About - SBH Health System
image of SBH entrance

Welcome to SBH Health System

Welcome to SBH Health System, a community-based, patient-friendly healthcare system serving individuals and families in the Bronx, New York. Our expanding healthcare network provides high-quality inpatient, outpatient and emergency medical, mental health and dental services throughout the borough.

At SBH Health System we are committed to improving the health of our community and dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive and innovative healthcare in a safe environment where the patient always comes first. We provide complete, open and timely access to the highest quality of care, regardless of one’s ability to pay.

As an urban healthcare system, we take special pride in our location, a ten-acre landscaped campus in the heart of the Bronx. The site is home to St. Barnabas Hospital, a seven-story ambulatory care facility, and a 40-station dialysis treatment center. In addition, we provide primary care, specialty services and behavioral healthcare at Southern Medical Group in the South Bronx.

St. Barnabas Hospital

Central to our healthcare system is St. Barnabas Hospital, a 422-bed, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, acute care community hospital and Level 2 Trauma Center authorized to treat the most critically ill and severely injured patients. As a New York State-designated Stroke Center and State-designated AIDS Center, we provide access to much-needed services in our community.

SBH Ambulatory Care Center

St. Barnabas is a major provider of ambulatory care services, with more than 400,000 outpatient visits annually. Our primary care physicians, specialists and subspecialists offer a full scope of healthcare services to meet our patients’ changing healthcare needs. The Center has achieved designation as an NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home, which means that our patients benefit from the newest and best model of care available. They not only have their own personal doctor, they have a whole healthcare team dedicated to their care.

SBH Behavioral Health

One of the largest providers of mental health services in the Bronx, SBH Behavioral Health facilities provide essential services through 19 programs designed to support and meet the mental health needs of adults, teenagers and children in the borough. The Center’s highly trained staff handles more than 160,000 visits annually, underscoring the crucial need for these services and the important role of this facility in our network.

Graduate Medical Education

SBH Health System trains 280 physicians annually and offers residency programs in a variety of disciplines including internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery. We are also proud to run one of the country’s largest hospital-based general practice dental residency programs. SBH Health System is affiliated with Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of the City University of New York, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


St. Barnabas is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Mission Statement

SBH Health System is committed to improving the health of our community and is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive and innovative health care in a safe environment where the patient always comes first. All individuals will be provided complete, open and timely access to the highest quality of care, regardless of their ability to pay.

Vision Statement

To be the health system of choice in the Bronx, with superior service and innovative programs that meet the diverse needs of our community.

Core Values

Diversity Respect Integrity Vision Excellence (DRIVE)

The vision, wisdom and leadership of St. Barnabas Hospital’s dedicated Board of Trustees assure that the hospital’s mission—to provide the highest quality of care to all in need—is fulfilled in keeping with the highest standards.

Victor R. Wright, Chairman
Maureen D. Donovan, Esq., Vice Chairman
John N. Tognino, Vice Chairman
Elizabeth Juárez Sánchez, LCSW, Secretary

Mildred Allen, Ph.D.
Wilma Alonso
Afua Atta-Mensah, Esq.
Hon. John A. Barone
Nancy Busch Rossnagel, PhD.
Helen Foster
David P. Harris, CFA
Artie Johnson
Richard G. Ketchum
John J. Lordan
Andrew P. Mezey, MD, MS
Charles Moerdler, Esq.
Karen Parish
Todd Reinglass
Wendy Rodriguez
Howard Safir
Barry A. Wintner, CFA

David Perlstein, MD
President – Chief Executive Officer

Leonard Walsh
Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer

Todd Gorlewski
Executive Vice President – Chief Financial Officer

Eric Appelbaum, DO
Senior Vice President – Chief Medical Officer

Jitendra Barmecha, MD, MPH, FACP
Senior Vice President – Chief Information Officer

Patricia Belair, RN
Senior Vice President – Ambulatory Services and Strategy

Ruth Cassidy, BS, PharmD, FACHE
Senior Vice President – Clinical Support Services
Chief Pharmacy Officer

Robert Church, RN, MS, MBA
Senior Vice President – Patient Care Services

John DiGirolomo, CHFM
Senior Vice President – Facilities Management

Ann Marie McDonald, RN, CEN, EdD
Senior Vice President – Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer

Arlene Ortiz-Allende
Senior Vice President – Community & Government Affairs
Chief Diversity Officer

Keith Wolf, Esq.
Senior Vice President – Human Resources/General Counsel


St. Barnabas Hospital (SBH Health System), the oldest continuing healthcare facility in New York City, celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2016.

The history of the hospital began when it was incorporated on April 6th, 1866, a year after the end of the Civil War. In 1867, a facility known as the “Home for the Incurables” received 33 patients at its modest frame house in West Farms (which was then an incorporated area of New York City). This would become the nation’s first chronic disease hospital.

It was at a time when anesthesia was not in general use, surgery was primitive, and no definitive cures yet existed for tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, pneumonia and other diseases. These patients, who suffered from epilepsy, arthritic deformities, paralysis, senility and other chronic illnesses, could not be cared for in existing hospitals at the time. They generally stayed for a long time, in some cases for as long as 30 years.

