Coney Island Hospital officially named for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

August 6, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, commonly known as Coney Island Hospital, held a ceremony Aug. 5 to officially announce that its in-patient component, which is slated to include a new 350,000-square-foot building and the existing tower building, will be named the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital.

The renaming will become effective summer of next year when the new building opens.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Midwood in 1933 and graduated from James Madison High School in 1950. She died September of last year at age 87.

Last week, the New York City Health + Hospitals Board of Directors  unanimously approved the resolution to rename the overall future health care campus as the NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health. 

The new name was chosen to reflect the comprehensive in-patient, surgical, out-patient and specialty services available on the campus and its role as the closest hospital to nearly 875,000 New Yorkers in the Southern Brooklyn community.  

The hospital’s redevelopment is part of a $922.7 million hospital campus renovation funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to demolish, replace and repair buildings that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Left-right: NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz; Coney Island Hospital CEO Svetlana Lipyanskaya; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter Clara Spera; and Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg, chairman of psychiatry at Coney Island Hospital, unveil a rendering of what the new facilities will look like when complete.

“This hospital, named after one of the greatest New Yorkers, is going to be a symbol to everyone in Brooklyn, particularly in Southern Brooklyn. This is the place to come for quality care,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio during the ceremony. 

“It’s also a message to all Brooklynites and all New Yorkers, that here’s a place where you will be treated right. Here’s a place where you’ll be cared for. Here’s a place where you matter. Because in my own personal way of summarizing the greatness of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she thought everyone mattered,” the mayor said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio discusses the importance of renaming the hospital after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

The redesigned campus will include a new elevated emergency department (as a protection from flooding), state-of-the-art operating rooms that facilitate robotic surgery, in-patient rooms with single beds, and a number of specialties such as endoscopy, interventional radiology and cardiology services.

It will also have new entrances on Ocean Parkway, a new flood wall, improved parking for patients and staff, and more. 

Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter Clara Spera, who was at the ceremony, was moved by the dedication.

“The mayor put it very well when he talked about patients and their families coming to the hospital, seeing my grandmother’s name and recognizing that it means that it’s a place they will be treated with dignity, equality and with great care,” she said. “That is what every patient deserves when they go to a hospital.”

Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, stressed that the renaming reflects the fact that the hospital serves more than Coney Island.

“I think the South Brooklyn name captures that we love Coney Island, but we’re more than Coney Island,” he said. ”I love the new name. And, of course, being able to honor the great justice is just amazing. And I think it’s everything that Health + Hospitals wants to be and is a place for everybody, that seeks to care for everybody, regardless of their backgrounds.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter, Clara Spera, speaks about the renaming during the ceremony.

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