Another reprieve for Interfaith Medical Center pushes potential closure date to September 11 or later

August 26, 2013 Heather Chin
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Short of someone buying the hospital, advocates of saving Interfaith Medical Center are buying time.

Today, August 26, was to be the postponed bankruptcy court hearing for Interfaith, but three days earlier, on Friday, August 23, the state Department of Health (DOH) requested a 30-day adjournment, according to Crain’s Health Pulse

The request was made at 6 p.m. on a Friday and was approved “after 10 that night” on the condition that the DOH pay for the ensuing hospital upkeep over that period.

That moves the hearing to September 11 or later.

The update follows a legal motion filed on August 21 by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio that previously pushed the potential closure to August 26.

de Blasio’s motion claims that the state Department of Health improperly rushed approval of Interfaith’s closure plan by ignoring a required 90-day review process. If the motion is granted, the case would go to the state Supreme Court.

The hospital, which serves the mostly low-income residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, requested permission on July 31 to close, providing a timetable that would have closed their doors completely by November 14.

Interfaith has said that the state health department ordered the closure so suddenly that they did not have time to come up with viable alternatives.

Buying time, said supporters, will allow supporters to come up with a restructuring plan.

Supporters include neighbors, patients, political leaders, and hospital employees, who have argued that losing the hospital would create a “dangerous” environment where Brooklynites who need care the most will have the least access to life-saving treatment.

“Interfaith Medical Center has been a major provider of primary, emergency, and psychiatric care in Northern and Central Brooklyn for decades,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “Its closure would be an incredible and dangerous hardship.”

Note: This article has been corrected to note that it was the state Department of Health that requested the closure delay, not Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.


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