Sunday, July 30, 2023

Raising awareness of Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s proposed merger with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

An informational rally is set for tomorrow (Monday) morning outside the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on 14th Street and Second Avenue. 

The assembled group, including several local elected officials, health-care advocates and Local 1199 workers, will discuss the Department of Health's requirements for approval of Mount Sinai Beth-Israel's merger with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYE&EI). 

Here's some background via organizers: 
In late 2022, Mount Sinai Beth-Israel (MSBI), the parent corporation of the 200-year-old New York Eye and Ear Infirmary that serves people with hearing and vision disabilities, applied before the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) to merge operating certificates with the Infirmary — a tactic that would enable MSBI to more easily move services out of the site and around the city, paving the way for a sale of the historic Infirmary.
Last month, the Department of Health released a letter stating its approval of the merger "would be subject to a number of contingencies and conditions, including community engagement and a commitment by MSBI to not close any NYE&EI clinical programs, change access to clinical services, or close inpatient beds." 

Organizers want to raise awareness of the situation and "hold the hospital giant accountable to the necessary stakeholder engagement and community engagement plan contingencies stipulated by the DOH." 

The rally starts at 11:30 a.m. Speakers are said to include Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, State Sen. Kristen Gonzalez and Congressman Jerry Nadler.

The Infirmary owns two buildings here — 14th Street and Second Avenue and 13th Street and Second Avenue (pictured above) — and the vacant lot on 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

Sources told the Post in February that the parcel "could fetch up to $70 million if sold for apartment-building construction."

You can sign a petition at this link.
Meanwhile, Mount Sinai Beth Israel is selling several properties on 17th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue that were used for offices and medical residences. Local elected officials are demanding that affordable housing be part of any deal.

Previously on EV Grieve:


Anonymous said...

Is the service quality going to degrade? Wasn’t it also discussed that these buildings are underutilized? If that’s the case an apartment is a way a better use of the land.

Anonymous said...

@5:28pm: Sure, we need another bro-tastic glass high-rise "luxury" residential building (with a party roof!) right there, instead of that beautiful stone building that actually has enormous strength & character.

Mt. Sinai is in the RE business these days, and I'd bet they decided long ago that the beautiful & historic stone building is not going to bring in "enough" money (though there is never "enough" money for these corporate health entities!).

And what Mt. Sinai is doing to eviscerate the critically-important NY Eye & Ear Infirmary (and all its services) *should* be illegal, but our current mayor doesn't give a flying fug.

Mt. Sinai has an impoverished POV re: the uses of that building (and that building, BTW, should have been landmarked ages ago)... they see nothing but a bunch of old stone, and potential profit.

I see Mt. Sinai as only looking at this as a great big real estate payday.

And I'm sure they'd cheerfully level the Eye & Ear Infirmary if they weren't afraid of the total blow-back they'd get on that. IMO, Mt. Sinai does not care about serving this community.

Anonymous said...

NY Eye & Ear is a run down facility that MSBI has every right to sell and incorporate into modern hospitals & outpatient services. It is a separate issue whether to landmark and repurpose the existing building

Brian Van said...

@12:10 AM - why yes, everything in NYC is suddenly about money and not about "character" and the city is being ruined by the financial industry. Totally recent thing, not old news at all.

Everyone wants landmarked buildings and beautiful, intricately-crafted residential developments that ONLY host paupers and needy cases. That sounds great to me, actually, and I'd pay for it, but I don't have a billion dollars and neither does anyone trying to roadblock this stuff. I am not going to tell the city to sit on their hands during a housing crisis. Condo towers keep bros out of side-street walkups if you build enough of them. "Gentrification" is a fake story people tell to stop neighborhoods from having any physical changes while, in fact, the local landlords use housing squeezes to jack up rents and change who gets to live there by way of spiking the cost of living. Cities that have built housing to meet demand have lots of ugly new buildings but otherwise don't have our problems! When will anyone learn?

Anonymous said...

Well said, Brian. It would be grad if people on this blog stepped back from their high horses and considered reality. Instead they yell at clouds.