An ongoing fight over the fate of Long Island College Hospital captured the attention of the city’s political press, but the social stakes are higher in the drama playing out over another beleaguered Brooklyn institution: Interfaith Medical Center.
LICH has had the benefit of a dramatic court battle and a more compelling narrative, furthered by the panicked rhetoric of the state entity that wants to get rid of it, a vocal and well-organized group of Cobble Hill-area community activists, and Bill de Blasio, whose arrest during a protest in July launched the hospital’s situation, and his underdog mayoral candidacy, onto the front page.
Interfaith has not been ignored, exactly. But given the integral role it plays in the lives of those who surround the hospital–far more integral than the chronically underattended LICH, in terms of the number of needy patients it serves–its story has been underplayed.
The two are often grouped together as struggling Brooklyn hospitals beset by financial woes. But even if the symptoms look similar, the underlying problems, and therefore the remedy, are very different.
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