Bed-Stuy rally to save Interfaith hospital - KMSP-TV

Bed-Stuy rally to save Interfaith hospital

Posted: Updated:

BETHAN MCKERNAN | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Healthcare workers, community activists and politicians rallied against the imminent shutdown of Brooklyn's Interfaith Medical Center on Thursday.

A small but vocal crowd braved the rain to hold banners and chant, "They say cut back? We say fight back!"

"I'd be devastated if they closed it," said Eula Squirewell, 80, who's been a patient at Interfaith since 1966. "They take good care of me; the doctors know me."

Advocates seeking to keep it open said they're willing to embrace changes -- including possibility of a merger with neighboring facilities like Brooklyn Hospital -- but the state health department last month rejected a restructuring plan the hospital put forward.

Interfaith Hospital has been reliant on bailout aid from the state for many years, and hospital officials said they had started to worry about meeting payroll. Merger talks with Wyckoff hospital in Bushwick broke down last summer and the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December after Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated he was unwilling to keep bailing out failing hospitals in the current economic climate.

Called a "safety net" hospital by advocates, Interfaith serves an overwhelmingly low-income population in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio presented the findings of a report by his office which showed 175,000 Brooklynites would be forced to travel up to three miles further to their nearest emergency room if Interfaith closes.

Squirewell said she already has trouble getting to Interfaith two or three times a week and would struggle to visit a hospital farther away from home.

"I'm not concerned about my job; I'm concerned about the community," said Cee Cee Epps, 51, an ER nurse at Interfaith and a leader of the New York State Nurses Association. "I've worked in eight different cities and I've never seen the mess I have in New York public hospitals."

Assemblywoman Annette Robinson said the community would not give up without a fight. "We are willing to take any action necessary, to preserve and protect this institution."

Both Robinson and de Blasio said that court action was not off the table.

Hospital closures have become a hot button topic in the city mayoral race. Long Island College Hospital in downtown Brooklyn is also on life support after seeing losses of up to $15 million a month.

Interfaith is due to close its doors for good on Oct. 15.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Dangerous rip currents at NJ, NY beaches

    Dangerous rip currents at NJ, NY beaches

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-08-28 14:43:06 GMT
    The rip current risk remains high along the New Jersey and New York coastlines. Some beaches were open to the public but closed to swimmers. The National Weather Service issued a High Surf Advisory and Rip Current Statement for the area beaches because of the effects of Hurricane Cristobal, which is expected to track south and east of the Jersey shore through Thursday.
    The rip current risk remains high along the New Jersey and New York coastlines. Some beaches were open to the public but closed to swimmers. The National Weather Service issued a High Surf Advisory and Rip Current Statement for the area beaches because of the effects of Hurricane Cristobal, which is expected to track south and east of the Jersey shore through Thursday.
  • Poll shows most New Yorkers support broken windows policy

    Poll shows most New Yorkers support broken windows policy

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:07:14 GMT

    A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found overwhelming opposition to the way the arrest of Eric Garner was handled while the majority support the broken windows policy, which cracks down on low-level crimes to prevent bigger ones from occurring. Garner's death has brought the policy into the spotlight. The Staten Island man had been selling untaxed cigarettes when he was arrested. A police officer placed him in a chokehold and Garner died.

    A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found overwhelming opposition to the way the arrest of Eric Garner was handled while the majority support the broken windows policy, which cracks down on low-level crimes to prevent bigger ones from occurring. Garner's death has brought the policy into the spotlight. The Staten Island man had been selling untaxed cigarettes when he was arrested. A police officer placed him in a chokehold and Garner died.

  • FBI investigating reports of attacks on US banks

    FBI investigating reports of attacks on US banks

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-08-28 11:35:07 GMT
    The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions. The FBI is reportedly investigating an incident in which Russian hackers may have retaliated against U.S. government-sponsored sanctions against their country.The attack led to the loss of sensitive data.
    The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions. The FBI is reportedly investigating an incident in which Russian hackers may have retaliated against U.S. government-sponsored sanctions against their country.The attack led to the loss of sensitive data.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices