Friday, November 4, 2011

New HUMC CEO expresses thanks

In an emailed statement, the new CEO of HUMC Phillp Schaengold expressed his appreciation to the people involved in aiding in the successful sale of the hospital and HUMC employees stating:

“We are pleased that this process has come to an end and excited to lead HUMC into a promising and bright future.  On behalf of the hospital, I want to thank the efforts of Mayor Zimmer and the City of Hoboken, Governor Christie and the State of New Jersey, HMHA Chairwoman Tomarazzo, and members of the HMHA and HUMC Boards.  We are especially grateful to the hospital’s physicians, employees, and Hoboken community members for their support and loyalty.  Working together, we can make HUMC one of the state’s best hospitals.  HUMC will undergo a significant transformation in the next few years as we invest in major improvements to support the hospital’s employees and provide high quality patient care.”

Talking Ed Note: For those who did not see it earlier, Phillip Schaengold participated in an October press conference at HUMC.  Here's the full unedited remarks of his appearance with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and HMHA Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo.

MSV would like to note there is no thanks expressed to the "city council minority" or anyone from MORTe.  It's a safe guess none will be forthcoming.  Everyone knows the truth.

HUMC's new leadership enters with CEO Phillp Schaengold

From the desk of the new ownership team for HUMC:

Hoboken University Medical Center Opens With New Ownership and Leadership Teams; Phillip S. Schaengold, J.D., Appointed CEO of HUMC

Hoboken, NJ, November 4, 2011 – Hoboken University Medical Center (“HUMC”) opens today under new leadership with a new vision for the hospital and a renewed commitment to the hospital’s staff, physicians, patients, and the Hoboken community.  The sale of HUMC to HUMC Holdco, LLC was finalized today as the transaction came to a close.  The New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner had previously approved the Certificate of Need for the transfer of ownership of HUMC to HUMC Holdco, based on the State Health Planning Board’s formal recommendation earlier this year. 

HUMC Holdco would like to thank Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken City Council, Governor Christie and the State of New Jersey, HMHA Chairwoman Tomarazzo, and members of the HMHA and HUMC Boards for their support.  Their efforts have saved HUMC and we are most appreciative of all their work throughout the sale process.  Most importantly, HUMC Holdco is grateful for the support and loyalty of the physicians, current HUMC employees who have dealt with the stress of an uncertain future, and the citizens of Hoboken and surrounding communities.

“We are excited to lead HUMC into what promises to be a bright future of positive change,” said HUMC CEO Phillip S. Schaengold, J.D.  “We are looking forward to working with the hospital’s physicians, employees, and Hoboken community members to make HUMC one of the state’s best hospitals.  HUMC will undergo a significant transformation in the next few years as we invest in major improvements to support the hospital’s employees and provide high quality patient care.”

HUMC’s new leadership team has already begun investing in the future of New Jersey’s oldest hospital and evaluating areas of need.  The ownership group and leadership team are committed to developing new programs and initiatives at HUMC, and enhancing existing programs and services, to meet the needs of the residents of Hoboken and adjoining communities.  

The hospital will be led by Schaengold, who has more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry.  He has established a singular track record implementing rapid and lasting improvements to hospitals that benefit patients, physicians, medical staff, and the communities they support.  His effectiveness, openness, and strength of vision make him the ideal candidate to steer the planned investment and renewed commitment to HUMC. 

Schaengold’s long history of success includes his service as the regional CEO of Tenet St. Louis, a network of five hospitals including St. Louis University Hospital, which was named one of the country’s 50-best hospitals by Modern Maturity and ranked in 10 separate clinical categories in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of the country’s finest hospitals during Schaengold’s tenure.  He also served as CEO of Upstate Medical University Hospital at the State University of New York in Syracuse, where he oversaw a $140 million expansion including the addition of a new children’s hospital.  His highly effective term as CEO of The George Washington University Hospital also provided him solid experience in guiding transitional periods for health care facilities.  He has served as President and CEO of the Sinai Health System in Detroit for five years as well.  Immediately prior to his work with HUMC, Schaengold was President and CEO of Memorial Health in Savannah, Georgia. 

His dedication to his work, like that of many health care providers, is fueled by personal experience.  In 1972 he took his first management position in the medical field as the Director of Pharmacy at a hospital within the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor system, setting out on a career in which he sought to give something back to the profession that had cared for him after he was stricken by polio as a child. 

