Diaconal study tour to the American health system

Published on 09.10.2017

From September 30 through October 7, 2017, a diaconal study tour led to New York City. The focus of the tour was on gaining insights into the American healthcare system by visiting various hospitals, public care facilities, educational institutions and historic health care places.

In New York, hospital specialists from the member houses of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz focused on the current challenges of nursing and health care in North America. This included discussions about the differences between public and private health care, the university training of medical professionals and possibilities for supporting people without health insurance.

One destination of the tour was the NYU Lutheran Medical Center, founded in 1883 by the Norwegian deaconess Elizabeth Fedde. Today, it has 5 hospitals and family outpatient clinics at 65 locations for people of various ethnic origins, speaking 73 languages. The merger of New York University (NYU) and the Deaconess Hospital opened new market opportunities due to the synergy of technical and financial resources and it provided access to a new group of patients in Brooklyn. At the Catholic Calvary Hospital, the group was offered insight into the hospital’s specialized health care work as a pioneer institution and the largest service provider in palliative care and hospice work.

The program also included the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. The Center was formed by the merger of two hospitals and sites and is the main non-profit healthcare provider in a neighborhood that is predominantly characterized by poverty and immigration. Another part of the tour was the Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, a highly specialized rehab clinic for children with multiple illnesses. With space for 108 patients and a turnover of 75 million Dollars, the clinic is one of the flagship operations in North America.

The group also visited the former Ellis Island Immigration Hospital, once the largest public hospital in the United States, with up to 450 hospital beds for patients with infectious diseases and around 10,000 patients from 75 countries. The final visit of the tour went to the Ground Zero Memorial Museum for September 11, 2001.

The Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz is an association of more than 100 Deaconess Houses, diaconal communities and diaconal organizations from Europe, Nord and South America, Asia and Africa. Members of the Executive Committee of the KGK are: Deaconess Terttu Pohjolainen (FI), Mother Superior Rollaug Waaler (NO), Director Marek Londzin (PL), Sister Melinda L. Lando (North America), Chapter Provost Jürgen Stobbe (G-North), Sen. Sr. Deaconess Anke Frickmann (G-West), Sen. Sr. Roswitha Buff (G-South), Chief HR Officer / Mother Superior Dr. Gundula Grießmann (G-East), Proxy Karsten Stüber (G-East), Theol. Chairman Pastor Klaus Riesenbeck (G-West), Rector Pastor Annette Goll (F), Mother Superior Sr. Merete Pelle Poulsen (DK), Dept. Sen. Sr. Vilma Linda Reinar (BR), Pastor Christa Schrauf (Secretary General).

Berlin on October 9, 2017

Media contact:
Thomas Flügge, Press Spokesman
Tel.: +41 79 6401902
E-mail: presse@kaiserswerther-verband.de

Christa Schrauf
Managing Director of the Kaiserswerther Verband and Secretary General of the Kaiserswerther Generalkonferenz
Landhausstrasse 10, 10717 Berlin, Tel. +49 30 8642 4170
E-mail: verband@kaiserswerther-verband.de