Op-Ed: How to Save Maimonides: Force A Takeover with a Great Hospital


Boro Park is blessed with dozens of organizations dedicated to caring for families during health crises. From home-cooked meals to Hatzalah two minutes away in the middle of the night, residents know they can count on their community’s thousands of volunteers to be ready to help. I am proud to be the founder of Renewal Organization, which has grown to an extensive medical organization dedicated to making a positive change in the lives of people who desperately need a life saving kidney transplant in order to stay alive. Renewal was built by dedicated members of the community who learned how to navigate the healthcare system, all for the sake of saving a life. So why can’t our local hospital’s executives manage basic competence?

Maimonides Medical Center is failing. We have all heard heartbreaking stories of elderly patients trapped in sweltering rooms, worried mothers having their children’s dangerous symptoms dismissed, and pregnant women waiting for hours in the triage area because there are no prepared rooms.

As a reflection of the public’s frustration, I helped begin a campaign, Save Maimonides, to channel the community’s concerns into action. We have gathered 30,000 signatures from communities across Brooklyn demanding the Department of Health act to bring competent leadership to Maimonides Medical Center. 30,000 signatures is twice the amount needed to run for Governor of New York. Over the past couple of years, the hospital has repeatedly wrongfully claimed a handful of real estate developers run our campaign in order to take over the location, but 30,000 signatures make it clear that we are reflecting the widespread concerns of Brooklyn residents. The hospital’s leadership is inexperienced and incompetent and is making false claims about our campaign to distract from the reality of their mismanagement.

The hospital would also claim it’s struggling because it’s a social safety net hospital, but we all know Maimonides is one of the most charitable zip codes in Brooklyn in an area with many private insurance clients. The hospital has been driving away locals with private insurance, who can afford to travel to Manhattan to receive higher quality care. And to add insult to injury, this argument of Maimonides seems to suggest people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid don’t deserve high quality healthcare.

Maimonides has also said its financial struggle is the result of the pandemic–but then why in 2021 did they buy the naming rights of a minor league baseball stadium instead of hiring more nurses? What benefit does an elderly patient have that a team has the hospital’s name when there’s no nurse to answer her ringing the bell for more than 6 hours?

Maimonides ranked last in the New York Department of Health’s list of reported patient satisfaction. According to the U.S. News & World Report rankings, Maimonides ranked 29th out of 29 hospitals in New York that met U.S. News standards and ranked 31 out of 31 hospitals in the New York, New York metropolitan area. The New York State Department of Health ranked Maimonides the 148th hospital out of 148 for patient satisfaction. Recently, like the previous four years, the Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog organization, gave Maimonides Hospital a D rating in hospital safety. Last year, the hospital lost more than $145 million while CEO Kenneth Gibbs’ compensation rose to more than $3 million.

Year after year the hospital has faced massive losses, and Maimonides leadership has turned to the government to use our tax dollars to bail out their failed management. Don’t we all think that it is time to use our tax money to hire competent management to serve our community with quality health care?

To restore the hospital to its former sterling quality, we have delivered thousands of petitions to the New York State Department of Health, calling on it to immediately install experienced, capable leadership to improve Maimonides Medical Center’s operations and save it from financial collapse. The DOH can appoint a temporary facility operator to take over the operations of a hospital under Public Health Law (PHL) section 2806-a, so long as it meets three conditions. The hospital must be “experiencing serious financial instability”, when “conditions within the facility that seriously endanger the life, health or safety of residents or patients”, and “when there has been an improper delegation of management authority by the governing authority” of the hospital. Maimonides meets all of these criterias.

We believe that Maimonides would be best served if it was taken over by Northwell Health, which could bring in medical experts and experienced leaders to restore the hospital and stabilize its precarious financial situation. The hospital misleadingly claims Save Maimonides is motivated by our own financial interests, but our financial interest is in the hospital not collapsing into bankruptcy due to Gibbs and other leaderships’ mismanagement. Northwell is a successful healthcare company worth hundreds of billions of dollars; it previously took over a financially troubled Lenox Hill in 2010, and invested billions in modernizing and expanding the historical Manhattan hospital. Northwell has the funds, the resources, and the experience to invest in Maimonides to save the hospital, but only if the deal goes through.

Our campaign, Save Maimonides, represents the urgent medical needs of the people of Boro Park. We desperately want our local hospital to be the best it can be– no family should have to drive an hour to Manhattan in desperate need of competent medical care. Northwell has successfully turned around other failing hospitals; we hope the state will intervene to force Maimonides to sign a deal with Northwell to save the hospital. Our volunteer organizations know those suffering during a health crisis need as much help and compassion as possible–we deserve to expect that of the professionals.

Save Maimonides will not stop its efforts to bring a great solution to the broken hospital by all means possible. The community has spoken and until there’s change we are here to stay.

