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Authors: Julie Salamon

Hospital

BOOK: Hospital
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Table of Contents
 
 
Also by Julie Salamon
Rambam’s Ladder
The Christmas Tree
Facing the Wind
The Net of Dreams
The Devil’s Candy
White Lies
THE PENGUIN PRESS
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014,
U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin
Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin
Books Ltd) Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,
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North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in 2008 by The Penguin Press,
a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright © Julie Salamon, 2008
All rights reserved
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Salamon, Julie.
Hospital : man, woman, birth, death, infinity, plus red tape, bad behavior, money,
God, and diversity on steroids / by Julie Salamon.
p. ; cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
eISBN : 978-1-4406-3238-9
1. Maimonides Medical Center—History. 2. Hospitals—New York
(State)—New York—History.
[DNLM: 1. Maimonides Medical Center. 2. Hospitals, Urban—New York
City—Personal Narratives. 3. Cultural Diversity—New York City—Personal
Narratives. WX 28 AN7 M223S 2008] I. Title.
RA982. N5M357 2008
362.1109747’23—dc22
2007045629
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

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In memory of my father,
Dr. Alexander Salamon
May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain. . . . Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation, and now I turn unto my calling.
—from the Oath of Maimonides
“In short, a man comes into this hospital in perfect health,” says the doctor played by George C. Scott in disbelief, on hearing about a patient’s progress through the system. “In the space of one week, we chop out one kidney, damage another, reduce him to coma, and damn near kill him.”
—from
The Hospital,
a film by Paddy Chayevsky
Cast of Characters
EXECUTIVE SUITE
Stanley Brezenoff . . . . . . . . . . . former president and chief executive officer
Pamela Brier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . president and chief executive officer
Dr. David Cohen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vice president, medicine/senior vice
president, clinical integration
Lillian Fraidkin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . senior vice president, clinical
services/chief of staff
Dr. Samuel Kopel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . medical director
Mark McDougle . . . . . . . . . chief operating officer, executive vice president
Robert Naldi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chief financial officer
Sheila Namm .................. . .vice president, professional affairs
Sondra Olendorf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . senior vice president, nursing
and hospital operations
Martin Payson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chairman of the board
CANCER CENTER
Dr. Alan Astrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . associate director, medical oncology
Bill Camilleri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vice president
Dr. Jay Cooper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . director, cancer center/chair,
radiation oncology
Dr. Bernadine Donahue . . . . . . . . . . associate director, radiation oncology
Dr. Yiwu Huang . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . medical oncologist
Nella Khenkin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . social worker
Dr. Sushma Nakka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oncology fellow
Dr. Beth Popp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pain-management specialist
Dr. Petra Rietschel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . medical oncologist
Dr. Philip Rubin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . medical oncologist
Dr. Kathir Suppiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oncology fellow
Dr. Jason Tache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oncology fellow
Dr. Mendel Warshawsky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oncology fellow
DOCTORS , NURSES , STAFF
Jo Ann Baldwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . assistant vice president,
community outreach
Marcel Biberfeld . . . . . . . . . . . . vice president, psychiatry and community services
Ann Marie Ceriale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nursing manager, ER
Lilia Colon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . labor-management developer
Dr. Joseph Cunningham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chair, department of surgery/
senior vice president, strategic initiatives
Dr. Steven Davidson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chair, emergency medicine
Clarence Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . director, safety
Dr. David Feldman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vice president, perioperative services
Maria Ferlita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vice president, finance
Dr. David Gregorius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ER resident
Douglas Jablon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vice president, patient relations/special
assistant to the president
Dr. Israel Jacobowitz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cardiac surgeon
Chris Kam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . social worker
Kathryn Kaplan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chief learning officer
Lisa Keen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . social worker
Eileen Keilitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nurse
Carol Kidney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . director of nursing, women’s services
Dr. David Kho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . radiology resident
Dr. Steven Konstadt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chair, anesthesiology
Dr. Stephen Lahey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chief, cardiothoracic surgery
Dr. Richard Lazzaro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . surgeon
Dr. Bing Lu . . . . . . . . . . . medical director, Maimonides clinic, Chinatown
Pamela Mestel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . director of nursing, perioperative services
Dr. Howard Minkoff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chair, obstetrics and gynecology
Margie Morales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . environmental worker
Dr. Carl Ramsay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . medical director, emergency medicine
Madeline Rivera . . . . . . . . . . . . associate vice president, case management
Dr. Jacob Shani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chief of Cardiac Institute
Dr. Allan Strongwater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . former chair, orthopedics
Dr. Regina Tarkovsky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hospitalist
Dr. Gregory Todd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hospitalist
Janice Yang . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . director of outreach to Asian community
COMMUNITY
Marie and Tina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . patient and her sister
Dr. Michael Bashevkin . . . . . . . oncologist, former partner of Samuel Kopel
Michael Bloomberg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mayor of New York City
Asghar Choudhri . . . . . . . . . . unofficial mayor of Little Pakistan, Brooklyn
Daniel Dube . . . . . . . . . . . . grandson of Newman Dube, hospital founder
Bernie Gips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Borough Park Hatzolah coordinator
Ms. Hernandez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . patient
Dov Hikind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New York State assemblyman
Marty Markowitz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brooklyn borough president
Miriam Lubling . . . . . . . . . . . . . founder, Rivkah Laufer Guardians of the
Sick, major source of patient referrals
Elliot “Lazer” Rosman . . . . . . . . . . . . Borough Park Hatzolah coordinator
Hafiz Mohammad Sabir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . imam, Makki Mosque
Aaron Twerski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . board of trustees, Maimonides
Mr. Zen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . patient
Prologue
This story began with a telephone call. Jo Ann Baldwin, a fast-talking, funny, Italian-American woman with a strong Brooklyn accent, had reached me through my publisher. Between the rush of words and wisecracks, I discerned that she had read my book about charity and philanthropy based on the teachings of the medieval Jewish philosopher and physician Maimonides. The pitch was this: She was an administrator at a hospital called Maimonides, she was certain we had a karmic connection, and she wanted to meet.
While I’d visited hospitals often enough for the usual reasons, and had even been a candy striper in high school, I had no special interest in them, had never written about them, and didn’t even watch medical dramas on TV. I left medicine to the professionals in my family, of whom there have been many: my father, sister, stepbrother, and brother-in-law. On the phone, Baldwin wasn’t very clear about what she wanted, but she was amusing and unrelenting. We agreed to meet.
BOOK: Hospital
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