The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted on February 8th and then again on March 12 after a rushed meeting in Westchester, 40 miles from Brooklyn, to support a decision by SUNY Downstate Medical Center leadership to seek approval from the state Department of Health to cease operation of University Hospital of Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) as a full-service inpatient hospital facility.
The medical staff and the elected officials feel we were snookered by this deal. SUNY made promises and they did nothing. I am now urging everyone to contact the Governor and NY State Health Department Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah to urge them not approve the closure of LICH.
The Governor's office can be contacted by calling (518) 474-8390 and then press "2" - letters should also be sent to:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dr. Shah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 474-2011.
Long IslandCollegeHospital is an institution that has served Brooklyn and New York City for over 150 years. A closure of LICH will only worsen the healthcare crisis in Brooklyn. LICH's Emergency Room saw 58,570 patients in 2012 and admitted over 11,000 people to the hospital. On average LICH has seen 60,000 patients per year for the last decade.
By closing LICH 2,000+ people will lose their jobs and Brooklyn will lose quality healthcare. Any discussion of closing LICH is not acceptable until we answer the question – what was done to fix the problems at LICH? New signage is not a solution! When plans of the merger were first discussed there was talk of issuing operating rooms at LICH for certain procedures. Did that happen?
LICH has been slowly and constantly drained of its resources – the loss of our nursing school, the selling of valuable properties, the failure of the billing department to collect on payments owned to them. Its’ akin to not treating a diseased limb until there is nothing to do but severe it.
When one institution closes its doors patients must go elsewhere. In recent years, Downtown Brooklyn has seen a surge in new residents. Closing LICH would harm the neighborhoods it serves and pass along a patient burden to an already strained healthcare network. This will result in longer ambulance response times, longer wait times and less quality healthcare.
There must be an alternative that balances the books at SUNY Downstate and keeps LICH open.
Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Council Members Stephen Levin and Brad Lander
In conjunction with
Congressmembers Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries
State Senators Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Martin Malave Dilan, Diane Savino, Martin Golden, John Sampson, and Eric Adams
State Assembly Members: Alan Maisel, Joseph R. Lentol, Peter J. Abbate Jr., James Brennan, Alec Brook-Krasny, Felix Ortiz,
City Council Members: Letitia James, Jumaane Williams, Diana Reyna, Domenic M. Recchia, Vincent Gentile, David Greenfield, Lew Fidler, Mathieu Eugene