Brooklyn Boro

OPINION: I was saved at Maimonides, and today I stand with them

September 8, 2022 Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz says many older adults in New York State are living in poverty. Photo courtesy of Cymbrowitz’s office
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Maimonides Medical Center has long been a critical centerpiece of our community’s and our borough’s healthcare system and the hospital continues to provide my constituents with the highest quality care possible.

I have seen firsthand the work that the hospital provides. Some years ago, I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Several years later I suffered a stroke, and I credit the life-saving treatment and world-class care I received at Maimonides for my subsequent recovery. Recently, both my wife and mother-in-law were diagnosed with breast cancer at the Maimonides Breast Center and had the best doctors in the city operating and treating them. When I walk the streets of my district, my constituents stop and thank me for the treatment they received at the Cancer Center and Hospital. I continue to recommend friends and constituents to the hospital and wouldn’t hesitate to return.

As both a patient and representative, I cannot stand by as the recent public campaign against Maimonides has spread false allegations and inaccuracies against the hospital. The campaign’s tactics – which include posing as union representatives, lobbing baseless and offensive personal attacks, and discouraging residents from using the hospital – have no place in healthcare. The attacks have been disrespectful to the hardworking members of 1199SEIU and nurses of NYSNA who have worked tirelessly to ensure quality care for patients. I fear these attacks serve only to sow division and misinformation amongst our neighbors.

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To be clear, Maimonides and its leadership are accountable for ensuring a well-run, safe, and efficient hospital. I remain committed to working with community leaders and the hospital’s leadership to get the facts and identify ways to improve Maimonides and will do so in the collaborative and cooperative manner that has guided my entire career in public service. We all must also guard against allowing care in the community to potentially be harmed by misinformation or questionable motives.

While Maimonides are certainly not alone among New York medical institutions which have faced significant headwinds – both from the COVID-19 pandemic and the healthcare financing system which does not sufficiently compensate institutions serving a majority of patients with government-sponsored insurance – they have continued to do the right thing for our communities during extremely trying times.

I couldn’t be prouder to represent residents within Maimonides’ service area and I remain diligent about determining the veracity of claims about staffing and care and always seek out objective facts. But these attacks are purely political and selfish and have nothing to do with the reality of the medical care provided to the patients who are treated at Maimonides. The health and well-being of my constituents are at stake, and I look forward to continuing to partner with residents, community leaders, union representatives, and Maimonides leadership to ensure that it is protected. 

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz represents Brooklyn’s 45th Assembly District, which includes parts of Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Midwood, and Brighton Beach. 

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