Two prominent New York medical centers have taken employee retention efforts to new heights, investing in a high-rise waterfront development on New York's quirky Roosevelt Island.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Medical College of Cornell University have taken long-term leases in Southtown, a $500 million, 2,000-unit residential development on public land with a westerly view of the Manhattan skyline. Roosevelt Island is known as the tram-accessible, strictly residential island that lies on the East River between Manhattan and Queens.
The development consists of nine buildings ranging in height from 16 to 28 stories on 19 acres on the southern part of the island, bordered by the tram station to the south, existing housing to the north and East River promenades to the east and west. Amenities include a landscaped recreational area with new softball and soccer fields, as well as easy tram access to Manhattan, where Weill and Sloan-Kettering are.
Sloan-Kettering has reserved 256 apartments in the first building to go up for medical professionals, support staff and trainees and is adding a day-care center and health club. Weill Medical College has its name on 136 units in the second building for its faculty and post-doctoral fellows. Another 250 units have been reserved for a mix of medical institutions, including the Animal Medical Center, a not-for-profit veterinary hospital.
Thirty years in the making by a public-private partnership, Southtown celebrated the "topping out" of the first two buildings in June with officials from Sloan-Kettering and Weill on hand.
"We're very pleased at this opportunity to offer our faculty and post-doctoral fellows superb yet affordable housing within 25 minutes of the campus and with some of the best views of Manhattan," Antonio Gotto, M.D., Weill's dean and provost, said in a written statement.
Baptists, belly dancing and body image
We've heard of just about every form of exercise, but until last week, we really didn't think that belly dancing counted as a fitness regimen. And when we did think of belly dancing, we certainly didn't think about Baptists.
Those perceptions have changed, at least if you were in Nashville for Baptist Hospital's Health and Fitness Center's First Annual Belly Dancing Recital. Soraya Parr, 42, teaches the belly dancing course at the fitness center, which is attached to 510-bed Baptist. Parr, an orchid horticulturist and fitness instructor, also teaches a "chair belly dancing" class for seniors and others who find it difficult to shimmy while standing.
"Belly dancing was created by Middle Eastern and African women to aid in the pain of childbirth and help with menstrual cycles and female problems," says Parr, who learned the art from her Lebanese grandmother growing up in south Texas. "She would shimmy while she cooked."
She says the classes have helped regulate cycles and alleviate hot flashes for her students, many of whom are seniors. "And it's good toning for post-menopausal women. I teach the fundamentals, but there are no real rules. It's a very liberating and freeing thing for women."
Parr says her students, who include several men, have trimmed their midsections through belly dancing. The students showed off the dances they've learned, costumes they've made and trimmer bodies at the recital.
And everyone wears the revealing outfits. "That's a big part of the appeal," she says. "The class reinforces self-esteem. I tell them how beautiful they are, despite their shape. Belly dancing offers a healthy approach to looking at the body."
It's still rescue
West Virginia University Hospitals' HealthNet medical helicopter carried some important cargo recently, but it wasn't a critically sick patient or an organ designated for transplant.
The helicopter flew drilling supplies weighing about 100 pounds to Somerset, Pa., to aid in the rescue of nine miners whose plight garnered national attention. The request to airlift the supplies from Bruceton Mills, W.Va., to Somerset came in at 6 a.m. July 26, and the supplies were delivered to the rescue site by 6: 50 a.m., said Bill Case, a spokesman for the hospital system.
"Our folks were asked to do this, and they didn't hesitate a bit," Case said. "It's a little different (from their usual flights), but it was still within the realm of what they do."