MANHASSET, N.Y.— Only two hospitals have earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest honor for the entirety of their operations: Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin; and Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, Greensburg, Kan. But Katz Women’s Hospital in Manhasset is getting there one floor at a time. Katz Women’s, a 73-bed facility attached to the North ShoreLIJ Health System’s 804-bed North Shore University Hospital, had its renovated fourth floor certified LEED platinum as part of the USBGC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, which recognizes environmentally sustainable construction and operation. Last year, the third-floor renovation project at Katz Women’s was certified LEED platinum. The fourth floor, which houses the facility’s post-partum unit, features high indoor-air quality, natural heating and cooling elements, and only appliances and computer equipment that meet federal Energy Star standards. Also, more than 75% of the construction waste generated by the renovation project was recycled. “Hospitals are power-intensive and use heating and cooling year-round to maintain a complex array of patient care services, so there is an incentive to be energy efficient,” Neil Rosen, director of sustainable development at North Shore-LIJ, said in a news release. “Wise energy use translates to significant cost savings and a lower impact to the environment in terms of emissions and waste.” — Andis Robeznieks
NEW YORK— SUNY Downstate Medical Center moved toward shuttering its Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn as unions and elected officials continued to battle the closure in the courts and on the streets. The state Department of Health approved the key parts of a closure plan July 17, Crain’s New York Business reported. “SUNY Downstate may begin to take steps to implement ... approved actions,” reads a health department letter on the closure. “We will continue to work with you on the approval and implementation of the remainder of the closure plan.” The Health Department gave the green light for SUNY Downstate to direct the hospital to “cease admitting patients from its Emergency Department at noon on July 22, 2013.” The hospital planned to operate the emergency department and ancillary services until July 29. All remaining patients were to be transferred or discharged by July 28 and cancel or reschedule elective surgeries. Opponents of the plan, though, had not given up. State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and Councilmen Brad Lander and Stephen Levin issued a news release saying they had sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo urging the Health Department to reject the closure plan. “SUNY must be required to continue delivering healthcare services at the hospital until an operator is found,” they wrote. Hundreds of the hospital’s employees staged a funeral march across the Brooklyn Bridge.
PITTSBURGH— Insurer Highmark Health Services is creating an accountable care network as the next step in an ambitious and nationally watched move into healthcare delivery. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliate likened its model to an accountable care organization, rewarding physicians for efficient and effective patient-centric care and quality outcomes. After a long and tumultuous courtship and regulatory vetting, Highmark acquired West Penn Allegheny Health System last year and has formed Allegheny Health Network to include West Penn along with several other provider acquisitions. This year, Highmark acquired Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Jefferson Hills, Pa., and St. Vincent Health System in Erie, Pa. Physicians from six hospitals in the Allegheny Health Network—Allegheny General Hospital and Western Pennsylvania Hospital, both based in Pittsburgh; Allegheny Valley Hospital, Natrona Heights, Pa.; Canonsburg (Pa.) General Hospital; Forbes Regional Hospital, Monroeville, Pa.; and Jefferson Regional—will initially participate in the alliance, which will eventually include other
Western Pennsylvania physicians and hospitals served by the insurer. St. Vincent, which already participates in a patientcentered medical home program, is likely to join the accountable care alliance next year. The alliance includes about 500 primary-care physicians who will be evaluated on 28 quality and outcome measures. As it evolves, Highmark plans to add specialists, as well as expand it to the entire Highmark service area, which includes West Virginia and Delaware. — Rachel Landen
BOSTON— Brigham and Women’s Hospital broke ground on its Brigham Building for the Future Project, a 620,000-square-foot medical research lab and clinical facility on its campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. The 11-story building, scheduled for completion in fall 2016, will include lab and outpatient clinical space, advanced imaging facilities and a conference center, and will be connected via pedestrian bridge to the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center. The total project cost is estimated at $450 million, funded through a combination of philanthropy, bonds and Brigham and Women’s Hospital cash. Suffolk Construction, which was also responsible for the cardiovascular center, is the firm behind the facility’s construction. The plans, aiming for LEED gold certification, incorporate a roof garden to reduce storm water runoff, a system that cleans and recycles water for mechanical equipment, and a co-generation plant to supply electricity, steam and hot water. — Rachel Landen
Katz Women’s renovated two floors, making them certified LEED platinum.
The 11-story Brigham Building for the Future Project, a 620,000square-foot medical research lab and clinical facility, is scheduled for completion in fall 2016.