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New York, NY - Jewish-Founded NYC Beth Israel Hospital To Close After 127 Years Of Operations

Published on: May 26, 2016 01:01 PM
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New York, NY - After months of speculation, officials at a lower Manhattan hospital founded more than a century ago by Orthodox Jews has announced plans to close its doors and reopen at a smaller facility located several blocks away.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital has been struggling financially, typically filling just more than half of its 825 beds.  Mount Sinai plans to close the hospital in four years and to open a 70 bed facility in 2020 that will also house an emergency room.  Mount Sinai will also expand and upgrade facilities at several other Manhattan locations.

Originally established in 1889 to serve the immigrant Jewish population that called the Lower East Side home, Beth Israel is equipped with Shabbos elevators and was long favored by members of the Jewish community.  Located at 16th Street and 1st Avenue, the hospital was acquired by the Mount Sinai Health System in 2013, but in a changing health care system where many are flocking to outpatient facilities, it is one of many large hospitals to find itself floundering financially.

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Dr. Kevin Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, said that Beth Israel currently has an outstanding debt of $200 million and estimated the property’s value at $600 million.  Dr. John Rowe, a former executive at Mount Sinai said that the hospital had high hopes for being able to serve patients when it acquired the facility.

“They weren’t trying to buy the building, they were trying to buy the business,” said Rowe, who noted that Mount Sinai will still retain a large presence in Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, Beth Israel’s closure is a disappointment to Mayor de Blasio, who campaigned vigorously against the closure of city hospitals during his 2013 run for mayor.  de Blasio was among those who was arrested for protesting the closure of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn in 2013 and he stressed the importance of ensuring adequate medical coverage for city dwellers.

“While it is good to see that layoffs of unionized staff will be avoided and some important investments made, Mount Sinai must work with the community to ensure that the inpatient and emergency care needs of local residents are met,” said de Blasio.

As rumors of a possible closure at Mount Sinai swirled, many seemed worried about a potential shutdown and its effect on locals, particularly since nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village closed its doors in 2010, two years after Cabrini Medical Center in Gramercy Park was shut down.  A statement released by a group of lawmakers including local assemblymen, council members, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Holyman and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer several weeks ago warned,  “Any downsizing or closure at Beth Israel threatens to further strain an already overburdened network of health care providers in Manhattan, reduce health care options and curtail services in the immediate neighborhood and eliminate jobs.”

Those concerns, at least from an employment perspective, appear to be well founded.  While 4,000 union employees at Beth Israel will either keep their jobs or be retrained for new positions,  between 600 and 700 are expected to lose their jobs.  Hospital officials said they would offer retraining and other job services to those who are expected to be displaced.

Mount Sinai appear confident that the move will be a change for the better and Davis touted the new facility as an innovative model of care that will keep patients out of larger hospitals.

“Mount Sinai Downtown is a dramatic next step that will enable us to improve access and increase quality by providing care for residents of downtown Manhattan where they live and work.”


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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 26, 2016 at 01:13 PM Robert Says:

this sounds horrible

the hospital was acquired by mount siani in 2013-
while tenuous it was solvent at that time

it seems MS bought the hospital for its real estate value hoping to break it up and sell the pieces for profit

it was in the black 2 1/2 years ago and is now losing 100 million dollars a year

it is either corruption or terrible mis-management by MS

i suspect criminal activity
i hope the us attorney investigates

2

 May 26, 2016 at 01:22 PM Yitzchok Says:

NYC is starting to look like one big condo development anchored by rite aid and CVS. NYC is loosing all its charm and services, no gas stations and now no more hospitals, quality of life here is getting worse and worse

3

 May 26, 2016 at 02:18 PM kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

These "jewish" hospitals are anything but, just like the "Jewish" hospital in Newark where 95% of the clients are either black or Latino and whose mayor is Ras Baraka the son of Amiri Baraka (Leroy Jones) who said the Mossad caused 911.

4

 May 26, 2016 at 02:42 PM aleph Says:

Supposedly the numbers were fudged, and Mt. Sinai unknowingly got a bad deal when they bought it.

5

 May 26, 2016 at 03:12 PM Butterfly Says:

To #2 They also stopped building supermarkets. In some places, you have to buy your food on line.

6

 May 26, 2016 at 03:25 PM HAPPY12 Says:

same for KINGSBROOK JEWISH HOSPITAL IN CH.

7

 May 26, 2016 at 05:32 PM Anonymous Says:

I smell a rat. Bet another yet another luxury highrise will be built on the site.

8

 May 26, 2016 at 05:50 PM The_Truth Says:

Mount Sinai is a business. They run an extremely tight ship. They bought out other hospitals and have eliminated the competition. Then they are free to close facilities and force everyone to use another hospital / facility "within their own network". Most of the hospitals in New York are old and run down, with many facilities bordering on hazardous to your health if you go near them.
They are in it for the money, not for providing a service. If its not working, they'll close it.
Hopefully they will build a new top class hospital facility with the money they gain from the sale of the property, but that remains to be seen.

9

 May 26, 2016 at 06:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

These "jewish" hospitals are anything but, just like the "Jewish" hospital in Newark where 95% of the clients are either black or Latino and whose mayor is Ras Baraka the son of Amiri Baraka (Leroy Jones) who said the Mossad caused 911.

Jewish owned, not jewish inhabited...do u know the difference?

10

 May 26, 2016 at 07:56 PM wsbrgh Says:

this seems to be a result of obama care

11

 May 27, 2016 at 02:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
wsbrgh Says:

this seems to be a result of obama care

Please explain how having millions more insured people who can now pay for medical care because they have private insurance policies (which create profits for the insurance industry) would cause a hospital to go out of business. Does the bagel shop go out of business when thousands more people can suddenly afford to buy bagels?

12

 May 27, 2016 at 08:14 AM Butterfly Says:

Where is the nearest hospital in that area? NYU?

13

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