Terrinoni strongly advo-cated for TBHC to receive support from the state and not be ignored, “The Brooklyn Hospital Center has shown financial stewardship as an independent community hospital, while other Brooklyn providers cannot survive without enormous state subsidies. Over the last several years, TBHC has received no capital awards while other Brooklyn hospitals have received capital awards over $100 million, and yet still require hundreds more in the coming years to cover operating losses.”
He noted that TBHC stands out as one of the few Brooklyn hospitals to succeed in sustaining a positive operating performance over the past decade. The hospital has had a slight operating margin, but not enough to invest in critical capital projects.
“We are caught between a rock and a hard place,” explained Terrinoni. “We don’t have the ability to reinvest, nor have we met the state’s criteria as a financially distressed hospital for funds that have benefited other Brooklyn hospitals. The hospital and our patients have been overlooked.”
TBHC officials argued it is also deserving of funding based on its local, high-quality care. TBHC touted several recognitions that it recently received. “TBHC is on the move,” Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Marketing & Communication Joan Carney-Clark stated. “We have been recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital for heart failure, as well as awards from the American Heart Association for stroke and heart failure care, and designation as a breast imaging center of excellence.”
The breakfast briefing ended with a tour of the emergency department, but not before local resident and screenwriter David Henry Hwang recounted a close call he had last November.
“I probably would not be here today if TBHC, its nurses and doctors weren’t close by and provided me life-saving care,” revealed Hwang. He was on his way home one night from a grocery store run when he felt a sharp pain on the back of his neck. He quickly realized that he had been stabbed and was bleeding. He stumbled to the emergency department, where doctors and nurses discovered that one of the arteries in his neck had been severed.
“I don’t want anyone to be attacked like I was, but it is good to know that TBHC is there when we need it,” said Hwang.
New York state is expected to make a decision soon about its transformation grants, with awards announced in early 2017. “Brooklyn residents, our patients and staff need to call their local city and state elected officials asking them to support TBHC’s grant request,” urged Terrinoni. “The time is now and could not be more critical.”