NYC pub­lic sys­tem kicks off project on CEO’s last day

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Jonathan LaMan­tia, Crain’s New York Business

On his last day as CEO of NYC Health & Hos­pi­tals, Dr. Ram Raju presided over the ground­break­ing of a $28 mil­lion am­bu­la­tory-care center on Staten Is­land.

The 18,000-square­foot fa­cil­ity on Van­der­bilt Avenue, in the Clifton sec­tion of the bor­ough, is ex­pected to open in the fall of 2017 and han­dle about 40,000 pa­tient vis­its an­nu­ally by 2020.

The project is em­blem­atic of Raju’s ef­forts to steady the fi­nan­cially strug­gling sys­tem by ex­pand­ing am­bu­la­tory care and at­tract­ing more pa­tients who could be en­rolled in the city-run MetroPlus health plan. Raju an­nounced Nov. 7 that he would leave the sys­tem Nov. 30, with Stan­ley Brezenoff tak­ing over as in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Dur­ing his ten­ure, Raju fielded heated ques­tions from Staten Is­land law­mak­ers who felt ne­glected by the mu­nic­i­pal hospi­tal sys­tem as the only bor­ough with­out a pub­lic hospi­tal.

The New York health sys­tem op­er­ates two neigh­bor­hood health cen­ters on Staten Is­land, in Sta­ple­ton and Mariners Har­bor. It also has mo­bile med­i­cal vans that ser­vice the bor­ough. MetroPlus needs to grow its mem­ber­ship by about 8% this year to stay on tar­get to reach 675,000 en­rollees by 2020. That goal could be­come even more dif­fi­cult if Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s poli­cies af­fect New York­ers’ el­i­gi­bil­ity for Med­i­caid or qual­i­fied health plans.

All those chal­lenges will land squarely on the plate of Raju’s suc­ces­sor. City Hall has said only that its na­tional search for Raju’s per­ma­nent re­place­ment is on­go­ing.

Dr. Ram Raju

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