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.

The entrance to the old Emergency Room in Bay Ridge at the old Victory Memorial Hospital. Signs declare the ER is closed.
The entrance to the former Emergency Room in Bay Ridge, at Victory Memorial | Photo by Daniel Hetteix

Audio Bookmarks

Show Notes

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.
A graph showing the likelihood of hospitalized falls for Bay Ridge compared to NYC as a whole.
Data from the Bay Ridge / Dyker Heights 2018 Community Health Profile

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.

Mt. Sinai’s Queens Campus Expansion

Ed mentions that Queens was declared under-bedded after the Berger Commission’s 2006 report. You can read more about Mt Sinai’s expansion and how Queens was reported under-bedded in articles from the Queens Gazette in 2006 and 2008.

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.

Further Reading

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.

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