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Queens Public Meeting

NYC Health + Hospitals
Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Public Meeting – Queens
Tuesday, April 2, 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 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 Queen’s facilities accomplishments. NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and Queens and Gotham Health sites have contributed to our phenomenal year, too.

At NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens

  • The hospital received a recognition award from the American Heart Association: “Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus with Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.” The Silver Achievement recognizes adherence to each of seven quality measures for 12 consecutive months. We are particularly proud of this award in view of our recent NYS Department of Health Designation as a Primary Stroke Center.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the American Heart Association entitled “Target: Type 2 Diabetes.” This award recognizes our hospital for improving quality of care for patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors by adopting clinical change and using evidence-based strategies and tools in our ambulatory care population.
  • Last July, the hospital achieved successful accreditation as a Geriatric Emergency Department-Bronze level from the American College of Emergency Physicians. The ED is now a member of the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative, which is a nation-wide collaborative dedicated to improving the quality of care for older people in the ED with the goal of reducing harm and improving healthcare outcomes.
  • Assemblywoman Nily Rozic secured $1 million dollars in State funds to upgrade the hospital’s HUGS Infant Security and Protection System. This funding adds to pre-existing hospital efforts to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for our infants, which includes “Baby Friendly” and Gold-Level Safe Sleep Hospital designations.
  • In September 2023, under guidance from NYC Health + Hospitals Nursing Leadership, the hospital implemented the Care Delivery Daily Management System which enhances nursing practice.
  • The hospital is once again received “Leader” in the 2024 Healthcare Equality Index Survey. The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, promotes LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and affirming practices in healthcare facilities and formally recognizes those facilities that lead the field in LGBTQ+ inclusion.
  • Last November, the hospital was awarded “Silver Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care” from Planetree International. This certification recognizes “Excellence in Person-Centered Care,” which improves staff, patient and family engagement while delivering better patient outcomes, lower rates of staff burnout, and lower costs of care delivery. The hospital is one of only 65 organizations worldwide with this prestigious Silver Status to date (and 1 of 185 organizations to achieve Certification at any level).
  • In December, the hospital launched its robotic surgery suite using the DaVinci Surgical Robot. Patient benefits includes, shorter hospitalization, reduced pain and discomfort, faster recovery time and return to normal activities, smaller incisions resulting in reduced risk of infection, reduced blood loss and transfusions and minimal scarring.

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

The hospital has updated a lot of its equipment and completed several projects that will enhance patient care and allow it to expand services. Many of these were generously funded through our elected officials. These projects include:

  • A new 3D mammography machine
  • A new nuclear medicine camera
  • A new CT Simulator
  • A Linear Accelerator (LINAC) for treating cancer
  • Radiation Oncology Suite renovation
  • Renovated and expanded operating rooms
  • A new Wellness Room for staff
  • Solar Panels on the roof of the hospital
  • New pediatric scales
  • New OB/GYN Ultrasounds
  • A new CT Apex system for enhanced imaging
  • A Mobile X-Ray machine
  • And a new C-Arm and Breast Biopsy System

The hospital will soon begin construction on the following projects:

  • A new Labor and Delivery wing
  • A new Endoscopy suite
  • The relocation and renovation of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • A major renovation of our front entrances and lobbies
  • And it will create much-needed clinical space by moving non-clinical staff to satellite offices

Among several of the recent recognitions include:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst was nationally ranked by U.S. News Report as a “Best Regional Hospital.”
  • It received recognition from US News and World Report in several areas, including Heart Failure, Heart Attack, Stroke, Hip Fracture, Kidney Failure, Orthopedics, Pneumonia, and COPD.
  • The American College of Surgeons gave the hospital Diamond recognition for its operating suites.
  • The American Heart Association recognized the excellent care Elmhurst Hospital provides to patients with Diabetes, Cholesterol, and High Blood Pressure with Gold and Gold plus awards. It also recognized the hospital for its commitment to providing outstanding care in the categories of heart failure, heart attack, stroke and resuscitation.

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

  • There are capital improvements ongoing and a new site planned at Queens neighborhood health centers thanks to the Borough President.
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Ridgewood clinic has expanded its services to offer Gynecology in addition to Adult Medicine and Pediatrics.

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.