When Dacheca Fleurimond decided to give birth at SUNY Downstate Medical Center earlier this year, her sister tried to talk her out of it.
Her sister had recently delivered at a better-rated hospital in Brooklyn’s gentrified Park Slope neighborhood and urged Fleurimond, a 33-year-old home health aide, to do the same.
But Fleurimond had given birth to all five of her other children at the state-run SUNY Downstate and never had a bad experience. She and her family had lived steps away from the hospital in East Flatbush when they emigrated from Haiti years ago. She knew the nurses at SUNY Downstate, she told her sister. She felt comfortable there.