BROOKLYN - Employees and patients are bracing for Interfaith Medical Center's shutdown.

Officials from the hospital in Bed-Stuy asked for permission Wednesday from a bankruptcy court to close its doors. Layoff warnings were sent to more than 1,500 employees.

Community members are not giving up, and they rallied today to save the hospital.

Public advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is asking the board to revise its restructuring plan and to try merging with another hospital to stay afloat.

If the hospital closes, advocates say residents would have to travel several miles for health care, which they say could be the difference between life and death.

Hospital officials expect the bankruptcy court to rule on the matter by Aug. 15. If approved, they will stop accepting new patients and move forward with a plan that would have the entire facility shut down by mid-November.