$18.5M for Coney Island Hospital to expand integrated women’s health services

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso with officials and others at Coney Island Hospital.
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso with officials and others at Coney Island Hospital.
Office of Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso on Tuesday announced that his administration has allocated $18.5 million in capital funding to NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island to consolidate and expand access to women’s health services on the hospital’s campus.

Reynoso said this funding will allow the South Brooklyn hospital to improve the continuity of care between inpatient and outpatient services, which will lead to better patient outcomes.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island is receiving the largest allocation from Borough President Reynoso’s FY23 capital funding at $18.5M, with the entire $45M budget being allotted across the three public hospitals in Brooklyn to help improve maternal health care services that will in turn reduce maternal mortality rates of Black pregnant people.

Reynoso is the first Borough President to allocate an entire fiscal year’s capital funding to one cause, and within one city organization.

“It’s important for me to ensure that every corner of Brooklyn is given an equitable amount of attention and resources when trying to build a more sustainable, safer, livable future in this borough,” he said. “Being able to invest a substantial amount of funds across our three Brooklyn public hospitals will help upgrade services throughout the borough, including in South Brooklyn where NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island stands.

“I thank our city’s public healthcare system for being a trusted partner in my efforts to close maternal mortality rates among Black pregnant people,” he added.

“Brooklyn is the fastest growing borough in New York City and it has the second-highest birth rate. NYC Health + Hospitals applauds Borough President Antonio Reynoso for his vision to make Brooklyn one of the safest places to give birth,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Katz, MD. “While racial disparities in birth outcomes are evident nationwide, our health care system is committed to reducing and eliminating these inequalities by creating safer birth experiences for New Yorkers.

“The borough president’s investment in our patients and their families will help us further improve maternal health outcomes,” he added. “We thank Mr. Reynoso for his tremendous partnership and generosity, and we are most grateful for his gift.”

“The Borough President’s generous infusion of capital funding will help complete a multi-year master plan for the future NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health and its Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital. Provision of equitable and state-of-the-art women’s health care services to the residents of South Brooklyn and neighboring communities is a cornerstone in the hospital’s clinical strategy,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island Chief Executive Officer Svetlana Lipyanskaya.

“It is inconceivable that Black women are eight times more likely to die from complications during birth in New York City,” he added. “I wholeheartedly support the Borough President’s goal of addressing the maternal mortality disparity between women of color and their white counterparts and making Brooklyn the safest borough in NYC to give birth.”

Reynoso said capital funding will go towards creating a contiguous comprehensive women’s health service on the eight floor of the Main and Tower buildings.

He said services from outpatient care to labor and delivery to post-partum recovery will be brought together to ensure care continuity and safety.

Patient rooms and ancillary space will be upgraded to enhanced total family care, the borough president said.

Additionally, he said the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and nursery will be redesigned to accommodate the needs of families to reflect the hospital’s Baby-Friendly designation.

After the redesign of the hospital’s Mother-Baby Unit, all women’s health providers, Reynoso said staff and patient support spaces, and education facilities will be on the same floor, allowing for an immediate response in case of an emergency and promoting a dialogue between team members to ensure timely consultation when questions arise.

Furthermore, he said the co-location of services will allow expecting patients and their families to become familiar with the team and amenities, thus increasing comfort and decreasing anxiety.

“On behalf of the entire OB/GYN Department, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Borough President Reynoso for his commitment to improving women’s health care for South Brooklyn residents, said Dr. Maggie Tetrokalashvili, chair of OB/GYN at Coney Island Hospital. His support will enable us to make a positive impact in the lives of patients we serve, to give every mother, every baby and every woman a sense of belonging, and hope for a brighter future.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island’s investment in improving women’s health care services is an important milestone in meeting the health care needs of the residents of South Brooklyn and its neighboring communities. I applaud Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of the patients who seek care at New York City’s public health system” said Theresa Scavo, chair of NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island Community Advisory Board.

During his campaign, Reynoso highlighted the gross inequity that Black pregnant people are 9.4 times more likely to die due to childbirth complications than their white counterparts.

He pledged to reduce this disparity in Brooklyn, making the borough one of the safest places to have a baby in the country.

Reynoso began working on this priority quickly after transitioning to his new role, launching his administration’s Maternal Health Taskforce in April 2022.

He said the taskforce will help lay the foundation for strategizing around his maternal health agenda and expanding the taskforce.

In addition to his capital allocations, Reynoso also looks forward to supporting outpatient services, such as social services and community care models, which address underlying issues faced by people of color, increasing health insurance access for all birthing people, and more,” said Haitian-born Councilmember and Chair of the City Council Committee on Hospitals Mercedes Narcisse.

“It is once again my pleasure to stand with Borough President Antonio Reynoso as he leads the way in addressing the vast disparities in maternal health and mortality and helps to create more equitable maternal health care services in our borough,” she added. “Borough President Reynoso’s $18.5 million allocation of capital funding to Coney Island Hospital will certainly help so many soon-to-be mothers of color receive the care they need and deserve.

“As a mother of four, a registered nurse, and chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals, I commend and thank Borough President Reynoso for his bold leadership and commitment to this issue,” Narcisse continued.

“As a longtime resident of Coney Island, I am thrilled and grateful for the Brooklyn Borough President’s generous allocation of $18.5 million in capital funding to expand women’s health services at Coney Island Hospital,” said Haitian American Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus.

“This investment in our southern Brooklyn community will benefit so many women from all walks of life who depend on the hospital for maternal health care,” she added. “The significance of this grant in improving the quality of care that women receive cannot be overstated.”

Last week, Reynoso announced a capital allocation of $11M to NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull to improve the hospital’s women’s health services by creating a state-of-the-art birthing center.

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