Senator Adams, along with the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus have reached out to the Governor in opposition to the proposed budget language for bill A.9056/S.6256 (Part O) which would allow the Office of Mental Health to close the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn, New York. Additionally, this bill recommends the elimination of the in-patient services of SUNY Downstate Hospital, an institution that has served the Flatbush community since 1967, relocating it to Long Island Hospital.
Kingsboro Psychiatric Center is the only state-operated in-patient psychiatric center in Brooklyn. Closing it will deny mental health care services to hundreds of seriously and persistently mentally ill and their families. The proposal would shift patients' care to a hospital in Staten Island, requiring patients and families to travel two hours to South Beach by public transportation or force them to pay a $13.00 toll to cross the bridge.
SUNY Downstate has provided comprehensive care to patients from all walks of life and with variable needs. It has trained thousands of medical professionals, many who have stayed and served the community after graduation. These institutions service a demographic in which one in five residents live below the poverty line, and provide health services to the uninsured and under-insured alongside the insured. The closure or reduction of services to these hospitals would cause the disruption of treatment and removal of access to quality care for virtually thousands of Brooklyn citizens, as well as the loss of employment to many quality healthcare professionals.