CONEY ISLAND — It was great news for NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island on Friday, Aug. 16 when City Councilmembers Mark Treyger and Carlina Rivera, chair of the Committee on Hospitals, were joined by hospital staff and representatives from the National Institute for Reproductive Health to announce a significant budget increase for women’s healthcare.
More than $400,000 was secured to purchase critical OB/GYN equipment, with the investment helping to upgrade significantly the Obstetrics and Gynecology unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.
Treyger, who represents Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Sea Gate, stood alongside Rivera to make the official presentation. They were joined by NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island CEO William Brown; Dr. Daniel Lasser, director of perinatology and OB/GYN ultrasound; and Danielle Castaldi-Micca, vice president, political and government affairs at the National Institute for Reproductive Health.
The new medical equipment funded includes three ultrasound machines, a portable ultrasound machine for labor and delivery, and urodynamics testing equipment for urogynecology.
The representatives of Coney Island Hospital explained that in New York City, around 20 women die per year from complications associated with giving birth, and that New York State has an alarmingly high rate of maternal mortality with stark racial disparities.
According to data from 2014-2016, while the overall maternal mortality rate in New York State was 19.6 deaths per 100,000 live births, the rate for Black women was 51.6 deaths per 100,000 live births. Additionally, maternal mortality rates have been increasing over the past two decades.
“Maternal mortality rates in the state of New York have dramatically risen in the past ten years,” said Treyger. “It is imperative that we address this public health crisis by increasing awareness and medical services. I commend the NYC Health + Hospitals staff on their dedication to improving health outcomes for their patients and I will continue to partner with Councilmember Rivera to ensure our safety net of public hospitals have the resources they need.”
Rivera was equally pleased to be presenting the funds to the hospital. “No expectant mother should go into a hospital in the United States in 2019 fearing for their life or that of their child,” she said.
“But this is the reality for the countless patients I have spoken to who have experienced the serious inequities we see in maternal mortality in our nation’s health care system,” Rivera went on.
Brown said he was personally grateful for the efforts of the councilmembers.
“For more than a century, the residents of Southern Brooklyn have relied on our hospital for comprehensive health care and they deserve the most advanced, state-of-the-art equipment available, for better access and outcomes,” said Brown.
“This equipment will enhance our obstetrics and gynecology services, and marks a significant investment in women’s health,” he stressed.