One hospital on the Ridgewood/Brooklyn border is fighting to continue serving the people of the “World’s Borough.”
It’s no secret that Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, located at 374 Stockholm St., is in need of additional funding — along with the three other hospitals that serve Brooklyn: Brookdale University Hospital, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, and Interfaith Medical Center.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging Wyckoff Heights to join together with the other three hospitals to create the “One Brooklyn” medical group. The board members of Wyckoff Heights, however, want the hospital to remain its own separate entity and be able to serve not only patients from Brooklyn, but to continue to serve residents of Queens.
“The governor would like us to join the three failing Brooklyn hospitals,” said Vincent Arcuri, co-vice-chair of the board of trustees at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, and chairman of Community Board 5, Queens (CB 5). “Forty percent of our patient population comes from Queens. We are uniquely situated to help both boroughs equally. There are no hospital facilities between Wyckoff Heights and Jamaica Hospital, and Wyckoff and St. John’s Episcopal in the Rockaways. With a little effort and funding, we could get that number up to 50 or 60 percent from Queens.”
Arcuri also noted that Wyckoff Heights serves a large number of seniors from Queens who need medical services. If the hospital were to join the Brooklyn One group, those patients would be left without the services they desperately need.
“On the border is one of the largest grouping of senior citizens in the city of New York,” Arcuri said. “We need to provide geriatric care. We can provide all these services to the seniors in Queens, and all we need is a little help from the governor.”
That help would come in the form of a portion of the $700 million that New York state allocated in 2015 to help fix the four financially strapped Brooklyn hospitals. Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is also waiting to receive $50 million in funding from the governor, Arcuri said, but the medical facility hasn’t received it yet because Cuomo is trying to get Wyckoff Heights to join the Brooklyn One group of hospitals.
“There is a vast area of Queens that needs to be served. If the governor gives us the support that he is giving the other Brooklyn hospitals, we can serve all those people,” he added. “They would dump tons of money into the Brooklyn One group. We want them to save a little bit of money for us. Don’t tie us down to the three failing hospitals in Brooklyn; we will be able to help a lot of people in Queens, too.”