to any pregnant person seeking care at either hospital. Doula care has been associated with better birth outcomes for parents and babies.

Housing for Health

We transformed the former tuberculosis hospital on the campus of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and converted it into 200 apartments, 75 of which are supportive housing for our patients who were experiencing homelessness. The other apartments are affordable, mixed-income units for the community. On-site case management services — provided by the non-profit CAMBA and funded through the NYC 15/15 Supportive Housing Initiative — includes connection to medical, mental health and substance use treatment, access to an array of government benefits, and financial literacy courses.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

  • Began to perform robotic-assisted hip and knee replacement procedures after acquiring the most advanced Stryker Mako SmartRobotics system. This new surgical option offers patients a minimally invasive alternative for total hip, total knee and partial knee replacements. The highly advanced technology used in robotic surgery for joint replacement enables patients to recover faster and more effectively.
  • Opened the new Mother-Baby Simulation Center to help reduce maternal deaths and life-threatening conditions in patients during childbirth. Using a specially-designed, high-tech, full-body mannequin of color, along with a mannequin infant, obstetric (OB) physicians, anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, midwives, physician assistants, and respiratory therapists participate in simulations that further help in identifying and treating potentially life-threatening conditions during labor and childbirth.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens

  • Earned an ‘A’ Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for spring 2022. This national distinction recognized our team’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital.
  • Ranked among the “50 Most Racially Inclusive Hospitals in America” by the 2021 Lown Institute Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility. This recognition ranks how well hospitals serve people of color in their surrounding communities. More than 2,800 hospitals were evaluated for this report. Queens Hospital ranked #14.
  • Announced plans to build a new Outpatient Dialysis Center with $1M in funding from U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Grace Meng to ensure patients with chronic renal dialysis needs, or those waiting for a kidney transplant, have access to dialysis treatments on the hospital campus.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health

  • Our Federally Qualified Health Center network of community-based clinics provide comprehensive primary care to serve children and adults all across the borough. Our centers are located in Corona, Jamaica, Jackson Heights, Ridgewood, South Queens, Springfield Gardens and Woodside.
  • In the last year, Gotham Health expanded dentistry services, adopted palm vein scanners to improve the registration process, and added new EKG machines in three clinics.
  • In March, NYC Health + Hospitals announced plans to open a new comprehensive community health center in Far Rockaway, Queens to expand access to primary care, women’s health, dental, vision and mental health services for the peninsula community. The new health center will be located at 1720 Village Lane in Far Rockaway and is expected to open in 2025.

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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.

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