St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York City isn't accustomed to serving Orthodox members of the city's Jewish community. But when three Hasidic students were rushed to its trauma center after shots were fired into their van on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Roman Catholic hospital made some quick adjustments.
Because it wasn't immediately known whether the March 1 shooting was a random incident or a planned terrorist attack in retaliation for the Feb. 25 massacre of more than 30 Muslims in Israel, St. Vincent's played it safe. It immediately closed two of the hospital's three entrances and doubled its evening security staff. Some 20 New York City police officers and a dozen hospital security personnel were stationed at hallway junctures throughout the first floor and on the floor where the three wounded youths were being treated.
Hospital executives also accommodated the hundreds of Hasidim who converged on St. Vincent's in the hours and days after the shooting. Immediately after the shootings, the walk-in section of its emergency department was converted to a private prayer area, and three additional rooms were designated for family members to consult with medical staff and pray.
Since St. Vincent's doesn't keep a kosher kitchen, the hospital's nutrition staff brought in prepackaged meals from local kosher restaurants. In the first 24 hours, the hospital served about 100 meals at a cost of about $500.
At Outliers' deadline, one shooting victim remained hospitalized in critical condition at St. Vincent's, another had been released, and the third died while on life-support systems.
In the coming weeks, hospital executives will review their response to the crisis and make needed changes, said Jim Rutherford, vice president of support services. Being able to meet other religious and cultural needs is "part of our mission to the community," he said.
Accentuating the positive.Another national magazine focusing on the people affected by AIDS and the virus that causes the deadly disease hits newsstands this week.
Poz, a New York-based national lifestyle magazine for people affected by AIDS and HIV, begins its bimonthly publication just two months after a similar periodical, Plus Voice, started in Chicago (Jan. 24, p. 44).
"We're gearing ourselves to the practical, whether they be co-workers of people with AIDS, family members and care decisionmakers," said Sean Strub, publisher and executive editor of Poz.
Mr. Strub, who has AIDS, said his publication differs from Plus Voice, which has a primary audience of those with HIV.
Unlike Plus Voice, Poz is a for-profit magazine that goes after the newsstand market with attention-grabbing headlines such as: "Ty Ross, Naked," a profile of the HIV-positive grandson of former Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
At 100,000 copies on its initial mailing list, the magazine's circulation is twice the size of its rival.
"Poz is slang for positive, as in HIV-positive and as in thinking and acting positively about living with HIV and AIDS," said promotional information from the publication.
The magazine also wants to grab people's attention with blockbuster interviews and investigative journalism.
In its first issue, Poz interviews the only openly HIV-positive member of the Clinton administration, Bob Hattoy, an adviser in the Department of the Interior.
Mr. Strub said there's room for both publications. Competition aside, both magazines agree they're filling an informational void in society and reflecting the reality of all people affected by AIDS and HIV, whether they have the disease or not.
Food for thought. George Barnhill, a dentist on staff at the Medical Center of Delaware, is a crusader against wasted hospital food.
He's sparked a multihospital recycling effort that's helping to feed Delaware's poor and homeless. Programs he initiated at the Wilmington-based medical center and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford are among a handful in the state that are benefiting local charities.
It all started more than two years ago when Dr. Barnhill attended a catered event at the medical center. It disturbed him to see so much food go to waste, so he began making inquiries about reusing the leftovers. It led to a series of meetings with hospital executives, food service personnel and board of health officials and an agreement with the Sunday Breakfast Mission, a Wilmington-based charity, to pick up salvageable hospital food for meals it serves to the poor.
Each day, Christiana Hospital, part of the Medical Center of Delaware, sets aside two or three 10- to 15-gallon bins of prepackaged, unopened juices, cereals and canned foods that had been left on patient and employee food trays, said Pam Gouge, associate director of food and nutrition services. The hospital also donates some leftover prepared foods, she said.
Dr. Barnhill wants more hospitals to make use of their leftovers. It's good for the community and it's good PR, he said. "There's just no reason in this world that this shouldn't get going nationwide," he said.
Lucky number?We at Outliers periodically try to clean through the rubble of faxes, mail, press kits and business cards that pile up in drifts on our desks. In such an ambitious moment, we decided to toss out some of the old Columbia Healthcare Corp. business cards in the Rolodex and insert the new ones. That's when we discovered an interesting coincidence.
The very first business card we received from Rick Scott was in 1988 after he had bought a couple of hospitals in El Paso, Texas.
The card just bears his name, Richard L. Scott. There's no mention of Columbia Hospital Corp., although we wrote it on the card ourselves. At that time, he was working in the same offices as Richard Rainwater, the Fort Worth, Texas, multimillionaire who helped Mr. Scott capitalize Columbia.
Anyway, Mr. Scott's address was 201 Main St., Fort Worth.
Now, Mr. Scott is running the largest hospital system in the country-197 hospitals and counting. His office is in Louisville, but the address is essentially the same: 201 W. Main St. What are the odds?