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Patient found dead after days in stairwell of NYC health clinic

The 57-year-old woman, who lived in a group home, was found unresponsive in the stairwell after reports of a "foul odor."
Patient found dead after days in stairwell of NYC health clinic
Posted at 4:42 PM, Aug 24, 2023

A longtime patient of a New York City health care center was found dead by staff in a stairwell. She is thought to have been there for days. 

Staff at the Montefiore Family Health Center located in the Bronx had reportedly noticed a "foul odor" which prompted a check of an emergency stairwell where they found 57-year-old Sary Mao unresponsive, according to the NYPD. 

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Mao, a Khmer-speaking Cambodian refugee, had advocated against the consolidation of Montefiore with multiple other clinics, including the Family Health Center in New York. 

Mao is said to have died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease, according to a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

An advocacy group in the Bronx that focuses on the Southeast Asian community there said the group still has questions about the circumstances surrounding the woman's death. 

Mekong NYC said in a statement, "We demand answers and transparency from Montefiore, and will hold the hospital accountable so that our communities are safe — and not in further danger — when placed in Montefiore's care."

Employees said the clinic had issues with overcrowding after portions of it were closed in 2022. 

A Montefiore spokesperson declined to elaborate on Mao's death, citing "HIPAA and patient privacy rules."

In 2015 a hospital employee at the Montefiore Medical Center Einstein Campus in the Bronx was found dead behind a locked bathroom door days after he disappeared there. 

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