After nearly two years of fighting for federal and state dollars to keep its doors open, Interfaith Medical Center seems to be in good health.
Yes, the latest checkup shows that all is well for the embattled hospital, as on Saturday, August 9, more than 1,000 residents of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant came out to participate in Interfaith Medical Center’s Annual Health Fair and Forum, an event that was both celebratory and bittersweet.
This year’s event was attended by by dozens of health advocacy and coalition groups, health workers unions, elected officials and longtime supporters, an opportunity to reintroduce the community to the hospital and tout its vital services.“We want to spread our story that Interfaith has never closed and stands ready to provide a wide range of medical services at our main hospital and at our clinics,” said Melanie L. Cyganowski, temporary operator of Interfaith Medical Center.For example, Interfaith offers pediatric checkups, cardiac and diabetes consultations and treatments, orthopedic examinations and rehab and sickle cell and detoxification treatments.
The IM Foundation, a health advocacy organization and an event sponsor, as well as dozens of Interfaith Medical departments also were on-site to offer free medical screenings, distribute informative literature and provide residents an opportunity to have their health care questions answered in one of the most medically underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn.“Interfaith Medical Center is an important institution to Bedford-Stuyvesant and all of Brooklyn, and a key piece to the puzzle of transforming our borough’s approach to health care,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.
“This is a pivotal time in this hospital’s history, and I am proud to be one of many leaders that will help bring it into a future that ensures healthy children and families in our communities.”Also in attendance were Assemblymembers Annette Robinson and Karim Camara and City Councilmembers Robert Cornegy and Laurie Cumbo; the Coalition to Save Interfaith, 1199SEIU and New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).Also during the health fair was an afternoon forum centered around the current health care crisis and alternative ways residents can successfully navigate through it to receive the necessary care they can afford.“Some people thought last year’s health fair might be the last,” said Assemblyman Camara. “Fortunately, Interfaith Hospital is here to stay and I expect this year’s fair to be the most successful one yet.”