Petitions ask Cuomo to study hospital downsizing

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein delivered petitions to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in Midtown on Monday, asking the governor to further study Mount Sinai’s plan for downsizing Beth Israel. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, local residents and healthcare advocates delivered a thousand petitions to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Midtown office on Monday afternoon, calling on the governor to further study the impact of Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s downsizing on the community.

The petition requested that Cuomo direct the State Department of Health Services to stop further closure of services at Beth Israel and conduct a thorough, independent study of the impact of the closures with community input.

“We just want to talk to the State Department about next steps,” Epstein said. “We want to talk about a larger study, a real study, to find out if this is really in the best interests of the neighborhood or if this is just a real estate deal.”

The petition argued that the reduction of beds from the current Beth Israel to the new facility being built is a “health crisis” because the hospital is still in use and that the Cardiac Surgery Unit, Maternity Ward and Pediatric Surgery Unit were closed in 2017 with approval from the State Health Department but without a community-vetted replacement plan in place.

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Mount Sinai criticized on lack of public notice, closure of maternity services at forum

Mount Sinai Chief of Ambulatory Care Kelly Cassano, VP and Chief of Strategy for Behavioral Health Sabina Lim and Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System Jeremy Boal addressed questions at the public hearing held at Baruch last Wednesday. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Residents and local elected officials at a sparsely attended public hearing on Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s downsizing plan last Wednesday slammed the hospital system for the lack of notice about public meetings on the project and the elimination of the maternity ward at the facility.

The $1 billion project from Mount Sinai includes a new hospital facility at East 14th Street and Second Avenue to replace the Beth Israel Hospital on First Avenue, which is expected to open in 2022.

While Mount Sinai Corporate Director of Community Affairs Brad Korn attributed the low attendance at the event to the soggy weather because a nor’easter was moving through the city in the midst of Wednesday’s evening commute, Epstein argued that it had more to do with lack of notice to residents in the neighborhood, or that even if attendance was affected by weather, the outreach was insufficient regardless.

Korn said that Mount Sinai publicized the most recent hearing, which was held at Baruch College, by sending the flyer out through the local community boards and the working group with the Borough President’s office, and Epstein argued that wasn’t enough.

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Police Watch: Teens arrested for theft, Man busted for assault with stick

TEENS BUSTED FOR THEFT IN FRONT OF BELLEVUE
Police arrested two teenagers for an alleged theft that took place in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Wednesday, August 28 at 4:09 a.m. Police said that one of the teenagers removed a wallet from the back pocket of one of the victims. The victim told police that he was holding his friend’s wallet when the teen engaged them in conversation when the teen allegedly pick pocketed him, and both fled south. Police caught both teens inside Asser Levy Park, where the victim’s wallet was recovered. Police said that one of the teens was in possession of the victim’s iPhone, as well as his debit card and two MetroCards. One of the teens was charged with grand larceny and the teen holding the phone and wallet was charged with possession of stolen property. Police said that the teens were residents of the ACS facility.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT WITH STICK
Police arrested 58-year-old Briuan Bissessar for an alleged assault at the corner of Second Avenue and East 25th Street on Monday, August 26 at 5:36 p.m. The victim told police that Bissessar struck him in the mouth with a wooden stick, causing him physical injury. The victim was removed to the NYU Medical Center for treatment.

MAN ARRESTED FOR TIP JAR THEFT
Police arrested 25-year-old Gerineldo Acosta for an alleged theft inside the Le Café Coffee inside 407 Park Avenue South on Friday, August 30 at 6:39 p.m. Police said that Acosta went inside the business asking for water when he allegedly stole the tip jar with cash that was on the counter.

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MSBI files Certificate of Need for downsizing plan

A rendering of the new campus, northeast view from the corner of Second Avenue and East 13th Street (Rendering courtesy of MSBI)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mount Sinai Beth Israel has filed a Certificate of Need (CON) with State Department of Health on Monday to proceed with their downsizing plan that will drastically reduce the number of hospital beds in the Gramercy area, advancing the $1 billion project.

