By Joy Pape
I’ll never forget the day I started work for Lenox Hill Hospital when I attended my first day of orientation in a lovely venue in Long Island. It had recently been merged with the North Shore Long Island Jewish (NSLIJ) Health System, now known as Northwell Health. It was the time of their entrance into Manhattan, and it was also shortly after the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital.
I was quite impressed that Michael Dowling, President and CEO, was present to welcome the new employees; this is not always a habit of Presidents and CEOs of such large health organizations. I knew that day he was a man with wisdom, passion, a care for health…a true visionary and a good businessman.
After what I recall as a long and needed comprehensive orientation period on Long Island for health care providers, I was able to start my new job in Manhattan at Lenox Hill Hospital. During my first days there, I noticed a lot of buzz and excitement with the new influx of money from NSLIJ. Lenox Hill Hospital had not been doing well financially prior to this, but was then able to purchase the needed supplies, staff, and education so badly needed. I also remember there being a lot of doctors, nurses and others who had lost their jobs at St. Vincent’s who were now working at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Although I am no longer working for the Northwell Health System, I commend what Northwell Health has done to help our community. We once again have what is considered state of the art medical care for our residents and community.
I had the pleasure to interview Warren B. Licht, M.D., to learn more and share the information with Westview readers.
Dr. Licht, what is your position at Northwell Health?
I am the Vice President of Ambulatory Operations for the Western Region of the health system, and Director of Medical Affairs for Lenox Health Greenwich Village. In addition to this, and most importantly, I am a practicing primary care physician. This allows me to remain directly engaged in the core business of Northwell Health healthcare delivery. It allows me to experience first hand what patients feel is needed in the community.
What services are Northwell Health providing our community at this time?
As many of your readers already know, our flagship health center, Lenox Health Greenwich Village, opened in 2014, providing initially a full-service Emergency Department located on its ground level. Since then we have added a complete radiology center, ambulatory surgery center, orthopedic institute and spine care center.
Surrounding Lenox Health Greenwich Village we have several Northwell Health Physician Partner practice sites:
- Northwell Health Physician Partners at Chelsea North with the specialties of Internal Medicine (primary care), Weight Management, Occupational Health, and Infectious Diseases
- Northwell Health Physician Partners Vein Surgery at Union Square
- Northwell Health Physician Partners at Chelsea South with the specialties of Endocrinology, Family Medicine (primary care), Internal Medicine (primary care), Dermatology and Neurology
- Northwell Health Physician Partners at Greenwich Village with the surgical specialties of Urology, General, Colorectal, Vascular, Thoracic Surgeries, and Otolaryngology (ENT) with Audiology services. The Medicine Specialties of Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Cardiology, Pulmonology, including a full pulmonary function laboratory. The pediatric specialties of Allergy, Cardiology, and Neurology.
- Northwell Health Go Health Urgent Care Downtown locations include Chelsea and Greenwich Village.
- What new services are you planning to provide?
- With the opening of the practice site located on the property that was once the St. Vincent’s Hospital emergency department at 7 Seventh Avenue, Northwell Health Physician Partners at Greenwich Village adds the much needed medicine and surgery specialties that were missing since the closure of the St. Vincent’s O’Toole Ambulatory Center in 2010.
- What happens if someone needs an emergency procedure such as a surgery that entails inpatient care?
- Although this doesn’t happen often, that’s not a problem when it does. Those patients will be transported to a hospital that has the services to perform the necessary procedure(s) in an ambulance paid for by Northwell Health. No matter the traffic, they can usually get to the destination within the hour. Sometimes it may take longer to get to an operating room from an emergency department that is located in the same building due to many factors including intra-hospital transport.
- Do the patients get to choose what facility they want to go to or are they automatically sent to Lenox Hill in Manhattan?
- Yes, patients can choose their hospital if they have a physician associated with the accepting hospital that will accept them as a patient. If not, the patient will be directly admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital and a specialty physician will be assigned to them. Of note, when a patient needs to be admitted to a Hospital through an emergency department that is located in the same building there is no guarantee that a bed will be available in that Hospital. Patients often wait hours or days before an appropriate bed becomes available. If you are being transferred from our emergency center to Lenox Hill Hospital this is not the case. In addition, there is no competition for resources with a hospital when you are a patient in our emergency center, thus expediting care.
- What type of payment will be accepted?
- The Emergency Center at Lenox Heath Greenwich Village accepts all patients regardless of the ability to pay. Northwell Health Physician Partners’ sites and Northwell Go Health Urgent Cares accept almost all insurance plans offered to patients in the NYC metropolitan area and beyond, including Medicare and Medicaid.
- Do you envision a full-blown hospital being built here in our community? Will we have a hospital again? That’s what so many want and think they need.
- No. What we at Northwell Health are doing is replacing the necessary and most vital components of health care access lost, when we lost St. Vincent’s.
Joy Pape is an internationally known board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, author, writer, and presenter. She believes every person is an individual and deserves personalized medical, integrative care and hope for a healthy and full life. She can be reached at 212.933.1756 or firstname.lastname@example.org