Last Wednesday, hospital executives from Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian put their signatures on the last structural beam for the new six-story, 400,000-square-foot Center for Community Health.
The topping off ceremony marked the latest milestone in the hospital’s plan to build the largest ambulatory care center in the borough.
“Right now, we do a lot of things in the hospital that are better served in an outpatient setting that’s much more compatible with the style of care we want to provide, the kind of care our patients want,” said Dr. Richard Liebowitz, president of Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, “and I believe are tied to better outcomes.”
The new site on Sixth Street will feature 12 operating rooms for same-day surgeries, a special procedures suite with six rooms for endoscopy, bronchoscopy and pain management, a cancer center and women’s health center.
Other services will include diagnostic imaging, outpatient radiology services and other clinical services, such as cardiology, orthopedics and gastrointestinal.
Liebowitz stressed that while the size of the new center is great, that won’t be the site’s defining feature.
“We’re going to be distinguished by providing the highest-quality care,” he said.
Brooklyn Methodist Hospital started 137 years ago, when Reverend James Monroe Buckley, who lost a close friend in a tragic accident, persuaded the Methodist Church to build a hospital in Brooklyn.
More than a century later, the hospital is nearing the next phase of its storied history.
James Perkins, who chairs Brooklyn Methodist’s board of directors, said they’ve been “carefully planning” the community center for almost a decade. While other hospitals in the borough have struggled or closed, this hospital continues to thrive, he said.
“We have to continue to evolve and change, just as medicine and our community evolve and change,” Perkins said. “The new building is a key step in the evolution and will pave the way for the future of health care in Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn Methodist is part of the NewYork-Presbyterian family of hospitals. Dr. Steven Corwin, the system’s president and CEO, said “there’s no question” in his mind that it’s their goal to be the go-to hospital system for New York City.
“We want people who live in this borough to feel there is only one hospital to go to, and that’s NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist,” he said.
Corwin mentioned that there was a “difficult set of hurdles to overcome,” including myriad concerns from the community. Local activists took the hospital to court, and eventually settled. The hospital agreed to downsize their new center and work to reduce traffic congestion in the area.
“The community will love this facility,” he said. “I think everyone will really understand the excellence that will derive from this building.”
The new center will be staffed by multi-specialty clinical teams and experts, including physicians from Weill Cornell Medicine, which has a partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian.
“You can get the same high-quality care right in Brooklyn without having to cross the river and be in Manhattan,” Liebowitz said. “We’re going to give you the same high-quality doctors and have the same excellent outcomes.”