Lawmakers Tackle Medical Center Funding Bill | Guam News

Guam Economic Development Authority administrator Melanie Mendiola compared the repossession of the island’s only public hospital to a war, although this is unlikely, as she answered questions from members of the the Legislative Assembly of Guam on what might happen if the government were unable to make payments as part of a measure to fund a “21st century” health center.

Mendiola said payment plans would usually be made if there were any difficulties paying before legal action took place. And while there would likely be a contractual clause placing a lien on a new hospital facility if payment was not made, that is unlikely to happen, she said.

“A worst-case scenario like this, to me, equates to a world war – a war-type situation,” Mendiola said, stumbling briefly when answering questions from Senator Sabina Perez. “Critical infrastructure is critical infrastructure, period. … Yes, there are difficulties, and the difficulties are usually dealt with.

Thursday marked the second day that lawmakers discussed Bill 121-36, which proposes a funding plan for the construction of new facilities for the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, the Department of Public Health and Human Services and Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center through a lease / sale-leaseback arrangement.

The measure was initially discussed in the legislative session in July, but was referred to committee after tabling numerous amendments. Following another public hearing later in the month, Bill 121 is now part of the measures discussed in this session.

The total cost of building the health care facilities was initially estimated at around $ 1 billion, with a new hospital at around $ 800 million, including a 10% cost increase.

To fund rent payments under the lease and sale-leaseback, Bill 121 proposes to pledge $ 35 million of the early repayment of the earned income tax credit in fiscal year 2022, 35 millions of dollars from the General Fund thereafter, federal funds and other funding options.

The 2022 Fiscal Finance Act also created a fund to set aside $ 35 million in EITC reimbursements for the 21st century healthcare facility.

Can ARP money be used?

Lawmakers voiced several concerns and inquiries during their discussion of the measure with Guam government finance officials. The expression “put the cart before the horse” was sometimes used.

It is not yet clear how the EITC funding will flow to Guam, and no license with the Department of Defense has been finalized for the use of Eagles Field, a federal property that is expected to be the site of the center. health. Mendiola said on Thursday the license would come in October. The Defense Ministry vowed to clean up the site before the transfer, she added later.

Additionally, Administration Department director Edward Birn said on Wednesday that local authorities were still awaiting confirmation that $ 300 million in US bailout funding could be used to help fund the health center, as the governor wishes.

The question was posed to the US Treasury Department during the governor’s visit to Washington, DC in August. Treasury officials said they would review and respond to it, according to Birn.

“And we followed him. The Treasury, to give them their due, has a lot of questions after them. And it’s a question they said no one else asked. so am not surprised that we don’t have an answer yet, ”Birn said on Wednesday. “There may be a follow-up in early November.”

Guam is also awaiting a response to a request for funding to participate in a charrette with the Army Corps of Engineers to design the new health care center. However, Mendiola said on Wednesday that the charrette can run concurrently with preliminary work and studies, and Bill 121 can be passed while the charrette is underway.

A cart is a meeting where all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

Senator Frank Blas Jr. said Thursday that the problem isn’t that lawmakers don’t want to build a new hospital.

“It’s, ‘are we ready to be able to do this?’ And that’s the concern I have, ”Blas said.

When Senator Clynton Ridgell asked what the consequences would be if the bill was not passed now, GMHA administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas said costs would not come down any longer officials would wait.

“The costs will continue to rise. And so the end game is that it is an investment… it will really improve the health services on the island and it can become a regional facility,” Perez-Posadas said, adding that the new health center will also open up research opportunities.

She said maybe the first phase of construction could be the public health lab, then the hospital, then other facilities.

Responding to the same question, Mendiola said that every legislature, as far back as she can remember, has talked about building a new hospital.

“It would be great if it could be done today. Earlier I mentioned the market conditions, now is a good time to come out in the market. But other than that, there is funding from governor’s commitment but he can’t three hundred million (dollars) aren’t going to build a new hospital at the end of the day, “Mendiola said.” So we have that access to that money today. very reliable access to that money. think that dealing with this today is something you can use to leverage your grant applications. ”

Committing local money will give a stronger foundation when seeking federal funds for more help, and Mendiola said this was the main reason to pass the bill today rather than “giving a kick in the box “.

