Crown Heights residents voice their opinions on health care

Concerned Brooklynites, local elected officials, and other members of the Crown Heights community gathered at Medgar Evers College on Monday, July 11 for the “Voice your Vision: How Can your Health Care System Better Serve You?” event, hosted by Kingsbrook Medical Center.

The event brought out a community discussion on health care and health care services that many members of the community are concerned about.

“Our goal is to hear input from the community and creative ideas on how they think their health care services should work,” said Joyce Leiz, director of development at Kingsbrook Medical Center.

Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, addressed the community at the event, saying that he understands that there is a lot to be accomplished in order to provide better health care services for the neighborhood.

“There is no reason anyone should leave their community to get the highest quality care,” said Zucker.

The state-mandated event comes in the wake of concerns about hospital closures throughout Brooklyn. In 2014, Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn Heights was closed for good, leaving 1,500 people unemployed and nearby residents looking elsewhere to receive medical treatment.

Becky Riggio, a nurse practitioner at Kingsbrook Medical Center, led a discussion and addressed to the commissioner the concerns diabetic patients have when it comes to their health care services. Riggio has been to several of these meetings and understands the importance of a community being vocal about their health care needs.

“It’s extremely important to get this input from the community,” said Riggio. “Consistency is really important to help others, and my role as a professional is to do just that.”

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