Representatives for MSBI told Community Board 6 members earlier this year that changes to the plan had delayed the submission of the CON, which they had expected to get approved by the end of last year. The process is an endorsement the state requires before the construction of a new healthcare facility.

The hospital system found newly-undiscovered unused space at the New York Eye and Ear facility, adjacent to where the new hospital will be built, and representatives at a meeting in February said that space allowed them to reconfigure the new building at East 14th Street and Second Avenue.

Brad Korn, corporate director of community affairs for Mount Sinai Beth Israel, assured CB6 members that the changes would not further decrease the number of beds but did say that the building could be shorter.

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Police Watch: Pair busted for shoplifting, Man arrested for breaking MSBI computer

PAIR BUSTED FOR SHOPLIFTING-GONE-BAD
Police arrested 29-year-old Kevin Jerome and 34-year-old Dominique Lewis for an alleged robbery at the corner of Second Avenue and East 23rd Street on Thursday, July 18 at 3:34 p.m. Police said that Jerome and Lewis entered a store nearby and removed merchandise without paying for it, and when a store employee confronted them, Jerome allegedly swung his arm at the employee, pulled out a boxcutter and reportedly threatened the employee so that he could leave the store. Police said that Lewis also swung her bag at the employee. The employee wasn’t injured and officers found the two suspects at the corner.

Jerome was additionally charged with possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance after police recovered an alleged crack pipe in his pocket. The boxcutter was also recovered from his pants pocket.

MAN NABBED FOR BREAKING MSBI COMPUTER
Police arrested 30-year-old Cesar Feliz-Taveras for alleged criminal mischief inside 281 First Avenue on Saturday, July 20 at 1:36 p.m. Police said that Feliz-Taveras grabbed a computer at the location and allegedly smashed it on the floor. A witness told police that the suspect was mad at the service that he was receiving at the hospital.

WOMAN BUSTED FOR HANE ‘DINE-AND-DITCH’
Police arrested 25-year-old Kelly Raquel for alleged theft of services inside Hane Sushi at 346 First Avenue on Saturday, July 20 at 4:03 p.m. Police said that Raquel ordered food and drinks at the restaurant and allegedly had attempted to leave without paying.

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New MSBI will be seven stories

The site is now a vacant lot where a New York Eye and Ear Infirmary building once stood. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The downsizing and relocation of Mount Sinai Beth Israel took a step forward last week when the hospital filed an application to begin construction at its new site on East 13th Street, east of Second Avenue.

According to the filing, the new structure, with the address 315 East 13th Street, will be seven stories plus a cellar and a mechanical penthouse. As of this week, construction workers could be found at the site, now a vacant lot, next to Mount Sinai’s New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Workers were also doing renovations to the infirmary’s basement.

The filing was first reported by YIMBY, who noted that the lot, formerly a 14-story building that housed doctors and staff of the NYEE Infirmary, was demolished last August. The application was filed last Tuesday by the architect Jeffrey Brand of Perkins Eastman.

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Police Watch: Girls arrested at Good Shepherd, Man accused of groping Barnes and Noble employee

GIRLS ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT OF COP AND EMPLOYEE AT GOOD SHEPHERD
Police arrested a teenage girl for an alleged assault inside Good Shepherd Services, a residence for girls, at 337 East 17th Street on Tuesday, April 16 at 3:59 p.m. Police said that the girl bit a staff member at the group home on the forearm, causing swelling, marks and pain.

The victim told police that the girl also threw a big, hard object at his face, causing a broken nose, bleeding and swelling to his left eye. The teen was also charged with resisting arrest because she reportedly flailed her arms and legs to prevent officers from handcuffing her, resulting in four officers being injured.

Nineteen-year-old Shaniah Daniels was also arrested inside Good Shepherd while police were attempting to arrest the other teen. Police said that Daniels attempted to intervene in the initial arrest, allegedly punching one of the officers in the face.Daniels was charged with assault of a peace officer and an unclassified misdemeanor.

The name of the first teen is being withheld due to her young age.

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Do you recognize this woman?

Police are asking the community’s help in identifying a woman who has been admitted to Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 281 First Avenue.

The woman was found on the street disoriented by passersby, who then walked her over to the hospital on Thursday, April 18 at around 4 p.m.