Mendy Reiner is the Founder and Chairman of Renewal and Co-Chairman of Save Maimonides.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Not commenting if his arguments are true as i have no idea, but As I have been approached several times by these save maimonides street vendors offering me pastries and cookies to sign on, and I watched them explain their pitch to several clueless people (including Mexicans and chinese) to get them to sign on. I doubt the number 30,000 reflects the reality.

  2. It seems highly suspect that someone would invest a significant amount of money into a campaign to discredit a hospital like Maimonides, including placing ads in newspapers and on billboards, and hiring people to gather signatures for petitions, without expecting some kind of payoff. What is Mendy’s motivation for doing all this, writing op-eds and tweeting constantly? As a nurse at Maimonides, I can see that the hospital has room for improvement like any other hospital, but the constant smear campaign and lies coming from Mendy are clearly aimed at benefiting him financially if he succeeds in his goals. Mendy, be honest with us – how much do you stand to gain if you achieve your objectives? Instead of scaring people away from the hospital and causing it to lose even more money, Mendy should use the resources he’s investing in this campaign to work with the hospital and try to find ways to help.

  3. so what they got 30,000 petitions but i bet half of them were duplicates, illegal migrants, kids and others that in a court of law wouldnt muster so to compare that to petition to run for governor is a strettch its not comparable . second of all high salaries does not mean bad work. the moradik askan par excellence David Greenfield makes about $400,000 and his organization does tremendous work. how much does the owner of Northwell make?

  4. Why don’t they start by firing all the incompetent Drs who shall name nameless ,for fear of a lawsuit !!! Went in for a procedure , last May , the Dr told me , I’ll be home by nightfall …Ended up with Sepsis , almost in the next world !!!! Then to “add salt to injury ” send the bills to collection .You need to have your brain checked , to go there !!!!

  5. Save Maimonides – the only organization more disingenuous and self-serving than the Maimonides board of directors itself. Bunch of fat rich lying weasels looking out for none but themselves. A plague on both their houses.

  6. Mt Sinai community hospital was taken over by a different private institution and it did not become better. In fact, many people know to stay away from it.

    Another option is to investigate the current leadership of Maimonidies with the aim of putting them in prison.

  7. karlbenmarx, Northwell is a non profit. The head of it Michael Dowling earns about $4 million. I worked for Mike many years ago and hold him in the highest regard as an administrator and as a decent human being.

  8. Ygrazi :
    In August I was a patient in Lenox Hill Hospital (a Northwell Hospital) in the Urology dept.
    My doctor was the chair of the dept.
    He told me that Northwell was looking into acqueiring Maimonides, but Maimonides has alot of problems and they were having second thoughts about the move.
    He knew EVERYTHING about Maimonides.

  9. yaakov thanks for the info so Gibbs makes $ 3 million heading a “non profit” and Dowling makes $ 4 million heading a “non profit” dont see how northwell will “experienced leaders to restore the hospital and stabilize its precarious financial situation” given that they will likely increase THEIR salaries. These salaries are equivalent to 40 nurses.

  10. Can tell you first hand info, Maimonides is a terrible hospital, they hire folks from the bottom of the pool….

    Their service and protocols are terrible for the health of their patients.

    I saw first hand that it’s true that because of policies many patients will die of malnutrition and lack of sleep… but you can be sure there was a nurse poking them for blood work or superficially checking their vitals every few hours no matter if they wake up the patient who’s body so desperately needs a full night of sleep, in order to check is the (lawsuit protection ) check boxes.

    Very few care about the well being of their patients or really care enough to troubleshoot the issues at hand…

    The hospital needs a full blown overhaul

  11. To y2r
    I assume if your not mendy reiner himself your probably part of the “save maimo” cult what kind of vile bs are you spewing. Noone is dying from hunger or being too tired. At least sound intelligent if you hate the hospital

  12. As a recent (twice in the last several months) paitient in Maimonides hospital, I’m grateful for this article which gives me the right “venue “ to voice my feelings and concerns. The truth is that prior to my second stint in the hospital I felt an Acrayus to pen a letter in a major publication(/s) so that I can say “Yudi Loi Shufach Es Hadam Hazeh”. But since I didn’t yet do that I need to first address my most recent, second stay, there.
    The most important aspect of any hospitalization is of course the quality and care/attentiveness of the nursing staff plus their response time.
    The response to the call bell was instantaneous and in most cases the nurse or PCT responded quickly. The knowledge and care of the nurses was superb. The majority of the PCTs were pretty much okay (one in particular was “beyond the call of duty”). [Were there some issues (e.g. climate, curtains), yes, but I don’t think that’s the focus here.]

    For that I have Hakoras Hatoiv for the staff and management AND Mendy Reiner. I don’t know if he himself knows (never spoke with him) but I heard through the (medical) grapevine that his movement\cause caused a movement in the right direction (I simply couldn’t help the pun).

    HOWEVER, this does not פטיר me from sharing mine and others’ experiences just a short time before that.

