Hospitals & Facilities

Brookdale Hospital Medical Center to commence $39.3 million emergency department renovation as sister hospital closes

The hospitals are part of One Brooklyn Health, which serves a majority BIPOC area.
article cover

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

· 3 min read

Brookdale Hospital Medical Center will begin a $39.3 million project to transform its emergency department (ED) on November 15 as another hospital within its parent system shuts its doors this fall.

Renovations to the Brooklyn-based hospital, which largely serves a majority BIPOC area and treats low-income individuals, would take place in four phases to ensure the ED “can maintain ongoing, uninterrupted operations.”

The renovation is to include “additional treatment spaces, new CT scanner and X-ray rooms, and a new trauma center [that] will include a step-down emergency department treatment space,” according to plans filed with the New York State Department of Health (DOH).

Hospital executives touted the renovation as part of a larger capital improvement plan that aims to “facilitate the achievement of a financially sustainable care system, increase access to care, and improve the care delivery experience of One Brooklyn Health’s service area residents,” according to the plans.

DOH spokesperson Erin Clary confirmed the state health department approved the construction request on August 31.

“The wind down of Kingsbrook ED will have little impact on emergency services,” One Brooklyn Health CEO LaRay Brown said in a statement to Healthcare Brew. “There are two ERs within blocks of the Kingsbrook campus—at Kings County Hospital and the University Hospital of Brooklyn—that can absorb the volume experienced at Kingsbrook.”

Brookdale’s renovation comes as Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center begins winding down its own ED along with its acute rehabilitation unit and outpatient dialysis center. Kingsbrook’s ED reported an average volume of one to two patients an hour over the last two years, Brown added.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Stay up to date on the complex world of healthcare with the latest updates and insights in your inbox three times per week.

The state health department has yet to receive the necessary paperwork in order to sign off on Kingsbrook’s closure, Clary said.

A brief history

Then-Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $664 million deal in early 2018 to bail out the struggling Brooklyn hospitals. It consolidated Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center under One Brooklyn Health, led by Brown.

The transformation included $384 million for infrastructure upgrades—including a new ED at Brookdale—$210 million for a 32-site ambulatory care network to handle an additional 500,000 annual visits, and $70 million to create a health information technology platform.

Cuomo tasked Northwell Health, run by political ally Michael Dowling, to advise the effort. A Northwell spokesperson declined to comment on the happenings at One Brooklyn Health. Dowling told attendees at a March town hall at Huntington Hospital that One Brooklyn Health hospitals, among others, were “underwater big time” and “in terrible financial trouble” due in part to union contracts.

One Brooklyn Health stands in stark contrast with NYC Health + Hospitals, the city’s municipal system that also treats low-income individuals, which has made major strides toward profitability in the last few years.

Notably, city-subsidized H+H treated a large number of Covid-19 patients during the early waves of the coronavirus and received large FEMA payouts for its efforts. The health system also led the city’s recovery via extensive testing and vaccination campaigns.

One Brooklyn Health is also facing a class-action lawsuit from earlier this year over a 2022 cyberattack-induced data breach that affected more than 235,000 people.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Stay up to date on the complex world of healthcare with the latest updates and insights in your inbox three times per week.