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The doctor is in! Mount Sinai’s new Brooklyn Heights clinic hired LICH MDs

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A newly opened walk-in health care clinic that opened last week and is hiring doctors away from the embattled Long Island College Hospital and may offer a glimpse of the future of Brooklyn medicine.

More than half of the doctors at the just-opened Mount Sinai Doctors center in Brooklyn Heights previously worked at the 155-year-old Cobble Hill hospital, according to bios on the new center’s website, and the stripped-down model is here to stay, Mount Sinai executives said at the opening on Wednesday.

“We believe at Mount Sinai that health care is migrating to the ambulatory sector,” Mount Sinai President Arthur Klein said, explaining that patients want to walk in and get treatment without having to face the long lines of hospitals.

The urgent-care center sits in the top two floors of an 18-story tower on Cadman Plaza West at Pierrepont Street, just a 10-minute walk from Long Island College Hospital, where 15 of 29 staff doctors at the new clinic once worked. The new facility operates as an extended hours, one-stop doctor’s office, providing many of the same services as a hospital, including X-rays and specialist exams, but without the overnight beds and high overhead costs of a full-service hospital. The model is catching on nationally — more than 300 urgent-care centers have opened around the country in the last two years and more than a third are planning to expand, according to the Urgent Care Association of America — as health care providers restructure in anticipation of increased demand for emergency care created by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and, in Brooklyn, as borough hospitals close.

On the one hand, three of the eight Brooklyn urgent-care centers that appear in online listings opened in the past two years. On the other, four borough hospitals have closed since 2000, according to state records, and Long Island College Hospital as well as Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Interfaith Medical Center are in legal and financial limbo as the state has tried to close them over the objections of staffers and residents of surrounding neighborhoods.

Executives for Mount Sinai, which operates a highly-ranked hospital in Manhattan, say their bet on an urgent-care center in brownstone Brooklyn has nothing to do with the critical condition of hospitals nearby, and that the new facility will actually help matters.

“I think it’s fair to say that the opening of this location has nothing to do with the troubles of Long Island College Hospital,” Klein said, adding that the urgent-care center’s admission of low-risk patients will take the burden off of crowded borough emergency rooms.

The urgent-care center will stay open until 9 pm on weeknights and 5 pm on weekends and will offer pediatricians, cardiologists, allergists, and gynecologists, among other specialists. But whatever the merits of urgent-care over hospital treatment, one of Mount Sinai’s claims to superiority fell short.

“You don’t have to be in a horrible setting,” the care center’s director Peter Tesler said of the Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights experience. “You can be getting your colonoscopy while looking out on the view of lower Manhattan.”

The view from the 18th floor is indeed stunning, but Long Island College Hospital boasts panoramic views of the New York Harbor, too, which is part of why real estate experts value the land beneath the hospital at more than $500 million and why it is still possible, despite the hospital’s internal distress, to take a tour of your lower intestine while gazing at the Statue of Liberty.

The troubled Cobble Hill hospital recently saw the return of ambulances and overnight patients after a judge ordered the state to restore full emergency service and relinquish control, but so far, no replacement operator has stepped up to take over.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

BustedHalo from Park Slope says:
Wonderful... except that the general care offfered by hospitals and doctors is more harmful than beneficial. These hospitals and their doctors are all taught to pump in meds and/or proceed with surgery - meds don't cure, they suppress symptoms, ignoring the core cause. And if these professionals were to cruise the nabes on this side of Brooklyn, they'd soon realize that the majority of natives follow the organic and holistic way of live and leave Western medicine as the last resort. Thus, the services do not match the neighborhood practices. Just to add as an FYI to the critics who will undoubtedly feel compelled to trash my opinions (heavens forbid that I'm an individual...), conventional medicine has been in our society for roughly 50 years, completely wiping out the memory of the fact that since the dawn of time, we were all holistic, applying natural remedies to meet our health needs. Before the effective bombardment of pharma propoganda, the majority of U.S. citizens died of natural causes. Now, thanks to pharma meds, we hold the highest number of deaths related to disease, natural causes being now the lowest number on the scale. I can speak of this, I've worked in the pharma industry for many years.
Sept. 23, 2013, 9:09 am
Steven Rosenberg says:
BustedHalo, you know why i can't trust what you say? Because your judgment is such that you would post this as a comment to this kind of story. In other words, you have NO judgment, and sound like a wacko.
Sept. 23, 2013, 10:50 am
BustedHalo from Park Slope says:
Thanks, SR - You're insight and compassion astounding. And where did you have your heart removed, at Mt. Sinai?
Sept. 23, 2013, 11:12 am
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
I was unsure that this was a good thing until bh-wacko chimed in. Oy. I guess I'll have to cab it to manhattan if I get sick/injured. Medivac insurance, anyone?
Sept. 23, 2013, 11:47 am
Joe Merola from Massapequa NY says:
Hospital care as we knew it is rapidly changing. This model by Mount Sinai is the future of health care as we know it. Hospitals are like dinosaurs and MUST change or become extinct.
Sept. 24, 2013, 10:16 am
Olivia from Gerristsen Beach says:
I think this is a move towards better health care as we know it. The large hospitals are breeding grounds for germs and poor customer service. Downsizing to a managable size will result in better results
Sept. 24, 2013, 10:20 am
Sharon from Brooklyn Heights says:
Healthcare should not be subject to fads. Sometimes we get sick and need the kind of medical care and treatment that can only be given in a hospital -- not in a doctor's office. And sometimes we get sick after the Urgent Care facility closes in the evening or before it opens in the morning.
Sept. 26, 2013, 4:06 pm
hank z. from ny says:
Excuse me but the only view I've had & want during my colonoscopy is of the back of my eyelids -- after that nice little injection that puts me to sleep for the duration. Please don't insult my intelligence by expecting me to believe that I should choose my healthcare provider based on the views from the buildings windows. I could care less about the views, or the landscaping, or the lovely light fixtures or the artwork hanging on the walls. None of that matters. Those won't save your life. I choose my healthcare provider based on the quality of the care they provide. I've used wellness centers and urgent care centers before - no problem there, but when I need to be in a hospital, I don't want the hardship of having to travel to another borough to get to one. I want it in my own community.
Sept. 26, 2013, 11:27 pm
rocket scientist from down the block says:
If Mt Sinai was smart, they would take over LICH & invest in it. They already have their foot in Brooklyn's door & a Brooklyn patient base from those doctors that can send patients to be treated at LICH for hospital services in their own neighborhood rather than diverting to Mahattan. They could have Mt Sinai Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital, return LICH to its rightful prestigious place in this borough & benefit the Mt Sinai system with further reach as well. Urgent care center in Brooklyn is nice but Mt Sinai could do so much more in this borough with a full service hospital right in the neighborhood to back it up.
Oct. 2, 2013, 6:01 pm

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