September 14, 2009: 2009, Issue 38
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Today’s news:

MD plea: we need WSMC

A group of doctors from around the borough feel that Westchester Square Medical Center is an important community resource that must be saved at all costs.

The Bronx County Medical Society, a professional group for physicians around the borough, is mounting a campaign to save Westchester Square Medical Center because it is one of just two tertiary care centers in the east Bronx. Tertiary care is the most complex form of medical treatment.

Members of the society, many of whom are among the 1,000 admitting physicians at WSMC, said that the decision needs to be made to take the hospital off of the state’s Berger Commission list – which recommended the hospital’s closure – so that complex surgeries and treatments can continue to be performed at both Einstein and WSMC.

“Jacobi doesn’t handle very complex procedures. Einstein is overwhelmed with patients. There is a huge backlog at both hospitals, so if WSMC closes down, there is a major safety and health issue that poses a real threat to public safety,” said Dr. Gurkan Taviloglu, M.D., a Pelham Bay cardiologist who is president of the society. “This volume of service cannot be adequately absorbed by Einstein and Jacobi.”

Taviloglu said that he is in talks with WSMC president and CEO Alan Kopman recently about finding possible partners to merge with, and that they are working to explore all options. The society believes that hospital is recovering financially and should be saved.

Besides taking the burden off of larger hospitals that are nearby, Taviloglu said that the the hospital is important because it is trusted in the community to deliver medical care.

“At least five patients of mine have come in needing emergency care and decided to go to Westchester Square Medical Center, even though they work in Manhattan near some great hospitals,” Taviloglu stated.

“The patients are unbelievable loyal to Westchester Square Medical Center, which says a lot about the quality of the care.

Echoing Taviloglu’s statements is Dr. Louis Rose, a Throggs Neck-based orthopedic surgeon and chief of orthopedics at WSMC.

Rose also believes that the public at large trusts the hospital, and also believes that it should remain open.

“People are still treated in a very considerate manner at Westchester Square Medical Center – you are not just a number there,” Rose said.

“Essentially, our goal is to get the hospital off of the Berger Commission list.”

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