In 1874, the facility moved to its present 10-acre site on Third Avenue, where by 1911 it had increased its accommodations to 300 beds. Since about one-third of the patients were treated “without any expense whatever,” the hospital needed donations to keep its doors open. Support came from such luminaries of New York Society as Cornelius Vanderbilt (who served on the hospital’s Board of Managers), John Jacob Astor, Theodore Roosevelt and Frederic Law Olmstead. The Mills Building, a home for nurses built by Ogden Mills, later President Herbert Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury, opened in 1926, and the Braker Building, a resident for needy elderly patients, was built in 1928.

An entire new plant, which is now the main building of St. Barnabas Hospital, opened in 1931. In 1947, the name was changed to St. Barnabas Hospital for Chronic Diseases (later shortened to St. Barnabas Hospital).

Vice-President Hubert Humphrey gave the keynote speech at the groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital’s West Wing in 1969. The six-story structure accommodated 188 beds in private and semi-private rooms, and also included construction of a new kitchen and cafeteria. The hospital, now with over 400 beds, was reclassified as an acute care facility in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the hospital developed a medical education program that today includes training for residents in emergency medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, family practice, general surgery and other programs (including psychiatry, whose first class begins in 2016). The hospital became affiliated with Fordham-Tremont Community Mental Health Center (now SBH Behavioral Health) in 1988 to offer mental health services.

In the 1990s and early 2000, the hospital received state designation as a Level 2 Trauma Center (and would later became the focus of two documentaries on trauma care), an AIDS Center and Stroke Center. Over the next few years, state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery and hemodialysis centers, a cardiac catheterization laboratory, a state-designated Level III Perinatal Center, an Infusion Center, an expanded hospice unit, and a federally-designated Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health all opened. As part of its extensive outreach program, a mobile mammography program began. Upgrades were made to the laboratory and centers for cancer and cardiac care with the arrival of the most advanced technology. The hospital opened the first Men’s Health Center in the Bronx in 2015.

Today, SBH Health System provides access to much-needed healthcare services in the Bronx through St. Barnabas Hospital, Southern Medical Group, SBH Ambulatory Care Center, and SBH Behavioral Health.

It is playing a pivotal role in the transformation of health care in the Bronx. This includes earning the highest level of certification for a patient-centered medical home, allowing patients to benefit from the newest and best model of care available. SBH has taken a leadership role in the state’s DSRIP program, as the lead partner in Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities. This includes more than 200 Bronx community-based organizations that are working together to improve health care delivery and outcomes for Bronx residents. Most recently, to help develop primary care physicians who will serve the city’s underserved communities, SBH Health System became the primary clinical affiliate of the first-ever CUNY School of Medicine.

SBH Health System is the primary clinical affiliate of the CUNY School of Medicine and is affiliated with the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. It is accredited by the Joint Commission.


  • SBH is a not-for-profit organization recognized under Section 501 (c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Key Statistics 2014

  • 2,532 Employees
  • 422 Certified Hospital Beds
  • 88,223 Emergency Room Visits
  • 17,051 Hospital Discharges
  • 400,000 Ambulatory Care Visits


  • NCQA Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (2011 Standards)
  • NY State-designated Level II Trauma Center
  • NY State-designated Stroke Center
  • NY State-designated AIDS Center
  • NY State-designated Level III Perinatal Center
  • Federally-designated Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (the only center in the Eastern Region)

Payer Mix

  • 90% Medicaid/Medicare

Charity Care Expense

  • $34,456,000 (Fiscal Year 2014)


  • Gold Plus Stroke Award
    SBH Health System achieved the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Achievement award for three consecutive years for implementing specific quality improvement measures.
  • Tobacco-Free Hospital
    One of the first hospitals in the Bronx to achieve Silver Star Status in the NYC DOHMH Tobacco-free Hospitals campaigns.
  • HEP-B
    SBH has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state (99%) for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection.
  • Hemodialysis
    SBH Hemodialysis Center was designated a Five Diamond Patient Safety Facility by IPRO’s End Stage Renal Disease Network of New York.

Community Affiliations

  • SBH is leading the Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities (BPHC), which includes more than 150 Bronx community-based organizations that are working together to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes for Bronx residents. The BPHC is a Performing Provider System (PPS) that was created in response to the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, as a state-wide effort to reform the Medicaid system.
  • SBH is a founding member of the Bronx Accountable Healthcare Network (BAHN), a consortium of Bronx-based healthcare providers that are working together to improve the quality of care for Bronx Medicare recipients with complex behavioral and medical needs.
  • SBH operates a “Community Physician Referral Office” to ensure that Bronx physicians can easily access to all of its resources to provide their private practice patients quality care in a timely and sensitive manner.

Historic Facts

  • When SBH opened its doors in 1866, it was America’s first hospital for chronic diseases and only the second such hospital in the world.
  • Nitrous oxide was first successfully used as an anesthetic in prolonged operations at SBH.

Please direct all media inquiries to Steve Clark by calling 201-482-4008 or 201-575-9179.

SBH is committed to responding quickly to media inquiries and facilitating interviews with our medical experts.

SBH experts are available for clinical and non-clinical topics including:

  • Sleep Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Infectious Disease
  • Women’s Health
  • Adolescent and Teens
  • Behavioral Health
  • and many more

Please note that media relations staff are unable to respond to medical questions from the general public.

SBH Health System publishes Caring for Your Health magazine and SBH Physician magazine.

To view current and past issues, please visit our Publications Bookshelf.


by phone: 718-960-9000

for emergencies: Dial 911

SBH Health System