81-Year-Old Man Who Cuddles NICU Babies Donates $1M to Hospital

Sometime last year, Louis Mapp saw a special on local TV about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. Eighty years old at the time, he was inspired to become a volunteer. He followed through on that inspiration, and has spent the last year holding and rocking at-risk newborns. It’s the kind of care that increases their chances of survival, but is too time-consuming to occupy busy nurses.

“Every day,” Mapp says, “I ask the Lord, ‘Show me, somebody, where I can help them.’ It may not be financially, it may be giving them a ride, or making a phone call, but I figure, while I’m here on earth, I need to do everything I can to help others.”

Mapp, who is a father of three, grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of two, is a very giving man. He is the custodian of the Mapp Family Foundation, a charitable body that has given out approximately 600 grants to aid the underserved. Mapp money has supported drug rehabilitation programs, food banks, and free clinics. Now, through Mapp, the Foundation has made its largest donation yet.

Mapp and his wife of nearly 60 years, Melinda, have donated just over $1 million in an endowment to the hospital, to be used as a supplement to their regular budget under the staff’s discretion.

“I’m 81 years old, and one of the neatest things I’ve ever done is being around those precious babies, and the nurses that take care of them,” Mapp told People magazine. He wants those nurses, and the other staff who work one-on-one with the patients, to have the freedom to decide what they need.

In that light, one of the first things his money will be spent on is special beds for the extremely premature—infants who weigh less than one pound.

News The Power of Giving

Governor Christie Vetoes Bill to Tax For-Profit Functions in Non-Profit Hospitals

Non-profit hospitals in New Jersey have been scrambling to “defend” themselves against the state government, after Morristown Medical Center as found to be operating for-profit in most of it’s center, and thus was subject to property taxes. Eventually, the two parties settled for $15.5 million, but a lot of other hospitals are worried that they’ll be next, and a number of appeals are in motion at the moment.

The state legislature recently passed a bill to establish taxes for non-profit hospitals with have for-profit operations within their property, something that is apparently pretty common in the medical world. The problem is that, since the for-profit aspects operate under the same roof as the non-profit aspects of a given hospital, they aren’t’ subject to property taxes, and that’s simply not fair. They’re still making use of municipal services and therefore should be paying their fair share, even if that’s still less than a totally for-profit medical center.

But Governor Chris Christie vetoed that bill, and said he’s pushing for a two-year “freeze” on litigation related to the tax exempt status of hospitals in the state. He wants the state assembly to establish a commission to investigate the issue ad develop a system that works for all parties, and said that the bill he vetoed was “rushed.”

Response has been mixed. There are those, both in the legislature and among hospital administrators, who support the governor’s plan, with some of the latter arguing that the current handling of the situation has created an adversarial relationship between the state and the hospitals. Others in the legislature feel that the bill they presented was fair, and that the governor was mistaken in vetoing it. They argue that the problem needs to be addressed now, not later, and that all parties involved deserve clarity in developing a solution.


Is Mount Sinai’s Merge with Continuum a Cause for Concern?

IMG: via Mount Sinai Hospital

Earlier this month, the official merger of Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners was finalized, resulting in the newly formed Mount Sinai Health System. This medical network is now the largest in New York City; Continuum’s community-oriented hospitals include Beth Israel Medical Center, Roosevelt Hospital, St. Luke’s, as well as the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, which have all merged with Mount Sinai.

Kenneth Davis, President and CEO of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, explained, “If you live in Manhattan, there will almost always be a Health System doctor within walking distance of your residence, as well as a substantial presence of our physicians and facilities in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island,” in a recent statement about the impact of the merge. Now more than ever, the prestigious health services offered by Mount Sinai have the potential to be more accessible to many NYC residents.

Crain’s New York Business reports that the new system has 3,571 licensed beds, 138 operating rooms, 177,000 annual inpatient admissions, 2.6 million annual outpatient visits and about 35,000 employees. Despite its size, many are speculating that the layoff of employees is imminent, as consolidation is often a result of similar mergers. Mount Sinai Health System hasn’t released a statement yet about any layoffs, but unions are already expressing concern.

Mount Sinai is an institution that is renowned for its patient care, advanced medical services, and commitment to education and the future of medicine. The medical center has experienced immense generosity from trustees throughout its history, a list of passionate philanthropists including Ken Mehlman, Gail and Carl Icahn whose charitable donations made the Icahn School of Medicine possible, Glenn R. Dubin, Henry R. Kravis, and many, many others that have helped shape Mount Sinai into the prominent institution that it is. Many fear that the merger will effect services provided by the hospital, and displace many of the dedicated employees and trustees that have worked tirelessly to maintain Mount Sinai’s prestigious reputation.

Only time will tell if the merger will adversely impact the services provided by the newly formed Mount Sinai Health System, although its history of excellence is an indication of a strong future as a greater medical network.