A community board is requesting written input on two of the borough’s vital health resources.
Members of Community Board 10’s Health and Human Services Committee are soliciting written documentation about patient experiences at the Weiler Hospital’s Emergency Department at Einstein Medical Center, as well as at Montefiore Moses’ ER.
Anyone interested in sharing their stories can submit them throughout the summer via mail to CB 10 at 3165 E. Tremont Avenue, Bronx, New York 10465 or via email to bx10@
The interest in getting written testimonials follows an uptick in complaints expressed to, and by, CB 10 members about longer wait times at the Weiler/Einstein ED, said committee co-chair Dr. Deborah Hunt.
“Montefiore has a lot of strengths, and they are world renowned,” said Hunt. “I am sure they want to do the best for their patients and we want to help them do that.”
The chair of the committee, Bishop Nancy Rosario, said that they are looking for “real stories from real people” that chronicle actual experiences.
She believes that this approach is more effective than citing statistics, and said that the CB 10 is preparing for an upcoming forum planned for the fall concerning patient care at these two ERs.
CB 10 is not hosting the forum, but they along with Community Boards 7, 11 and possibly others in the borough may participate, she said.
“We want to stay on top of the emergency room situation,” said Rosario, adding that the Weiler/Einstein offers good patient care once patients are admitted to the hospital and receive a bed.
She also believes that they could improve their ER service.
Any testimonial submitted to CB 10, said Rosario, should include dates, times, as well as any other pertinent information, including whether or not a complaint was submitted to Montefiore if service was not satisfactory.
According to feedback received, the major issues at Weiler/Einstein are ER overcrowding, staffing issues, quality of care and hallway beds in the ER and the hospital’s upper floors, said Hunt.
Several of the committee members said they had serious experiences waiting for admission into Weiler/Einstein at the ER.
Joe Boiko, a CB 10 health committee member, said that his girlfriend was in a holding area at the Weiler/Einstein ER for 36 hours waiting for admission, while his sister was warehoused in the ER for days.
Another committee member, Bob Bieder, said he got so frustrated after waiting in ER at Weiler/Einstein that he signed himself out after six hours and went elsewhere.
Dr. Peter Semczuk, Montefiore senior vice-president, said that 30 to 40 hour wait times are the exception in terms of waits at the facilities.
He said according to the hospital’s own metrics, the patients are getting beds much quicker, and the hospital has contracted to do detailed surveys of patients who come through the ERs.
As far as adding beds go, Montefiore has responded where appropriate with additional capacity, he said.
Joseph Bacote, CB 11’s Health and Social Service Committee chairman, said that at a recent CB 11 meeting, representatives of Montefiore said that the organization was not adding new beds at Weiler/Einstein.
Adeline Walker-Santiago, Community Board 7 chairwoman, said she had not heard of a town hall meeting on the subject scheduled for the fall, but said the board would want to participate in it.
She also said that the New York State Nurses Association visited CB 7 on Tuesday, June 20 to express their concerns about conditions, including nurse shortages.
Additionally, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto has demanded Montefiore instruct the public about its urgent care locations, so that the emergency rooms can be relieved of non-emergency cases that can be treated elsewhere.
So far, the hospital has not budged on Benedetto’s request.