$700 Million Awarded to Provide Community Based Services and Primary Care in Central Brooklyn

Posted By NYC Newswire

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.”

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 network will 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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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