We’ve been waiting a while to talk about healthcare on the podcast, and today we get our chance! It looks like there’s something afoot at the long-shuttered Victory Memorial Hospital site. A brand new Emergency Room for Bay Ridge! Maimonides Hospital has proposed opening a new Emergency Department in the shell of the old facility… and it’s already gotten approval from the state.
To help guide us through what that means, we will be joined by Ed Yoo, a member of Community Board 10’s Senior Issues, Housing, Health & Welfare Committee. He’s also the Director of Strategic Research at the New York State Nurses Association. But today, he’s speaking in his capacity as a neighbor and member of the community.
Together, we’ll learn what an”Off-Campus Emergency Department” actually is, why our local hospital closed in the first place, and what we can do to make the future plans for the site more responsive to our community needs. And yes, we’ll also mention how this ties into the ongoing threat that COVID-19 poses for Bay Ridge.
Quickly jump to key parts of the episode by clicking the links below…
- What was Victory Memorial Hospital?
- A short history of Victory Memorial’s closure and possible future
- What is an Off-Campus Emergency Department?
- The Berger Commission: The cause of NYC’s hospital closures
- Profit motive vs. Neighborhood health outcomes
- Can Victory Memorial be more than just an Emergency Room?
- The Bigger Picture: Single Payer
What Can We Do?
Pushing for better services at Victory Memorial
It’s great that there’s a new Emergency Room planned for Bay Ridge… but is it enough? Sadly, the time period for public comment has closed. However, it’s still possible for the Bay Ridge community to make its voice heard. You can use the link above to ask for more capacity and services at Victory Memorial. Listen to the episode, and let the DOH know your concerns.
* Choose “Licensing & Services of Hospitals” in the subject list.
Be sure to specifically mention Maimonides’s Off-Campus ED at the Victory Memorial site.
Advocating for Single-Payer Healthcare
We spent the last 10 minutes of the episode discussing different ways that Bay Ridge could benefit from Single-Payer healthcare. Check out the Campaign for New York Health for more about how to get involved!
The Off-Campus Emergency Department Proposal
We spoke a lot about Maimonides’ Off-Campus ED proposal during the episode. Ed mentions their proposal to the NY State Department of Health in October. You can check out the details of that proposal on the DOH website. You’ll want to scroll down to the 11th page to view the proposal.
Bay Ridge’s Community Health Snapshot
Ed sends his apologies! We misspoke about some of Bay Ridge’s community health concerns in the episode. You can check out the full Community Health Profile, but here are a few highlights.
- 15% Bay Ridge adults lack health insurance, which is higher than the Brooklyn and City averages (each at 12%).
- We also have a higher rate of falls among older adults (1,876 per 100,000 residents).
- Vaccinations are less likely for Bay Ridge residents: only 40% of local teens have an HPV vaccination, and only 35% of adults have a Flu vaccination. Brooklyn as a whole is 3% higher, and, the city overall is almost 10% higher.
Additional Footnotes and Clarifications
This was a fact-dense episode! So here are a few fact-checks and footnotes:
The concern about overcrowded Emergency Rooms when Victory Memorial Closed
You can check out a Comptroller’s report from 2006 which lays out the concern that Emergency Rooms do not have enough capacity if Victory Memorial were to be closed.
Maimo says ER visits increased 100% since Victory Memorial closed
Ed says “don’t quote me on this” when he mentions ER visits to Maimonides doubled. You can read the full report by Maimonides here, where they say “Since the 2008 closure of Victory Memorial Hospital, the number of emergency department visits at Maimonides has grown by almost 100%”
The actual percentage is about a 91% increase from 2007 (before Victory closed) to 2018.
What does ACLS stand for?
Ed mentioned during the episode that, for certain situations, ambulances would not take you to Victory Memorial’s Off-Campus ED. The acronym, ACLS, stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (or ALS, Advanced Life Support). This is opposed to BLS, Basic Life Support. If the ambulance knows you are critical, they’ll bring you straight to a real hospital.
DeBlasio’s role in the Long Island College Hospital closure
We briefly mention that the closure of LICH in Downtown Brooklyn was a starting point for DeBlasio’s mayoral run. You can read a full post-mortem on DeBlasio’s role in the hospital’s closure in the Brooklyn Eagle.
- Check out this report on how Victory Memorial fought to stay open from CityLimits.
- You can read more about the Berger Commission via the NY Times in 2006, and how it’s affected our Coronavirus Response in 2020 via Newsday.
This episode was recorded in our Bay Ridge studio on March 12th with co-host Daniel Hetteix and special guest Ed Yoo. Post-production and editing are by Daniel Hetteix. Graphics are © Ico Maker and licensed via Adobe Stock.