City hospitals take aim at maternal depression

Bellevue commits to universal screenings

Chirlane McCray speaks at Bellevue Hospital. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Chirlane McCray speaks at Bellevue Hospital. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray recently announced that the city is setting a goal to provide universal screening and treatment for maternal depression for all pregnant women and new mothers.

McCray made the announcement at Bellevue Hospital on November 17 along with representatives from NYC Health and Hospitals (formerly HHC), Maimonides Medical Center and the Greater New York Hospital Association.

NYC Health and Hospitals and Maimonides, which together perform about 25 percent of all deliveries in New York, have committed to achieve universal screening and connection to treatment within two years as the first step towards the goal. The Greater New York Hospital Association will also begin developing a learning network of hospitals across the city to screen all pregnant women and new mothers for the condition within that two-year period.

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NY hospitals agree not to film patients without permission

The Chanko family at City Hall in July: Barbara, wife of Mark Chanko’s son Kenneth (right), Mark’s daughter Pamela and his widow Anita (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The Chanko family at City Hall in July: Barbara, wife of Mark Chanko’s son Kenneth (right), Mark’s daughter Pamela and his widow Anita (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, Town & Village reported on how local elected officials were calling on New York hospitals to respect patients’ privacy by not allowing them to be filmed without prior consent. This push came as a result of the story of Mark Chanko, a former Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper resident, whose medical treatment and death, after being struck by a truck near his home, wound up being filmed for an ABC reality show called “NY Med.” He hadn’t consented to being filmed nor had anyone in his family. Though his face was blurred, those who knew him, including his widow Anita, recognized him immediately.

When asked for comment in July, the Greater New York Hospital Association responded to T&V to say its president, Kenneth E. Raske, agreed with the elected officials and was asking hospitals to abide by their request. New York Presbyterian, where “NY Med” was filmed, is a member hospital.

More recently, the Greater New York Hospital Association took the statement a step further by contacting the elected officials who’d asked for a change in policy directly, including Council Member Dan Garodnick. Along with reiterating, in a letter, that the GNYHA agreed that patients shouldn’t be filmed for entertainment purposes, Raske said this policy is consistent with existing state and federal laws.

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