“It’s the quality of care that’s supporting expansion,” shared James Crispino and Rich Steimel, co-chairs of the Healthcare Committee of the New York Building Congress. “Ultimately the strong reputation of New York hospitals is what’s driving their organic growth.”
Focused primarily on building, real estate, architecture, construction and engineering, the Building Congress may seem an unlikely spot for discussing healthcare, but New York is a hospital state, and the New York City metropolitan region is an especially vital part of the healthcare economy.
Our interview was wide-ranging, discussing the wider economic conditions in the state and city, the strengths and weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act, and the recent opening of a Downtown Brooklyn healthcare facility developed by and for members of the Hotel Trades Council, an active labor union.
“Healthcare is now in systems, so when we talk about the region’s healthcare facilities, we’re talking about systems of hospitals and facilities that stretch from Staten Island to Westchester to eastern Long Island. One system, for example, is in Nassau County, Queens and in Manhattan.”
This is precisely the wider area that the New York Building Congress represents and advocates for. And the issues of healthcare delivery—quality, safety and efficiencies—are the same as in building construction.
“The period we’re going through is nothing short of remarkable. Demand for top care is constantly growing, and we’re seeing growth in all the boroughs.”
“It’s expansion with consolidation: fewer hospitals but more access through facilities that don’t necessarily have thousands of beds. Out-patient, scheduled procedures, neurological, transplants—all happening in appropriate settings.”
Building Congress members also build hospitals.
“There is no more complex environment than a hospital in New York—the economic conditions of the place, the patients, the staff. Building hospitals is heavily regulated, and those who do that work specialize in it.
“As an organization, the Building Congress advocates for resources and support for the hospitals in the region. Whether new buildings or rebuilding after disasters like Sandy, healthcare providers and hospitals are a large part of New York’s construction landscape.”