He has proven to be an excellent caretaker of the institutions he serves, and HUMC has already benefited from Schaengold’s leadership.  Since June, he has served as the Chief Transition Officer for HUMC’s new ownership group, managing all aspects of the transfer of ownership of the hospital.  His stewardship of that process confirms both the value of his experience and his devotion to introducing improvements in HUMC’s service to its patients, its medical professionals, and its surrounding community. 

Hospital Board Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo on sale: 'It's a reality.."


-- HUMC Holdco LLC Takes Over as New Ownership Group; Privatizing Facility and Preserving 1,200 Jobs --

HOBOKEN, NJ, November 4, 2011 -- Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (HMHA) chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo provides the following comment regarding completion of  the transfer of ownership of Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) to HUMC Holdco LLC -- ending a two-year process that preserved the City’s acute-care medical center, saved more than 1,200 jobs and relieved the City of Hoboken from a hospital bond guarantee of over $52 million. 

“It is a great day for Hoboken, HUMC, its employees and everyone who has worked so hard to bring us to this moment,” says Toni Tomarazzo, chairwoman for HMHA.  “Thanks to the perseverance of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and members of the Authority, it’s a reality.  HUMC was in financial distress and losing millions of dollars a year.  The hospital was dependent on special State subsidies that were not guaranteed.  No source of capital was available to preserve and improve the physical plant to retain and attract physicians and create new programs and services.  Decisive action by our Mayor and the Authority kept the hospital open, saved jobs and protected the financial commitments of the City of Hoboken.  Now, our hospital has a chance to continue providing state-of-the-art healthcare to our community.”

The Authority also cites the assistance from Governor Christie.  The administration’s  quick action to allocate $5 million towards the facility’s bankruptcy settlement played a significant role in preventing the state’s oldest hospital from closing its doors.  This effort saved jobs and averted a financial crisis for Hoboken, including the potential for a massive tax increase in order to pay the bond obligation.

# # # 

HOSPITAL SALE COMPLETED!! $52 Million Bond Paid Off!

Office of the Mayor announces:

State’s Oldest Hospital to Remain Open, 1,200 Jobs Saved, $52 Million Bond Paid Off

Mayor Zimmer issued the following statement after the completion of the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center. Funds were wired this morning to defease the $52 million bonds that the City of Hoboken guaranteed in 2007 to save the hospital.

“Today is a great day for all of Hoboken and New Jersey. Our state’s oldest hospital will remain open as a full-service acute care facility.  More than 1,200 jobs have been saved, and we have avoided a financial catastrophe by relieving Hoboken of its guarantee of the $52 million hospital bond. The City would have become immediately responsible to pay this bond if this sale had not been completed. The new owners have committed to making the investments needed to make our hospital one that all of our community and employees can be proud of.”

“When I took office two years ago, saving our hospital was my highest priority. Virtually no one believed that achieving our twin goals of saving our hospital and relieving our City of its $52 million bond guarantee was possible. I wasn’t sure it could be done, but I knew it had to be done. Today, we have finally achieved these seemingly impossible objectives -- an enormous win for all of our taxpayers and residents.”

“On behalf of all our residents, I thank the volunteer board members of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority and especially thank Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo.  This triumph could never have been achieved without their dedication and hard work. They are heroes of Hoboken who spent countless hours without compensation for no other reason than the desire to help their community.”

“I thank Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs for his work negotiating a parking agreement which, by shifting parking to garages with excess capacity, will result in more parking available for residents and more revenue for the City. By freeing up hundreds of parking spaces at the Midtown garage, we expect to completely eliminate the two-year-long waiting list. The City will also receive new revenue from the leasing of office space and property taxes."

“Without Governor Christie’s support, the state’s oldest hospital would be closed today and 1,200 jobs would have been lost. I thank Governor Christie, Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd, and the entire Administration for their invaluable help and support throughout the sales process.”

“I wish the new owners the best of luck and congratulate Phil Shaengold, their new President and CEO. Mr. Shaengold started his career with the Franciscan Sisters, the same group that founded the hospital nearly 150 years ago. I am confident that under his leadership, and with the wholehearted support of our community, the new Hoboken University Medical Center will expand its services to our community and thrive for the long term."

