Good News: New York’s Evacuated Hospitals Back in Business

I was really glad to read recently that both Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU Langone Medical Center are caring for patients again in New York City. They had been closed following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.  I think we all remember the news coverage of the dedicated nurses, doctors and others working hard as a team to transfer their patients and walking those little babies down many, many flights of stairs.  Both are located side by side on the East River and when the waters rose, they flooded. 

New York and New Jersey have been through a lot with Sandy, and healthcare facilities are no exception. New Jersey had two hospitals close for far shorter periods of time in the days immediately following Sandy. It isn’t easy to evacuate a hospital, and reopening takes much work also.

I’m Jersey born and raised, but I have a special connection to the hospitals in New York City. Bellevue is part of the nation’s largest public hospital system, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC).  I’m very proud to have worked at HHC in the mid 1990s. When I took the job I did so knowing the City had a residency requirement.  Little did I understand how hard it was to find a place to live in Manhattan, so I actually lived at Bellevue for three months or so out of necessity, paying rent for former medical residents’ quarters.  I recall the CEO of Harlem Hospital was next door to me for a time.  It was not luxurious by any means, but I developed a special affinity for the place because it was my home.  NYU was and is its next-door neighbor and a friend of mine works there.

So welcome back Bellevue and NYU. It’s good to have you back on the front lines caring for your communities. 

Written by Betsy Ryan at 00:00

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