The Brooklyn Hospital Center celebrated the grand opening of The Brooklyn Cancer Center and its newly-renovated emergency room in a double ribbon-cutting event on Oct. 3.
The much-needed, multi-million dollar renovation of the emergency department was funded with grants from the state health department and an additional $9.2 million infusion from federal officials, and has been underway for about three years. The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s emergency department treats about 70,000 people per year – but was designed to treat just about 43,000, according to hospital officials. With more space and updated facilities, the hospital is now better equipped to handle the needs of the still-growing nabe.
“The renovations began three years ago and were completed this summer. This completion marks a promise kept to the community — a better-looking ED environment that functions better, too, and is more patient-friendly,” said Gary G. Terrinoni, President and CEO of TBHC.
Dr. Charles Coleman Hamm, the former chair of TBHC’s urology department, contributed a significant chunk of money to the renovation — and the shiny new emergency room bears his name in thanks. His son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Irene Hamm, attended last week’s ceremony.
In Downtown Brooklyn, the hospital also marked the official opening of The Brooklyn Cancer Center, a collaborative effort between The Brooklyn Hospital Center and New York Cancer & Blood Specialists. The freestanding facility, which started welcoming patients in August, gives Brooklynites top-rate cancer care without the need to leave the borough.
The new facility will feature expert care and culturally-sensitive treatment options, according to hospital officials, and patients will receive care from top doctors like Dr. Maxim Shulimovich, Chief of Hematology and Oncology at the new cancer center, radiation oncologist Dr. Minh-Phuong Huynh-Le, and palliative care specialist Dr. Janaya Raynor.
“NYCBS has bridged the gap for patients to receive high-quality cancer treatment close to home,” said Dr. Jeff Vacirca, CEO of NYCBS, when the facility opened its doors last summer. “The Brooklyn Cancer Center will bring state-of-the-art facilities, increased capacity, and the architectural atmosphere aligns with our world-class care.”
The new cancer center is a huge step in providing expert care to the borough of Brooklyn. There are five New York City Housing Authority complexes within a few miles of the Cancer Treatment Center, said local councilmember Crystal Hudson at the ribbon-cutting, and it’s important that the residents of each of those developments — and Brooklynites all over the neighborhood — have access to the best oncologists right outside their doors.
“Since we’ve started accepting patients, we’ve seen a 25% increase in patient volume,” Vacirca said. “At this state-of-the-art facility, The Brooklyn Cancer Center offers the entire continuum of cancer care to our patients, from medical and radiation oncology, to surgical consults, palliative care, support services and access to clinical trials.”
The Cancer Center treats a range of cancers — including breast cancer, skin cancer, and gynecological cancers — as well as non-cancerous blood disorders.
Dr. Asha Nayak, a now-retired TBHC hematologist and oncologist, contributed a significant financial gift to the facility’s infusion suite.
“I give this in honor of my patients,” Nayak said.