Politicians and residents of Brooklyn are up in arms over what they call “unacceptable” quality of care at the county’s largest hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, The Post has learned.
Neighborhood residents and elected officials described Maimonides as disorganized and in decline, saying New Yorkers living near Borough Park Hospital turn to him only as a “last resort.”
Among the complaints are excessively long wait times for medical care due to the overload of nurses and other staff, along with hospital executives, who residents and lawmakers say have failed to effectively manage a system for classifying and caring for various types of patients.
Lawmakers are now demanding a public meeting with senior hospital officials to voice their grievances.
“We are concerned about the current management of Maimonides Medical Center,” wrote five lawmakers representing Borough Park and surrounding neighborhoods.
The lawmakers noted that “constituents have expressed to us their frustration with the lack of attention” at Maimonides, an independent nonprofit organization that is not part of a larger network like Northwell or NYU.
“This is unacceptable and unsustainable,” they added.
The letter, sent Thursday to Maimonides CEO Kenneth Gibbs, was signed by State Sen. Simcha Felder, Councilmember Kalman Yeger, State Assemblyman Simcha Eichesntein, Assemblyman Robert Carroll and Assemblywoman Marcela Mitaynes.
“We have serious concerns about [the] financial well-being of the hospital. We are aware of the nursing shortage at the hospital and fear it is due to financial mismanagement,” the letter says.
“If this is not corrected, we believe the hospital will lose patients due to poor care and it will exasperate the financial state of the hospital.”
The quintet of concerned lawmakers implored Gibbs to “directly engage the public” through a “town hall-style meeting” when they answer “critical questions” on a weeknight during the summer.
When asked for a response to the letter, a Maimonides representative insisted that the claims in it are “irresponsible” and part of a “smear campaign”.
The spokeswoman, Stephanie Baez, said the politicians were targeting nurses, doctors and other staff rather than just hospital executives.
“We are outraged by the malicious attack on the efforts of our nurses, doctors, administrators and staff, who have been nothing short of heroic over the last two years,” Baez said.
“The deliberate spread of misinformation and disparagement of the quality of care at Maimonides…profoundly harms the communities we serve,” the representative added.
“We call on all community leaders and elected officials to condemn this irresponsible and damaging effort, and we call on those who are driving this campaign to come forward publicly and engage directly with hospital leaders if they have a problem. specific proposals to improve the hospital”.
The growing frustration comes after The Post reported in February that Maimonides is losing tens of millions of dollars while paying Gibbs and five other top medical officials seven-figure salaries.
Gibbs saw his compensation rise from $1.8 million to $3.2 million from 2019 to 2020, when the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the facility, according to financial records filed with the IRS.
Sources also questioned Gibbs’s physical presence at the hospital during the pandemic, as records show that in November 2020 he voted absentee from his home in Old Chatham, New York, not from his apartment on Central Park West.
A recent US News and World Report ranking placed Maimonides tied for a dismal 28th among New York City area hospitals with Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ, and determined that it was not nationally ranked for no specialty, although the facility was rated high-performing for eight procedures and conditions.
Maimonides received only a 1 out of 5 star rating on a recent federal government report card measuring patient satisfaction and 2 out of 5 stars for overall care.
“Maimonides was once a good hospital. Today, it is seen as a hospital of last resort,” lamented a Borough Park community leader who requested anonymity.
“People will do everything they can to avoid Maimonides,” he said, noting that “they just don’t have enough staff or resources.”
Community leader Mendy Reiner characterized the hospital as “completely dysfunctional” and said there is almost universal consensus in the neighborhood that it is wise to avoid it for elective procedures.
“We have a saying in Borough Park: ‘All of us are born in Maimonides, all of us die in Maimonides, for everything else, we go to Manhattan,’” he said.
“The higher ups are just not properly managing the day-to-day operations at the hospital,” Reiner, 45, told The Post.
“It’s a big hospital, it’s the biggest hospital in Brooklyn and I would love it to be a quality hospital,” he explained. “Why the hell do we need to travel to Manhattan for surgeries, why do I need to travel to Manhattan for surgeries?”
Rivky Weingarten, whose late mother in June was treated for ovarian and pancreatic cancer at Maimonides, recalled the 75-year-old patient who woke up last month “sweating buckets” because her bedroom window air conditioner was not on. during scorching heat. Morning.
“I mean, this is 2022 in New York City, Borough Park,” the 54-year-old fumed. “We don’t live in the slums; we live in a regular community [with] beautiful houses. It is not a poor neighborhood.”
“At five, six in the morning, it was about 89 degrees,” he added. “She’s boiling, but I thought it was just me. I looked at my mother. She is sweating buckets. Of course she is sweating, she is in horrible pain.”
“Is this Kyiv or are we in New York City?”