Concluding his thoughts, Ridgell said he believed finding a funding mechanism was “the horse that will pull the cart all the way.”

Lawmakers put the bill on the reading book with the recommendation of Committee of the Whole.

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Midland mother grateful for heart care from local medical center

Lindsey Read-Smith, a lawyer and small business owner in Shepherd, had a smooth pregnancy and delivery with her first child, so she had no reason to expect the second to be any different. Immediately after the birth of a healthy daughter; however, she felt anxious when she tried to lie down and could not sleep; she knew something was wrong.

After an emergency CT scan, Read-Smith was diagnosed with systolic heart failure, which occurs when the heart’s left ventricle cannot fully contract. The next day, she had a heart attack in the hospital.

Thanks to the prompt action of the staff at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland and the subsequent care she received at the MidMichigan Heart Failure Clinic, Read-Smith is once again able to do whatever she wants for her. – even and her children.

Looking back, Read-Smith can now identify the signs of a heart problem she had wrongly attributed to her pregnancy.

“I felt very tired and sometimes had dizziness,” she said. “I even started losing weight as I approached my due date. I also had gestational diabetes, so I just didn’t think about my heart.

Read-Smith’s analysis showed that his left ventricle was dangerously enlarged and was only functioning at 22%. Cardiologist and heart failure specialist Jeffrey Martindale has announced that she is suffering from heart failure.

“It was the worst news of my life,” she recalls. “I felt a deep sense of unhappiness thinking that my children would grow up without a mother. But Dr Martindale didn’t let me stay in that headspace for too long. He told me I was fine and I trusted him. He didn’t let me down.

The heart attack precipitated a thrombectomy to remove the clots and help restore blood flow to and through her heart. Nurses did all they could to keep Read-Smith close to his daughter during these critical first days while keeping them safe.

“My nurse went with me from maternity to progressive care,” she said. “It meant a lot.” Read-Smith’s mother took an active role with the baby so that she could heal and rest without sacrificing bonding time. “My mom was, and is, amazing.”

Read-Smith came out with a Life Vest defibrillator to help protect against recurring short-term issues and was back to work in six weeks. Six months later, a defibrillator was implanted by the electrophysiologist Opesanmi Esan, along with prescribed visits to the heart failure clinic to manage his condition. Read-Smith continued to visit Dr Martindale in the clinic for medical treatment as directed and ongoing monitoring. Today, his left ventricular ejection fraction, which measures how efficiently the heart pumps blood, has dropped from 22% to 45%.

“I cannot say enough about the care I have received and continue to receive,” she said. “My obstetrician, Dr Sandeep Rao, Dr Martindale, the nurses in the OB and the surgical intensive care unit – were all phenomenal. Today I can meet suppliers in person or virtually, so it’s easy to stay on top of things. I never feel rushed; they answer all my questions. I feel connected.

Read-Smith continues to monitor his blood pressure and has spent six months in the clinic. She follows a vegetarian diet and stays active by hiking, snowshoeing and shopping with friends. She works hard in the office and in business and feels good. She is also able to follow her children.

“You know, I walked past other facilities on my way to MidMichigan in Midland,” she said. “I don’t intend to change this.”

For more information on MidMichigan Health’s Heart Failure Clinic, visit To learn more about Martindale, visit

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Group protests COVID vaccine warrants at Spartanburg Medical Center

Dozens of residents and citizen groups gathered outside Spartanburg Medical Center on Friday afternoon to protest vaccination warrants and support letting doctors choose how to treat their COVID-19 patients.

Motorists drove past protesters on Wood Street, many honking their horns in support.

The “Medical Freedom Walk-Out” was promoted on social media and sponsored by the Spartanburg Christian Action Network, the Spartanburg Medical Freedom Committee, and Spartanburg Political Watch.

Cheryl Tillotson of the Spartanburg Christian Action Network said she worked for 30 years at the hospital pharmacy before retiring there in 2010.

She said doctors couldn’t treat patients with drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

So far, only one antiviral drug, remdesivir, has been approved to treat COVID-19. But it is given intravenously to patients sick enough to be hospitalized and is not intended for early and widespread use, USA Today reported.

A crowd gathered at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center to protest against vaccination warrants at Spartanburg Hospital on Friday afternoon, October 1, 2021.

