CRDC Resolution on Beth Israel Hospital Closure

Resolution to Save Beth Israel Hospital and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

WHEREAS, on October 25, 2023 Mount Sinai Health System, New York City’s largest hospital
network, filed an application with New York State Department of Health to close Beth Israel
Hospital by July 12, 2024.

WHEREAS, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald must approve Mount
Sinai’s plan to close Beth Israel, likely in consultation with Governor Hochul.
WHEREAS, Beth Israel is the only remaining community hospital for a vast region of Lower
Manhattan, from Canal Street to 23rd Street from the Hudson River to the East River. If the hospital
closes, this area will be rendered a “hospital desert.”
WHEREAS, in November 2023, nurses, doctors and other concerned employees at Beth Israel
Hospital sounded an alarm that Mount Sinai had begun rapidly reducing or eliminating services at
Beth Israel absent approval from the New York State Department of Health.
WHEREAS, on December 21, 2023, the New York State Department of Health issued a cease and
desist letter ordering Mount Sinai not to further reduce services at Beth Israel absent approval from
the Department.
WHEREAS, on January 29, 2024 the Community Coalition to Save Beth Israel and Save New
York Eye and Ear prepared a community-led report of how the proposed closure of Beth Israel
would impact health equity in Lower Manhattan. The assessment concluded in part that:
• The closing of Beth Israel would have a negative impact on medically underserved
residents of Lower Manhattan, especially those who are people with disabilities, older
adults (especially frail elderly), LGBTQ+ people and low-income racially diverse residents
in the two zip codes from which the largest proportions of Beth Israel patients originate
(10002 and 10009).
• The closing of Beth Israel would exacerbate the already inadequate hospital bed capacity
in lower Manhattan, where there remains just one full-service hospital (NY- Presbyterian
Lower Manhattan in the financial district), following the closures of St. Vincent’s Hospital,
Cabrini Hospital and the closure of acute inpatient services at Gouverneur on the Lower
East Side.
• The two closest hospitals to Beth Israel – Bellevue and NYU Langone – each have
emergency departments serving more than 60,000 patients per year with average wait times
for more than three hours and appear unlikely to be able to absorb the 60,000+ patients
who have used Beth Israel’s emergency department annually.
WHEREAS, on February 7, 2024, the Community Coalition to Save Beth Israel, Save New York
Eye and Ear and a diverse group of other community-based plaintiffs, including the 504
Democratic Club, the Center for Independence of the Disabled, the Fulton Houses Tenants

Association, and the Elliot-Chelsea Houses Tenants, filed suit against Mount Sinai Health System
and the New York State Department of Health. The lawsuit argued in part that Mount Sinai is
closing Beth Israel Hospital without requisite authority, and that closing the hospital would violate
state and city anti-discrimination laws, particularly with respect to people with disabilities, Asian
and Hispanic New Yorkers, New Yorkers facing language access barriers, and low-income New
Yorkers. The lawsuit further sought to compel the Department of Health to deny Mount Sinai Beth
Israel’s closure application.
WHEREAS, on February 9, 2024, Judge Moyne of the Supreme Court of New York in New York
County granted a Temporary Restraining Order preventing Beth Israel from closing services
without the Court’s approval.
WHEREAS, the closure of Beth Israel Hospital would profoundly deprive 400,000 community
members living in Lower Manhattan of convenient access to hospital based care, creating an
untenable position.
WHEREAS, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEEI) has a storied tradition of providing
specialized eye and ear care for patients in the Lower Manhattan community. However, in 2013,
Mount Sinai began managing NYEEI and has since eliminated a suite of critical services from the
Infirmary, including emergency services, in preparation for what appears to be a closure of NYEEI
in its entirety.
WHEREAS, seniors and patients with disabilities are disproportionately represented in Lower
Manhattan and rely on both Beth Israel and NYEEI for a broad spectrum of health services within
a safe, navigable distance from their homes. Depriving them of manageable access to general
hospital services provided by Beth Israel Hospital in addition to the specialized care services
provided by NYEEI is unconscionable.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the undersigned community organizations, call
on Governor Kathy Hochul and State Health Commissioner James McDonald to step
forward and provide assertive public leadership to:
• Keep Beth Israel open as a full-service community hospital for Lower Manhattan, whether
operated by Mount Sinai Health System or another entity.
• Assure that residents and workers in Lower Manhattan have local access to the full array
of community hospital services, especially for time-sensitive emergency care, childbirth,
and psychiatric crisis.
• Create a formal public comment and community consultation process about the future of
Beth Israel Hospital and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.