Unions protest ouster of New York system CEO

Healthcare union members are among those who gathered Sept. 27 at Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York City to protest after the ouster of One Brooklyn Health CEO LaRay Brown, according to Brooklyn Daily Eagle.  

A news release from 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East states that union members seek an independent review of One Brooklyn Health governance and the state's progress toward Vital Brooklyn goals to improve healthcare. It also contends that Ms. Brown's removal this month occurred without input from the community and labor partners involved in Brooklyn's healthcare transformation. 

The "actions threaten to destabilize healthcare delivery in Brooklyn when accountable leadership and more resources are sorely needed," the union said.

One Brooklyn Health, formed in 2016, includes Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and their affiliated facilities. Vital Brooklyn is the state's community development program for underserved neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn.

Ms. Brown was appointed in July 2017 as the CEO of the One Brooklyn Health and played a key role in the founding of the system, according to the organization's website. She was appointed president and CEO of Interfaith Medical Center in February 2016. Her removal occurred amid accusations of financial mismanagement.

Now, unions including 1199, the Committee of Interns and Residents and the New York State Nurses Association are denouncing Ms. Brown's removal, calling for transparency from the board, and urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to work with the Charity Bureau in the attorney general's office to reform the board.

"As doctors we work tirelessly everyday to provide the best possible care to every patient that comes through the doors of our OBH hospitals. Decisions about our hospitals … should not be made without full transparency and input from the community and the front-line healthcare workers that keep our hospitals running. The communities that OBH serves have been underfunded and under resourced for far too long, we demand transparency, fairness and vital funding now," said Colleen Achong, MD, regional vice president with the Committee of Interns and Residents, who also works at OBH, in a statement shared with Becker's.

Becker's has reached out further to One Brooklyn Health for more information. Becker's has also reached out to Ms. Hochul's office. This story will be updated as more information is available.

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