The state Health Department has launched an investigation of the outpatient clinic where Joan Rivers stopped breathing last week before her hospitalization and subsequent death.
Rivers was at Yorkville Endoscopy Center in Manhattan’s Upper East Side for a minor elective procedure involving her vocal chords when complications led to cardiac arrest on August 28. She remained sedated and unconscious until her death on September 4.
Here’s what you should know about the clinic and its connection to the passing of an American icon.
1. Yorkville Opened in 2013 & Has no Previous Violations
ABC reports that since its establishment in 2013, “there have been no complaints or violations regarding the facility.”
TMZ reports that Rivers’ initial autopsy found no clear cause of death.
According to the center’s website:
Yorkville Endoscopy is dedicated to providing high-quality, cost-effective, efficient, and comprehensive outpatient endoscopic healthcare for adults. Our mission is to serve as a community resource for digestive disorders in a state-of-the-art facility staffed by highly experienced endoscopists with a shared commitment to patient safety.
2. The Clinic’s Yelp Page Is Getting Trashed by Angry Fans
In the wake of the Joan Rivers incident, Yorkville Endoscopy has received angry “reviews” on Yelp from distraught Joan Rivers fans — but positive comments from actual patients defending the clinic.
One reviewer, Peter J, wrote “whoops. Another dead patient.”
Another, Ralph S, wrote:
I suggest to hold off going to this facility until All the Facts are in regarding the Joan Rivers case. I’m certain investigations are already underway by state, local and private entities. Something happened. Something bad. We don’t know if it is any fault of the facility. We don’t know exactly what happened or why it happened. I’m just suggesting it would be prudent to hold off on any appointments until more information is released and verified. Just common sense.
However, on the day of Rivers’ death, Candida D. said:
I got 3 procedures done here, my husband one just a few months ago. One procedure was not easy and the doctors here (Dr. Miller and Dr. Bamji) treated me fantastically. I have only good words and thoughts about this practice, very compassionate people I really love, and when you’re sick trust me it’s all that matters. At the end they “fixed” my problem, after years of failing cures. They are great and i will definitly go back, despised the recent events.
3. The Clinic Is Affiliated With Mount Sinai
According to a press release put out when the clinic opened, the Yorkville Endoscopy Center is “affiliated with New York hospitals Mount Sinai, New York Presbyterian and Lenox Hill.”
After her heart stopped beating during surgery on August 28, Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai, where she later died on September 4.
The clinic is located about five blocks from the hospital.
4. One of the Clinic’s Doctors Was Featured on CNN
One of the doctors featured in the series was Dr. Neville Bamji, one of Yorkville’s gastroenterology specialists. He debunked the myth that fiber is the cure for constipation:
Many people think fiber cures constipation. It can help with minor constipation, but it isn’t meant to be a cure.
Yorkville’s staff of physicians includes many esteemed specialists.
5. Rivers Often Joked About Her Many Surgeries During Her Career
Throughout her illustrious career, Rivers constantly made references to her plastic surgeries. In 2012, she joked to Anderson Cooper about going for surgery:
Every weekend I just go in and I do something new. I get a 10th one free. It’s a little like coffee, you just keep going.
But she refuted the allegation that she had the 739 separate surgeries.