New York City’s public hospital system is counting on New Yorkers who like to watch their share of House, Grey’s Anatomy and old MASH re-runs. They’re calling an upcoming music festival "Stat!," as in “Give me two units of plasma, stat!”
The Health and Hospitals Corporation -- which runs 11 large hospitals and dozens of clinics -- is hoping the festival will provide HHC with an infusion of cash.
There’ll be a salsa show in the Bronx, a World Beat lineup in Brooklyn, a gospel show in Harlem, a kids concert in Queens and a week-long art show in Staten Island.
HHC President Alan Aviles says the hospital system has seen budget cuts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. The network serves 1.3 million New Yorkers each year, about one-third of whom are uninsured.
Aviles would not say what goal HHC has set for the fund-raiser. Mayor Bloomberg, who was present for the kick-off, tried to manage expectations, saying raising awareness about what HHC does is as important as raising money.
Aviles says the money will go toward purchasing new equipment -- to be determined by a special board at the HHC foundation.