Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help Reopen the Bellevue Hospital Birth Center

by Melissa Garvey, ACNM Writer and Editor

Those of you who follow ACNM on Facebook know that the Bellevue Hospital Birth Center in New York City officially closed "until further notice" on Sept 1. Bellevue was the only birth center available to Medicaid-eligible women and their families in Manhattan.

Since then, there has been a collective effort to reopen the birth center’s doors. In December, a public petition and a letter signed by ACNM and other supporting organizations was presented to Bellevue Hospital’s Community Advisory Board (CAB)—the body charged with representing the voice of the public to the hospital administration. The hope is that the CAB will officially support the letter and become a significant ally in the effort to reopen.

On Wednesday, January 27, the CAB will vote on becoming a joint signatory of the letter. At that public meeting, Dr. Keefe, the new head of obstetrics and gynecology, will address the board in support of the birth center reopening. After the meeting, supporters will present the public petition and organizational letter to Linda Curtis, executive director of Bellevue Hospital. Anyone interested in supporting the cause is encouraged to participate in the public meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 6 p.m., at Bellevue Hospital, C/D Building, 8th Floor Medical Library.

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