After Long Battle, Kingsboro Psych Center Will Stay Open
CROWN HEIGHTS — Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, which the Brooklyn Task Force of the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team sought to close, has now gotten a reprieve, a hospital representative confirmed Friday in an email to the Eagle.
After several months of pressure from Brooklyn lawmakers, members of unions representing Kingsboro’s workers and advocates for the mental health community, authorization for the closure was removed from the state budget on Friday. If the hospital were closed, the patients would have been sent to South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island.
The 290-bed hospital, at 681 Clarkson Ave. in Crown Heights, is described online as providing “comprehensive, integrated services 24 hours per day for hospitalized patients.” It contains a crisis residence, a transitional residence and a family care program as well as outpatient clinics in Canarsie and Williamsburg.
On March 12, state Sen. Eric Adams, Assemblyman Nick Perry and other elected officials, as well as representatives of the Public Employees Federation, the Civil Service Employees Association and United University Professions, held a rally outside the hospital with 300 employees.
The fight to save Kingsboro was also supported by the Brooklyn Delegation in the state legislature and the legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus.
In addition to employee concerns, many advocates for the mentally ill felt that inpatients wouldn’t react well to a change of residence. The change of venue would also make visits from family members more difficult, they said.
“Brooklyn residents were waiting to exhale — now they can breathe again,” said state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Flatbush) was quoted as saying by the Daily News on Friday.
The state‘s Brooklyn Task Force is often referred to as the Berger Commission, since it is chaired by investment banker Steven Berger. A previous state commission known as the New York State Commission on Hospitals in the 21st Century, also chaired by Berger, sought to close Kingsboro in 2006 as well.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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