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Manhattan: I write this letter as a postscript to my op-ed “Black mothers’ lives matter” (April 27).
After the op-ed was published, Mt. Sinai reached out to me through my campaign staff. They had correctly discerned I had delivered at one of their hospitals (specifically Beth Israel which is now closed), and wanted to know whether I would be willing to speak with them as they continue to address “these critical issues of equity, patient experience and maternal health.” I readily agreed and spoke with Dr. Jeremy Boal, their chief medical officer, and Dr. Elizabeth Howell, an OB/GYN whose research focuses on the intersection between quality of care and disparities in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Both were sincere, apologetic and clear that the care that I received was unacceptable.
I never expected when I wrote my op-ed that there would be any follow up. But by doing so, I was able to engage directly with clinicians that can — and I believe will — use my story to improve care for current and future patients. It hopefully also serves as confirmation that it is worth it to continue telling our stories. Dawn Smalls
Brooklyn: I strongly suspect that if Eric Garner had been a morbidly obese working class white guy resisting arrest and the chokehold officer had been an African American, the incident would have been old news the next day, with no mass crowds chanting “I can’t breathe” and blocking rush hour traffic in Manhattan. Dennis Middlebrooks
North Massapequa, L.I.: Neither Bill de Blasio nor Police Commissioner O’Neill has the backs of their NYPD officers. Their lack of respect and support is appalling. This is truly a sad day for the NYPD. I hope the men and women of the NYPD know there are more of us that do support them despite the commissioner and mayor. God bless the NYPD — I cannot imagine New York City without these brave men and women doing their jobs day in and day out. Therese D. Shirreffs
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