The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. heralded the opening on Thursday of the $325 million Harlem Hospital Center Mural Pavilion as “one of the largest major public hospital modernization projects in the city’s history.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Health and Hospitals Corp. President Alan Aviles and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs were on hand at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the 195,000-square-foot facility, according to a news release. Also present was hip-hop artist Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, Health and Hospitals Corp.’s recently appointed “global ambassador.”
The Mural Pavilion derives its name from the art commissioned by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression that hangs in the new space. The murals were the first major government commissions given to black artists.
The six-story structure houses facilities for outpatient visits, intensive care, women’s imaging and bariatric procedures. The pavilion will also double the hospital’s capacity to treat hemodialysis patients. The service will be outsourced to a private company, Atlantic Dialysis, as part of a broader effort by Health and Hospitals Corp. to cut costs.
Health and Hospitals Corp. said the outsourcing of dialysis at nine of its 11 hospitals to Atlantic Dialysis will save $150 million over nine years and that no current dialysis employees will be laid off. The Commission on the Public’s Health System, a Manhattan advocate for the poor, circulated a petition over the summer opposing the move.
Health and Hospitals Corp. in June reported that it expected a $566 million budget gap in the 2013 fiscal year. That report briefly mentioned the new pavilion, but did not indicate whether the facility would increase revenue from Medicaid billings.
Health and Hospitals Corp. runs the city’s 11 public hospitals. Harlem Hospital Center is based on Lenox Avenue at 135th Street. The new facility connects the Martin Luther King, Jr. Pavilion and the Ronald H. Brown Ambulatory Care Pavilion, “creating one large, integrated campus for the 286-bed Harlem Hospital Center,” Health and Hospitals Corp. said in a press release.
- Swizz Beatz New NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation Ambassador (harlemworldmag.com)
- At Harlem Murals Get a New Life (harlemworldmag.com)
- Harlem Hospital April 18, 1887 (harlemworldmag.com)