Mayor joins in Friday night clap for healthcare workers at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn

Nurses at Interfaith Medical Center clap at 7 p.m.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Councilman Robert Cornegy join first responders in applauding healthcare workers at Interfaith Medical Center Friday. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Mayor Bill de Blasio paid it forward Friday at a visit to Interfaith Medical Center near the border of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Hizzoner and his First Lady Chirlane McCray joined first responders, hospital supporters and area Councilman Robert Cornegy in the nightly 7 pm clap for healthcare heroes.

In his daily briefing the next morning, de Blasio referred to the non-profit community hospital as “a wonderful institution.”

“Earlier in this decade, a lot of us in Brooklyn fought to protect Interfaith Hospital from closing,” the mayor said, referring back to late 2012, when the medical center declared bankruptcy.

Firefighters clap for healthcare workers at Interfaith Medical Center. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

In August of 2013, the medical facility announced that it was in the process of shutting down. But, a report released that same summer by then-Public Advocate de Blasio warned of “devastating consequences” if Interfaith Medical Center were to close.

Financial lifelines were eventually thrown to the ailing hospital, which continues to service more than 11,000 inpatients and more than 200,000 outpatient visits each year, according to its website.

“Thank God we all did work with the community and the community stood up strong to protect Interfaith,” de Blasio said Saturday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio addresses healthcare workers outside of Interfaith Medical Center. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Most recently, the hospital was one of three the state wished to consolidate services at, as part of a $700 million plan to boost preventative and primary care services. The plan, which would have slashed several dozen beds at Interfaith, has been put on hold to treat coronavirus patients, according to The City.

Interfaith, located at 1545 Atlantic Ave. in Crown Heights, has been “front and center in this crisis,” the mayor said.

In the area, at least 1,200 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to city data.

This story first appeared on brooklynpaper.com.