Health authorities have warned against the use of ivermectin for unapproved use as a medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. Ivermectin is not an antiviral drug, but it is among the drugs suggested during the pandemic to help treat COVID-19.

Likewise, some have touted hydroxychloroquine, a drug approved for malaria, as a way to treat COVID-19 patients. But the Food and Drug Administration said it had not reviewed the data to support the drug’s use to prevent COVID-19, although initial research is ongoing, USA Today reported.

“I believe in medical freedom,” Tillotson said. “Spartanburg Regional cuts drugs.”

Vaccination mandates

The Biden administration announced on September 10 that it is requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as federal employees and those who work for companies with more than 100 employees.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said workers at health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding must also be vaccinated.

The Spartanburg Regional Health System said doctors had received pharmaceutical guidelines, which are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health protocols for treating COVID-19.

Following:Spartanburg and Upstate Regional Hospitals Plan to Meet Immunization Requirements

Opposition to the vaccine

A crowd gathered at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center to protest against vaccination warrants at Spartanburg Hospital on Friday, October 1.

The three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States are safe and effective in preventing severe cases of COVID-19, according to public health officials and peer-reviewed studies, USA Today reported. As more Americans have received the vaccines, new cases of COVID-19 have declined.

In August, the The FDA has given full approval; Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Jennifer Callaway, director of nursing at the Charles Lea Center in Spartanburg, said she was concerned about losing her job and what would happen if a warrant was put in place.

A crowd gathered at Spartanburg Medical Center to protest against vaccination warrants at Spartanburg Hospital on Friday, October 1, 2021. Protesters, including Jennifer Callaway, RN, line the street outside the hospital.

“At this point, for those of us who aren’t vaccinated, we’re testing twice a week,” Callaway said. “We also wear a face shield in addition to the face mask. People who have been vaccinated are only required to wear a mask, so that really sets us apart and targets us in a certain way.”

“Defend the employees”

Dr Robert Jackson, a family physician who recently testified before the Senate SC Medical Affairs Subcommittee discussing COVID-19 treatment options, also attended the rally.

“We are here today for two reasons,” Jackson said. “Number one because these people are supporting the employees here who don’t want a mandatory vaccine. We are here to defend the employees. The hospital has posted on its website that it is considering making the vaccine mandatory.

A crowd gathered at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center to protest against vaccination warrants at Spartanburg Hospital on Friday, October 1.  Dr Robert E. Jackson says he thinks doctors should be able to treat patients with ivermectin.

“Second thing, we defend the doctor-patient relationship. There are doctors here who would be happy to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, but they are afraid to do so because the hospital protocol does not allow it. , insurance companies, large pharma should not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. “

CDC research shows COVID-19 immunity from vaccines may wane over time as the highly contagious delta variant increases across the country, USA Today recently reported. CDC officials say the outbreak is mainly due to those not taking the vaccine.

Retired nurse Judy Cantrell has said she wants doctors not to have restrictions on what drugs they can use to treat patients.

Tillotson said the protest was unrelated to a rally for medical freedom at Prisma Hospital in Greenville in August.

Editor-in-Chief Bob Montgomery contributed to this story

Ashley Dill is from Spartanburg and has been on the staff of the Herald-Journal for 14 years. She covers community news and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ashleydill_shj.

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Wexner Medical Center offers $ 1,000 bonuses to its employees

Any eligible employee will receive the bonus in November.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As a thank you for their hard work serving patients during the pandemic, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is offering bonuses of $ 1,000 to its employees.

Bonuses will go to more than 15,000 employees, equivalent to more than $ 15 million.

“None of the vital care we provide at Ohio State happens without our great staff and commitment to serving our patients and our community. We recognize that the pandemic has left many of our clinicians and support staff exhausted, frustrated and anxious. Yet in these difficult times, our colleagues continually embody the best of what it means to be a Buckeye, and it is our privilege to work with this team every day, ”said Clinical Director Dr. Andrew Thomas.

The bonuses will go to anyone who has worked at the medical center since April 2021, excluding managerial positions, professors, doctors, temporary employees and students.

“The past 18 months have been extremely difficult – for the organization and the dedicated staff who have shown grace and strength every day. We sincerely thank you for being such excellent team members, care providers, researchers and educators, ”said CFO Mark Larmore.

