Community leaders and elected officials are waiting for Montefiore Medical Center to bring what a majority of other Bronx hospitals already have to its new Montefiore Westchester Square facility – a community advisory board.
With the borough’s medical giant scooping up the assets of the bankrupt Westchester Square Medical Center earlier this year, Community Board 10 called several community leaders to ask if they would be interested in sitting on such a board.
Councilman Jimmy Vacca has expressed hope that Montefiore will establish such an advisory board at some point soon, calling it “an important link between them and the community.”
“It might behoove Montefiore to take advantage of the residents’ knowledge and expertise if it wants to maximize its contribution to the neighborhood,” said Vacca.
Such boards already exist at other local hospitals and medical facilities, including Jacobi Medical Center, North Central Bronx, Einstein, and Lincoln Medical Center, as well as separate boards for two of Lincoln’s satellite clinic facilities.
The Health and Hospitals Corporation requires all city hospitals to have CABs, said a source familiar with CABs, adding that they are not mandatory for most medical facilities, and do not have direct control.
Since the new Montefiore Westchester Square facility opened, Montefiore has declined to say either way whether it plans to name an advisory board for it’s new facility, which includes New York State’s first free-standing Emergency Department and same-day surgery unit.
“We are not committing to a community advisory board” Monte spokeswoman Mariann Caprino responded in an email.
A community leader contacted by CB 10 about sitting on any Montefiore CAB was Westchester Square Civic Association founder Lou Rocco. When asked about an MWS advisory board, Rocco said he wondered how much influence it would actually have.
“It is their facility, and we are going to go along for a ride,” said Rocco. “The only thing to do is to have a good relationship with Montefiore.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393