Meet some special residents of Nassau University Medical Center,
Expectant parents making repeat deliveries at their favorite hospital is hardly unusual, but when Outliers heard of one couple who over the years has delivered 50 little bundles of joy at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y., we admit we were a bit skeptical.
Turns out we were actually familiar with the prolific couple. Outliers first reported on peregrine falcons Meadow and Brook in 2005 after the arrival of their 30th and 31st babies at the medical center. The couple met at the hospital—19 floors up on a ledge to be exact— 14 years ago and have been together ever since. Apparently, the sparks are still flying after all those years. Meadow and Brook recently hatched four new little ones in their little love nest seated along a 17th-floor ledge, bringing the total number of their chicks to be hatched at the hospital to 50. The endangered falcons, who are protected by the New York State Environmental Conservation Department, have been delivering at Nassau University Medical Center since at least 1997, when the state started tracking the family.
The four little ones were recently banded so the state conservation department can track them for historical data.
Four appears to be a special number for the couple, who hatched that exact same number of little ones during their first delivery at the medical center roughly 13 years ago.
Talk about bad timing
It had to be something of a worst-case scenario for hospitals in the Twin Cities.
There they were, staring down their nurses’ union across the bargaining table, facing a huge vote on whether to authorize one of the largest nurse strikes in U.S. history, and relying on public relations spokeswoman (and nurse) Trish Dougherty to put on a good face and present the 14 hospitals’ interests to the public.
Next thing they know, the hospital execs are reading an item on the Minnesota Nurses Association website that says Dougherty has an unsavory criminal past, having received probation in 2006 after admitting in court she stole $15,300 from her former employer—another hospital, to boot.
Turns out Dougherty got 200 hours of community service as punishment for stealing the money while she served as human resources director for Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. She used the money for residential landscaping.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Love was quoted by local television station KELO as saying that he left sentencing to the court, instead of asking for the maximum 10 years in prison for grand theft, after talking with Dougherty’s doctors: “They indicated she’s not your classic hard-core criminal,” Love was quoted as saying in the Jan. 30, 2006 KELO report.
Outliers is guessing that was little comfort to the Twin Cities hospitals whose public image Dougherty was representing.
Dougherty ceased her employment as a spokeswoman for the hospitals within hours of the report being republished by the nurses’ union this month.
And the nurses? They voted to authorize a one-day strike, but no date has been set.
“That is Andrew Wakefield’s legacy. The hospitalizations and deaths of children from measles who could have easily avoided the disease. … He gave heft to the notion that vaccines in general cause autism.”
—Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania, on the United Kingdom banning Wakefield from practicing medicine. Wakefield’s research, now discredited, linked
the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella to autism. “In the past two years, (lawmakers) keep coming up to the deadline—or a little past it—and waiving the cuts for shorter and shorter periods of time, which makes us uneasy. … The current uncertainty about what the fee schedule will be, and whether at some point there will be a 20% cut, makes it harder to accept new Medicare patients. … I like to take care of older adults, but I have rent to pay, and a staff to pay.” —Susan Crittenden, a primary-care physician practicing near Raleigh, N.C., who is taking very few new Medicare patients, on the sustainable-growth-rate formula for Medicare
payment to physicians. “They should have used Medicare dollars to fix this. It’s irresponsible” that the healthcare law left such a major issue unresolved. “I think we should have put a crowbar in our wallets and still come up with the money for the uninsured. But in trying to meet a range of goals—having the bill not be more than $1 trillion and having it be budget-neutral— they dumped this issue.”
— Former Medicare trustee Marilyn Moon, who now directs the healthcare program at the American Institutes for Research, on the
These babies at Nassau University Medical Center aren’t quite ready to leave the hospital just yet.