Anyone who qualifies will receive the bonus in November.

Local news: recent coverage ⬇️

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Ocean Medical Center is undergoing some changes: what it means

Ocean Medical Center in The Brick is now Ocean University Medical Center – Ocean County’s first teaching hospital, Hackensack Meridian Health announced on Friday.

There will still be the same quality of care, but with a few changes that will help everyone get in and out of Ocean University Medical Center.

Listen to Vin Ebenau’s Mornings on Townsquare Media Jersey Shore radio stations, email him advice here, and download our free app.

It brings a university teaching environment to the hospital and helps to raise the level of quality of care.

Jason Kreitner, MHA, FACHE, hospital president and CEO, Ocean University Medical Center, said this has been going on for a few years.

“It was a vision, really from the team, to really embrace academics, so the decision was made to invest heavily in setting up our own medical residency programs here at Ocean Medical Center,” Kreitner told Townsquare Media News. “I’m really happy to say that we are now in the fourth year of what is called building our cap in terms of the number of residents and programs here at Ocean. As of today, we have 90 resident physicians here and 4 programs. medical and 1 pharmacy program. “

These 90 resident physicians cover a wide range of specialties ranging from family medicine to internal medicine and psychiatry and a transition year program, says Kreitner, which is aimed at “residents who are completing their medical studies, their doctorates. and who do not yet know what they want to specialize. “

The hospital’s new academic status could also lead to more residents, doctors and staff working at the hospital, which is needed here and in all areas.

“In June, the Association of Medical Colleges predicted an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034 – that’s in terms of the shortage across the country,” Kreitner said. “You take a look at the Ocean County area, we see a lot of primary care and internal medicine physicians who are going to retire. Developing these specific programs – particularly internal medicine and family medicine – sort of …. looking at future needs, to care for our residents locally in Ocean County and South Monmouth, we let’s develop programs to support that. “

There will be some changes, short and long term, here in Ocean County and for residents of southern Monmouth County and beyond, as well as for the Ocean University Medical Center in The Brick.

“You also see another level of resources for patients. Certainly our doctors, as they move through their residency programs, are able to order tests, explain things, do patient consultations – they just have more resources there. too, “Kreitner said.” One of the things I’ve always found in an academic medical center – a patient, I think, is very knowledgeable, because when a doctor actually talks with a patient, he really becomes very specific to explain to residents – – for example, how you have pneumonia and try to review the disease process. There is so much more to having a resident there in front of the patient and a family member. “

First responders appreciation

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Ocean Medical Center adds “University” to its name

The new hospital name now appears on the front panel. (Photo courtesy of Hackensack Meridian Health)

BRICK – Longtime locals might still call it “Brick Hospital,” although it was Ocean Medical Center for a while. Now it will be known as Ocean University Medical Center.

The change went into effect on October 1 and with the new name comes a new logo. Hackensack Meridian Health Hospital President and CEO Jason Kreitner said Jersey Shore “It is indeed a proud moment in the history of Ocean Medical Center which has undergone several name changes over the years.”

Kreitner explained the process of becoming a teaching hospital. “It really started six or seven years ago and Ocean was looking at what was going on across the country and really getting involved with academics. Ocean Medical Center has grown considerably over the past decade. We thought the time was right and we were perfect to embark on a college education with our medical students, residents and examine the needs of our patients.

He added, “We ended up taking this journey and applying for programs to get the best medical students and it was really phenomenal. We are in our fourth year of training our own residents through the Ocean Medical Center Academic Program.

Residents are physicians who graduated from a medical school with training in various types of medicine and now focus more on specialist knowledge and experience in specific disciplines.

Kreitner said the move made the hospital an “educational organization.” As for the areas in which the residents will specialize, he added that the decision was based on a community needs assessment.

“Among those needs, there was a greater emphasis on mental health. “The world is facing the challenges of psychiatry for mental health and we have 28 psychiatry residents who will rotate with our crisis unit and across the network. It’s really based on need, ”Kreitner added.

“We have 90 residents to date in five programs which are family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry and we have what is called a transition year, which is when a medical student is born. am not sure of his specialization. It is a unique program and we have 12 students who will rotate their time and spend time in the operating room (operating room), radiology and other areas so that they can get this idea of ​​a year of what they want to specialize in, ”Kreitner added.

