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SUNY Downstate Medical Center “in the process of a transformation”

Central Brooklyn fears more loss of jobs in the wake of the Interfaith merger


By Amelia Rawlins

Add the SUNY Downstate Medical Center to the growing slew of Brooklyn’s hospitals reported to be under a merger or closing.


The downsizing was all but confirmed this week by Downstate spokesperson Ronald Najman.



“As it is happening throughout the health care sector, Downstate University Hospital is in the process of a transformation in light of the changes we anticipate as a result of health care reform,” said Najman. “The hospital’s restructuring will position the clinical enterprise to efficiently and effectively provide health care services required by our communities and facilitate training health care professionals to be successful in their careers.”


The “transformation” comes a little more than a year after Downstate acquired Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill from Continuum Health Partners and the LICH campus is now one of three clinical sites of the University Hospital of Brooklyn managed exclusively by SUNY Downstate.



The other two University Hospital sites are the flagship location in Central Brooklyn and the Bay Ridge site. Currently, all sites are open and operating within very vibrant Brooklyn communities, said Najman.


SUNY Downstate is Brooklyn’s only academic medical center and is comprised of Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Health-Related Professions; Schools of Graduate Studies and Public Health; and University Hospital of Brooklyn.


Najman said Downstate employs 8,000 faculty and staff with many workers coming from Central Brooklyn.



Regardless of what Downstate ultimately does decide to do, hospital workers and advocates have been floating petitions around churches and other community centers in Central Brooklyn to make a stand and save jobs, the medical school and medical center.



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