Sep. 6, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed
City Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers and NYC Health+Hospitals CEO Mitchell Katz on Tuesday, Sept. 5 announced the launch of the official website for the Far Rockaway Trauma Healthcare Access Task Force.
The website, rockawaytraumacare.nyc, details the activities of the task force to date and features recordings of the group’s meetings as well as the results of its community survey. To date, the task force has convened six times over the past year to discuss bringing reliable and accessible trauma care to Rockaway residents.
“The Rockaways desperately need a facility with staff and the capacity to handle patients in crisis,” Brooks-Powers said. “That is why I launched the Far Rockaway Trauma and Healthcare Access Task Force. I encourage those in and out of the Rockaway community to visit rockawaytraumacare.nyc. Without a certified trauma center nearby, victims are too often deprived of timely, life-saving care. We deserve a facility in the Rockaways that meets our needs.”
Formed in October 2022, the Far Rockaway Trauma Healthcare Access Task Force is comprised of public officials, healthcare experts, and local leaders committed to establishing a trauma care facility in the Rockaway community.
Katz, who was honored to co-chair the task force, said the councilwoman made sure that the voice of the Rockaways was heard and that he looks “forward to continuing to work with her and the community she serves on the need for trauma care.”
Allison Deal, executive director of the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, said the task force was established to vocalize the needs of the community.
“We vocalize the thoughts and needs of our community on this forum so that a trauma facility can be brought to the Rockaways to support our community during times of critical need,” Deal said. “The Rockaways are positioned far from a trauma hospital and in times of the greatest need it takes far too long for community members to access emergency trauma services.”
Jackie Rogers, of Edgemere Alliance & The Garden by the Bay, said having a trauma hospital brings access to critical care and lifesaving services, infrastructure upgrades, and provides the local community with jobs.
“I’m excited, for the first time in years, serious thought is being considered into bringing a much-needed trauma hospital to the Rockaways,” Rogers said.
While they’ve had one standalone hospital on the Rockaway peninsula for a little over 10 years, Sonia Moise, president of the Edgemere Community Civic Association, said a designated trauma center is “so desperately needed as our population is steadily growing.”
“I appreciate our council member for initiating this very important cause so we can get the medical care we need and deserve,” Moise said.
The Far Rockaway Trauma Healthcare Access Task Force will convene again in the fall to make recommendations on how best to bring trauma care to the Rockaways and will issue a formal report on the group’s findings by the end of this year.