Who spent $1M to disparage a hospital?

A campaign pointing out negative statistics and experiences at New York City-based Maimonides Medical Center, with a video even likening it to being in prison, has cost more than $1 million, The New York Times reported. But it's unknown who's funding it.

The Save Maimonides campaign, incorporated as the Brooklyn Health Initiative, was officially founded by philanthropist Mendy Reiner, according to the Feb. 26 story.

Hospital officials, however, told the newspaper they believe it's being paid for by Eliezer Scheiner, a wealthy nursing home investor who they say wants to gain control of the hospital to drive business to his financial interests (he denied being involved).

"Have you suffered from the shortage of staff? Have you waited hours for care? It's time for change at Maimonides hospital," a bus ad reads, according to The Times.

The campaign and hospital both say they want New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, to take over the facility, though that health system's president and CEO, Michael Dowling, told the newspaper he isn't interested because of Maimonides' financial challenges.

The campaign has hurt the hospital, leading to a decline in patients, President and CEO Kenneth Gibbs told The Times. "Anybody who claims that they're trying to help our institution by driving patients away and hurting our cash flow — it is just indefensible," he said.

In response, the medical center has recently invested tens of thousands of dollars in positive advertising and media consultants, according to the story. It has also brought on hundreds of new nurses.

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