A town hall meeting was called to order this evening at the St . Johns Boces Building. District Leader (and committee member) Lew Simon moderated a meeting with front table attended by St. John’s officials.
Pictured left to right Suzanne , Jerry Walsh CEO, Lew Simon, moderator; Chris Parker, Chief Operating Officer and Del Joiner, Interim Vice President of Quality.
The agenda included an introduction of newly appointed COO and VP of Q. Both gentleman coming from nursing and medical backgrounds. And both excited to be a part of the team at St. John’s.
Then CEO Jerry Walsh went into explanation of the 2016 budget initiatives, which have been put in place as part of a three year plan to bring the hospital closer to its goal of financial sustainability. Setting a strategic plan to be implemented at St. John’s was key; with six main factors.
– To improve patient experience
– To engage the community through population health initiatives
– Facility improvement (care, health, cost)
– Improve access to services
– Improve hospital safety and quality.
And finally to move toward financial sustainability.
CEO Jerry Walsh went on to explain. The DSRIP initiatives and SJEH Capital support needs.
Before taking questions from the audience, he made a request to attending local elected officials for help in bringing a city inspector to approve the elevators so they can be fully operational again. Elected official reps present were Dan Brown for QBP Melinda Katz, Sandee Doremus for Senator Addabbo, Isabella Pori for Assemblyman Goldfeder (and shortly thereafter Councilman Donovan Richards.
Questions from the audience to CEO Walsh were welcomed. He confirmed that a pediatric center at Wavecrest was not currently in the plan due to inability to get a certificate of occupancy (the proposed location is in a flood zone and not possible at this time.) When asked if he would get treated at SJEH, Walsh replied “Yes, I would. And Suzanne already has!”
Lew Simon asked about bringing back a courtesy van for patients unable to get to SJEH for appointments. There was concern from the audience in agreeance. To which Walsh replies, “Currently SJ can provide transportation for patients free and legally.” He noted in the past there was a law that prevented it but now it has changed.
Another very important question arose about whether funding has come for the Emergency Department. Both Walsh and 1199 Executive VP Steve Kramer addressed this issue. The funding has yet to come down from Department of Health, which Kramer noted has been set for release in August 2015 (and delayed multiple times since). Talks of buses from Rockaway to Albany in collaboration with 1199 were cheered on by audience.
Amidst the Q & A portion, CEO Jerry Walsh says they are working with the FDNY to bring two ambulances specifically for SJEH soon. He is also looking to build partnerships with at least 10 local nursing homes for preventive and routine care for their residents.
The meeting ended on a positive note of casual conversation amongst attendees. Next meeting date has yet to be announced.
Photos of the meeting.