All residency programs are led by nationally recognized leaders in their fields who are affiliated with Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, New Jersey’s only private medical school.

“The new name represents our dedicated efforts and commitment to quality and patient safety, combined with a vision for developing medical education programs that expose future physicians, nurses and clinicians to the latest innovations in medicine,” a- he declared.

Recent investments in facilities include a 36-bed medico-surgical surgical floor, a 44,300 square foot emergency department and a full cancer center.

With the completion of the $ 19.5 million Heart and Vascular Center, Ocean University Medical Center will become one of the nation’s most advanced interventional and vascular catheterization laboratories for cardiac and vascular diagnosis and treatment. .

Dr Kenneth N. Sable, regional president of the South Market of Hackensack Meridian Health, said the announcement “recognizes the exceptional growth of Ocean Medical Center as an advanced care hospital which has become a teaching hospital in itself. building on its medical capabilities, nursing training programs and clinics.

“We are very proud to honor the important contributions Ocean Medical Center makes in New Jersey to provide high quality, compassionate care and educate the next generation of physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals who will to advance the delivery of care to our communities, ”said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

He added, “Ocean Medical Center has a long standing reputation for providing high performance care, with excellent quality indicators for patients, and continues to expand its educational programs in clinical and professional specialties.”

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center cancels surgeries and other services due to lack of vaccines on staff

A staff shortage has restricted services at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, an unintended result of New York’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers in hospitals and nursing homes.

Since the requirement went into effect on Monday, the hospital has had to postpone radiology appointments and cancel elective Caesarean sections and inductions for pregnant patients, according to a spokesperson for the hospital, also known as name of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.

The medical center has also moved outpatient surgeries from its Bay Ridge campus to its main campus at Prospect Lefferts Gardens. SUNY Downstate encompasses a collection of schools for the health professions and Brooklyn University Hospital.

Unions representing SUNY Downstate employees say the hospital was experiencing staffing issues before the mandate and did not do enough to retain staff or fill vacancies during the pandemic. After the mandate came into effect on Monday, the hospital took 221 unvaccinated employees on leave, or about 5.5% of its roughly 3,980 employees.

That number represents about one in 18 staff and is fluid as many employees choose to get vaccinated at the last minute to keep their jobs, a hospital spokesperson said.

“We continue to work with unvaccinated staff to encourage them to get vaccinated,” the spokesperson added.

SUNY hospitals are state-run and last week Governor Kathy Hochul announced an increase in overtime pay at facilities before the mandate goes into effect. Some staff at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, Stony Brook University Hospital in Long Island, and Downstate will receive 2.5 times their regular salary for overtime until the end of 2021, rather than the typical rate hike of 1.5. Critics say such a move is not enough to remedy the decline in staff.

“You can’t get away with overtime,” said Wayne Spence, president of the Federation of Public Employees, which represents nurses at SUNY hospitals. He estimated that around 90 nurses were taken off duty. A spokesperson for SUNY Downstate disagreed with the number but did not offer a replacement.

“You can’t do that many triples [triple shifts] before fatigue sets in, ”Spence said. He added that more staff than usual are already working overtime at the hospital because employees have quit or retired in recent months.

A nurse who works at the hospital said staff have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially as Downstate was designated as a COVID-19-only facility between March and June 2020. They said the team had never received a risk premium during the worst times of the pandemic, a common practice in other hospitals. Their supervisor retired, and others left without being replaced, doing more work for those who stayed.

“People are so busy and trying to cover so many bases with not enough staff,” said the nurse, who asked that their name not be released for fear of reprisal.

Asked about efforts to retain staff, a spokesperson for SUNY Downstate noted that the state has approved wage increases for people working at Downstate due to the higher cost of living in New York City and that the hospital is in the process of implementing this change, as well as more overtime pay.

Spence said he had also heard of service cuts elsewhere in the SUNY hospital system. The Syracuse Northern State University Hospital postponed elective surgeries before Monday’s immunization deadline in anticipation of a staff shortage, a spokesperson said. It has closed more than half of its operating theaters, going from 35 to 13 in service.

“Medically necessary and urgent surgeries and intensive care trauma cases remain priorities,” added the spokesperson for Upstate University Hospital. He said 113 of his 6,600 people missed Monday’s vaccination deadline.

