DeBlasio files court challenge to Interfaith closure

Buying time: Cynthia Daikuch, Yonette Wilson, and Pauline Lewis Moodie sing to rouse the spirits of protesters ralliyng to save Interfaith Medical Center. Hospital staffers and their allies have an extra 11 days to challenge the closure plan announced July 30.
Photo by Hannah Palmer Egan

Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill DeBlasio is challenging the state’s closure of Interfaith Medical Center in court, saying Brooklyn will suffer if the hospital is shuttered.

In the objection filed on Tuesday, DeBlasio accused the state of plowing ahead to approve the Interfaith closure without a legally required 90-day review period

“[The closure] will be disastrous to the community, as access to health care in Brooklyn will be severely compromised, many jobs will be lost, and the lives of many New Yorkers will be put directly at risk,” De Blasio wrote in the motion.

Advocates for keeping the hospital open applauded the challenge, which came in just ahead of the Friday deadline.

“Our patients need more access to care, not hospital closures,” said Jill Furillo, registered nurse and executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, a union.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant hospital on Atlantic Avenue between Albany and Troy avenues is set to close in late-November, putting 1,544 staffers out of work and forcing the 300,000 mostly poor and uninsured people who use its services annually to look elsewhere for health care. Managers plan to stop accepting ambulances and admitting new patients on Monday, according to court documents, but a judge could set back those plans in a hearing that day.

Court papers show that the state rejected Interfaith’s restructuring plan, which was submitted as the hospital was deep in the red, and demanded that it close instead.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

Keeping the Inter-faith: The Bedford-Stuyvesant hospital is set to close in mid-November, but it not if Bill DeBlasio and the nurses unions have their way.
Associated Press

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