Man slashed on Fifth Avenue

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 19-year-old man was slashed in front of Café 28 at 245 Fifth Avenue last Saturday night at 11 p.m. after breaking up a fight between his uncle and another man on the street.

The victim told police that he went inside the deli to use the restroom and when he went back outside, he found that his uncle had gotten into a fight with someone on the sidewalk. When he attempted to break up the struggle, the man who was fighting with his uncle slashed him in the face and back.

The victim went to the NYU Langone Medical Center by taxi, where he received multiple stitches. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

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Fire at NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

A fire broke out at the NYU Langone Medical Center on Wednesday at around noon, on a construction site at the facility.

A spokesperson for the hospital said it was not a patient area and no patients were injured in the fire, which was extinguished by 1 p.m.

The fire started on the seventh floor rooftop where a new hospital building, scheduled to open in 2018, is under construction.

According to spokesperson Lisa Grenier, the fire was confined to this area. However, as a precaution, some patients in rooms on the north side of Tisch Hospital facing the construction were moved to the south side of the floor.

“They have since been located back to their rooms,” Grenier said. “Currently we are investigating cause and the extent of damage.”

An emailed alert from the city said area residents should expect smoke, traffic delays due to the presence of emergency responders. Neighbors were advised to close their windows and not linger outside.

The hospital is located at First Avenue and East 30th Street.

Union pickets at NYU Langone Medical Center

Caregivers picketing last week (Photo courtesy of 1199 SIEU)

Caregivers picketing last week (Photo courtesy of 1199SEIU)

This story has been updated.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Unionized healthcare workers represented by 1199SEIU at NYU Langone last Wednesday formed a picket line, telling passersby about the medical center pulling out of the League of Voluntary Hospitals. The League acts as a bargaining agent for negotiations with various unions, including 1199.

Healthcare workers claim that the action is an attempt by NYU to cut benefits and that the hospital will eventually cut payments to the 1199 Health and Benefits Fund.

“NYU has put on the table that they want us to pay for our dependent healthcare,” pharmacy technician Jasmine Jeffrey said. “Being that I have five dependents, I won’t be able to pay for that healthcare, so I have to fight for that. I can’t let it go.”

The union insisted that the picket wasn’t a strike but was an “informational” picket to raise awareness about NYU’s attempts to change health benefits for workers.

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NYU Langone expanding to 41st St.

NYU Langone will occupy all of 222 East 41st Street in addition to its current First Avenue facility. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Property Trust)

NYU Langone will occupy all of 222 East 41st Street in addition to its current First Avenue facility. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Property Trust)

By Sabina Mollot

NYU Langone Medical Center will be expanding its presence on the East Side, having just inked a 30-year lease with landlord Columbia Property Trust, Inc. for an additional building.

The owner, in an announcement last Thursday, said the hospital will be occupying the entire building, a 25-story office tower at 222 East 41st Street. NYU Langone is expected to move in around the end of the year, after another Columbia’s lease with law firm Jones Day at the property expired last October. The owner didn’t say what the rent would be.

NYU Langone will be converting the building into a combination of medical offices, ambulatory care facilities and other ancillary uses. The lobby has already been upgraded and Columbia Property Trust said the hospital will also benefit from other amenities at the building, which was built in 2001 and acquired by Columbia in 2007.

Services currently planned for the building are ophthalmology, plastic surgery, neurology, urology, dermatology, orthopedics and radiology as well as other physician practice offices. However, hospital spokesperson DJ Haffeman said there still might be changes.

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Kid on bike hits woman on PCV path

By Sabina Mollot

While normally the sight of speeding bikes in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper is blamed on deliverymen from nearby restaurants, recently it was an eight-year-old child whose speeding resulted in an accident that left one woman in a cast.

The woman, a resident of Stuyvesant Town, said it was on July 13 at around 6 p.m. when she was walking her dog along a path in Peter Cooper near 541 East 20th Street and was knocked down from behind when a child on a bike crashed directly into her. Instinctively, she put out her arms to protect her head and ended up landing on them, fracturing her left wrist. Then, adding insult to injury, she said, was that the boy’s father berated her for being there. The woman, who asked that her name not be published, added that soon after she was hit, Public Safety officers were at the scene and when she gave her name and address to them, the boy’s father, a resident of PCV, asked what she was doing there.

“He said, in front of me, ‘You don’t belong here; you live in Stuyvesant Town,’” she said. She added that he initially resisted giving his own information to the officer, but ultimately admitted that when the accident occurred he was distracted by something on his phone. Meanwhile, the boy, she noticed was frozen in shock.

Fortunately, another man who lives nearby and saw her was friendlier, helping her into a cab so she could get treatment at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The woman, a longtime resident, said she contacted T&V for a couple of reasons. First, she said, she wants parents to make sure their kids’ bikes have bells or horns, and she also wants to make sure parents whose kids are learning to ride bikes actually do supervise them.

