On Friday, February 26, 2021, following the announcement of the departure of Milton Nuñez, Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln Medical Center, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., joined by Bronx elected officials called on the leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals to demand answers and transparency on the selection process of the incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“COVID-19 has ravaged our communities in every imaginable way, and our borough continues to suffer from inequities in the healthcare system,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “As we continue to fight this infectious disease that has forever changed how we go about our daily lives, I am calling on the leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals to be transparent in their selection process of the incoming CEO at Lincoln Medical Center. We must ensure the people of The Bronx have confidence in the selection, and I am demanding answers on their process.”
Lincoln Hospital has a long-standing legacy in the borough of The Bronx, providing health services the City of New York for over 177 years. The facility first began providing services in 1839 and was known as “The Home for the Colored Aged.” In Bronx Community Board #1, where Lincoln Medical Center sits, over 60% of the district identify as Hispanic.
“Local hospitals and their leadership should match the communities they serve, the history of how Lincoln Hospital became what it is today, is in large part due to the Latino/a and Hispanic community. The lack of transparency by the leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals is a slap in the face and a clear sign of disrespect to the people of this borough,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“Years of racism, discrimination, and bias in the healthcare industry have contributed to unequal care and poor health outcomes for communities of color,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “To combat this issue, we must ensure that Black and Brown New Yorkers receive quality, patient-centered care and hospital executives reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.”
“In the wake of COVID-19, we must now more than ever, examine the importance of health care in a community. This includes ensuring that those who seek care in medical facilities receive culturally competent care from those that they can trust. Especially in a borough that has seen a significant share of health disparities amongst Black and Latino individuals, as we seek new leadership in our public healthcare institutions, the process in selecting new leadership should have community buy-in. Furthermore, we should not overlook qualified individuals who have already proven that they are dedicated to uplifting The Bronx- and have already been doing phenomenal work in this borough,” said Senator Jamaal T. Bailey.
“There are few people of color, particularly women of color in executive public health positions. It is important that the leaders of our public hospitals reflect the communities they serve,” said Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez. “I stand with my colleagues and all Bronxites in demanding transparency from NYC Health + Hospitals in the selection process of the new Lincoln Hospital Chief Executive Officer.”
“Our communities deserve full transparency from Health & Hospitals on who they choose to be their next CEO of Lincoln Hospital. As we continue to struggle with the disproportionate impact that COVID has had in our communities, we need someone who understands and will look after our best interests,” said Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo. “I want to thank Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his leadership and for ensuring that our community is always represented.”