Coney Island Hospital to be renamed after Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Coney Island Hospital will be renamed Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital next summer.
Photo courtesy of NYC Health and Hospitals

Coney Island Hospital will take on a new name next summer honoring the late southern Brooklynite who rose to serve on the highest court in the land.

NYC Health and Hospitals announced on July 30 that Coney Island Hospital, actually in Sheepshead Bay, will be renamed Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital in honor of the US Supreme Court justice from Midwood and that the surrounding campus will be dubbed South Brooklyn Health.

Hospital administrators say the renaming of the campus is meant to reflect its extensive reach in the borough’s southern hemisphere, not just in the People’s Playground. 

“Although located adjacent to the neighborhood of Coney Island, our medical center is the closest comprehensive facility for approximately 875,000 New Yorkers who reside in South Brooklyn and beyond,” said Svetlana Lipyanskaya, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “With today’s announcement, we are proud to acknowledge our closest neighbors and welcome through our doors the broader communities for whom we provide care and ultimately hope to serve.”

The nod to Bader Ginsburg is also symbolic of the system’s service, said President and CEO Mitchell Katz.

“Justice Ginsburg fought tirelessly for justice and equality, giving voices to the voiceless, and as patients walk into the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health, they will do so knowing they will receive high quality health services with compassion, dignity, and respect, regardless of their income, gender identity, or immigration status,” he said. “We are grateful that the family of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has allowed us to honor her memory in this historic way.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a 2018 appearance at the Museum of the City of New York.File photo by Todd Maisel

The dual-renaming will go into effect in summer 2022 when the hospital administration expects to open a new flood-resilient, 11-story hospital building constructed as part of a $922.7 million federal emergency grant awarded to the hospital in 2014 after it suffered severe damage from Superstorm Sandy.

The new tower and an existing tower currently serving as the hospital’s main building will be joined during construction and together serve as the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital. 

To fortify against flooding, the new hospital building at 2619 Ocean Parkway will house medical services above the 500-year floodplain, beginning with the emergency department on the second floor, which will feature an ambulance dock and a vehicular ramp connecting to the ground floor, set to house a flood-proof lobby.  

The upper levels will host inpatient services, including 60 behavioral health beds and 80 medical-surgical beds transferred from the soon-to-be-demolished Hammett Pavilion. The facility will feature exclusively single-occupancy rooms in addition to a surgical suite offering robotic surgery, a labor and delivery wing, an endoscopy suite, inpatient dialysis, radiology and interventional radiology, clinical laboratories and more.

The most important medical services will be situated on the building’s top floors in order to still be operational in the event of flooding, the hospital’s Senior Director of Facilities Dan Collins previously told Brooklyn Paper. 

The federal emergency funding also paid for the construction of a 4-foot concrete flood wall to surround the campus — a project which requires the demolition of the 110-year-old, six-story Hammett Pavilion to move forward — which is expected to commence shortly after the new tower’s completion. The flood wall will be outfitted with a series of gates that will close during floods, all of which is slated to be finished in mid-2023.

Outpatient services will be relocated from the Hammett Pavilion to the campus’ current main hospital building, for which administrators say they’ve secured funding to upgrade to serve as an outpatient center after the transition to the new building occurs. 

Other renovations funded by the grant include flood-resilient infrastructure to continue operating power, heating, cooling, and water systems for medical services during an emergency as well as improved parking for patients, employees and visitors all slated for completion in mid-2023 along with the flood wall.