Rallies to save Interfaith Medical Center continue

Nayaba Arinde | 8/22/2013, 9:21 a.m. | Updated on 8/22/2013, 9:21 a.m.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, New York Assembly Member Annette Robinson and community leaders called for the preservation of health care services ...

Assembly Member Walter Mosley added, “Interfaith Medical Center serves some of the most densely populated African-American neighborhoods in the nation, and its closure would threaten the stability and livelihood of a community already struggling with the highest rates of chronic illness, poverty and unemployment in the city. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in government, members of Interfaith advisory board, the Department of Health and the governor in our effort to preserve and improve health care in central Brooklyn.”

Assembly Member Karim Camara said, “Brooklyn communities cannot afford for another hospital to close its doors—period! With its growing population and increasing health care needs, the borough should be looking to expand health care options for its residents instead of continuously allowing them to close in the wake of funding shortages. I am proud to stand with my colleagues today from the federal, state and city levels to pledge concerted action to save our institutions.”

Keeping the momentum going, in addition to the dozens of rallies and meetings—and even an overnight vigil—planned, there is a rally scheduled to take place on Aug. 29 to encourage Cuomo to approve the funding of Interfaith Medical Center.

Interfaith is located at 1545 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, and, according to its website, it provides medical care for more than 250,000 people from every racial demographic in central Brooklyn every year. Interfaith Medical Center has been serving the community since Jewish Medical Center merged with St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in 1982.

Observers determine that if Interfaith does not get the funding it needs, it will close just as St. Vincent’s in Manhattan and St. John’s in Queens did. This closing will cause a rush of patients from this large hospital to migrate to smaller, less equipped ones across New York. It will also leave the doctors, nurses and other staff members out in the cold.

The rally will take place on Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. at the site of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, located at Seventh and Greenwich avenues in Manhattan. From there, protesters will walk together to 14th Street, where there will be several presentations in support of renewing funding for Interfaith Medical Center.