Chapter 15

Planning for the Future

CCB and the Coalition are now preparing to raise millions of dollars through Brooklyn Communities Collaborative (BCC) to continue implementing the community wealth-building strategies they have developed. BCC will advance the Citizenshare Brooklyn approach, taking responsibility for cultivating alignment of Brooklyn healthcare institutions with the community’s vision of shared wealth creation.


What readers will learn:

  1. The changes at Interfaith Hospital achieved by Coalition and CCB efforts

  2. The specific improvements in health outcomes caused by changes at Interfaith and CCB

  3. The impact of changing roles of hospitals in improving SDOH and the local economy for Central Brooklyn residents.

It will also play a key role in promoting enterprise development, creating a small business incubator/hub, and promoting localized procurement and development of worker-owned cooperatives. The largest industry in the borough, the Brooklyn healthcare sector, represents a promising place to start with $7.9 billion in annual procurement spending, and twice as many employees as the next largest sector. Planned decentralization of healthcare delivery to ambulatory care facilities, creates opportunities to look beyond the large anchors to smaller enterprises, and even to build community-owned enterprises to fill some of the need. The effort will begin with procurement at Maimonides and the One Brooklyn Health hospitals.

“Aligning the needs of the anchors with needs of community and creating synergies where possible . . . is the future of this [effort].”

-Shari Suchoff, Vice President, Policy and Strategy, Community Care of Brooklyn
Anchor institutions in Central Brooklyn

In early 2020, CCB hired a firm to conduct an initial scoping of local healthcare procurement. According to their study, because local firms hire more labor, purchase more goods and services, and distribute profits locally, localizing procurement can increase the rate of circulation of local revenue by as much as 75-100%. The scope concluded that approximately $2.1 billion, of the total $7.4 billion in annual procurement by Brooklyn healthcare institutions-- money spent for medical supplies, services, IT and food, as well as office equipment, HVAC, maintenance and other areas-- could potentially be redirected to local enterprises.

With the urgency of a threatened Interfaith closure behind them, Coalition and CCB leaders must figure out how to sustain and enliven the civic engagement needed for ongoing systems change. To Coalition Co-chair, Bruce Richard, this is one of the biggest challenges they now face:

“[W]e want residents and community to be the creators of their own tomorrow.  . . . Residents are not going to see the kind of change they want if their voice isn’t in the mix. . .  .”

-Bruce Richard

Ongoing community engagement will be needed to shape the redevelopment of the One Brookly hospitals as drivers of community health and wealth and monitor implementation of the Vital Brooklyn plan. The civic infrastructure formed in Central Brooklyn will be particularly important to sustain the momentum of community-driven health system reform once the DSRIP program ends in 2020. Now, CCB and the Coalition are developing a robust communications strategy in an effort to keep all stakeholders excited and at the table. In parallel, Interfaith and the One Brooklyn Health hospitals will need to stage their own communications campaign to shift public perception of the hospitals. Once entirely discredited, they now must build their reputations as anchor institutions supporting community wellbeing.

Replenishing and growing new leaders in Central Brooklyn will be crucial in the future. Leveraging PAR and the other participatory processes they have used in the past, BCC will work to prepare a growing number of Central Brooklyn residents in community organizing, relying on the practice of ongoing participatory research and inquiry.

“As we move more upstream, it’s thinking about how are we building the leadership capacity, leadership within the spaces and places that we are working . . ., and supporting communities to take on the planning and operationalize whatever they need for health and wellness.”

Torian Easterling, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Crucial to all of these plans is the focused effort of the Coalition and CCB, through Brooklyn Communities Collaborative. the new organization they have co-founded expressly for this purpose, to further alignment and coordination across the Central Brooklyn healthcare ecosystem -- among health systems, institutions, activist networks, community providers, and community-based organizations -- and drive ongoing healthcare transformation.

Chapter 15 Questions

  1. Why is it important to align Brooklyn healthcare institutions with the community’s vision for wealth-building?

  2. What is the challenge of community engagement faced by the Coalition and CCB going forward?

  3. How are the Coalition and CCB planning to sustain community engagement in shaping the healthcare system in Central Brooklyn over time?

  4. How will PAR be used as a leadership development strategy going forward?

  5. What role will Brooklyn Communities Collaborative play in ongoing healthcare transformation?

1. An Epidemic of Hospital Closures
2. Crisis at Interfaith
3. Time to Mobilize: Forming the Coalition to Save Interfaith
4. Protest and Resolution
5. Medicaid Reform
6. Research-Based Action
7. Participatory Action Research as a Tool for Change
8. Healthcare System Reform: Cross-Sector Collaboration
9. Reinventing Interfaith
10. Focus on Health Equity
11. Creating Healthier Communities: Leveraging Community Assets
12. Community Planning for Healthier Communities
13. Making Health a Shared Value: Building Civic Infrastructure
14. Building a Culture of Health: Outcomes
15. Planning for the Future
16. Sustaining Transformation in the Face of Challenge
About the Report