Brooklyn Lawmakers are applauding Governor Andrew Cuomo for pumping nearly $700 million in One Brooklyn Health – a new unified health care system – to support the state’s ongoing efforts to transform the health care system and increase access to quality care throughout Central Brooklyn.
Consistent with the recommendations in Northwell Health’s “The Brooklyn Study: Reshaping the Future of Healthcare,” Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center have partnered together to create One Brooklyn Health, which will serve as an integrated, central health care delivery system in Central Brooklyn.
Specifically, One Brooklyn Health was awarded $664 million of which $210 million will go toward developing a 32-site ambulatory care network, $384 million toward improving critical clinical and facility infrastructure and $70 million toward creating an enterprise wide Health Information Technology Platform.
These awarded capital funds are in addition to $320 million in annual operating support for four Central and Eastern Brooklyn Hospitals – Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center, and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.
“For far too long, chronic disparities in health care have contributed to systemic poverty in Central Brooklyn, and Vital Brooklyn is a national model for tackling those challenges and addressing every facet of community wellness,” said Cuomo.
The announcement builds on Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn initiative to improve the health care delivery system in Brooklyn. The initiative launched with a $1.4 billion dollar budget with a focus on increasing access to healthy food, quality of health care services and preventative care, as well as prioritizing strategic investments in resiliency and affordable housing, job creation, youth development, and community violence prevention.
Central Brooklyn is one of the most vulnerable areas in all of New York State, with measurably higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity, high rates of violence and crime, wide economic disparities due to unemployment, and high poverty levels, and inadequate access to high quality health care and mental health services.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Central Brooklyn, Coney Island, Queens) was quick to applaud the Governor efforts toward building a comprehensive health system for all Brooklyn residents.
“Under the Governor’s leadership, we have already made great strides in enhancing Brooklyn’s quality of health care and this latest investment will ensure every man, woman and child has access to the services they deserve,” said Jeffries.
State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope) had general praise for Cuomo’s leadership in bringing access to quality health care to the borough.
“Access to quality health care has always been critical issues of inequity that plague communities of color like the district I represent in Central Brooklyn. That’s why I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking this bold step to see that the Vital Brooklyn initiative was thoroughly planned, and today, carefully implemented,” said Parker.
State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetowne, Ocean Hill) looked forward to the initiatives future.
“Programs to provide access to quality health care are a cornerstone of New York’s values, and address the specific needs of our community in Brooklyn. I look forward to continue working with the Governor and the Advisory Council on Vital Brooklyn,” said Persaud.
Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn), while excited about the initiative, also highlighted the need for increased focus on tackling challenges facing at-risk communities.
“Overcoming the challenges presented by health disparities and other social issues requires sustained investment and collaboration across our community. These investments bolster the work of community partners who have been dedicated to tackling challenges – innovators like those who partnered with me and my colleagues to establish the first tech and wellness hub at a public housing site in the United States and expanded that “Campus” initiative to additional neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn last year.
These investments will ultimately allow us to realize the promise of a more prosperous Brooklyn for all,” said Hamilton.
Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-East Flatbush) applauded the injection of funding into the boroughs healthcare system.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is making a major investment that will significantly improve health care services in the area and ensure a better future for our residents and our children. Today’s announcement shows that we aren’t just talking about it—we are getting it done for Brooklyn,” said Perry.
Assemblywoman Jamie Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) had praise for the innovative health program.
“Vital Brooklyn is a comprehensive, groundbreaking program to tackle every facet of community wellness in one of our most underserved communities. These new investments will transform health care and wellness and help empower our communities. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to continue to invest in Brooklyn’s future,” said Williams.
Assemblyman Tremaine Wright (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) was hopeful of the programs future in addressing health disparities across Brooklyn.
“The Vital Brooklyn initiative represents a comprehensive approach to improving the lives of our residents. This model, launched by Governor Cuomo, promises to address the needs and challenges in the area. I applaud the Governor for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work together to support health and wellness in Central Brooklyn,” said Wright.
Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville) was excited to bring a new era of health to her district who has a high population of minority and at-risk individuals.
“Governor Cuomo has made the revitalization, transformation and development of health care delivery in New York’s underserved communities a pillar of his administration. The Health Care Transformation Portion of the Vital Brooklyn initiative brings a significant investment of resources and services to our community which ensures that our zip code does not dictate that quality of care that we receive,” said Walker.
Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick) said the Vital Brooklyn initiative represents a comprehensive approach to improving the lives of our residents.
This national model, launched by Governor Cuomo, addresses the needs and challenges in the area and delivers for a community too long neglected,” she said.
City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) said, “Governor Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn initiative is utilizing a comprehensive, holistic approach to help Central Brooklyn gain access to critical programs our residents need. This investment will provide greater access to quality health care essential for this region and our residents to grow and thrive. I thank the Governor for keeping the health and well-being of our families a top priority and for seeing this transformative project through.”