“If I was an older person, or a more frail person, I could have died,” she said. “This is a busy community.”

Transformer fire prompts evacuation at NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

By Sabina Mollot

A transformer fire broke out at NYU Langone Medical Center Thursday afternoon, leading to partial evacuation of the facility.

No one was injured, and the FDNY and Con Ed have both responded to the scene.

A spokesperson for the Fire Department said the call came in at 3:43 p.m. but he did not know what the cause of the transformer fire was. A spokesperson for the hospital, at First Avenue and 30th Street, said she didn’t know either, but issued the following statement:

A smoke situation has occurred due to a transformer fire in a non-patient area at NYU Langone. Out of caution a non-patient facility was evacuated, and no injuries have been reported. FDNY is on site and the situation is under control – there is no danger to patients or NYU Langone faculty and staff.”

A spokesperson for Con Ed said at 5:30 p.m. that a team had just been dispatched to the hospital a half hour earlier, and that as far as he knew, there was no power disruption. He also said the utility still wasn’t sure if the incident involved any Con Ed equipment.

Aug6 NYU Langone

NYU Langone doctor: Flu is still bigger threat than Enterovirus D68

Michael Phillips, MD, director of infection control and prevention at NYU Langone

Michael Phillips, MD, director of infection control and prevention at NYU Langone

By Sabina Mollot

Amidst the spreading of a serious respiratory illness in 18 states so far, including New York, last week, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer urged the Center for Disease Control to provide more resources to local hospitals in the face of Enterovirus D68 as well as resources to help spread awareness about it.

Twelve children have contracted the virus in New York State so far, including one resident of New York City. There have been a total of 153 confirmed cases of the virus in 18 states between August and September 18 and the virus is suspected of causing the death of a New Jersey pre-schooler. Part of the problem, Schumer noted is that at first, the virus may appear to be a cold which can then lead to more serious symptoms that can lead to hospitalization.

However, this week, the director of infection control and prevention at NYU Langone, Michael Phillips, MD, said that while New Yorkers should always be vigilant about any threat to their health, statistically, catching the flu is still a far bigger risk than D68.

“What captures people’s attention is when there’s a new, novel infection out there, people wonder, ‘Am I and my loved ones at risk?’,” he said.

Phillips added that while conditions like D68 and even ebola are currently a cause for concern for healthcare practitioners, for the community, the hospital’s main goal is prevention the spread of the flu.

“I think the flu for sure is a constant and has a devastating toll in the community,” he said. “We have vaccines and they’re underutilized. We had an unpredictable season last year and one of the things you can say about the flu each year is that it’s unpredictable.”

Last year, what was unusual in flu patterns was that people were coming down with it late in the season, even April, as much as they were around the holidays. Then, there was an outbreak of measles in the spring, and, noted Phillips, there’s always a risk of transmission when people aren’t getting immunized.

While some people are wary of getting the flu shot, Phillips is a staunch believer in its effectiveness.

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NYU Langone gets $1.1B for Sandy repairs

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced $1.13 billion in FEMA funding for Sandy repair work and mitigation projects at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The $1.13 billion is the total project cost, 90 percent of which will be covered by the federal government. Of that, $540 million is for permanent repairs and restoration for damaged elements of a variety of NYU Langone buildings, and $589 million will go towards mitigation work to protect against future storms. This is the second-largest Project Worksheet in FEMA’s history.

The funds are in addition to $150 million in emergency federal Sandy aid the hospital received in January of 2013.

Like nearby hospitals Bellevue and the V.A. Manhattan campus, NYU Langone saw extensive flood damage as a result of Sandy and had to temporarily close.

Schumer said the money was awarded through a new process built into the Sandy aid bill that’s aimed at cutting federal red tape to get financial help where it’s needed most.

“This is a large amount of money, but the damage was enormous,” he said in a written statement. “When I witnessed this first-hand a few days after Sandy, I was shocked. I am pleased to see this desperately needed reimbursement to repair and rebuild in a resilient way.”

Repair work covers $540 million at the main campus for damage to the systems that operate building management, electrical and plumbing, fire alarms and fire protection, security, IT systems, telephony, as well as elevate and architectural damage. The hazard mitigation projects cover $589 million at the main campus at 550 First Avenue and its Center for Biomedical Imagining at 660 First Avenue. This includes installing exterior flood doors/barriers/egress, reinforcing walls, reinforcing slabs, filing in area ways, sealing exterior penetrations, elevating elevator program and service equipment, installing internal flood doors, sealing interior penetrations, installing check valves/backflow preventers and installing pumps and sump pumps.

