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The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital in Brooklyn is ready for patients. It can withstand a storm worse than Sandy

The storm-resilient complex features a 7-foot-tall bronze statue of the Supreme Court justice, a Brooklyn native

New York officials Tuesday will cut the ribbon on the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital in South Brooklyn. Named after the late Jewish Supreme Court justice, who was born and raised in the borough, it is the first new public hospital in New York City since 1982.

The 11-story storm-resilient complex sits on the campus of the former century-old Coney Island Hospital, which was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when a turtle floated up to the emergency room and fish were found in the flooded basement. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for the $900 million state-of the-art facility.

Not far from Coney Island, it features a flood-proof emergency department on the second floor and a glass flood wall surrounding the building built to withstand the water and debris from what is termed a “500-year storm,” meaning a storm so severe it is only likely to happen once in 500 years, according to John Flanagan, one of the architects on the project. 

Svetlana Lipyanskaya, chief executive of NYC Health + Hospital/South Brooklyn Health, the public benefit corporation that owns the hospital, said it was named after Ginsburg to honor her commitment to equity and justice. The hospital aims to serve a community with limited access to high-quality healthcare.

The building’s lobby features a 7-foot-tall bronze statue of the Brooklyn native, who was born Ruth Joan Bader in 1933 at the nearby Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. As a lawyer and then as a judge, she was known for championing the rights of women and others who faced discrimination. 

The statue was approved by Ginsburg right before her death in 2020 and first unveiled last October. Her daughter Jane, who attended that event, said that while her mother was known for her tiny stature, the statue made her “larger than life.”

Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will include Ginsburg’s granddaughter Clara Spera; House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who represents the neighborhood in Congress, and other local officials.

 

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