NEW YORK—Amid upheaval in Brooklyn's hospital industry, a study released last week captures the health needs of residents in some of the borough's poorer neighborhoods who suffer from high rates of chronic illness. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Brownsville and Crown Heights residents feel health officials have not responded to their opposition to the closure of hospitals in the borough. The community health needs assessment, sponsored by the Brooklyn Hospital Center in conjunction with various community stakeholders, comes as officials are considering closing Long Island College Hospital and Brooklyn Hospital Center and Interfaith Medical Center negotiate the terms of a separate merger. “Hopefully, there is enough data to push forward with much-needed changes in Brooklyn,” said Dr. Richard Becker, president and CEO of Brooklyn Hospital Center. “We still have extremely fragmented and uncoordinated care in Brooklyn. When hospitals and community providers become better aligned, that is when we can have better health outcomes.” About 51% of 644 residents surveyed felt they had limited access to healthcare, with such barriers as long waits before and during appointments, lack of insurance and the cost of care. Many people cited lack of access to dental care and mental health services. When asked which healthcare services households had difficulty accessing in their neighborhood, 100% of respondents said a dentist. The most common illnesses or health conditions among those surveyed were high blood pressure/hypertension (24.8%); asthma (19.9%); diabetes (15.7%); and hearing or vision problems (15.2%).
—Crain's New York Business