Hospital at the Breaking Point: Patient Numbers Overwhelm Resources at Jacobi Medical Center; Patients put in Jeopardy, Say Nurses

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2022
Contact: Carl Ginsburg, carl.ginsburg@nysna.org, 917-405-1060

Hospital at the Breaking Point: Patient Numbers Overwhelm Resources at Jacobi Medical Center; Patients put in Jeopardy, Say Nurses

Warning Substandard Care Becoming ‘New Normal’

New York – Nurses at Jacobi Medical Center will hold a press conference on Thursday, January 13, 12 noon, to address the intolerable conditions at the public facility, where overcrowding, delays and lack of resources are so extreme as to put patients’ lives in jeopardy, say nurses. The nurses, members of the New York State Nurses Association, will be joined by fellow nurses of the NYC Health+Hospitals system and elected officials to underscore the threat to the public’s health at Jacobi and other city hospitals.

“What’s worse about this current wave is that patients are now suffering and risking death from conditions we know how to treat but we simply cannot get to everyone on time,” said Kelley Cabrera, RN, Emergency Department, Jacobi Medical Center. “We know how to do our jobs but lack the space, capacity and resources to do so. We must not accept these conditions as a ‘new normal.’”

Patients sick from the Coronavirus and the Omicron variant, as well as other serious illnesses requiring hospitalization, are spilling out of the ER into hallways, where nurses say patients routinely spend days in cots because no beds on admitting floors are available in the facility. Delays are putting patients’ lives in jeopardy, say nurses. Too numerous to keep separate and in an atmosphere of what nurses call “mass confusion,” patients testing positive for the virus are not effectively isolated, raising the risk of infection for others.

Nurses are among the infected and recover at home, heightening the severe RN understaffing that permeates both public and private hospitals in NYC. Contacted to return to work at Jacobi before testing negative, a vicious cycle of virus transmission worsens a public health crisis of vast dimensions.

WHO: Nurses of the New York State Nurses Association; elected officials       
WHAT: Press Conference on the public health crisis engulfing Jacobi Medical Center and other NYC Health+Hospital facilities
WHEN: TODAY, Thursday, January 13, 12:00 Noon
WHERE: Jacobi Medical Center, 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, NY 10461

“Jacobi Medical Center suffers from terribly inadequate resources in a system of gross inequality,” said Judith Cutchin, RN, NYSNA Board Member and President, NYC H+H/Mayorals Executive Council. “Public hospitals, and other safety net facilities in NYC, are the backbone of care for low-income families, in particular communities of color. The need for resources for safety net hospitals could hardly be greater and we join with elected officials and community advocates calling for an immediate infusion of assistance on par with a public health crisis of this magnitude.”

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, visit nysna.org.

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