Ensure SUNY Downstate Medical Center's Financial Sustainability!
ACTION TYPE: Email State Assemblymembers
SUNY Downstate Sustainability Plan
As a voter and constituent, I urge you to call upon your colleagues to bring A.7546 (Cunningham) to the Assembly floor for a vote. This legislation, which has already passed the Senate, would require the commissioner of health, in consultation with the SUNY Chancellor and the unions that represent SUNY Downstate employees, to develop a plan for the financial sustainability of the SUNY Downstate medical center. The plan will maintain the institution as a state-operated public hospital, staffed with public employees.
SUNY Downstate is an essential resource to Brooklyn residents as it provides critical health care to all, regardless of ability to pay. The hospital predominantly serves people of color, low income, uninsured, underinsured, undocumented and at-risk individuals who have limited access to affordable health care. The facility offers specialized care that is otherwise unavailable in the community to patients with serious and often difficult to treat conditions.
With over 4,000 employees, the hospital is one of the largest employers in Brooklyn and over half of the facility's workforce resides in the borough. The reach and impact of this hospital, however, goes far beyond Brooklyn, as it educates the state's next generation of medical professionals. SUNY Downstate provides training in 56 specialties and educates nearly 1,900 students annually. The teaching hospital graduates more than 900 students each year.
SUNY Downstate has suffered from years of underfunding and unequal treatment from the state. Its financial problems were exacerbated when it was designated a COVID-only hospital during the pandemic. That designation forced the hospital to suspend revenue generating services and created a deficit of $133 million. It is imperative that SUNY Downstate remains financially viable so it can continue to provide life-saving care to patients and a high-quality education to our state's future doctors and medical professionals. The development of a sustainability plan for this public teaching hospital is critical to achieving that goal.
Thank you for your consideration of this very important issue. I respectfully ask that you bring up this issue with your conference and I would greatly appreciate a response to this email.
(c) 2024 NYSUT
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