The funding will include repairs at the Smilow Research Center, Schwartz Care center, Medical Science Building, Skirball Institute, Tisch Hospital, Alumni Hall, Rusk Institute, Perelman Building, Schwartz Hall and Coles Student Laboratories.

In a prepared statement, Robert I. Grossman, Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center, praised Schumer for securing the FEMA funds. “We are grateful to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer for his unwavering support in achieving this extraordinary federal grant from FEMA, and are also appreciative of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership throughout our recovery from Superstorm Sandy,” Grossman said.

Lhota now chief of staff at NYU Langone

Joe Lhota at a mayoral forum held last year (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Joe Lhota at a mayoral forum held last year (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

It doesn’t quite have the ring to it that “Mayor Lhota” would have, but the former Republican mayoral contender now has a new job with multiple impressive titles. As of January 6, the former head of the MTA will become chief of staff, senior vice president and vice dean at NYU Langone Medical Center.

In his new role, Joe Lhota will be responsible for “helping to further align and integrate our hospitals and the School of Medicine,” the hospital said in an internal memo. The news was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Lhota’s replacing Tony Shorris, who left NYU Langone on December 31 to serve as first deputy mayor under Mayor de Blasio.

He’ll be reporting directly to Robert I. Grossman, the hospital’s CEO, and will serve as an advisor on management and policy issues as well as an ambassador to government and other officials.

“I am excited to join the talented leadership team at NYU Langone,” Lhota said in a statement through the hospital. “A true visionary, Dr. Grossman has bold plans for the organization, and I am look forward to taking part in what lies ahead for this great organization.”

In the memo, Grossman noted Lhota’s 35 years of managerial experience from the MTA to his working for the Giuliani administration as deputy mayor for operations. Then there’s the corporate resume: Lhota also served as executive vice president of administration for the Madison Square Garden Company and held several executive positions with Cablevision.

“Joe’s unique blend of corporate management and public sector leadership, in addition to his accomplishments as an executive in complex organizations, will make him a great asset to our team and important to our ongoing success,” said Grossman.

Hoylman: Add ST/PCV, hospitals to Sandy restoration area

14th Street between Avenues B and C (Photographer unknown)

14th Street between Avenues B and C during Sandy (Photographer unknown)

By Sabina Mollot

State Senator Brad Hoylman, along with other East Side elected officials, has been petitioning the state’s new storm recovery program, which has been focusing its efforts on restoring and protecting Lower Manhattan from future Sandy-like disasters, to include areas further north — in particular Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village, Waterside Plaza and the hospitals along Bedpan Alley.

Through the program, New York Rising, which was launched by Governor Cuomo, Lower Manhattan was awarded $25 million to implement community-input-driven strategies to rebuild downtown and strengthen the area against future extreme weather.

However, as Hoylman noted in testimony he gave to the Lower Manhattan Community Planning Committee on October 30, areas as far north as the mid-30s on the East Side and the high 20s on the West Side also saw serious damage as a result of the superstorm. Just a few examples include the flooding and months-long shutdowns at hospitals including NYU Langone, Bellevue and the VA Medical Center, loss of numerous services for months in 15 buildings in Peter Cooper Village and two in Stuyvesant Town, as well as the destruction of the management office there, and on the West Side, the flooding of half a dozen residential buildings that required evacuations, including one Chelsea building housing 50 people with HIV/AIDS.

In mid-October, the planning committee for NY Rising agreed to extend the borders of its catchment area from Canal Street west of Essex Street up to Delancey Street east of Essex up to all of Manhattan south of 14th Street, so Hoylman said he hoped the committee would also consider expanding the area further north to include Bedpan Alley.

The ongoing effort by NY Rising is “laudable,” said Hoylman, “but it excludes major swaths of Manhattan

The East River flows west under the FDR Drive last October 29. (Photographer unknown)

The East River flows west under the FDR Drive last October 29. (Photographer unknown)

that were damaged by Sandy including Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, and especially the hospitals, which serve the whole city. I think our community above 14th Street is a natural fit for this conversation.”

Hoylman’s senatorial district includes ST/PCV, Waterside, Chelsea and Greenwich Village, areas that saw some of Manhattan’s heaviest damage last October.

Especially important in planning for the future of those areas, noted Hoylman, is the protection of the elderly population.

“The seniors in Peter Cooper and Stuy Town were essentially cut off from civilization,” he said.

Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Vasquez, Assembly Members Brian Kavanagh and Richard Gottfried, State Senator Liz Krueger and Council Members Dan Garodnick, Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez have also been in support of the area north of 14th Street’s inclusion in the planning and on October 22, all signed onto a letter, as did Hoylman, that was sent to Seth Diamond, the director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. At this time, Hoylman said they’ve yet to receive a response.