“The upstate continues to assess personnel and will make operational and service changes as needed and will return to full service as things improve,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, on Long Island, a representative from Stony Brook Teaching Hospital said it has so far had a 94.7% compliance rate and has suspended 133 unvaccinated employees.

“Stony Brook University Hospital has been open throughout the pandemic to serve the community and all services continue to operate as planned,” the spokesperson said.

A nurse manager at Stony Brook who asked not to be named said that in the units they oversee, the “vast majority of staff did the right thing” and got vaccinated, although the decision had an emotional impact on those who hesitated to do so. do it. They said they were given permission to speed up the hiring of permanent replacements for the handful of employees who have left and that the biggest hurdle is having more new employees who need to be trained.

During a COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday, Hochul said each hospital has its own emergency staffing plan that can be activated in the event of a shortage. “For some it means temporarily delaying some elective surgeries,” she said. “So, yes, I am aware that this is happening.” About 92% of hospital staff statewide complied with the warrant on Tuesday.

Governor Hochul said no hospitals had closed due to the resulting shortages and that a 24/7 operations center, run by the New State Department of Health York, monitors staffing trends.

“There are thousands of student nurses who could easily have been and still can be put in situations to supplement the help needed, as well as the people who have come forward to offer help,” Hochul said Thursday. .

To enable students, retirees and out-of-state professionals to practice medicine in New York City, the governor signed an executive decree on Monday who temporarily relaxed licensing and contracting rules during the staffing emergency.

“This has freed up more than 3,000 healthcare workers even in the upstate by removing the pre-authorization requirement for next month,” the governor said. “We do everything we can to make sure that we don’t run out of staff. “

Despite service cuts, fewer staff at Downstate were suspended during the tenure than expected. On Monday, hospital administrators told United University Professions (UUP), a union representing a range of clinical staff at SUNY hospitals, that around 175 members are expected to be disciplined and potentially fired over the course of their tenure, according to union president Fred Kowal. As of Wednesday, the number was only 75. It is not known whether any of those employees simply quit, Kowal said.

“We have no data to suggest an acceleration in retirements / resignations as a result of the tenure,” said the spokesperson for SUNY Downstate.

So far, many New York City hospitals say the fallout from the vaccination mandate has been manageable, with staff continuing to take advantage of the grace period given by their employers to get vaccinated and avoid losing their jobs. Some New York City hospitals say they have been able to cover the loss of any unvaccinated staff without disrupting patient care.

The number of unvaccinated staff at NYC Health + Hospitals rose from about 5,000 on Monday to just over 3,000 on Wednesday. About 500 of those taken off were nurses, but the public hospital system was able to recruit an equal number to fill the gap, said Dr Mitchell Katz, president of NYC Health + Hospitals. He said there would be no significant impact on hospital operations in general.

The Downstate nurse who said staff were overworked said she still supported the vaccine’s mandate.

“Some people have not been able to decide [whether to get vaccinated], and I think the warrant gave them a little kick in the butt to get out of the fence, ”she said.

This story has been updated with a statement from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

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Jupiter Medical Center emergency bed expansion project to begin fall 2021

JUPITER – Patients who need stitches or care for minor burns will likely notice a difference in their wait times after Jupiter Medical Center added eight fast track beds as part of a project to $ 4 million expansion slated to start this fall.

Staff members say the expansion will make a difference for patients who do not need life-saving care and who often come first after those who need more immediate help.

Fast track beds will treat patients with an emphasis on leaving the emergency room and providing care, said Daniel Register, director of the emergency department at Jupiter Medical Center.

“If you walk in with a potentially broken finger, you would have a really hard time getting speeded up because you’re at the bottom of the acuity scale,” Register said of the prioritization system hospitals use to figure out how to treat them. patients. “You could be bypassed several times, when the reality is we want to treat you as fast as possible and get you out.”

Jupiter Medical Center currently has 29 adult beds in its emergency room and seven separate pediatric beds. The expansion will bring the total number of adult emergency beds to 37.

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A rendering of the new emergency room extension at Jupiter Medical Center, which will stretch west of the existing ER footprint.

