The recent article in WestView News about the closing of Beth Israel really needed the entire paper, cover-to-cover, to uncover what’s really happening.
I’m a CABG patient. Anyone who doesn’t know what that is can be thankful. It’s an acronym for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting—a type of surgery done when arteries in your heart are blocked to a point where stents can’t be inserted and the arteries have to be replaced.
There are a few ways to go about this surgery given modern technology, but mine was old-school and invasive. They cut my chest open, stopped my heart for 73 minutes, did the grafts, then stitched me up. I was out of the hospital in five days.
My surgery took place in February 2008. It was performed at Beth Israel.
My surgery took place during the heyday of Beth Israel’s existence. Yeah, the building was in bad shape (it wasn’t the Hyatt) but the morale and dedication of the staff were amazing from prep to discharge. Every single person I encountered was the utmost professional, courteous, and accessible.
I can tell you that my experience was so positive that I still maintain a very special “relationship” with my cardiologist, who remains at (now) Mt. Sinai, and who obviously has done very well to contain any feelings he may have, professional or personal, about the hospital’s management crisis since the takeover.
As a 62-year-old “at-risk” cardiac patient, I am concerned about the closing of Beth Israel, the displacement of doctors and healthcare professionals, and how it will impact me. When there is so much uncertainty about the future of healthcare at the local level in general, employees are tasked to keep their patients in place. So, the smiles are bigger. The desk service seems better. But the truth is, the waiting rooms seem less congested.
As recently as a few days ago, I was considering stopping in at the emergency care center of the new Lenox Hill Emergency Facility on 12th Street and 7th Avenue to introduce myself, ask a few questions about staff and procedures, give them my insurance card and necessary paperwork, and maybe even make an initial appointment.
I figured that if I ever keel over in front of their building on my way back from Planet Fitness, somebody may recognize me and bother to try to save my life. Meanwhile, I hope my cardiologist doesn’t decide to move to Florida or Pennsylvania where, I’ve heard, they take way better care of their elderly and sick—and their healthcare professionals, too.
I remain poised yet uncertain about our community’s fewer and fewer emergency healthcare options!
—Joe Nardelli, West Village Resident