Restructuring of Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital Must Meet Needs of Downtown NYers

Jun 6, 2016

Restructuring of Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital Must Meet Needs of Downtown NYers

Mt. Sinai Beth Israel hospital announced that it will undergo a restructuring over the next four years that will result in a smaller hospital facility in a new location.

It is critical that the Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital restructuring take into account the needs of all of those who depend on it for their health care. Since the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital in 2010, which I fought vigorously, downtown Manhattan has depended on its remaining few hospitals for emergency and critical care. I am hopeful that the restructuring plan will allow continued care to the thousands of New Yorkers who use the facility and that Beth Israel will be able to maintain its commitment to no interruption in services and to preserving employment for the staff. However, I remain concerned that the drastic reduction in hospital beds in New York City--and now twice in Lower Manhattan--in recent years will result in insufficient care downtown. We must be vigilant to ensure that the community's needs continue to be met and that our valued health care workers are protected. I will continue to monitor the restructuring and work with all stakeholders and Mt. Sinai as the plan moves forward.

Citywide Ferry Service Raises Serious Concerns about Air Quality and Noise Pollution

Recently, I raised serious concerns about the negative impact on air quality and noise that is anticipated if a plan for Citywide Ferry Service is put into effect.
According to a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released by NYCEDC and the NYC Office of Sustainability, expanded ferry service will have significant impacts on air quality, particularly in Lower Manhattan, where air quality already ranks among the poorest in New York City.  Specifically, the DEIS states that emissions from Citywide Ferry Service could potentially exceed nationally accepted standards for nitrogen dioxide concentration. The City also indicated a drastic increase in noise levels along the proposed ferry routes, which includes both the Brooklyn and Manhattan waterfronts in my district.  I share the concerns of many of my constituents about air quality and noise, particularly given pre-existing poor air quality and construction overload in Lower Manhattan post-9/11, which have led to ongoing respiratory health and quality of life issues in the community.  The City must take all available measures to mitigate these negative impacts.

Working to Address the Global Refugee Crisis

Last week, I was honored to speak at an event hosted by B’nai Jeshurun on the global refugee crisis alongside Anwen Hughes, Deputy Legal Director at Human Rights First, and Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS.

I spoke about the United States’ historical role as a place of refuge, a role that many of us are extremely proud of. There are as many as 60 million refugees world-wide today, more than at any time since World War II.  But at a time when we ought to be redoubling our commitment to those in need, the Republicans in Congress would have us shut our doors and build a wall. There has been a constant flow of legislation designed to make it more difficult for refugees to enter this country, all premised on the same faulty theory: that refugees are a threat to our safety and a drain on our economy. I was honored to share the stage with Human Rights First and HIAS, both of which are shining a light on the history, horrors and breadth of the refugee crisis, and to discuss my work in Congress combatting cruel and retrograde anti-refugee measures.  I am proud to continue fighting for the most vulnerable among us together with these other committed advocates.