She is described as white, about 55-65 years of age and 180 lbs. She was wearing all dark clothing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at Nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police Watch: Woman accused of ID theft, Man charged with obstructing EMT

WOMAN ACCUSED OF ID THEFT AT BANK
Police arrested 59-year-old Robin Hill for an alleged theft inside the TD Bank at 90 Fifth Avenue on Thursday, April 11 at 4:48 p.m. Police said that Hill entered the bank, claiming that she lost her debit card and was trying to get a replacement card. When she presented a New Jersey ID to the bank employee, the employee discovered that the card was allegedly a fake license with Hill’s photograph and someone else’s name. The employee notified the supervisor at the location and they were able to get in touch with the actual owner of the account, who said that she had not given any permission to Hill to access it. When Hill was searched, officers found a valid New York State driver’s license with her real personal information on it. Hill was charged with grand larceny, identity theft and forgery.

MAN CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTING EMT IN FRONT OF BETH ISRAEL
Police arrested 34-year-old Ricardo Gonzalez for allegedly preventing emergency workers from doing their job in front of Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 10 Union Square East on Saturday, April 13 at 9:49 a.m. Police said that Gonzalez walked in front of an ambulance, obstructing the workers from responding to an emergency call. Gonzalez also allegedly made threatening gestures and used threatening language to EMT personnel. Police said that Gonzalez attempted to punch one of the workers and refused to disperse from the location, causing alarm and annoyance. Gonzalez was charged with an unclassified misdemeanor and disorderly conduct.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR ROBBERY
Police arrested two teenagers for a robbery in front of 495 Second Avenue on Sunday, April 14 at 10:47 a.m. Police said that the two teens punched the victim in the face before forcibly removing cash from him. One of the teens allegedly ran when officers attempted to handcuff them and he resisted arrest. The teens were charged with robbery and possession of stolen property. The names of the teens are being withheld due to their young age.

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Downsized Beth Israel may get even smaller

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Corporate Director of Community Affairs Brad Korn and Mount Sinai Senior Director for Community and Government Brad Beckstrom discuss the new facility at Tuesday’s Community Board 6 meeting. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The new Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital planned for East 13th Street may be shorter than initially planned due to newly-discovered unused space at the adjacent New York Eye and Ear facility, representatives announced at a sparsely-attended Community Board 6 meeting this Tuesday.

“We discovered that there was more property available inside the New York Eye and Ear building, which allowed us to reconfigure what we’re going to do with the new building on 13th Street,” said Brad Korn, corporate director of community affairs for Mount Sinai Beth Israel. “We’re not changing any of the programs or promises we made on beds or anything like that, but it just makes it a little easier and will be a little less intrusive in the new build-up.”

Korn said at the meeting that the new space delayed the hospital from submitting a certificate of need, which was expected to be approved by the end of last year and will now likely be submitted by the middle of this year.

“(The new plan) will connect to the New York Eye and Ear building so it will become an integrated hospital,” said Brad Beckstrom, senior director for community and government for Mount Sinai.

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Police Watch: Man charged with newsstand robbery, Bouncer accused of assault

MAN CHARGED WITH UNION SQUARE SUBWAY NEWSSTAND ROBBERY
Police arrested 27-year-old Nicholas Labasta for an alleged robbery that took place inside the Union Square subway station on Tuesday, February 12 at 4 a.m. The victim told police that he was working behind the counter at the newsstand inside the station when Labasta allegedly reached over the counter into the open cash register. The victim said that he attempted to stop Labasta from taking the cash, and Labasta allegedly punched the victim in the face. Police said that he then grabbed cash in singles and fled the station. The victim later identified Labasta outside and police stopped him in front of 841 Broadway, where they recovered the cash in singles in his pocket. Labasta was also charged with grand larceny and petit larceny.

BOUNCER AT BOUNCE ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
Police arrested 35-year-old Modesto Morales for an alleged assault in front of Bounce nightclub at 55 West 21st Street on Saturday, February 16 at 2:56 a.m. The victim told police that Morales, who is a bouncer at the club, punched him in the mouth unprovoked, causing swelling and bleeding.

