By Rev. Clinton Miller
Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle
As pastor of Brown Memorial Baptist Church for the last 15 years, I’ve seen our neighborhoods undergo some dramatic changes. Some of those changes are positive in nature and keep our neighborhood moving forward. Others only present more roadblocks on the way to finding peace, health and happiness. I’m grateful for so many of the things that are consistently great in Brooklyn.
My congregation is made up of more than 800 people with backgrounds just like mine. Men, women and young children who were born here, go to school here and will hopefully live long, full lives right here in Brooklyn. For that to happen, my congregants need the very best in several critical needs: Education. Housing. Health care.
We can debate education and housing at another time. As far as health care is concerned, we have one of the finest options in the borough right down the way. Many of my congregants were born there, others turn to this place in times of a dire emergency. In all cases, however, our friends and family have tremendous peace of mind knowing The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) is there.
We don’t need to worry about having to travel into Manhattan to feel like we’re getting world-class medical treatment at TBHC. One reason for the confidence in TBHC is the people. The people who make The Brooklyn Hospital Center great are the same people who make Brooklyn great.
Brooklyn’s first hospital offers the finest individualized treatments — it doesn’t matter if it’s newborn care or issues facing our seniors, The Brooklyn Hospital Center is there. As Brooklyn has grown, so has our hospital. Today TBHC employs nearly 3,000 dedicated medical professionals and staff. I bet you know someone who works there. Still, too many of us take TBHC for granted. They have nearly 300,000 patient visits annually. TBHC has fully accredited, independent residency programs in emergency medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacy, family medicine, general dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
However, in order for TBHC to continue to do the amazing work they do for us every day, they need support. Support from our elected representative here in the city, in Albany and in Washington. They need to know TBHC has the support of the community, the people the hospital employs and the families the hospital serves. For whatever reason, let our elected leaders know how you feel about TBHC.
Currently the New York State Department of Health is considering awarding grant money to hospitals around the state. TBHC is competing with many facilities to be awarded a portion of those grants. The potential for these resources are great. TBHC’s plans for the future include expanding neighborhood community care centers, development of an ambulatory care network, enhancement of maternal and infant contact center and much need expansion and upgrading of emergency department services.
So, what can we do to help? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s easy. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Go old-school and actually put pen to paper and write a letter to Albany and tell them to support Brooklyn’s first and still finest hospital. Tell them to do it for our health, our community and Brooklyn’s future.
The Rev. Clinton Miller is the Pastor at Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Clinton Hill.