Transplanted: New leaders at Coney Island Hospital

Head surgery: City removes two leaders from Coney Island Hospital

Two new executives have taken over Coney Island Hospital — the latest in a string of leadership changes as the city-run health center fends off reports of mismanagement and poor patient care.

The hospital’s director and two other high-level officials departed in March — weeks after a woman died there, allegedly from poor emergency-room care, and an extensive city review uncovered leaders hired 450 employees without proper authorization. But the leadership shakeup is not response to the investigation or accusations of poor service, according to a top hospital honcho.

“People always connect the dots where they want them to be connected,” said New York City Health and Hospitals president Dr. Ram Raju. “What we are trying to improve is not only safety and quality — we always have to give excellent patient experience, and that is what this new leadership is going to concentrate on. You always need to refresh yourself of your leadership, and that is what we are doing here.”

The system named Anthony Rajkumar the chief executive officer and nurse Mei Kong the chief operating officer on May 12, and pair took their posts at the 371-bed hospital on May 16.

The new executives inject fresh blood to help bring the hospital to the cutting edge of service, said Raju.

“They came in here because in the new health care model, status quo is not an option. Health care is changing very, very fast and we need to change with that,” he said. “We feel these two people are extremely competent and good people.”

Rajkumar has worked for the city system for more than 25 years, recently as chief executive at Metropolitan Hospital. Kong has directed patient and employee safety for 14 years.

Health and Hospitals also appointed four other executives to Coney Island Hospital since early March. The city named Dr. Wehbeh Wehbeh chief medical officer on March 3, Barbara Campfield the chief nursing executive on March 24, Dr. Mark Kindschuh the chair of emergency medicine on April 4, and Janice Nini the associate director of nursing on March 22.

An anonymous pediatrics resident recently claimed hospital staff is improperly trained and endangering children, according to the Post. And other leaders will leave the hospital by July, the paper reported last week.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
New head of the hospital: Anthony Rajkumar was named the Chief Executive Officer of Coney Island Hospital on May 12.
Health and Hospitals