    I was brought to the ER while being positive for Covid. I was put into an isolation room with 3 female roommates (I’m male) with not even a devider between myself and my “next bed” neighbor.
    Ok, Covid… I guess you can argue that in a time of pandemic (2-1/2 years later!!!) you can’t expect the usual civilities/niceties…
    But that’s not what has me writing this.

    As in the general ER area, there are no call bells. No one seemed to be assigned to come in and check up on us. After waiting for hours to be able to speak with a doctor regarding a game plan, the couple of times I ventured out to the main desk (for all you goody goodies, I had gone out for the restroom anyway) the best and most vociferous response I got was, “sir you must get back to the isolation room. Your doctor will be there shortly. I’m still waiting…

    There was an elderly woman [definitely in the 80s] in the room who was screaming for help to no avail. A family sibling of mine who was visiting at the time (and tried helping) commented to me “now we see with our own eyes how Totty was Nifter here!!”. (That was at the beginning of the pandemic).

    NO FOOD WAS BROUGHT IN TO US ALL DAY. I repeat, NO FOOD WAS BROUGHT IN TO US ALL DAY. (I was there from 1am to 830pm the following day).

    One of the patients had her husband at her side who brought in a nurse (NOT ASSIGNED) he recognized for some help and she brought in some food and unsolicited brought me pillows. When I asked her why she’s doing all this if she’s not assigned to us she responded “I simply can’t look at human beings being treated this way”. She (nurse R) is a tzadekkes and of course I have much hakoras hatoiv.

    This experience is still not what prompted me to write this.

    When I shared this with family, I found out (I’m not into the “paper’s” these days) that there’s this whole PR war between ‘Save Maimonides’ and the hospital. I saw Chashuva Yidden (whom I know personally) being used whether in writing or through pictures by being put on a pedestal to share their good experience in order to shine a good light on the hospital.

    I was livid.
    Yes, Hakoras Hatov is a very noble and pertinent Middah but, where were you when I was having my experience? Where were you when this old lady was left alone totally neglected? Did you come to bring us food???

    Oh, how silly of me. After all you had a good experience. How can you possibly know what we were going through?

    EXACTLY!! פאר א נער ווייסט מען נישט קיין האלבע ארביט
    Who says that because you had a good experience (perhaps through Protekzia?) so have/will others?

    I’m wondering, did you go out of your way to write/take a picture upon your release from the hospital for the sake of הכרת הטוב, or was it only after the hospital approached you that you took action?
    I knew a Poilesh Yid who used to tell all Shadchunim, זאג מיר נישט די מעלות, מוט מעלות קען מען לעבען

    Eis Lakol, when someone is trying to save lives (potentially), is not the time for Hakoras Hatoiv.

  13. So so sad. This whole campaign is making matters worse. Critical blood shortage , jewish nurses and staff getting attitude in the hospital from there own colleagues. How sad. What a chillul Hashem . Ppl running save Miamo know nothing about medicine at all. The have a personal motive or gain. All they are doing is making matters worse. Every hospital needs improvement. Why don’t we here stories from NYU who deliberately killed ppl in covid. It is time to speak out and go against these ppl from the ridiculous save Miamo. Just remember we need a local hospital. When someone is in Cardoac arrest next time in your family where will you go?

  14. Firstly: To Kinsler: The horrible conditions you experienced during Covid was for some reason common to almost all the hospitals, not just Maimonides. Why? they claimed to have been overwhelmed.

    Through my own personal experience and from speaking with others, I find two serious problems. The medical staff seems to look with disdain upon the patients. Not that they don’t do their personal best to cure them, but they do not communicate properly with the paient and his family properly; they fail to keep them informed as to what is happening and what to expect. They treat the patient and his family as objects on an assembly line with no respect or concern for the patient’s anxiety or personal needs. At one time a patient came in on Saturday night with a heart attack. The resident in charge kept him stable and in the ER until a cardiologist would check him, but there was no cardiologist to do that until Monday morning. Totally unacceptable.
    Second problem is a sense of entitlement by the family of every patient from BoroPark. When the patient rings the bell he expects an immediate response regardless as to what else is happening on the floor. Each family expects VIP treatment for their patient. They show no understanding that the nurse is only a human being. This attitude merely causes resentment by the staff and of course less cooperation.
    I’ve experienced as a family member times when the staff was really bad. i.e. a doctor had a child sent home because of the life endangering neglect that made it safer for him to be home!
    Kinsler’s remark about how much better things have gotten, possibly because of all the noise, may be on the mark. Let’s see how things shape up now.

  15. For all we know, Northwell is behind this campaign, to improve its bargaining position and drive down its acquisition cost.

    Otherwise, Mr Reiner, please state that no one funding this campaign (or advising it) has ANYTHING to gain from it, directly or indirectly.
    And also tell us about your funding sources and why their names do not appear on any of your material.