Congressman Crowley Applauds Decision to Keep Westchester Square Medical Center Open

September 29, 2010
Press Release

Washington, D.C.Today, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) applauds the decision by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to extend a permanent operating certificate to the New York Westchester Square Medical Center (NYWSMC), ending a three-year debate over the center’s operating status. Crowley fought tirelessly to keep the hospital open, calling on State Health Commissioner Daines and Governor Paterson, in addition to working with hospital administrators, doctors, community activists and local elected officials.

“I am thrilled that the Department of Health has done the right thing in extending a permanent operating certificate to the New York Westchester Square Medical Center,” said Congressman Crowley. “With the region already suffering from a lack of medical facilities, keeping the hospital operating is critical to ensuring that area residents can receive the care they need. This is why I, in conjunction with Councilman Jimmy Vacca and State Senator Jeff Klein, fought long and hard on behalf of the NYWSMC. Now, the hospital can concentrate solely on doing what it does best – helping people.”

The NYWSMC is one of 12 area hospitals recommended for closure by the Berger Commission, a panel created by former Governor Pataki and the New York State Legislature, as part of a statewide effort to ensure the efficiency of the state health system. To date, seven of the 12 recommended hospitals have closed. Despite the recommendation, the NYWSMC continued to operate under temporary operating certificates and without any state funds. With support of the New York Presbyterian Hospital system, the NYWSMC presented a five-year viability plan to the NYSDOH this past spring, which clearly lays out a path forward for the Center and does not require any additional investment by the state. In addition, the NYWSMC has received considerable interest from several entities in regards to funding.

“Time and time again, the NYWSMC has proven its viability and I’m glad the Department of Health finally recognizes the significance of the center to the community,” said Crowley.

Congressman Crowley is the six-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx.