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Governor Cuomo Announces Transformation of the Health Care System in Brooklyn

$700 Million to Provide Community Based Services and Primary Care

Develops A 32-Site Ambulatory Care Network Focused On Preventive Care and Wellness

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the award of nearly $700 million in funding to One Brooklyn Health - a new unified health care system - to support the state's ongoing efforts to transform the health care system and increase access to quality care throughout Central Brooklyn.

The targeted investments will strengthen local health care facilities to close current gaps and increase services; develop a 32-site ambulatory care network that will include partnerships with existing community-based providers; and transform the health care system by increasing access to quality services and preventive care. The announcement builds on the Governor's transformative Vital Brooklyn initiative to improve the health care delivery system in Brooklyn.

"For far too long, chronic disparities in health care have contributed to systemic poverty in Central Brooklyn, and Vital Brooklyn is a national model for tackling those challenges and addressing every facet of community wellness," Governor Cuomo said. "This holistic investment creates a sustainable, unified health care system to empower historically underserved communities, support health and wellness and ensure a brighter future for the people of Brooklyn."

Speaker Carl Heastie said, "For too long, Central Brooklyn has struggled to overcome the vicious cycle of poverty that has stemmed from years of neglect and underinvestment. Today, we have made a commitment to empower this community and change these disparate outcomes for generations to come. With this initiative, the state is making strategic and comprehensive investments to increase access to quality healthcare, improve preventive care and enhance the delivery of services across the region. The Assembly Majority looks forward to working with Governor Cuomo and our partners in government to ensure that every New Yorker has the tools they need to live healthy and productive lives."

Central Brooklyn is one of the most vulnerable areas in all of New York State, with measurably higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity, high rates of violence and crime, wide economic disparities due to unemployment, and high poverty levels, and inadequate access to high quality health care and mental health services.

Consistent with the recommendations in Northwell Health's "The Brooklyn Study: Reshaping the Future of Healthcare," Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center have partnered together to create One Brooklyn Health, which will serve as an integrated, central health care delivery system in Central Brooklyn.

The funds will support the development of an expansive integrated ambulatory care network, significant infrastructure modernization at each of the three hospital facilities, including regionalizing clinical programs and restructuring inpatient services, and the creation of enterprise wide health information technology platform to improve coordination and delivery of care through an efficient, high quality regional health care delivery system.

Specifically, $664 million of funding to One Brooklyn Health will support:

  • $210 million to develop a 32-site ambulatory care network: The expansive networkwill include partnerships with existing community-based providers, to increase access to primary and preventative health care services in the highest need areas of Central Brooklyn. These new facilities are expected to add approximately 500,000 new ambulatory care visits a year, which will more than double the number of visits that currently exist in the area. In addition, the new ambulatory care network will:
    • Include partnerships with four Brooklyn Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)—Bed Stuy Family Health Center, ODA Crown Heights, Brightpoint Health, and the Brownsville Multi-Service Center—to expand primary care capacity of community-based organizations.
      • Build programmatic bridges with SUNY Downstate and support the academic mission and vision of University Hospital.
        • Integrate with new affordable housing developments which will be built surrounding the three One Brooklyn Health hospitals to include on-site wellness amenities such as urgent care, primary care, and specialty practices.
          • Create 255 net new jobs and help recruit 300 primary care physicians to the Central Brooklyn area, which has some of lowest rates of primary care physicians per capita in the State.
  • $384 million for critical clinical and facility infrastructure improvements:
    • Brookdale will undergo significant facility improvements to maintain its role in the community as a regional trauma center, including the development of a new Emergency Department, expansion of its community health center to accommodate a new 30-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and development of additional patient care units - which are expected to increase Brookdale's capacity by 100 beds.
      • Interfaith will renovate and expand its emergency department, as well develop a Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) Unit supporting the integration of primary and behavioral health care services.
        • Kingsbrook Jewish will evolve into a Medical Village with new and expanded ambulatory primary and specialty care, emergency services, and post-acute care services. Through this transformation, Kingsbrook will re-purpose portions of its campus to address social determinants of health, including the provision of new affordable housing and community space.
          • $142 million of the $384 million will be reserved to provide One Brooklyn Health flexibility in prioritizing its other clinical and facility infrastructure improvement projects submitted in its application.
  • $70 million to create an enterprise wide Health Information Technology Platform: Critical to the funding support for One Brooklyn Health are the investments to develop a community-wide health information technology system, which will enable the development of a single electronic health record system integrated across the three hospitals technology platforms and the provider care network, positioning the health system to thrive in the new world of payment reform and population health. In particular, the new health information technology platform will:
    • Effectively support clinical decision making, improve quality and patient care outcomes,
      • Develop effective care management capabilities and create operating efficiencies, and
        • Enable uniform measurement of medical and social determinants and reporting of a standard set of outcome measures to effectively gauge the success of interventions undertaken by the health system and its community partners is addressing social determinants of health care and its impact on community health status.