How COVID-19 is affecting the emergency room at Jupiter Medical Center

A gift of 3 million dollars from the New York company Attilio and Beverly Petrocelli Foundation and a million dollar gift from Joyce C. Fisher, owner of a Jupiter property and widow of seatbelt inventor Robert Fisher, will fund the expansion.

Register said the emergency department sees about 100 patients per day for a total of about 40,000 per year. According to the medical center, this represents an increase from 21,000 patients per year in 2006, when the emergency department was last renovated.

“Due to changing demographics and expanding service lines, we are experiencing a marked increase in volumes throughout the year,” said Amit Rastogi, president and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center, in a Press release. “The demand on our emergency department made it a priority for us to expand this area of ​​the hospital. “

The expansion plan follows two years when the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken emergency care internationally.

Since many emergency services are at full capacity with COVID patients, their staff are forced to either refuse or bypass patients, subjecting them to extended waiting times while healthcare professionals come up with creative solutions to provide patients with the care they need.

Register said Jupiter Medical Center is feeling the same effects.

“Before the pandemic, the average patient stay was three to five days. The goal is to have fewer days so you can see new patients,” he said. “But with COVID, the average is 10 to 11 days. Nationally, the length of stay extended by COVID patients creates this domino effect.”

He warned that the average length of hospital stay is a real average: Many COVID patients have spent significantly more time in hospitals while battling the virus.

“What we can control is what happens once you get here”

The emergency department expansion project will extend the service west of its existing footprint and is scheduled to end in the summer of 2022. While the service is under construction, patients will likely see crews working outside and will see a plastic construction liner on the inside.

Regarding the service setup, Register said the biggest change during construction will be a realignment of the triage area, where medical staff assess patients and prioritize care.

The project, which was underway long before the pandemic, will prepare medical center staff to deal with future crises.

“No matter the pandemic or the challenge we face, our goal is to treat each patient with a set of standards that meet their needs,” Register said. “We can’t control what’s going on in the world. What we can control is what happens once you get here.”

[email protected]


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Social worker Jennifer Rynkiewicz is Shore Medical Center Guardian Angel for September | Canton of Galloway

Social worker Jennifer Rynkiewicz of Galloway Township is Shore Medical Center’s Guardian Angel for the month of September.

Beth Ann Spiegel, provided

Beth Ann Spiegel Marketing Coordinator Shore Medical Center Submitted

SOMERS POINT – Congratulations to Shore Medical Center September Guardian Angel Social Worker Jennifer Rynkiewicz, MSW, LSW. A member of the Care Management team since joining SMC in 2014, Rynkiewicz is a resident of the Township of Galloway.

Rynkiewicz comes to work every day with a smile on his face. This smile is a reflection of her caring nature and compassion according to her manager, Christine Bracey, MSW, LSW. Bracey said, “Jen is hardworking and genuine. She is very pleasant and has a good attitude. She is dedicated, compassionate and has a great sense of humor.

A grateful patient who made the Guardian Angel nomination and gift in honor of Rynkiewicz said, “Jennifer was a godsend as she made it easier for our mother. Most of all, she listened and cared! Jennifer is truly a blessing to our family and we will never forget her and all of the wonderful care our mom received at Shore.

When not at work defending her patients, Rynkiewicz enjoys relaxing with a good book and heading to Brigantine Beach or vacation destinations with her husband and three children.

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Pen Bay Medical Center offers driving flu clinics – Knox County VillageSoup

ROCKPORT – Pen Bay Medical Center will be offering weekly driving flu clinics in October. Driving flu clinics have been designed to be user-friendly and no appointments are necessary. Those looking to get the flu shot need only follow the signs to a location of their choice. These will lead to a drive-thru designated by traffic cones where clinical staff wearing personal protective equipment will greet them and administer the flu shot.

Drive-through clinics will be held on Mondays, October 4, 11, 18 and 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the new health center building, located at 15 Anchor Drive.

These clinics are open to insured adults; participants are kindly requested to bring their insurance card to the clinic. Self-payment will not be accepted. High-dose influenza vaccines will be given to the extent of available stocks. All drive-thru clinics are if time permits.

To ensure patients receive the best and safest care, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital have implemented additional safety measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about how we’ve created a safe space for patients, visit

MaineHealth encourages everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the best way to end the pandemic. Vaccines are available at the PBMC pharmacy, PBMC walk-in care, and from our primary care providers.

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