Interfaith Rebounds & Shows Staying Power
By Stephen Witt
Interfaith Medical Center (IMC) is back from the brink and poised to serve the health needs of Central Brooklyn for years to come.
That’s the word from the new management team that was put in place the last week of March as part of the institution’s financial restructuring as it moves out of bankruptcy.
“It is a new day for Interfaith Medical Center. With our new management team in place we are able to obtain additional financing from New York State to complete IMC’s restructuring efforts and to support continued operations into the future,” said Melanie Cyganowski, IMC’s recently appointed Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO).
Cyganowski said IMC’s hospital and all its clinics are fully operational and open to provide a full array of quality health care services to the people living in its surrounding community. In addition, IMC’s Emergency Department is available to everyone in need of care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The outpatient services includes a mental health clinic, an HIV treatment center on Bergen Street, the Bishop O.G. Walker, Jr. Health Care Center, a dental clinic and an urgent care center on Atlantic Avenue.
Cyganowski said the state has already committed $40 million to the hospital for the next year. If the hospital continues its growth, along with its compliance with the federal Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Plan (DSRIP), it will be eligible for some of the $8 billion the state recently received from Washington earmarked for medical institutions, she said.
In the meantime, Cyganowski is seeing firsthand the important role IMC plays for providing quality health care for Central Brooklyn.
“I feel very fortunate to have been asked to come to Interfaith, too. Clearly, the hospital was in trouble last year, but the community and the people who work at Interfaith all feel so strongly about keeping Interfaith. My hope and the hope of Steven Korf (who was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer) is that together we forge a plan to turn around the financial difficulties Interfaith is facing, and take every action we can to improve services at the hospital, the emergency room and the clinics, she said.
Cyganowski said IMC also plans to work with the other medical facilities in Brooklyn while highlighting that the medical center’s health care services are second to none.
“We need residents from all over Central Brooklyn coming to Interfaith for their health needs. They have to have faith in us just as we have faith in them. Interfaith is here for the community. We service all economic levels including the middle class and those with private insurance. We’re proud of what we do and how we do it,” she said.
That said, Cyganowski also stressed that the 267-bed Interfaith, located at 1545 Atlantic Avenue, is the only medical facility serving Central Brooklyn, and in which its catchment area population includes a high percentage of poor and underserved.
“Interfaith Medical Center is a true safety net hospital. With the support of our employees, our patients, our community and our elected representatives, we are very grateful that IMC’s importance
has been recognized. As the only health care provider in Central Brooklyn that provides the continuum of health care services to the poor and medically underserved people of Central Brooklyn, the value IMC’s services to the people we serve and the people we employ cannot be understated,” she said.