The Brooklyn Hospital Center breaks ground on new emergency department

July 11, 2019 Andy Katz
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Legislators, administrators and medical directors come together to celebrate forthcoming renovation

On Wednesday, July 10, the Brooklyn Hospital Center broke ground on its long-planned state-of-the art emergency department, an 18-month-long renovation that will expand the facility to service the more than 70,000 patients that currently are treated there, and which is expected to revolutionize the treatment of heart emergencies.

“This renovation,” said CEO Gary Terrinoni, “will result in a state-of-the-art facility within life-saving minutes of our neighbors’ homes.”

“I had my colonoscopy here,” said Assemblymember Walter Mosley of the 57th District. “More importantly, when my child developed complications from a tonsillectomy and had difficulty breathing, we never hesitated, or thought twice about where to bring him. The Brooklyn Hospital Center has long proved its excellence in providing emergency care.”

“Bear in mind,” said Terrinoni, “we’re going to be open, treating patients, serving the community, throughout the entire renovation.” 

As if in reminder of the medical center’s ongoing importance, speakers were frequently interrupted by ambulance sirens as EMS brought a steady stream of new patients into the existing ER.

“Our current emergency department was built to serve about 35,000 patients each year,” said Emergency Medicine Chair Dr. Sylvia de Souza. “Presently, we’re treating about 70,000, twice that number.”

After Mosley, Terrinoni and de Souza joined Dino Veronese, Susan Skerrit, Dr. Kim Best and Dr. Patton Greenidge in using ceremonial shovels to move soil inside ceremonial wheelbarrows, the groundbreaking was over. All that remains is to build the new emergency department.

“This is going to be great for the community,” said Debbie Neiderhoffer, vice president and chief development officer for TBHC. “There’s a need that’s long been unfulfilled and this will go a long way to filling it.”

“What sets Brooklyn Hospital apart is their ability to work closely with people from the South Asian community,” said Mohammad Razvi, CEO and founder of the Council of People’s Organization [COPO], the largest South-Asian Muslim organization in Brooklyn. “Their hiring and their commitment to diversity have a lot to do with why Brooklyn Hospital Center is still in business, and even thriving, while so many other New York area hospitals have closed their doors recently.”

The project is funded in part by a New York State Department of Health Transformation Grant of $25 million, the largest such grant any New York City health provider received in the year it was awarded.

The new Emergency Department entrance will be through a newly renovated hospital lobby that will provide direct access to triage rooms. Rapid registration will accelerate patient flow, reducing notorious emergency room waiting times. The new ER will include bariatric, psychiatric observation, radiology, CT scan, cardiac treatment and bereavement rooms.

TBHC is located at 121 DeKalb Ave.

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