Coney Island

Coney Island Hospital dedicates new community health center

July 16, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Arthur Wagner, Coney Island Hospital executive director, is pictured with the family of Ida G. Israel at the ribbon-cutting ceremony this week. Photo courtesy of Coney Island Hospital
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Coney Island Hospital on Wednesday dedicated its new community health center in Coney Island and named it for Ida G. Israel, a late community leader and long-time neighborhood resident.

The new Ida G. Israel Community Health Center is scheduled to open in late-August at 2925 West 19th St., between Surf and Mermaid avenues and across the street from MCU Park. It replaces the former center, which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, and will restore healthcare services in the west end of Coney Island.

 Close to 30 members of Ida Israel’s extended family attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the new location. They were joined by numerous elected officials and dignitaries, including Councilmembers Corey Johnson, Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch; Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna; and officials of the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, which administers the hospital.

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 Built with $7.5 million in resiliency funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the 13,000-square-foot facility is a new one-story building elevated to meet FEMA requirements for protection against a future storm surge. The new center will provide the same services in adult primary care, pediatrics, dentistry, social services, family planning, behavioral health and more.

“Our goal since Sandy has always been to fully rebuild the Ida G. Israel Community Health Center so it can provide the important healthcare services that improve the overall health of our community,” said Arthur Wagner, executive director of Coney Island Hospital. 

Before Superstorm Sandy, the Ida G. Israel Center provided more than 40,000 medical, dental and mental health visits each year, many for Medicaid or uninsured patients. After the storm, interim services were temporarily provided at Coney Island Hospital itself and through a mobile medical van located at West 30th Street and Mermaid Avenue.

At its new location, the center will have improved access to the F, N, Q and D subway lines and the B36 and B74 bus lines. Starting the end of August, patients will be able to schedule appointments at (718) 616-3880. It will operate Monday through Friday, with extended hours for behavioral health services on Saturdays. 

“After Superstorm Sandy destroyed the Ida G. Israel Community Health Center, residents across Coney Island were left wondering if it would ever be back,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. “Well, today, the answer is clear. The new Ida G. Israel Community Health Center is not only back, but it is stronger and better than before.”

“The reopening of this vital clinic in the West End of Coney Island is a tremendous relief for the thousands of local residents who relied on it for a wide range of medical services before it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy,” said Councilmember Treyger, who chairs the city Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency. “When I ran for office two years ago, the loss of this center was one of the biggest complaints from residents.”

Ida G. Israel was a community leader, activist and long-time resident of Coney Island. Among her numerous activities, she was chair of School Board 21, a member of Community Board 13, president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island and Brighton Beach, vice president of Community Action for Legal Services of New York State, vice chair of the Coney Island Hospital Community Advisory Board and chair of the Hospital Community Medical Health Center Advisory Board.

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