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Hospital: ‘We’ll Remain Full-Service’

More than 100 local area residents turned out Feb.12 at Glen Cove City Hall to hear a panel of administrators from Glen Cove Hospital and North Shore-LIJ, along with doctors, city officials and consultants, discuss the latest developments in the hotly debated plans for changes in the operation of the 90-year-old Glen Cove Hospital.

This past summer, NS-LIJ announced it was moving its highly regarded orthopedic unit to Syosset Hospital, which is also part of the North Shore Health Care system. The announcement sparked an outpouring of opposition by the community to what many perceived as a first step to closing the hospital.

At the meeting at City Hall, hospital administrators and doctors affiliated with the hospital gave assurances that “The hospital is not closing,” according to Mark Salazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health Care System.

The sentiment was echoed by Dr. George Dunn, a long-time family medicine practitioner in Glen Cove.  “The hospital is going to stay open; it’s going to be a full-service hospital.”

In a prepared statement, NS-LIJ Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Battinelli, said “The North Shore-LIJ Health System will continue to maintain a full-service Emergency Department, inpatient beds and a range of other services at Glen Cove Hospital.”

Battinelli said the restructuring of the hospital puts “a greater emphasis on outpatient, community- and home-based services, in recognition of the changes occurring in the way health care is delivered and financed.”

Community members expressed their concern that the hospital has not included them in its discussion of future plans, and has led them to believe the hospital was abandoning its role of providing services to the “geographically isolated” region which serves 76,000 people, comprising populations in Bavyille, Sea Cliff, and other areas in addition to Glen Cove.

Jeff Kraut, senior vice president for strategy for NS-LIJ, cited declining inpatient surgery procedures at Glen Cove and an increase in ambulatory surgery to explain the hospital’s new focus on ambulatory surgery. Hospital executives assured the community that the facility would still maintain its emergency room and other facilities, including one or more operating rooms and a round-the-clock anesthesiologist. At the same time, Glen Cove’s orthopedic program has been moved to Syosset Hospital, which is also in the North Shore-LIJ Health Care System; the first orthopedic surgery was performed there Feb. 3 (although as of mid-February, Syosset Hospital’s website did not list its newly acquired orthopedic specialty).

Recognizing the large number of senior care facilities and nursing homes in the area served by Glen Cove Hospital, Battinelli said the hospital plans “to strengthen services in a way that will better meet the current and future needs of the community, especially our seniors, who will be able to access a broader array of care more quickly and conveniently.”

Dr. Ingo Holm-Andersen, who is the plaintiff in a legal case against the hospital’s plans to implement its conversion to a primarily ambulatory facility, urged the hospital administrators to make a solid commitment not to abandon Glen Cove.

“Remember the old saying,” he said. “'You don’t need a hospital until you need a hospital.’”

New York State Senator Carl Marcellino, attending the meeting as a member of the community, said the meeting should have been held many months earlier, instead of now—after changes have already been implemented and others are being discussed. “Plans still seem to be in flux,” he said, criticizing the timing of announcements and lack of involvement of the community in the restructuring of the hospital.

Some audience members expressed concern that not all Glen Cove Hospital employees who were terminated as part of the restructuring of the hospital had been “transitioned” to new jobs.

Salazzo and Susan Kwiatek, executive director of Glen Cove Hospital, assured the community that procedures were now in place to provide all excessed employees with employment in the North Shore Health Care system.

News

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com