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Maimonides & Our Community

Brooklyn-Focused From the Start

 

In 1911, a group of concerned women opened a dispensary to serve the poor and needy residents of their Brooklyn neighborhood — thereby planting the seed that would eventually grow into Maimonides Medical Center.

Over the last century, Maimonides has developed into a vital part of the Brooklyn community, as well as a thriving world-class medical center. Distinguished by a mosaic of ethnic enclaves throughout its 79 square mile area, the borough is home to over 2.5 million diverse Brooklynites.

Nearly 50% of the residents in the communities we serve are foreign born, so cultural sensitivity is vital. We understand and respect the diverse cultural needs and customs of those communities, and our staff and committment reflect that understanding.

 

Cultural Competence and Sensitivity

Cultural competence is core strength at Maimonides. We seek to understand a patient's lifestyle, diet and cultural attitudes toward health. In addition to long-standing Orthodox Jewish, Italian, Puerto Rican and Irish communities, our catchment area is home to Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, West Indian, Arab, Mexican, Pakistani and other communities.

Our Patient Relations Department — the largest of any hospital in New York City — is staffed by multilingual patient representatives available around-the-clock as advocates and advisers. With the increasing number of Chinese patients entering our Emergency Room, we added 24/7 coverage by patient representatives who are fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. Signage and patient information materials appear throughout the hospital in ten languages.

Maimonides is uniquely committed to the special health care needs of the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities, with meals cooked to the highest standards of kosher supervision, a synagogue on the ground floor, and Shabbos elevators in the main building. There are religious services for patients and visitors for all major holidays. Yiddish-speaking patient representatives are trained to assist elderly Holocaust survivors, and we maintain strong relationships with local Bikur Cholims (societies for visiting the sick) to meet the needs of our observant patients.

 

Strong Community Ties & Affiliated Physicians

Our hospital is woven into the fabric of the communities we serve. Many of our staff collaborate with or serve on the boards of local civic and religious organizations. This involvement is crucial because the way in which people live, work and play also affects how they care for themselves. By participating actively in community affairs, we keep our fingers on the pulse of local life and help influence decision-making, which can promote good health.