NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, aka Woodhull Medical Center. Wikimedia photo by Jim Henderson
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso announced on Tuesday that his administration has allocated $11 million in capital funding to NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull in North Brooklyn to improve the hospital’s women’s health services by creating a state-of-the-art birthing center.
Fulfilling a primary campaign promise, Borough President Reynoso is allocating his entire FY23 capital funds – a total of $45M – across the three public hospitals in Brooklyn to help improve maternal health care services, which will in turn reduce disparities in maternal mortality rates found between African American pregnant women and their white counterparts.
“Every expecting family deserves access to high-quality health care, no matter the color of their skin or the language they speak,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “The root causes of racial disparities in maternal health are real, and we need all hands on deck to stamp out the inequities that have allowed children and mothers to die at the exact time when we should be welcoming a life.”
“I look forward to working with NYC Health + Hospitals’ leadership, specifically at Woodhull and Brooklyn’s two other public hospitals, to ensure my ambitious capital funding yields results in lives saved,” said Reynoso.
Capital funding will go towards the new birthing center, renovating six private labor and birthing rooms, enhance the nurse’s station, post anesthesia care unit, and an upgrade of the triage and ante-partum rooms. The new design also includes a state-of-the-art OB stimulation lab and enlarged modernized operating rooms for cesarean births.
In addition to the borough president’s capital allocation of $11M, Councilmembers Chi Ossé and Jennifer Gutiérrez, with the support of Speaker Adrienne Adams, allocated $1,776,00 and $500,000 respectively for additional upgrades to medical equipment at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull.
During his campaign, Borough President Reynoso highlighted the gross inequity that Black pregnant women are 9.4 times more likely to die due to childbirth complications than their white counterparts. He pledged to reduce this disparity in Brooklyn.
Borough President Reynoso began working on this priority quickly after transitioning to his new role, launching his administration’s Maternal Health Taskforce in April 2022. The taskforce will help lead the foundation for strategizing around his maternal health agenda and expanding the taskforce.
In addition to his capital allocations, Borough President Reynoso also looks forward to supporting outpatient services, such as social services and community care models, that address underlying issues faced by people of color, increasing health insurance access for all birthing people, and more.
“This extraordinary investment from Borough President Antonio Reynoso will get us one step closer to bringing down maternal mortality rates in Brooklyn. This is exactly the kind of ambitious, focused spending we need to keep Black mothers alive and tackle racism and inequity in Brooklyn,” said Councilmember Lincoln Restler.
“I am grateful to Brooklyn Borough President for this capital gift that will be used to transform the external environment of the labor and birthing suite, create a state-of-the-art birthing center, and enlarge and modernize the operating rooms at Woodhull. More than this, I am grateful that he has lent his voice to the cause of making Brooklyn the safest and most satisfying Borough to give birth,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull Director of Midwifery Helena Grant.