MAN ACCUSED OF SNATCHING PHONE
Police arrested 32-year-old Alexandre Teixeira for an alleged theft at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street on Friday, February 15 at 4:41 p.m. Police heard the victim shouting, “Police, help, he took my phone!” while running after Teixeira. Police said when they caught up with Teixeira and he was arrested, he had the victim’s phone. Teixeira was charged with grand larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.

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Police Watch: Driver allegedly fled scene of accident, Man charged with office burglary

DRIVER ALLEGEDLY FLED SCENE OF ACCIDENT
Police arrested 33-year-old Raechard White for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident. The victim told police that he was driving east on East 23rd Street with a green light when another vehicle driving north on Park Avenue South went through the red light, striking his vehicle. The victim said that the driver of the vehicle that hit him got out of the car and ran into the subway.

Police were unable to find him at the time, but White had allegedly left a wallet in the vehicle with his name on it and he was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, January 15 at 9 a.m. White was also charged with being an unlicensed operator. Police said that the victim suffered injuries to his ribs and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

MAN CHARGED WITH OFFICE BURGLARY
Police arrested 20-year-old Jose Gutierrez for alleged burglaries inside 55 West 21st Street last summer. Police said that Gutierrez could be seen on video surveillance after hours while the office was closed for business and was allegedly stealing equipment. Police said that Gutierrez was inside the office on July 18, 2018, and another date later in the month.

Gutierrez was charged with burglary inside the 13th Precinct on Monday, January 14.

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MSBI behavioral services building will soon be vacant

Mount Sinai Beth Israel on First Avenue, west of the Bernstein Pavilion (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mount Sinai will be moving its behavioral health services from the Beth Israel Bernstein Pavilion facility west of First Avenue in Stuyvesant Square to a new space on Rivington Street as part of the hospital system’s downsizing plan.

Mount Sinai has signed a letter of intent to lease 45 Rivington Street and create a mental health facility that will include the services now housed at the Bernstein Pavilion and other facilities in the downtown area, leaving the building on Nathan D. Perlman Place across from Stuyvesant Square Park vacant. Mount Sinai is not yet discussing plans for the building once it’s empty.

The move will include the addition of new services at the Rivington location, such as intensive crisis and respite beds, primary care and ambulatory detoxification, to create a “one-stop” location for mental health, addictions, physical health and social service needs.

Although MSBI had intended to renovate the Bernstein Pavilion, the facility is more than 60 years old and that plan was ultimately not feasible, the hospital said.

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THANK YOU: Nearly 250 toys donated to Town & Village holiday drive

Dr. Bonnie Robbins of Mount Sinai Beth Israel says this drive has become more crucial to the families the hospital serves. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Readers of Town & Village have once again made the holidays a little brighter for children stuck in hospital rooms as well as the families utilizing the outpatient clinics run by Mount Sinai Beth Israel by donating nearly 250 toys to this newspaper’s annual drive.

Gifts for kids of all ages were donated this year including instruments, jewelry making kits, board games, action figures and fashion dolls.

Town & Village’s partners on this longstanding community tradition are Stuy Town Property Services, the management of Waterside Plaza and M&T Bank on First Avenue and 23rd Street, who all provided convenient toy dropoff sites.

Bonnie Robbins, PhD, coordinator of children and family services at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, has said in recent years it has been more challenging to get enough toys to meet the needs of patients. This has been, she suspects, in part due to the economy but also competition from other drives for donations from individuals and toy retailers.

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Town & Village holding toy drive to benefit Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Gifts donated to Mount Sinai Beth Israel in 2016 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Town & Village is holding a toy drive to help make the holidays brighter for children undergoing medical treatment during the holiday season as well as the children of families in outpatient programs run by Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

Gifts will be accepted for children of all ages as long as they are new. Items for older boys are especially in high demand. No toy weapons, please.

Partnering with Town & Village on this effort is:

Stuyvesant Town Property Services, accepting toys in bins located at Resident Services, 276 First Avenue on the First Avenue Loop Road and the Peter Cooper Village kiosk at 22nd Street and First Avenue

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