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December 21, 1990 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-21

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DECEMBER 21, 1990 / 4 TEVET 5751

Doctors Form Coalition
To Influence Sinai's Future

Sinai Hospital of Detroit.



Staff Writers


hey spend their entire
careers trying to save
lives. And now they
are trying to save their
A group of doctors is rally-
ing to the aid of the 38-year-
old Sinai Hospital, which
once afforded Jewish doctors
a place to work when other
hospitals turned them away.
The doctors' coalition,
spearheaded by the
hospital's department heads,
formed in the last few weeks
to support what they call the
only remaining Jewish con-
nection to the city of Detroit.
They want to keep the
hospital alive and in Jewish
hands in the midst of
speculation that a buyout by
the Detroit Medical Center
could result in massive
department cuts or closing of
the facility in as early as two
Doctors fear they lack
needed support from the ex-
ecutive board of the hospital
and the organized Jewish
community, who they said
appear ready to scrap the
hospital which has been los-
ing an estimated $1 million
a month. The hospital fills
about 350 of its 620 beds
each night.
"I don't know how serious
a buyout proposition is,"
said Dr. Gerald Loomus, a
Sinai oncologist and a
spokesman for a newly
formed coaltion of doctors.

"But we are looking at
possibilities and this is one
of them."
Sinai's problems have in-
tensified during a volatile
health care era that has left
Michigan hospitals scrambl-
ing to survive. As financial
problems abound, hospital
leaders have spent much of
the past decade mapping out
a survival plan.
Sinai has made other at-
tempts to stay afloat. Most

Sinai has been
losing $1 million a
month and only
half its beds are
filled. Doctors fear
the hospital board
and the Jewish
community is
ready to let it

recently, merger talks with
the giant Henry Ford Health
Care Corp. were terminated.
After those talks were called
off in July, the hospital began
negotiating with DMC.
"We are calling everyone
we know to mobilize sup-
port," Dr. Loomus said. "We
want to keep Sinai open. We
are determined to feed it
with patients.
"We're afraid that the
hospital will be closed," Dr.
Loomus said. "We are ask-
ing the Jewish community
what Jewish ethics is all
about. How does it look to

the gentile community if we
discontinue this kind of sup-
"I like a Jewish hospital,"
Dr. Loomus said. "I like the
Trustee President Merle
Harris, as well as many
other board members and
hospital officials, declined to
comment. A media state-
ment for the hospital's ad-
ministrator said, "Robert
Steinberg is unavailable for
Through the prepared
statement, the hospital said
it is continuing merger talks
with the DMC and that a
decision should be reached
by the beginning of January.
"Sinai Hospital physicians
met to discuss what role they
may play in positively im-
pacting the financial future
of Sinai Hospital," the
statement said.
In a recently released an-
nual report, filled with in-
formation on the hospital's
ethnic background and its
responsibility to the Detroit
community, Mr. Harris and
Sinai Health Care System
Chairman Alfred Deutsch
stated, "We are proud of our
identity as Michigan's only
Jewish hospital and grateful
for the heritage Sinai brings
to the task of providing
quality health care to the
"The Talmud teaches that
if a man is to entrust himself
to another's care, whether it
be for a coach ride or for
care, he should entrust
himself to a man of faith,"
they stated. "The traditions
of the Jewish faith that have
sustained us in the past will
strengthen and lead us into
the future."
Jewish community leaders
said only that a meeting to
discuss Sinai's situation was
scheduled this week. The
Sinai Guild, which provides
volunteers and fund-raising
for the hospital, also planned
a last-minute meeting.
In the past few weeks, the
doctors' group met at least
two times. They have
solicited support in
meetings, on the phones and
through letters. They have
written to rabbis, asking
them to take their plea to
the pulpit.
The coalition also formed a
Continued on Page 18


Soviet students are putting an
added burden on the
already financially strapped
Jewish schools.

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