Marshall England Public Health Award – read moreApril 30, 2015
Last night, the Commission on the Public’s Health System (CPHS) honored members of the North Central Bronx Coalition for successfully organizing a campaign to restore maternity services to North Central Bronx Hospital. The labor & delivery unit was closed in August 2013, and after over a year of coalition building and advocacy, the unit reopened in October 2014.
NYLPI and several other members of the coalition were presented the Marshall England Public Health Award at CPHS’ 2015 Annual Gala. Sascha Murillo, Community Organizer in the Health Justice Program, accepted the award on behalf of NYLPI. As Anthony Feliciano, CPHS’ director, remarked in his introduction, Sascha was instrumental in keeping this coalition of organizers, community members, midwives, doctors, nurses, clergy, former patients, community board members, and elected officials together, focused, and campaigning.
“NYLPI got together with CPHS, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, Doctors Council, NYSNA, Community leaders like Eileen and Anastasia, and we started building what became a robust coalition,” said Sascha. “We rallied together in front of the hospital, talked to moms outside schools in sub-zero weather, held community meetings in the basement of St. Ann’s, and had some heated discussions with hospital leaders at the offices of Community Board 7. We pushed and labored hard for transparency, for meaningful community engagement, and of course for the return of NCB’s labor and delivery unit. It took us nearly a year for our confrontation to turn into the wonderful and productive collaboration that would see the service back. And in that time, I witnessed such resilience from all members of the coalition. It was that resilience that fueled the return of the maternity ward, and has advanced a vision for community health planning and health justice in the Bronx. It is now our collective responsibility to ensure that that vision is sustained.”
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