These awarded capital funds are in addition to $320 Million in annual operating support provided in the current budget, as well as $320 Million in the proposed executive budget for four Central and Eastern Brooklyn Hospitals, including Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center, and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. The remaining $36 million will be reserved for future awards under the program.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Governor Cuomo outlined an aggressive vision for health care in Brooklyn in his State of the State and with today's announcement, we are one step closer to creating a health care delivery system that will serve as a model for access and sustainability."

DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell said, “DASNY is thrilled to have a role in bringing these initiatives to fruition. Together we are building healthier, educated and more sustainable communities and giving New York’s economy a chance to flourish.”

LaRay Brown, CEO of One Brooklyn Health, said, "Today's announcement addresses the critical need for access to health care in Central and Northeast Brooklyn. This significant investment in the One Brooklyn Health System highlights Governor Cuomo's continued strong commitment to lifting up all New Yorkers. A healthy population is the foundation of any viable community and we applaud the Governor and state legislators for recognizing that every New Yorker has a right to quality health care!"

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said, "Under the Governor's leadership, we have already made great strides in enhancing Brooklyn's quality of health care and this latest investment will ensure every man, woman and child has access to the services they deserve. Through the Vital Brooklyn initiative, New York is providing the resources needed to take our communities to the next level and provide an improved quality of life to all our residents. We thank Governor Cuomo for seeing the potential of our community and taking action to help us build Brooklyn better than ever before."

Senator Kevin Parker said, "Access to quality health care has always been critical issues of inequity that plague communities of color like the district I represent in Central Brooklyn. That's why I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking this bold step to see that the Vital Brooklyn initiative was thoroughly planned, and today, carefully implemented."

Senator Roxanne Persaud said, "Programs to provide access to quality health care are a cornerstone of New York's values, and address the specific needs of our community in Brooklyn. I look forward to continue working with the Governor and the Advisory Council on Vital Brooklyn."

Senator Jesse Hamilton said, "I commend Governor Cuomo and all the partners whose leadership brings Vital Brooklyn to this important milestone today. Supporting the health and well-being of Brooklynites empowers our neighborhoods to overcome the challenges we face. Vital Brooklyn's $1.4 billion investment through inclusive, community-oriented planning means ensuring broad participation in charting the future of our neighborhoods. Overcoming the challenges presented by health disparities and other social issues requires sustained investment and collaboration across our community. These investments bolster the work of community partners who have been dedicated to tackling challenges - innovators like those who partnered with me and my colleagues to establish the first tech and wellness hub at a public housing site in the United States and expanded that "Campus" initiative to additional neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn last year. These investments will ultimately allow us to realize the promise of a more prosperous Brooklyn for all."

Assemblyman Nick Perry said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative is a groundbreaking program that delivers for a community in need. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is making a major investment that will significantly improve health care services in the area and ensure a better future for our residents and our children. Today's announcement shows that we aren't just talking about it—we are getting it done for Brooklyn."

