Calling on Maimonides Hospital CEO Kenneth Gibbs to Resign in Light of New Accountability Campaign
As was previously reported by the Jewish Voice back in March of this year, countless complaints of a very serious nature concerning the level of service provided to patients and their families at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Hospital have been registered.
It now appears that the populations that are served by Maimonides have been reaching out to their elected officials for assistance in this matter.
On Friday, it was reported that a group of influential Brooklyn politicians and community leaders have launched an unprecedented campaign, demanding accountability from Maimonides Hospital.
A letter addressed to Maimonides CEO Kenneth Gibbs was released, demanding answers from hospital leadership, for alleged fiscal mismanagement, staffing shortages, and a systemic lack of quality of care. It was signed by such local elected officials including New York State Senator Simcha Felder, NY Assemblyman Robert Carroll, NY Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, NY City Council member, Kalman Yeger and NY Assemblywoman Marcela Mitaynes.
According to a New York Post report that appeared in March, Maimonides is losing tens of millions of dollars and is experiencing severe understaffing and numerous complaints have been registered about a significant decline in care that patients receive.
The upshot of the story is that the top administrators and physicians, including its CEO are raking in seven-figure salaries when the hospital is having trouble staying afloat, as was reported by the Post several months ago.
The report indicated that “Maimonides’ CEO Kenneth Gibbs saw his compensation skyrocket from $1.8 million to $3.2 million from 2019 to 2020, when the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the facility, according to not-for-profit financial records filed with the IRS.”
Sources told the Post that Gibbs may not have even been at the hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper reported that Gibbs “was recorded as voting absentee from his residence in Old Chatham, NY, in the upstate Berkshires in November 2020, not from his Central Park West apartment.”
In addition to Gibbs collecting a hefty salary during financially difficult times, the Post reported that in addition to the CEO, a number of high-ranking physicians also were recipients of highly inflated salaries. They include Jacob Shani, chief of heart surgery, who received $3.5 million; Patrick Borgen, department of surgery, who received $2 million; Greg Ribakove, chair of cardiothoracic surgery who received $1.8 million; Robert Frankel, director of interventional cardiology who received $1.7 million; and Alex Shaknovich, cardiologist, who received $1.7 million, according to records obtained by the Post.
Sources in the Borough Park area told the Post that due to the inferior care provided by Maimonides “more residents with means are now going for planned surgeries to hospitals in Manhattan rather than Maimonides.” And the number of patients that the hospital is losing is growing each day.
In the most recent federal government report card for patient satisfaction, the Post reported that Maimonides received only a 1 star rating out of 5 and 2 out of 5 for overall care.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a local Borough Park resident who had sought treatment at Maimonides on a number of occasions throughout the last decade told the Jewish Voice: “I can tell you that the level of care at the hospital has really gone down the drain in every way. It seems like the medical staff, nurses and administrators just don’t care if patients live or die. People are rude, the care is shoddy and I personally had even worse medical issues after I was released.”
Years ago, Maimonides could honestly boast of a stellar reputation as a first class hospital in every respect. The Borough Park hospital received rave reviews from patients, their families and respected medical and public advocacy organizations.
Tragically, that well-earned, spotless resume no longer holds water. Because Maimonides serves such a broad spectrum of diverse populations in Brooklyn and beyond, every patient who has crossed the doors of Maimonides is taking their lives into their hands due to the lack of professional care that is offered.
The quality of healthcare that each individual receives is of paramount importance and the general state of health of the communities in which we reside portends the future of our children and grandchildren.
The people who reside in the areas that Maimonides serves have every right and moral responsibility to demand honest and unequivocal answers to questions pertaining the dramatic decline in healthcare that the hospital is providing.
For these reasons and much more, the time has arrived for Maimonides CEO Kenneth Gibbs to resign his position, forthwith. The people of Brooklyn who are in need of healthcare have every right to demand complete transparency about monetary allocations and services provided to patients at Maimonides.