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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

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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