BAY RIDGE — With more hospital beds needed during the coronavirus outbreak, one local lawmaker is urging the use of the former Victory Memorial Hospital located at 9036 Seventh Avenue bordering Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
The original hospital was once a thriving medical center before falling on hard times. After facing near-bankruptcy in Sept. 2009, it was forced to lay off 250 workers before it was sold. Part of the current building is leased by SUNY Downstate Medical Center as an ambulatory service unit. There is also includes space for Maimonides Medical Center and an adjacent building for the Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 699 92nd Street.
More hospital beds needed
Local lawmakers, including Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, are urging the city to consider the use of the hospital beds during this pandemic.
“Borough President Eric Adams was saying the other day that Brooklyn had a good portion of the reported coronavirus cases and yet there wasn’t a plan to add more hospital beds,” Malliotakis told this paper.
“I know the governor is looking to add nursing home capacity and I spoke to the governor’s office suggesting the site of Victory Memorial Hospital as an option,” she added.
Malliotakis said that it would be ideal with its roughly 250 available beds.
“It’s what the state and the community need right now in terms of expanding our hospital bed capacity,” explained Malliotakis, who represents parts of Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island.
“Since SUNY Downstate is run by the state and leases and operates part of the building already, it seems like a feasible option that makes perfect sense,” she added.
SUNY Downstate says there are plans to use the facility
SUNY Downstate spokesperson Patricia Winston told this paper that there are plans to use the facility.
“Governor Cuomo issued a directive to all hospitals in New York State to expand their bed capacity by at least 50 percent in anticipation of a COVID-19 patient surge. Working with SUNY Downstate President Dr. Wayne J. Riley and Dr. F. Charles Brunicardi, dean of the College of Medicine, we submitted our surge plan to the Governor’s Office yesterday. The plan includes provisions to use our Bay Ridge facility,” explained Winston.
Hamilton Park is working with Maimonidies Medical Center
According to a spokesperson, Hamilton Park was working to help repurpose the space.
“We are working tirelessly with SUNY Downstate and Maimonides Medical Center to repurpose this space for the community immediately to safely care for SNF level COVID-19 positive patients,” said the spokesperson.
“Our facility next door has the basic resources that can be of shared use, such as kitchen and housekeeping. We are prepared to immediately staff and provide an additional 100 beds, to the patients of New York City, including much needed ventilator care,” he added.
Maimonides spokesperson Eileen Tynion said that they had long-term plans for the space to work with Northwell Health on having a free standing emergency department located at the site.
“That plan is still in place and we hope to get past the current crisis and resume the work we are doing. We are not utilizing Victory in our surge capacity plan at this time though,” added Tynion.
Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, said that she would also like to see the space utilized for this medical crisis.
“I just think it’s something we should put into play,” Vella-Marrone told this paper. “The governor and the state should go in there and put it together since it’s ready to roll. The state is looking for more capacity and we have something right here in our community that can assist with that. So why shouldn’t the state take advantage of it,” added Vella-Marrone.