Op-Ed Letters to the Editor
Renewing Lenox Hill
BY DR. JILL KALMAN AND
Every year, Lenox Hill Hospital treats
more than 163,000 patients who rely
on us for some of the most critical moments
in their lives, whether that’s delivering
a newborn baby or performing life-saving surgery.
Since 1857, the hospital has been caring
for New York and pioneering cutting-edge innovations
in health care and treatments.
As a premier medical institution, Lenox
Hill Hospital must remain adaptable to keep
pace with change. That’s why we have put forward
a plan to revitalize the hospital so we
can continue to provide our patients and the
community with exceptional care for decades
Currently, Lenox Hill Hospital is comprised
of ten buildings, many constructed over a
century ago. While it has served our community
well, the buildings are not confi gured
and equipped to effectively deliver 21st century
care. Although we have invested more
than $200 million in capital improvements
to upgrade the hospital’s facilities since 2010,
increasing costs to maintain the facility make
it exorbitantly expensive to continue to deliver
the highest quality care.
Northwell Health undertook a rigorous,
multi-year strategic planning effort to establish
the appropriate design for the hospital.
This planning looked decades ahead to identify
the hospital and community’s needs, using
rigorous analytics as well as input from Lenox
Hill Hospital’s expert staff including surgeons,
doctors, and nurses.
Our proposed plan maintains the same approximate
number of patient beds — with only
a 25-bed increase — and converts all rooms
to private rooms, providing adequate space
for caregivers and families and reducing risks
Larger clinical areas and operating rooms
will support new cutting-edge technology, a
larger emergency room will dramatically improve
care for people during a critical time of
need, a dedicated off-street ER entrance would
protect patients from inclement weather and
traffi c, and we are seeking to improve traffi c
congestion during the hospital’s busiest times.
A rebuilt Lenox Hill Hospital will also expand
its critical community work, focusing
on everything from creating shared, programmable
community spaces to a more welcoming
and accessible streetscape. In order to fi nance
this project, we will be incorporating a residential
building on the site, which our strategic
planning made clear was the only way to
fi nance the hospital’s revitalization.
We are early on in the approval process and
are committed to open communication and
working collaboratively with the Upper East
Side and citywide communities as we move
thoughtfully through this process.
We presented our preliminary plans to
Community Board 8’s Zoning and Development
Committee in March to introduce and
explain how a revitalized hospital can allow
us to continue providing world class care to
the community. Since this meeting, we’ve had
many conversations with community members,
including the hundreds who have signed
up on our dedicated project website and countless
neighbors and community groups.
On Sept. 12, we hosted an open house at
Lenox Hill Hospital to hear more from our
community and again presented to Community
Board 8 on Sept. 19. We will also be organizing
a series of working groups with our
community members to hear more of their
We are serious about creating a dynamic
place where our neighbors visit not only when
sick but also healthy, because improving the
wellness and quality of life for the people and
communities we serve is Lenox Hill Hospital’s
Revitalizing Lenox Hill Hospital will help
us achieve these goals, creating the hospital of
the future our staff, physicians, patients, and
the community deserve. We look forward to
continue working with the community as we
move forward in this process.
Kalman is executive director of Lenox Hill
Hospital; Dowling is president and CEO of
Northwell Health, the hospital’s parent company.
Steve Dalachinsky was a
dynamic poet, with character
and style and raw lyric power
(“Hungry for Everything:
Soho poet dies at 72,” Sept.
27). I was privileged to read
with him, to know him as part
of the downtown scene in the
1990s. I’m so glad he infl uenced
younger poets as well, so
that they could see there was
something fi ner and deeper
than the conformist politics of
academic literary scenes they’d
be pressured to enter.
When one’s art and one’s
life become whole, what could
be better? A true and lasting
love – Yuko – many, many
friends, and a persistence, devotion,
and reverence for art
in all its forms, a willingness
to push one’s own creativity
in new directions, and to trust
Wow! Steve was an example
to all of us!
More needed for
Regarding the 14th Street
Busway (Oct. 10): Cleared
bus lanes, good! Faster travel,
good. Removal of bus stops
along 14th Street, very hard on
older folks. Please reinstate a
stop on corner of 5th Avenue
and 14th Street. It could be on
the west side.
The resituating of stops on
Avenue A is hard on us too.
Please, now that the bus has
cleared lanes and moves so
much faster, reinstate them.
Signs of the
Destinations on the M14A
reading “West Village Abingdon
Square” have been
changed to “West Side” on Select
Bus Service. Sounds like
NYCTA has made their decision
for buses to terminate at
14th and Tenth Avenue.
Local politicians must fi ght
for us. Service is needed south
of 14th Street, especially for
the senior community.
Calls for more
On the reduction of the
West Side Highway speed limit
(Oct. 17): The intersection at
10th Avenue/Horatio Street
and West Street is one of the
most dangerous in the city. I
know of two pedestrian deaths
and many accidents there.
Since there is a long diagonal
crossing for cars going from
10th Avenue to West Street,
cars pick up speed before they
encounter pedestrians crossing
properly at the same time.
More time to cross the
highway for pedestrians and
split-phase signals would help
insure no confl icts between
vehicles and pedestrians/bicyclists
to and from the Greenway/
Hudson River Park
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Schneps Media October 24, 2019 13