Opinions: To Be Resilient, We Need Kingsbrook Hospital

Opinions: To Be Resilient, We Need Kingsbrook Hospital

It's good to see New Yorkers encouraged to think about climate resilience for our coastline. But I hope people will think beyond the immediate waterfront.

Right now, policymakers in Brooklyn are on the verge of allowing a step that will endanger lives in the case of future floods and extreme weather events. One Brooklyn Health, which owns the Kingsbrook hospital in central Brooklyn, just announced it plans to close Kingsbrook in the next few weeks, eliminating all inpatient medical care.

Many Brooklyn hospitals are in designated flood evacuation zones. Kingsbrook housed patients from other health care facilities when those were flooded during Hurricane Sandy, and it's still one of the few Brooklyn hospitals that are flood safe.  (See evacuation zone map at www.savekingsbrook.org.)

It's reckless for public officials to allow destruction of this flood-safe hospital. One Brooklyn's other two hospitals,  Brookdale and Interfaith, are likely in future big storms to face floods, power outages, and evacuation orders, so where will their patients go?

I hope readers will urge city and state elected officials, environmental and health care regulators, and Governor Cuomo and his health department to do whatever is necessary to stop the impending closing of Kingsbrook.

Deborah Socolar, Manhattan

As a Brooklyn resident and public health advocate, I oppose the dangerous plan to close inpatient services at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in East Flatbush. I hope your readers will join me in urging Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Health to stop this scheme.

Myself -- and my Black, brown and immigrant neighbors -- are only now hearing about this dangerous plan to close Kingsbrook. It was never discussed widely with Brooklyn residents. Officials didn't really investigate how it would make getting hospital care harder. Last year, as hospitals put beds in offices and lobbies, the pandemic exposed that New York State has already closed too many hospital beds.

I live in Prospect Lefferts. If Kingsbrook closes, I fear other Brooklyn hospitals will get more crowded. Brooklyn hospitals need more staff and beds, not less. State government should STOP the closing of Kingsbrook hospital.

Affluent communities don't get told they must sacrifice inpatient services to get adequate outpatient care. Let's tell state government: Stop the reckless plan to close inpatient care at Kingsbrook!

Sincerely,
Diana Pho, Brooklyn

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