Salute to front line workers: Doctors Byer and Pratt of the Brooklyn Hospital Center
New York City hospitals that serve the city’s most disadvantaged patients are facing a second wave of challenges to fight COVID-19 as positive rates continue to increase, and access to quality healthcare is vital now more than ever.
Born in Barbados and raised in Flatbush, Dr. Erroll Byer wanted to work for a community hospital and discovered this right in his backyard in Brooklyn. He has served as the Chair and the Program Director of the OBGYN Department for the oldest, independent hospital in New York City’s The Brooklyn Hospital Center for over 20 years.
Dr. Byer has seen first-hand the needs that should be addressed for the most underserved, disadvantaged communities, and families. Access to healthcare is an issue, and the Brooklyn Hospital Center is providing quality care to thousands of mothers, a majority of them are Latina and Black. About 2,200 babies are born at The Brooklyn Hospital Center every year, and it is his goal to educate and support these mothers throughout their pregnancies.
Additionally, he was raised by a family dedicated to the healthcare industry and is a second-generation physician, who has worked alongside his father and sister at The Brooklyn Hospital Center for years.
Dr. Pratibha Vemulapalli, who patients and fellow staffers call ‘Dr. Pratt,’ has worked at The Brooklyn Hospital Center since 2017 with an expertise in minimally invasive and weight loss surgery. She prides herself on introducing this distinctive, tailored specialty to Brooklyn as NO other hospital in the borough provides this.
Dr. Pratt is the Chair of Surgery and decided to work there because she felt passionate about the vibrant community environment that the Brooklyn Hospital brings to staff and its patients day-to-day.
Through her specialty, she is working to decrease the number of patients who suffer from diabetes. Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the United States and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes and face its devastating consequences.
What’s true nationwide is also true right here in New York. Approximately 2,071,909 people in New York, or 12.5% of the adult population, have diabetes. And, about 10% of Brooklyn residents.
Dr. Pratt has dramatically improved the quality of life for thousands across Brooklyn. She has limited the number of insulin shots for one patient from 5 shots a day to zero a day. Another example through surgery, she helped a 90-year-old grandmother and gave her the ability to walk and become more active in the lives of her grandchildren.
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