Assemblywoman Jamie Williams, "Vital Brooklyn is a comprehensive, groundbreaking program to tackle every facet of community wellness in one of our most underserved communities. These new investments will transform health care and wellness and help empower our communities. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to continue to invest in Brooklyn's future."

Assemblyman Tremaine Wright said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative represents a comprehensive approach to improving the lives of our residents. This model, launched by Governor Cuomo, promises to address the needs and challenges in the area. I applaud the Governor for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work together to support health and wellness in Central Brooklyn."

Assmemblywoman Latrice Walker, "Governor Cuomo has made the revitalization, transformation and development of health care delivery in New York's underserved communities a pillar of his administration. The Health Care Transformation Portion of the Vital Brooklyn initiative brings a significant investment of resources and services to our community which ensures that our zip code does not dictate that quality of care that we receive. On behalf of the residents of the 55th A.D. I applaud the Governor's investment and dedication in making a massive difference for all of our residents, providing a healthy environment for the men, women and children of Brooklyn, and I look forward to continued progress."

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila said, "From rebuilding the health care system in Central Brooklyn to increasing access to quality care, the Vital Brooklyn initiative represents a comprehensive approach to improving the lives of our residents. This national model, launched by Governor Cuomo, addresses the needs and challenges in the area and delivers for a community too long neglected. I applaud the Governor for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work together to support Central Brooklyn's upward trajectory."

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James said, "Despite the Trump Administration's fiscal assault on New York, Governor Cuomo is making a substantial investment in the future of health care delivery in Central Brooklyn. The Governor's commitment of these much needed resources will allow for the transition from an inpatient-centric model to a community access model and improved health care outcomes. Our Office has collaborated with community advocates, labor and health care leaders, as well other Brooklyn elected officials to ensure that these funds are deployed timely manner. I look forward to working with the Governor and the broad local coalition to guarantee the success of One Brooklyn Health and the Vital Brooklyn initiative."

City Councilman Robert Cornegy said, "Governor Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn initiative is utilizing a comprehensive, holistic approach to help Central Brooklyn gain access to critical programs our residents need. This investment will provide greater access to quality health care essential for this region and our residents to grow and thrive. I thank the Governor for keeping the health and well-being of our families a top priority and for seeing this transformative project through."

George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said, "As healthcare cuts on the national level continue to threaten New York's communities, this investment is a beacon of hope for Brooklyn's working families. This award fulfills the commitment made by Governor Cuomo and our legislative leaders to transform central and east Brooklyn's health care institutions into a sustainable, community-based system that will seek to address the root causes of health care disparities."

Jill Furillo, RN, NYSNA Executive Director, "We are thankful to Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for allocating these much needed funds to safety net hospitals that will be a part of the 'One Brooklyn Health' network. Brooklyn's patients are much better served by New York State's efforts than by the misguided inhumane policies promulgated by the federal Republicans that would slash health care funding and close hospitals in these vulnerable communities."

Rose Duhan, President and CEO of the Community Health Care Association of New York State, said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative lays the groundwork for transforming the delivery of health care services in central and eastern Brooklyn and improving health outcomes for the residents of these communities. Federally Qualified Health Centers play a key role in providing access to high quality health care in underserved communities and we are proud to support the Governor's initiative, which will provide critical funding to expand the availability of primary care services at community based organizations."

Funding was made available to health care providers located in Kings County, including general hospitals, residential health care facilities, diagnostic and treatment centers, primary care providers, and home care providers, in support of projects that replace inefficient and outdated facilities as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition or other corporate restructuring activity intended to create a financially sustainable system of care.

To receive funding, applicants were required to demonstrate how the proposed use of the grant was consistent with the recommendations for facility investments in a study for restructuring health care services commissioned by the Department of Health and prepared by Northwell Health, including recommendations that projects align with a holistic vision of health care which addresses social determinants of health through the integration and coordination of the services of the new health care system with programs that provide access to affordable and supportive housing, healthy food, exercise in a safe and supportive environment; and/or other programs that enhance a state of wellness in the community.