Tag Archives: NYC

Hospitals Barter Care for Artist Talent

Blank canvas on easel

Two New York City public, nonprofit hospitals allow artists without health insurance (is there another kind of artist?), to barter their talent for medical care. The Artist Access Program is a brilliant, clever idea, and it could go further.

In the midst of our recession and high unemployment, all kinds of professionals are without insurance, while public hospitals are suffering short budgets and hiring freezes from cash-strapped states. Let’s expand the smart thinking at Bellevue and Woodhull hospitals to other professionals: attorneys; accountants; investment managers; social workers; the manual trades; nursing; technicians; human resources; and others.

Of course, there are hurdles, but with an attitude of “How can we do this?” rather than, “Here’s why we can’t,” there are considerable opportunities for hospitals with hiring freezes and Americans without health insurance.

I’d love to hear from hospital folks: how could your facility get this done?

Steinbrenner’s Yankees Spending As Philanthropy

381058 13: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, right, talks with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner October 30, 2000 after the Yankees'' victory parade in New York City. The Yankees defeated the New York Mets four-games-to-one last week in the city's first Subway Series since 1956. It was the Yankees'' third consecutive World Series Championship. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

George Steinbrenner was widely known as a philanthropist, especially in Tampa, where he lived much of his life. That was the usual brand of philanthropy and his reputation is well deserved.

I’m positing something different.

Could his lavish spending on the Yankees franchise be a form of philanthropy? It benefited the public and philanthropy is a public good. His Yankees spending brought all kinds of division and World Series titles to New York City and gave fans enormous boasting rights.

Is that not a public good? Especially considering the team’s miserable condition when he bought it in 1973, when it was more a reason for embarrassment than a source of pride.

I don’t mean, “was it legally philanthropy,” or “charitable” as in the Internal Revenue Code. I’m not suggesting his expenses were deductible, or anything of the sort.

But since his money brought so much joy and pride to a city’s people, can we say his private spending was philanthropic? Weigh in and let me know what you think.