Horse Sense: About the Beth Mason recall

Last Sunday was a critical day for both Hoboken and the Hoboken University Medical Center.  It was a rare Sunday special City Council meeting and the stakes led to the room being jammed pack.

When Councilwoman Beth Mason arrived flanked by a police officer and her rent-a-thug gumby you could only imagine the text, voicemails and emails she was getting.  MSV heard it was a barrage and to make matters worse, people from outside Hoboken were also placing inquiries along the lines of "What the hell do you think you're doing trying to kill the hospital's last and only lifeline?"

At an earlier council meeting, Councilwoman Beth Mason spews the sludge.  Her Russo clan allies from MORTe look less than impressed.  But they take the money she dishes out.

But Beth Mason lives in a special space in her mind.  Long ago she lost her connections to Hoboken.  How is that possible you say?  Beth Mason lives a very insular life among a staff of people who are hired and fired regularly with little contact from regular Hoboken people.  Her Hoboken friends are long gone limited to a handful of well paid consultants from outside Hoboken and zealots, many on the payroll and "not paid for friendship."  (They know who they are.)

The limited Hoboken people she does have infrequent contact with on occasion try to remember her from years past when she seemed like she believed in what she said and the common response is not so much anger but "What happened?" and "What's wrong with her?"

To that question, only a professional can provide an answer and Da Horsey doesn't do armchair psychiatry.  The question is being raised and people find it difficult to believe how out of touch Beth Mason appears to be. Worse, that's not where the concerns end and that too is coming from all sides.

Beth Mason reacts to the crowd's chant for her recall.  She heard you alright.

The hospital was the clincher though.  It crystalized in people's minds their worst fears. Beth Mason was not only willing but actually sought to sabotage the only bidder to keep the hospital operating as an acute care facility.

The Russo clan played along but in the end they revealed more ignorance than a willful desire to see the institution destroyed for political gain.  We'll give them a sliver of a benefit of a doubt based on Councilman Mike Russo's exchange with Corporation Counsel on the need to close the sale last Wednesday.  Russo's grasp on a transaction of this magnitude is well beyond him even if he shared the same petulant attitude of his MORTe allies - that if the hospital goes down - it's "the mayor's deal."

In the past two weeks leading up to the critical mass point where both Hoboken, the hospital and its employees were put through a sordid grinder for no other reason than MORTe's entertainment, a switch went off across town.  They just can't take it anymore.  The grandstanding, the obstruction, the petty comments, the childish behavior and flat out lack of accountability and destructive sabotage of Hoboken.

Via email and phone calls the question keeps coming up.  What about a recall?

A recall is a big undertaking.  It would require 25% of the registered voters in the 2nd ward to sign and put on the ballot.  After part one is completed, an awareness campaign needs to take place leading into a vote that can not take place until July 1 at the earliest - right at the start of the summer season.

There are some strong grass root moves going on right now.  People with no prior experience in Hoboken politics have been reaching out asking how can they act?  Grafix Avenger has started a Beth Mason recall store that is doing good business and all but put the MSV Beth Mason store out of commission.

What occurred however during the City Council meeting was frankly surprising.  It caught everyone off guard with distribution of Beth Mason recall signs and from what Da Horsey hears there were plenty of people asking for more.

When the murmurs in the audience began spontaneously building, it took a life of its own.  Comments flying around the room led to shouts of "Liar!" and then without warning a chant of "Recall! Recall!" more than half a dozen times before Council President Ravi Bhalla quickly established order.

For the record, MSV has not encouraged those who have contacted us on the matter of a recall.  It's a big undertaking and will require lots of time and some money.  If citizens decide to mobilize and give it a go that is of course their right.

But why wait?  The destructive energies Hoboken has been cast to the point of almost destroying a beloved institution as St. Mary's is the flash point where people need to take notice and act.

The right action is to demand Beth Mason resign.

The scourge of Hoboken with her bottomless access to monies for sabotage needs to come to a close.
For the good of Hoboken, the health of its instituions including its governance and the well being of Beth Mason and her family, it's time to go.

If not, then face the wrath of the people in the 2nd ward, Hoboken and the full might of the law.

Beth Mason icily stares out at the Sunday crowd during the Recall chant while
Councilman Mike Russo nervously looks to the Council President for help.

Beth Mason, please resign.