Emergency funding halts Interfaith Medical Center’s closure days before Christmas

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) – It was a gloomy day Monday, weather seemingly fit for a funeral.

But inside Brooklyn’s Interfaith Hospital, they were celebrating new life.

“There were people who came to work today expecting a Christmas massacre, instead they got a Christmas miracle,” said Rep. Hakeem Jefferies.

Hospital officials were expected to resubmit a closure plan Monday morning after mediation talks between Interfaith, creditors, unions and other parties broke down last week. But a spokesperson for the hospital told PIX11 News, just before 10 o’clock administrators received a call from the Department of Health asking them to hold off, temporarily saving more than 1,500 jobs and countless patients.

“I can always get another job, but we can never give back life when it’s lost,” said nurse Charmayne Saddler-Walker.

After receiving a letter from 10 Brooklyn politicians, including Congressman Hakeem Jefferies and Public Advocate elect Latisha James, Governor Cuomo agreed to provide emergency funding for the hospital to stay open one more month.

“We have another month to try to resolve the differences affecting Interfaith and try to preserve healthcare in the borough of Brooklyn,” said Public Advocate-elect Letitia James.

Healthcare that patients in the Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights neighborhoods say they desperately need.

Ruth Gould says if Interfaith was closed, she wouldn’t have made it to the next closest hospital when she was found out she had cirrhosis of the liver back in 2011. “Without this hospital, I wouldn’t be here today.  The Doctors and staff worked very hard to save my life.”

Monday’s life preserve means that Interfaith Hospital now has one month to figure out how it will survive moving forward, whether it’s merging with another local hospital, or depending on support from Washington that could help it operate on its own.

“If the Medicaid waiver pending in Washington is granted, then New York state will get a significant infusion of resources that can be used to help save safety net hospitals such as Interfaith Medical Center,” Congressman Jefferies said.

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